Over the last decade, the number of colleges and universities in China has doubled to about 2,409. The country’s current five-year plan, places emphasis on many development priorities that are appealing to western college graduates. And many Chinese universities are focusing on developing technologies that increase competitiveness with the West, while offering low tuition fees for both local and international students.
Cost of Living
Understandably, for an economy that is growing so quickly, the cost of living in China is not quite as cheap as it should to be. However, tuition fees are relatively affordable, around US$3,500 per year in Beijing. And the cost of living in Shanghai, China’s most expensive city, is estimated to be roughly half that of New York.
That said, accommodation will cost between US$200 and US$300 per month (depending on the city), and transport a handful of small change, you’ll be spared the financial turmoil of students elsewhere.
Admission to University
To apply for a seat at a university in China, international students should use the centralized CUCAS (China’s University and College Admission System) website, or alternatively apply directly to the university. International students are able to choose and apply for a Chinese Government Scholarship Program
Once you have been offered a place at a Chinese university, you’ll have to head to your local Chinese embassy, and apply for a visa appropriate for your length of stay. Chinese visa requirements state that for a stay of six months or more, you will need a study visa (or X-visa). For less than six months, a business visa (or F-visa) will do. If you do not receive your admission package in time, you may be able to apply for a tourist visa (L-visa) and convert this to a student visa when you arrive.
Languages in China
Major languages in China include Cantonese, Hokkien and of course Mandarin (also known as Putonghua) – which is the world’s largest language by number of speakers. Given China’s growing stature on the world stage, it is obviously going to enhance your employability if you know your way around Mandarin.
However, don’t worry if it seems like a tall order to study in a language that can seem completely opaque for the non-speaker. Many universities in China offer courses taught in English, and you’ll also find that many Chinese people speak English. If you choose to study in China in English, you won’t need to prove your fluency in Mandarin, but
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