In the months before you leave, you'll want to start saving money. Even though your plane ticket and housing will likely be paid for by your employer, you might not be paid for these things up front. Many companies want you to purchase your own plane ticket, which they will eventually reimburse.
If you're living in an apartment provided by the school, you won't have many costs upfront, but if you have a housing stipend you will still most likely need to pay for the deposit, which is usually 1-month's rent, along with an agency fee, which is usually half a month's rent. This can be a HUGE shock, especially if you have a high housing stipend. I had to pay over $1,000 for all of those things!
Most Chinese apartments come furnished, but not ever apartment has all of the supplies you need; bedding, kitchenware, and other homey items for your apartment can add up. Don't forget about feeding yourself and surviving for the first month or two depending on when your first paycheck goes through!
The best way to combat any money surprises is to ask your school upfront what will be paid for or included. Will you be paying the deposit? What kind of items are included in your apartment? How long will it take to be reimbursed for your flight? While it might seem awkward, you don't want to be blindsided like I was.