International Students Tips For Studying and Living in China

China is one of the best places across the globe when it comes to higher education. Chinese universities and colleges are known for their commitment to high standards of excellent especially with respect to technical and managerial courses. The cost of studying and living in China is also reasonable.

Social Life

China has many vibrant cities with world class universities where there is a lively social atmosphere. International metropolis such as Beijing and Shanghai are cities with populations of more than 10 million. These cities have modern facilities and public transport systems rivalling New York and London. Many of the leading universities in China are located in this city.  There are many universities located in metropolitan cities such s Harbin and Jinan. Their population is lower compared to international metropolis though the public transportation systems and restaurants are the best.

Budget cities are mid-sized such as Hefei and Fuxin. The cost of living in these cities is very low. Historical cities such as Nanjing and Xi’an are perfect for those who are fond of historical monuments and old architecture. These are celebrated tourist destinations. For instance, the famous city of Nanjing was the capital of 6 dynasties. Xi’an is home to the Terracotta Warriors. Kaifeng is a city with 2700 years of historical legacy. Coastal cities in China such as Weihai and Ningbo are located on its 18,000 km long coastline. For those who are fond of beaches, universities located in these cities are the best choice.

The Cost of Living in China’s Cities

 The table below summarizes the meal and transportation costs incurred by international students in various cities:

  1. CITY
  2. Meal Charge Per Month (Meals at University Cafeteria)(in RMB)
  3. Transportation fee-RMB(taxi fare)
  • Beijing
  • 1500-2000
  • 10
  • Tianjin
  • 500-800
  • 8
  • Shanghai
  • 1000
  • 12
  • Hebei Province
  • 800
  • 5
  • Guangzhou
  • 400-900
  • 7
  • Hunan Province
  • 600-800
  • 8
  • Heilongjiang Province
  • 400
  • 9
  • Liaoning Province
  • 900
  • 8
  • Jilin Province
  • 400
  • 5
  • Jiangsu Province
  • 600
  • 9
  • Wenzhou
  • 450
  • 10
  • Zhejiang Provice
  • 600
  • 5
  • Fujian Province
  • 500
  • 8
  • Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
  • 500
  • 7
  • Shandong Province
  • 1000
  • 10
  • Hainan Province
  • 450
  • 5
  • Shanxi Province
  • 800
  • 6
  • Yunnan Province
  • 700
  • 9
  • Sichuan Province
  • 600-1000
  • 5
  • Shaanxi Province
  • 400
  • 6
  • Chongqing
  • 500
  • 5
Source: CUCAS

Entertainment and eating costs in Beijing and other such cities are quite reasonable. Movie tickets in such cities cost around 30 to 80 RMB, according to CUCAS. Discounts are also provided for students. A 600 ml can of beer costs around 3 to 10 RMB and a Big Mac is around 15.5 RMB. A t-shirt from a clothing market costs around 50 RMB. Eating food in the university cafeteria is also a good way to save money.

Accommodation


Top quality accommodation is available in China. International students can either live in the dormitory or a university’s hotel. Dormitories within the university campus have all the modern facilities and amenities such as lockers, bedding, air conditioning and free internet access. Dormitories have single, double or deluxe rooms. Off campus accommodation for international students has become a popular choice nowadays as well. Renting an apartment is a good option. However, the cost will depend upon factors such as location and condition of the flat/house.


Work while you study

International students can engage in work-study while they are in China. According to Chinese law, the State Council which controls the education departments should formulate an international student’s work-study management system for foreign students. China has a lot of laws for improving the status of international students. Allowing work-study is one of them.

Transportation

You need to plan your trip in advance after obtaining the visa. Booking air tickets and confirming your accommodation are some of the critical steps you need to take. Those who require airport pick up service can contact CUCAS at vipservice@cucas.cn. Certain universities also provide university pick up services. CUCAS also helps to arrange airport pick-up for international students.

The fee for CUCAS users is Beijing Language and Culture University is commissioned by the government to arrange for transit service for Chinese government scholarship students. The cost of travelling in China depends upon the destination and the mode of transport opted for. Travelling by train is way cheaper than flying. If you want to save money, you should book the train tickets well in advance. During days when there are holidays such as Spring Festival, tickets may sell out well in advance. Travelling by plane is more expensive but CUCAS recommends that you can try websites such as www.ctrip.com or www.elong.com.

As per the CUCAS website, the cost of public transportation in major cities is fairly affordable. A subway ticket costs around 30 US cents in Beijing and 40 to 120 US cents in Shanghai and Guangzhou. For China’s capital city, a bus ticket costs around 10 to 120 cents while it is even cheaper in cities such as Shanghai and Guangzhou. Taxi fare in Beijing is around 30 US cents per km. It is slightly more expensive in cities such as Guangzhou where it costs around 40 US cents. Public transportation costs in smaller cities are even cheaper.

Safety and Health Insurance

Medical and health insurance are very important considerations because international students need to safeguard their wellbeing. Only foreign students who are recipients of the scholarships provided by the Chinese Ministry can avail of health insurance from the government. Other foreign students are encouraged to purchase medical insurance with adequate coverage. Some universities in China also make it mandatory for foreign students to purchase health insurance from Ministry approved insurance companies.

Conclusion

Leading educational experts recommend China because of its affordable and world class educational institutions. China has some of the best universities and colleges in the world, especially when it comes to technical and managerial education.
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