WeChat groups are a vital resource for Beijing’s international community, not only providing information but bringing together people with shared interests. Each week we’ll be highlighting a thriving group chat, so whether you’re new to town or just looking to expand your networks, you can find your people.
Mio Rudnicki is a true citizen of the world. Born in Boston to an American father and Japanese mother, she then moved to Beijing at the age of 3, and subsequently to Japan, Hong Kong, France, Singapore, and as an adult has lived in both China and the US. However a globetrotting lifestyle can make it hard to maintain friendships, which is why she founded Female Expats in Beijing. We asked her to tell us more about this women-only group chat.
Tell us about yourself, and how you came to be admin of this group.
I started it last year in July. I’d moved to Beijing for my husband’s schooling, so I wasn’t working, and I just thought, “you know what, I want to have a group of girlfriends here!” And so I made the group on Facebook, because most people moving to China were looking on Facebook first. Then I made the WeChat group because it’s useful.
Who’s in the group and what do you talk about?
It just kind of grew exponentially from there, from just me to now, when we have over 400 members, and that’s after I had to purge a bunch because people had moved or were inactive.
I find everyone to be so kind. Everyone is so candid about any issue they have. Part of it being all-female is that the kind of support people ask about can be things that maybe guys would feel uncomfortable about like periods or skin issues, or whatever. It’s just a very open, non-judgmental, honest community and I love it a lot.
Do you meet in real life?
What I love about my group is we get together often, we have lunches and brunches and dinners, people go out. There’s a great support system.
To join Female Expats in Beijing, search for the group on Facebook, and answer the screening questions, to prove you’re genuinely a female expat in Beijing! When you’ve been admitted to the Facebook group, there’s a QR code for the WeChat group.
Photos: Pixabay, courtesy of Mio Rudnicki