1. Travel and Exploration
Studying in China is an excellent opportunity to explore the world's most populous country. You will experience China's unique blend of ancient and modern civilization, as well as its scenic beauty and bustling nightlife. Visit new places with other students from around the world who you meet, and you'll find yourself opening your eyes not just to China, but to the whole world.
The sheer size of China's territory means a tremendous variety of climates, cultures and landscapes await. Head northeast to Harbin to enjoy the ice festival, hit the ski slopes or just to see the water in your eyes form icicles around your eyelashes. If -25°C sounds a little too cold, then head south to the tropical beach paradise of Hainan Island and kick back in the sunshine.
Following rapid economic development over the last 30 years, Chinese cities now boast eye-catching works of modern architecture - from the towering skyscrapers of Shanghai to Beijing’s Olympic Bird’s Nest - in addition to impressive ancient structures like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. China’s 5000 years of history has bequeathed a seemingly endless amount of tourist attractions to visit, while natural wonders of breathtaking beauty are also scattered about the country. Perhaps less well known, but equally unmissable for international students is China’s unique nightlife made up of private karaoke rooms and extravagant mega-clubs. Thanks to a well-developed and modern transportation infrastructure, it is convenient and inexpensive to get around in China. All cities are well-served by buses and taxis, and larger cities have modern subway systems. For long-distance travel, every city can be reached by airplane or train. China's high-speed railway reaches a maximum speed of over 300 km/h and provides beds as well as dining services.
2. It's Affordable
Studying and living in China is cheaper than studying and living in European countries, the U.S., Japan, South Korea and many other countries.
For example, for non-EU citizens the tuition fee for studying at a UK university is at least 7000 pounds (about 10,000 U.S. dollars) annually. The cost of living can even reach up to 13,000 pounds. Meanwhile, the United States and Australia have the world's most expensive tuition fees.
Even in other parts of Asia studying is not cheap. Japan boasts high living expenses soaring up to 1800 dollars a month, while South Korea is one of the world's five most expensive countries for foreign residents.
On the other hand, in China, the tuition fees per semester are generally no more than 1000 U.S. dollars, a number of short-term language courses cost just a few hundred dollars. Food and consumption in China are as affordable as it gets. A good pair of jeans sells for 10-20 U.S. dollars, the bus fare only 15 cents, and a subway ticket in Beijing only 30 cents. All in all, everything is more than affordable in China; it's cheap! Find out more about Living in China.
3. Employment Advantage
When it comes to economics, China has been the world's fastest growing country for the past 30 years. Even during the financial crisis, China's economic growth has maintained a level of 8%, a pace unthinkable in other countries. China's GDP recently surpassed Japan's to become the world's second largest economy after the United States. The world's top 500 companies all do business in China, with many choosing to base their Asia-Pacific headquarters in the bustling Chinese cities of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.
The current rise of China has made it very clear that people who can speak Chinese and have firsthand experience of living in China are going to have a great advantage in terms of employment. China serves as a huge market for multinational corporations, and employers are well aware that a real understanding of China, Chinese culture and Chinese people is a big plus for those who want to become the world's next generation of leaders.
4. Quality of Education and International Recognition
China is striving to build more world-class universities and investing heavily in higher education. Aside from China's unique Chinese language, calligraphy, martial arts and other cultural subjects, Chinese degree programs in majors such as engineering, science, medicine, economics and trade, MBA as well as finance are highly revered. As for those who don't know any Chinese, many universities offer degree programs taught in English, so you can earn your degree while learning the most widely spoken language in the world.
The academic qualifications awarded by Chinese universities are recognized by most developed countries. The Chinese government has signed an agreement on mutual recognition of academic qualifications with a number of countries including the United States, Britain, France, Japan and 65 other countries and regions.
5. Experiencing the Culture Firsthand
Though it may surprise many, Chinese culture and people are extremely diverse and multicultural, consisting of 56 different ethnicities. For example, in Lijiang, in the southern province of Yunnan, twelve different minorities have dwelled together in social harmony for thousands of years, practicing an array of religions spanning from Chinese Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, and Islam, to many lesser known ones like Tibetan Buddhism and Bimo Religion of Baiyi.
Compare that to completely different Inner Mongolia, where drinking Chinese rice wine is practically mandatory when entering the homes of locals, and whole lambs are eaten in one meal.
You'll run into unique customs as you travel to different parts of China, but everyday life, believe it or not, will be just as new and fulfilling. Living and interacting with local Chinese and immersing yourself in Chinese society will provide you with a new way of visualizing the world and giving you the kind of insight that just doesn't come from textbooks.
