Cost of Studying In China: Tuition and Living Expenses


  1. In Private Universities

Apart from China’s very own private universities, there are several other American and British universities with campuses in China. Tuition fees in these universities range between $8,000 and $15,000 per year.


  1. In Public Universities

The average tuition fees in China public universities ranges from $3,300 to $10,000 per year.

  • Fees for an English-taught degree range between $2,200 and $4,500 per year.
  • Programmes in medicine, engineering and business tend to have higher tuition fees ranging between $24,000 and $50,000 per year. However, there are some universities with significantly lower tuition that offer these courses.


  1. Low-Tuition Universities In China

These universities are considered to have some of the most affordable fees in China

  1. Samara National Research University: Is one of the leading institutions of higher learning in Russia, with tuition fees ranging from $1,800 to $4,000 per year for undergraduates.
  2. Nanjing University Of Information Science and Technology: Located on the north of Yangtse river, Nanjing university is well known for being one of the leading research and teaching institutions. The universities has several interesting departments such as the School of Atmospheric Physics, School of Mathematics and Statistics, School of Electronic and Information Engineering, School of Computer and Software, to mention a few. The average tuition fee is $4,000 per year.
  3. Beijing Jiaotong University: Is one of the oldest universities and among the first to offer Masters and Doctoral studies in China. BJUT offers preparatory, Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral programs in the fields of Engineering, Science, Economics and law. Average fees cost $5,000 per year.
  4. University of Science and Technology of China: Established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), USTC is considered to be one of the important innovation centers in China. USTC is a world leader in fields like nanotechnology, high temperature superconductivity, quantum manipulation, speed processing and life science. USTC ranked first among Chinese university from 2008 to 2013. Average tuition fees is $4,350 per year.

Living Expenses

On average, international students spend about $6,000 per year on living expenses. The cost is divided into $4,000 for accommodation and $2,000 for living costs such as food, transport and internet. However, it is worth noting that costs will vary from city to city.

Average Living Cost Per City

  1. Beijing: is the most expensive city in China. Students would need about $700 to $850 per month to cover their expenses.
  2. Shangai and Shenzhen: are the second most expensive cities in China. Students would need about $660 to $745 per month to cover living expenses.

In other cities such as Tianjin and Sichuan, students can survive well on $400 per month. This could even cover accommodation costs if the student stays in the Residential halls.


Living expenses Breakdown

  1. Accommodation Costs: The most common housing options for students are:
  • Residential Halls: prices range between $150 and $400 per month, depending on location.
  • Flat Rentals: average rates are between $250 and $1,000 for one-bedroom apartments.
  • Hostel: usually chosen as a temporary option for international students. These cost $18 per night for a private room.



  1. Utility Bills: These are for gas, water and electricity. The cost is usually around $50 per month.


  1. Food

The usual tip to avoid high food costs in China is to eat like a local.

  • A meal at the university canteen, a small local restaurant or a fast foods chain costs between $1 and $4.
  • For a good Chinese or International cuisine meal, one would have to pay between $4 and $7.
  • On average, food bills in local supermarkets would costs $170 to $200 per month.
  • A big shopping bag of either fruits of vegetables costs $2 to $3.


  1. Transport
  • Metro Rides: $0.5 per ride
  • Taxi rate per kilometre: $0.33
  • 20-min taxi ride across town: $4 per ride
  • City bus: $0.3

A student pass for transportation usually costs around $15.

Living with a roommate usually makes the costs more bearable.




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