An excited volunteer arrives in China and prepares for her Projects Abroad induction.

China Arrival Procedures

Airport pickup, flights, and visas for your trip to China

We have all the information you need to know for your trip, from helping with visa queries to walking you through a placement induction on your first day in China. Our hassle-free approach means you can concentrate on what really matters, making a difference at your placement.

Arrival Airport & Pickup in China

We have projects based in two Chinese cities, Chengdu and Shanghai. If you are based in Chengdu, you’ll fly to Chengdu Shuang Liu International Airport (CTU). If you are based in Shanghai, you’ll fly to Pudong International Airport (PVG).


The moment you walk through the arrivals gate, you’ll be able to spot our Projects Abroad staff. They’ll be standing in clear view with a Projects Abroad sign, waiting for you. All transfers to and from the airport are paid for and arranged by us.


You’ll be taken by taxi straight to your accommodation. In Chengdu, this journey can take up to 45 minutes, and in Shanghai, it will take about an hour to get to your accommodation. The length of both of these trips do depend on the traffic.

Booking your flights with us to China

Projects Abroad has over 20 years of experience arranging flights for thousands of volunteers around the world. Searching for flights online can be a time-consuming, overwhelming, and frustrating process. Let us do the work for you!


We can help you book the best return flights, making sure you have the safest, most convenient, and cost-effective flight options, no matter how complex your travel plans. Find out more about booking your flights through us.

Visas requirements for your volunteer project or internship in China

One of the perks of volunteering with us is the visa guidance we give you. We have a dedicated visa team who have up-to-date information on visa requirements for all of our destinations around the world. You can get in touch with us if you have any visa queries, big or small, and we will talk you through the process. Once you apply, you’ll also get a link to your own MyProjectsAbroad webpage, which will include all the necessary visa information.


One of the perks of volunteering with us is the visa guidance we give you. We have a dedicated visa team who have up-to-date information on visa requirements for all of our destinations around the world. You can get in touch with us if you have any visa queries, big or small, and we will talk you through the process. Once you apply, you’ll also get a link to your own MyProjectsAbroad webpage, which will include all the necessary visa information.


All volunteers going to China need a pre-arranged visa. This can sometimes be a lengthy process to obtain, with many volunteers not receiving their necessary visa in time for the start of their project. Because of this, we recommend you apply for your project as far in advance as possible. Only once accepted, should you book refundable airfare.

Your induction and orientation in China

Once you have settled in, our staff will help you get used to the area by taking you on a tour as part of your induction the day after you arrive. If you arrive during the week, you’ll have your induction the following day. If you arrive on the weekend, you’ll have your induction on the Monday.  

During your induction, you’ll receive an induction pack. This pack will provide you with information about the city, comprehensive maps, as well as the telephone numbers of the other volunteers in your area.

You’ll also be taken to get a local SIM card and exchange money if you need to.


While you are out, you’ll get to see where important amenities are such as:


  • Banks
  • Internet cafes
  • Post offices
  • Pharmacies


We’ll also point out a few of the best restaurants and groceries stores where you can purchase food. Our staff will ensure you receive a food allowance sufficient enough to cover three meals a day.


Our staff will show you how to use public transportation, specifically the bus and the train, and where to travel for your placement the next day. This is usually only a 10 minute walk away from your accommodation. After travelling around the city, our staff will take you for lunch.

Your first day at your volunteer or internship placement in China

On your first day, you’ll receive a formal induction from your project supervisor.


You’ll be taken around the placement premises and shown where you’ll be working. During your tour, you’ll be introduced to your colleagues. This will give you a chance to chat with them and find out what they and how they will be involved in the work you do.


Once you have gotten a feel of where you’ll be working, you’ll sit down with your project supervisor and discuss your role. Together, you’ll discuss your expectations, what is required of you, and your working hours. Your supervisor is there to assist you, so use this time to ask any questions you may have. You’ll start working on your second day.

Support, safety, and backup

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.


Find out more about safety and backup.