International students who want to study at Chinese universities must meet the general requirements set out by both the Chinese government and the university they apply to.
For more information regarding the requirements of the Chinese Government, please contact the Chinese Ministry of Education or China Scholarship Council.
In accordance with different levels of degree, Chinese universities have different requirements for all enrollees. Before applying, you must carefully review these requirements.
This is a list of requirements for different programs: (Applicants may search for degree programs by degree level according to your personal educational background and the following requirements.)
|Type of Student||Application and admission requirements||Required HSK level||Study time|
|Short-term student||Secondary High school graduate or the equivalent (e.g. A-level, successful completion of Year 12, etc).In some of China's universities, any education background is accepted.||No requirement||1 - 20 weeks|
|Language student||Secondary High school graduate or the equivalent (e.g. A-level, successful completion of Year 12, etc).||No requirement||1 - 2 years|
|Undergraduate or associate student||Secondary High school graduate or the equivalent (e.g. A-level, successful completion of Year 12, etc).||HSK level 4-6 (for Chinese-medium programs)||Undergraduate student: 4 - 5 years;
Associate students: 2 - 3 years
|Master's degree student||Possession of a Bachelor's degree, at least two letters of recommendation from professors.||HSK level 5-8 (for Chinese-medium programs)||2 - 3 years|
|Doctoral student||Possession of a Master's degree, at least two recommendations from professors.||HSK level 5-8 (for Chinese-medium programs)||3 years|
|Transfer student||Student who is studying at another Chinese university should provide a sealed transfer letter from the Foreign Students' Office of the current university; and meet other requirements according to degree level.||Depending||Depending|
Some students will be able to work whilst they are studying in China, either part-time or in the holidays. Working can be a great way to get additional experience and enhance your employability or find opportunities for after you graduate. There is legislation about working in China for students and it is your responsibility to check and ensure that you comply with all the requirements. Previously international students were not permitted to work in China, but now it is allowed to take internships as long as you get permission from your University.
There are a number of ways to find opportunities in your industry. Since China is a booming economy, many students find opportunities presenting themselves in a way that doesn’t happen in their home country.
You can search for opportunities online by looking at adverts in University cafes, or through websites such as thebeijinger.com/classifieds, you can also attend networking events. Another way is to ask your University professors because they will have industry links and can help to make an introduction. You can also try contacting companies yourself.
If you can speak Chinese this can greatly enhance your attractiveness for opportunities. So if you are planning to be in China for a while, it is a good idea to focus on learning Chinese at the start, and then you can put your Chinese skills to use in a practical setting later.
Students should apply for an X visa (study visa) in your home country. In order to do this students will need to go to the Chinese embassy in your country with your admissions letter, and the Visa Application Form (also known as the JW202 form). The time-length varies according to the embassy and region but it is better to apply early.
Please note that it is no longer possible for students to come to Beijing on a tourist visa (L visa) and then convert this into a study (x) visa when in Beijing. Students should apply for an X study visa in their home country.
When preparing to study in China, it is important to calculate how much money you will need to cover your expenses. Some Universities require students to provide a letter from whoever is paying the fees to guarantee that they can cover the cost of the program. It is in nobody’s interest for a student to drop out of the program because they haven’t budgeted properly.
The good news is that the cost of studying and living in China is comparatively low to other countries, as an example, the subway in Beijing costs 2 RMB for each trip, and you can buy a beer for the same price (the cost of textbooks are low too.)
The main categories of costs for studying in China are:
– Application Fee ($150 USD)
– Visa Application Fee
– Tuition Fee (varies according to each program)
– Books and supplies
– Insurance – insurance is necessary and students can’t register without it, students can arrange it themselves, or they can buy can be arranged when you arrive in China, Ping An has an insurance policy for students which costs 600 RMB per year.
– Accommodation – this depends on whether you are staying in campus or off campus.
– Flight Tickets – this will depend on which country you are flying from. You can find cheap flights on Orbitz.com
– Food / Eating out – this will depend on you and your habits, University food can be very affordable and can cost 10 RMB or less for each meal. Eating outside the University can also be cheap.
– Other Living Expenses – what other things do you like to do in your spare time? Playing sport, going out to bars or restaurants.
Before coming to China it is a good idea to use the above categories to make a budget for how much you expect to spend in each category. Try to add a little bit extra than you think in each category, and something to cover for emergencies. It is always better to have spent less than you expected than the other way around.