Essentially, I have just received a job offer to do research in Beijing. I do not know a word of Chinese Mandarin. I applied for the job in a rather sporadic way (this was at the end of a PhD, where one usually deals with the existential crisis of unemployment).
In any case, it's at a great institute with a figure head in my chosen field and from an academic point of view this is a great opportunity, however I remain a little worried I won't be able to survive without knowing chinese. This is not to say I won't learn, but I can't imagine knowing such a language before leaving (3-4 months), if I were to accept. Once I have settled down, I would indeed learn as much as I can but I don't see myself being fluent, but perhaps enough to survive.
So I guess real question is, how hard are those first couple months going to be? Has any anyone else been in a similar situation and can tell me what it was like?
I would imagine being close to the universities, Tsing Hua, Peking.