China Institutions

Everything you need to know before studying in China

While there are Chinese culture and history courses you can take while in China, it’s great to have a bit of cultural and historical context before you reach the country. You might have so many questions about a study abroad china experience that you don’t even know where to start. So here’s a list of the most frequently asked questions about studying in China and some studying abroad in China tips to help you get the ball rolling: 

Studying in China FAQs

1. Where are the most popular places to study in China?

Specialized study abroad programs sometimes offer locations outside of the big cities in smaller towns or rural areas, but ShanghaiBeijing, and Hong Kong remain the most popular study abroad destinations.  Other popular study abroad locations in China include ChengduTianjin, and Kunming.

2. How much does it cost?

China is very affordable, even on a student budget. Although China boasts the world’s second largest economy, it is still very much a developing nation, and so the cost of living is quite cheap compared to most Western countries. Meals will generally only run you a few dollars and many prices are up to negotiation. 

3. Do I need a student visa?

Even though China is a somewhat closed country, obtaining a visa to study abroad is a fairly simple process for American students studying abroad in China, which most programs will help guide you through. Just be sure to allot yourself plenty of time and remember to consult your specific program provider.

4. Do I need to speak Mandarin to study in China?

The language barrier can be a very real obstacle to breaching China’s increasingly prominent national university system. While world-class institutions like Tsinghua University, Peking University, and Fudan University are the crown jewel in the eye of every Chinese national student, most classes are generally taught in Mandarin, which make enrollment a challenge for international students not studying Chinese.

5. What are popular classes for students studying abroad in China?

Common academic areas of study in China include matheconomicsengineeringpolitical scienceurban development, and, of course, Mandarin. Programs available in major Chinese cities usually combine academic study with a variety of intensive language lessons and culturally immersive opportunities.

6. Should I do a homestay? Where should I live?

Homestays are great for the student who is interested in a more culturally immersive glimpse into the Chinese household and family life (and frequent home cooked meals), and an amazing chance to practice and learn Mandarin.