Snacking for 3 euros in Yantai

What happens to your health insurance if you leave to go work in Yantai? Can your family come, too? How much does a Happy Meal cost over there? A new brochure by the RUG answers all these questions.
By Peter Keizer / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

Most of the costs for employees leaving for China will be covered, according to the RUG commissioned brochure. The brochure will be discussed in Thursday’s University Council meeting. Travel costs will be reimbursed and employees’ partners and children will be insured under the RUG’s travel insurance. Housing will be arranged and paid for by the university.

The RUG wants to make it as easy as possible for employees to go to China for either shorter or longer periods of time. A new help desk will be set up to answer questions on tax returns, the pension build-up of accompanying partners, and educational costs for children.

Staff members going to Yantai for less than a year will be subject to the same provisions that apply to their RUG positions. If their term of employment is still valid after their stay in China, they will be allowed to return. Anyone who goes to China for more than 30 days is eligible for a monthly personal allowance of 15 per cent.


An overview from the website Numbeo, which the university has added to the brochure, shows that the cost of living in Yantai is not very high. The website allows people to compare consumer prices, crime figures, and the quality of healthcare in cities.

In Groningen, a three-course meal for two will cost 50 euros, but in Yantai, it only costs 13 euros, according to the overview. A McMeal costs 7 euros at McDonalds in Groningen, whereas it only costs 2.62 in China. A taxi costs 18 cents per kilometre  as opposed to 2 euros per kilometre in Groningen.

However, wine is almost twice as expensive, costing 9.45 a bottle rather than 5 euros. Anyone who wants to join a gym will have to pay ten euros more per month (30 euros). And a summer dress from Zara or H&M costs the same.

Numbeo has no information on crime, healthcare, or traffic. Not included in the brochure is data air pollution. According to Numbeo, air pollution is ‘very high’ in Yantai.


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