To know exactly what your application goal is and plan your study in China properly, we suggest you to consider the following questions:
China's universities offer thousands of programs for foreign students. Non-degree programs teaching Chinese language and culture are particularly popular, but it is also possible to earn a degree in China. Most degree programs are taught in Chinese and therefore require a certain level of language proficiency. However, an increasing number of English-taught degree programs are available. If you already know what type of program you want to take, please click "Find the Course" button on navigation on CUCAS homepage to start search. But you should also be aware of that most degree programs have certain requirements regarding the applicant's academic background and language skills, you can see these requirements in each program site particularly.
Compared to developed countries, the cost of living and studying in China is relatively low. Accommodation in Beijing is roughly 1500RMB-3000RMB per month. An average meal cost is around 10-35RMB. The subway has a flat rate of 2RMB and buses within the city are even cheaper. Smaller cities and those in China's central and western regions are particularly inexpensive.
If you're unfamiliar with China's cities and universities, there are a number of pages you may want to take a look at. For university detals, browse our Chinese Universities. For more information on Chinese cities, peruse our City Guide. Universities are listed here.
If you're interested in taking a non-degree program to learn Chinese, you may have been told that Beijing is the best location because the local dialect is the closest to standard Mandarin. In fact, native Beijingers do have a distinctive dialect of their own, one that some beginning students might find difficult to understand. In addition, if you choose to study in one of China's large, internationalized cities, you may find that you spend most of your time speaking English to all the expats you meet. Consider a smaller or regional city where you'll have many more opportunities to practice your Chinese, and experience a more complete and authentic cultural immersion. Consider somewhere in the northeast like Jinzhou, where locals speak standard Mandarin, but the cost of living is lower.
Language programs are mainly one semester (4-6 months), one year or short-term (anywhere from 1-8 weeks).
Degree programs: At most Chinese universities degree programs begin every autumn (September). A small number of programs can admit students beginning in the spring semester.
Language programs: one-semester (4-6 months) language course usually begin in both semesters (in which start in September and February/March); one year language programs usually begin during autumn (September); some short-term courses run according to a fixed times while others may operate on an on-demand basis at the request of a group of students. Short-term summer programs have start dates throughout June, July and August, and last between 1-8 weeks.
Chinese universities have a one to two-month long winter break (January-February) and a two month long summer break (July-August). Apart from short-term winter and summer language programs, universities usually do not arrange classes during the vacation (if the applicant wishes to study during the school holidays, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org). Private language schools usually accept applicants anytime.
Note: Schools which state that you can enroll anytime mean that you can enroll anytime except during holidays, winter and summer vacation. Winter and summer vacations are normally during January to March and July to Sep.
1. Artur Tszyan, Uzbekistan, Beijing Foreign Studies University
“Initially, I was planning to go to the United States and was accepted by two universities there. And then, BFSU also sent the offer to me. So I was faced with the dilemma of which country to go to.
It was fate, but ultimately, I chose BFSU because of my desire to learn Chinese and improve my English. BFSU offers an international business program in English with mandatory Chinese language classes. Further, BFSU is among the best language universities in China and its International Business School (IBS) is a promising department. The expenses for tuition, food, and accommodation are also relatively affordable compared to other universities around the world.”
2. Bina Izzatu Dini, Indonesia, Shaoguan University
“After I graduated from high school, I started to research and browse for where and which university I will be going. Then one day my father came with a newspaper and advertisement in it. Seminar from Shaoguan University about studying in China.
It is a small university in a small city near Guangzhou. That was my first time to hear about this city and university, and as I love small city, this would be great. Shaoguan is also near to Guangzhou which I can see the big city if I want to. The fees are reasonable and bearable, which is only RMB 16000 for the study fee and RMB 9600 for the dormitory. So I decided to take my first short course there. This decision of mine really is the right one. In Shaoguan, I learnt from zero and got a big improvement. This small city somehow forces me to speak Chinese more because they basically do not speak English. The people are welcoming, the atmosphere is just nice and fits me.”
3. Christine YU, Philippines, Sun Yat-Sen University
“Choosing my school was also very crucial. I did my own research, searching for websites and various evaluations on the internet. That time, I was choosing between Jinan University and Sun Yat Sen University. I checked the websites of both schools in hopes of finding what courses they had to offer, and seeing the detailed information from both websites, I decided to apply to both universities. Waiting for the replies from both universities took the longest time, so I went to China and personally applied. I visited the south campus of Sun Yat Sen University and was truly at awe of its beautiful, green, and conducive for learning atmosphere. At that moment, I knew where I was to study. Luckily, by the good grace of God, I was accepted into the School of Chinese as a Second Language to take the Business Chinese course.”
4. Philip Pinnock, Jamaica, China Medical University
“It is always difficult for a foreign student to choose the "right" school. Lucky for us "newbies", there are helpful resources available to settle any query. Aside from the wealth of knowledge from CUCAS, I found it useful to read Wikipedia.com for cities in China, so that I would not be surprised by the unfamiliar snow-white winter climate of Shenyang, or the elaborate public transport infrastructure in Beijing. Also, I used to look through social media site Facebook, for a group or page related to Chinese universities. Notably, there is a Dalian Medical University student-based group on Facebook that captured the beauty of DMU and had enticed me. Their page showcased vibrant cultural activities around campus for international students, and I really liked the look of the campus. Getting a student's perspective on studying in China was crucial in my decision making.”