Higher Education

Q&A on studying in China

Updated: Dec 22, 2017 China Scholarship Council Print
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1. Is the cost of living in China too high?

Although prices in China are rising, the cost of living here is still favorable compared with most developed countries. You will be amazed by how comfortably you can live and how strong your purchasing power is. Compared to developed countries, the cost of living and studying in China is relatively low. Accommodation in Beijing is roughly 2000-3000 yuan per month. An average meal costs around 30-50 yuan. The subway has a flat rate of 3 yuan and buses within the city are even cheaper. Smaller cities and those in China's central and western regions are particularly inexpensive.

2. How many kinds of universities are there in China?

There are two types of universities in China: comprehensive university and professional university. Comprehensive universities have a wide range of disciplines, with tremendous strength in scientific research; Professional universities are generally proficient in certain disciplines and activities carried out by students are full of academic atmosphere.

3. When will the university start classes generally?

Degree programs: degree programs begin in September at most Chinese universities. A small number of programs can admit students in February or March.

Language programs: the one-semester (4-6 months) language course usually opens in both semesters (starting in both September and February/March); the One-year language program usually opens in September; the short-term courses may have fixed times or may arrange a time at the request of a group of students. Short-term summer programs usually start in June, July or August, and last 1-8 weeks.

4. Can I apply for MA courses if I don't speak Chinese?

Chinese higher education institutions (HEIs) generally conduct courses in Chinese language. Applicants with no command of Chinese are generally required to take Chinese language courses for 1-2 years before their major studies. Applicants who apply to study science, engineering, agriculture, medicine (western medicine), economics, management and law are required to take Chinese language courses for 1 year. Applicants who apply to study literature, history, philosophy, and medicine (traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese herb medicine) are required to take Chinese language courses for 2 years.

Some of the Chinese HEIs offer postgraduate programs and non-degree courses for general and senior scholars in English. Students who apply for these programs are not required to take Chinese language courses.

5. Can I take a part-time job while studying at college?

Tuition fee is generally paid on year basis. According to relevant Chinese laws, international students studying in China are forbidden to be employed, and work-study opportunity is relatively small. So self-financed international students should make the financial preparation before arriving in China.

6. Can I purchase a house in China?

International students studying in China for more than one year can purchase a house, which must be a commercial house for personal use and personal residence and meet the actual needs.

International students shall have real-name registration when purchasing a house in China and pay for the house in terms of Renminbi (RMB) and provide the proof of legal source of Renminbi or convert foreign currency into Renminbi first and pay for the house. In the settlement of exchange, the following documents need to be submitted: (1) commercial housing sales contract or pre-sale contract; (2) a valid passport or other identification; (3) relevant certificates of registration of commercial housing pre-sale contract in the city where the house is purchased; and (4) a valid employment contract or the certificate of a status as a student for more than one year.

In addition, international students purchasing a house in China shall comply with the specific policies of the region and pay taxes in accordance with the relevant regulations of China.

7. Is it easy for a foreign graduate to find a job in China?

Thanks to the economic growth, the opportunities for foreigners who want to work in China have increased considerably in the last few years. Teaching English is one of the main job areas for foreigners in China, while there is also a growing demand for foreign experts in sales, engineering and management, etc. The current rise of China has made it very clear that people who can speak Chinese and have first-hand experience of living in China are going to have a great advantage in terms of employment.

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