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Study in China

Studying abroad in China provides plenty of attractive options for international students seeking a high quality but affordable education. China is on the rise: the country’s economic development is evidence of this.This economic growth is being followed by an increased focus on education. China is investing heavily into education, which is leading to excellent options to all students, including internationals seeking new and attractive options.

China is a large country, full of natural and historical attractions. Those who wish to study abroad in China can take numerous trips in order to visit all of these attractions and really immerse themselves in the country and its rich culture.

Why Study in China?

China offers plenty of exciting options for people who wish to study at all levels of higher education, from Bachelor’s to PhD. Most programs and courses are not taught in English, which may be a problem for those who are not fluent in Chinese. However, the good news is that there are an increasing number of courses and even whole programmes taught in English. It all depends on the university, those who wish to study in China without learning the official language will be able to find great options taught in English language.

It’s important to emphasize that China already has many respectable universities that rank highly. For example, two of the C9 universities (Peking University and Thinghua) are already ranked highly (46th and 31st) and renowned as great places to get a quality education. Other highly regarded institutions are Fudan University, Shanghai Jiao Tong, the University of Science and Technology China, Nanjing University. China also has a great number of lesser known but fast developing universities, such as Tongi and Tianjin Universities. They are on the rise and make interesting destinations for those who are looking at different options to study in China.

China is quickly developing and emerging as a nation of quality education. It’s therefore not surprising it’s becoming a popular destination for international students seeking education. This is particularly true for Asian students who may choose to study in China rather than Europe or in North America to stay closer to home while still receiving high-quality education.

Also, China is actively working on attracting more international students. The Chinese government has already set a target to have 500,000 foreign students by 2020. There are many practical measures being taken to meet this goal, such as substantial scholarships for international students.

About China

China (officially the People’s Republic of China – PRC) is located in East Asia. With a population of over 1.35 billion, it is the world’s most populous country. It is also the world’s third largest country by size. Beijing and Shanghai are the most famous Chinese cities, but the country has more than 160 cities with a population greater than 1 million. There is a great regional difference when it comes to climate, environment and culture, which makes China very diverse.

China exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, as well as 5 autonomous regions, 4 direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing), and 2 special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau).

The majority of the population of China are Han Chinese. The Han Chinese are the world’s largest ethnic group, with over 1.2 billion people living in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. China’s population also includes 55 other ethnic minorities, such as Manchus, Hui, Uyghurs, Mongols, and many others.

China is a country with very rich history, dating back more than 4,000 years. The earliest examples of written history date back to 1600 BC. In the following years and centuries, China has undergone turbulent times of war and peace, expansion and contraction, warring states and empire. This rich history reflects on China’s culture even today.

The top tourist attractions in China include:

  • The Great Wall of China, located in the Huairou District of Beijing. This is the longest wall in the world and one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions.
  • Terracotta Army Museum, located near the Tomb of Qin Shihuang, known as the First Emperor, who unified China 2,200 years ago.
  • The Yangtze River, the third longest river in the world and the longest river within a single country.
  • Potala Palace, located on Moburi (Red) Mountain. This is a large treasure house full of materials and articles from Tibetan history, religion, culture and art. It’s well known for its sculptures, murals, antiques, Buddha statues, scriptures and religious jewelry.
  • The Bund, one of the most recognizable architectural symbols of Shanghai.
  • Yellow Mountain, located in Anhui Province.
  • Yungang Grottoes, with 252 caves and 51,000 Buddhist statues.
  • West Lake, the most famous tourist spot in Hangzhou.

Cost of Studying & Living in China

One of the great things about China is that it is a relatively inexpensive option for students. Tuition fees are comparatively low, so you will be able to receive quality education at affordable prices. This is very important, and it’s one of the things that make China a very attractive option for international students. With the high quality of education combined with lower tuition fees, it’s clear why so many people decide to study abroad in China instead of other destinations.

Tuition fees vary depending upon university, study topic and level of study. Generally speaking, international students can expect to pay between US $2,000 and $4,000 per year for tuition fees. This is significantly lower than many European and North American university tuition fees.

There are also some minor costs you will need to pay when you arrive, such as insurance (about $100) and medical examination fee (if not already taken in the home country; it varies depending on the location – for Beijing it’s around $100).

While the economic growth and other factors mean that prices in China are on the rise, it’s still has a relatively low costs of living. International students need about US $3,000 for accommodation and about US $2,000 for other living costs (such as food, transportation, etc.) These costs of living are comparatively lower than many other countries. Due to economic growth and other factors, the prices in China are on the rise. However, the cost of living is still much lower than in most of the industrialized countries. Internationals who wish to study in China can live very comfortably even without much money. In fact, it’s possible to have a better lifestyle while studying abroad in China than at home. You will probably be able to afford many things you can’t at home, such as tailor-made clothes, a housekeeper, lots of travel, frequent restaurant meals, massages, regular night on the town, and more.

There are numerous scholarships available to study in China for international students. China’s Ministry of Education has pledged around $238 million for the Chinese Government Scholarship Program in the 2012-13 academic year alone. This program is specifically structured to provide full and partial scholarships for internationals who wish to study in China. More than 25,000 students benefitted from this scheme in 2011 and the Chinese government is working on increasing this number.

One of the exciting things about the scholarship program is the relatively high value of the average scholarship: it is now around $9,400. This is great news for any interested students and makes living and studying in China much more financially attractive. China is one of the most attractive options when it comes to international scholarships.

Another thing you can do is to seek part-time employment. A part time teaching job can bring you some extra cash in case you are on a tight budget.

Visas

Those who wish to study abroad in China need to apply for a visa. All international students should have a passport and either a Study visa (X-visa) for a study period of more than 6 months or a Business visa (F-visa) for a study period of 6 months or less.

Most students will need to get an X-visa. To have it issued, you need to present a valid passport and Letters of Admission for your university so you can prove you are admitted to a Chinese university, as well as a JW 202 form. Once you are accepted to a Chinese university, the university will prepare the JW202 form for you. This may take 2-4 weeks. Officers may also require some additional documents, because visas are issued on case by case basis.

Language

The official language of China is Mandarin, or Putonghua. It’s spoken throughout the country, although most Chinese people also speak a local dialect. If you don’t speak Chinese well it can be a bit of a struggle with the locals. However, many young people, especially college students, speak English, so you will be able to communicate relatively easily.

Those who wish to learn the language have numerous options. Learning Chinese in China is very effective and you can always apply what you learn on your classes in everyday life. It is a great way to experience the local culture and improve your language skills.