Studying in China for International Students

China is a fast-emerging leader in industrialization and economy, globally but according to the reports of the Ministry of Education of China, there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of international students studying in China.  

Nearly 210,000 students were enrolled in Chinese universities for various study programs in 2016, and the count is increasing every year. 

Why is studying in a Chinese university an attractive option for international students? How easy or hard is life for an international student in China? 

This article will take a closer look at the academic scene for international students in China, examine the pros and cons, list the scholarships available for international students, job opportunities to look out for, the cultural shift, and all that is important to know about the process. 

Reasons for studying in China 

Numerous scholarships: It is estimated that almost 40% of all international students who come to study in China receive financial scholarship. The Chinese government has taken efforts to give out numerous scholarships for international students. 

Top-ranked Universities: China is renowned for its world-class education and facilities. It boasts of over 350 undergraduate degree programs, with science and technology degrees being the most popular. There are 33 universities of China that are ranked in the QS World University rankings. 

Get a global reach: When you study here, your hob-nob with 20% of the world’s population and learn to comprehend the language spoken by an imminent economic superpower that is China. This country will be a major influencer in the development of all industries including e-commerce and education in the future and an exposure to this country and its people will be an advantage. 

Discover China: No country on earth is as vast as China. It is a land of varied cultures, climates, landscapes, and cuisines! It is a culmination of the old charm of the past and the vibrant present. There is no dearth of places to visit – mountains, beaches, ski slopes, the Great Wall, and the Forbidden City – to name a few. 

The estimated cost to study in China 

One of the best reasons for studying in China for international students is the low cost of living. The tuition fees are also affordable. 

An international student must spend an average of USD 2,000 for living expenses and $4,000 for housing annually. But these costs will vary depending on the city of residence. 

Tuition fee structure in private universities 

There are many Chinese private universities. There are also several British and American universities with their local campus in some cities. 

Tuition fees of these universities will range from $8,000 – $15,000 annually. 

Tuition fee structure in public universities 

Universities that have English as the language of instruction for degree courses cost $2,000 -$4,500 annually. 

Professional programs in business, engineering, and medicine cost $24,000 – $50,000 annually. 

The cost of foreign (UK-based) universities with a campus in China cost $12,000 annually for UG degree and $13,500 for a master’s degree. 

Admission procedure for studying in China 

In the last few years, the number of programs taught in English has increased by 63%. This is another reason for the popularity of China being a destination for higher education for international students. Though the prospect of studying in an alien land may seem scary to many, the procedure is straightforward. 

Step-by-step procedure for applying to a Chinese university 

  1. Select the course you want to study (look below for links) 
  2. Select the best universities (English-taught) 
  3. After you choose the university, check if your qualifications match the eligibility criteria. 
  4. Look for scholarship opportunities 
  5. Apply online through CUCAS, a self-application platform that lets you apply directly to a Chinese university. Or apply through CUAC that has professional advisors and guides who help you decide your choice of study in China. 
  6. International students applying for English-instructed program must present their scores on TOEFL and IELTS. 
  7. Submit the following documents with the online application: 

·         Copy of passport 

·         Copy of valid visa 

·         Passport photo 

·         ID card 

·         English language proficiency certificate

8. Letter guarantee (signed declaration by a parent/legal guardian in which he takes responsibility for the student to follow the rules of the university. 

9.Documents that prove that you can financially support your studies in China 

10.Academic transcript and certificate from the school last graduated. 

Popular programs of study in China 

Academic programs in Chinese universities are always a combination of learning the subject of your interest in language classes. There will be ample opportunities for exploring the rich cultural heritage of the land. 

The most popular programs are: 

  • Mandarin 
  • Engineering 
  • Mathematics 
  • Urban development 
  • Political science 
  • Economics 
  • Medicine 
  • International business 

Many universities do instruct in the local language, but there are options to study in English. However, it is advisable to take up some basic course in Mandarin that will help you with daily communication (and give you credits for language at university). 

What are the deadlines for applying to study in China? 

The academic year of most of the Chinese universities has two semesters – Spring and Autumn. Some of the universities may have three semesters, so check the university website to ascertain the deadlines for submission of application. 

The standard deadlines for applying to Chinese universities: 

  • Spring semester: until July 15th 
  • Autumn semester: until April 30th 

Can international students work in China? 

Yes, international students can work part-time or take up summer jobs during their period of study in China. The only condition is that the university should have no objections 

Possible disadvantages of studying in China 

Students who come to study in China must be prepared to face some realities. It could be a cultural shock for some, especially for those from the Western countries.  

Here’s a list of some disadvantages

  • Studies are taken extremely seriously and there is no room for errors. 
  • The study environment is highly competitive. 
  • Individuality is not encouraged. Classes are in the format of lectures and students are seldom involved in discussions. Teachers are highly respected, and obedience is a quality that is ingrained in the minds of students. 
  • Communication could be an issue initially. 

Also, read: 

Scholarships Aids for international students in China 

More scholarship opportunities 

Best universities in China for international students 

Disclaimer Note: While we try our best to provide current and accurate information, the numbers, links and government policies are subject to change.