China has been the most popular destination in Asia for international students to study abroad in for quite some time. The leaps and bounds that China has made in education over the past few decades have played no small part in its rapid development throughout other realms of society. Chinese universities are quickly becoming some of the best and most competitive in the world, making the chance to earn a degree in China all the more worthwhile.
China is an absolutely massive country, boasting the world’s largest population and second largest land area. There is a tremendous amount of diversity within, and any destination you choose to earn a degree in China will prove significantly different from the next.
Shanghai is the country’s largest city, and in many ways has become the face of modern China. It is the economic and financial motor of the country, complete with a highly modern infrastructure and imposing skyline. Students who wish to live at China’s center stage of industry and innovation should consider earning a degree in Shanghai as their top option.
Beijing, the country’s capital and second largest city, is no less a prestigious destination for degree programs in China than its slightly larger counterpart. Beijing has served as the seat of the Chinese government throughout centuries of change, and today the sense of global prominence is palpable. Beijing also hosts the country’s two most highly ranked universities, Peking University and Tsinghua University, both widely respected global institutions.
Other popular destinations for degree programs in China include Hangzhou, Kunming, and Xi’an. While living and studying in China for an extended period of time, you should also take advantage of your vacations to get away from city life and explore as much of the country as possible. From the imposing mountains and deserts of the west to the sprawling coastlines of the east, China is one of the most topographically unique countries on the planet!
Academics & Degrees
China’s educational system is, to put it lightly, quite complex. There are over 2,000 colleges and universities located across the country, which is still not nearly enough to accommodate its burgeoning population of nearly 1.4 billion citizens. As such entry into Chinese universities, while open to foreign students, can prove extremely competitive. A proficient command of Mandarin is also essential in almost all cases, as this is the language of education at most Chinese universities.
There is a silver lining to this complex situation. Since the demand for higher education in China exceeds the supply, many Chinese universities have partnered with other academic institutions across the world to help handle the great amount of prospective students. As part of these partnerships, there are many satellite schools of international universities located in China, where it is possible to pursue both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in English.
The most popular degree programs in China include Mandarin, Asian Studies, and International Business. However, these are only the tip of the iceberg, studying full time and earning a degree at a university in China will give you the opportunity to pursue any and every degree available, while also getting the cultural education of a lifetime!
Scholarships & Costs
Though tuition can be expensive, China remains quite an affordable destination to earn a degree abroad for many students coming from the industrialized world. Basic costs of living, such as food, housing, and transportation, will likely be more affordable than at domestic universities since China is still considered a developing country. Regardless of your financial situation, it is a good idea to take advantage of all the great scholarships out there, which help promote education abroad in China!
Accommodation & Visas
Student dormitories are the most popular option for full time undergraduate students in China, while homestays are also sometimes offered for shorter postgraduate degree programs in China. It might also be the case that after living in China for some time you will want to branch off and rent your own apartment. Though real estate costs vary from city to city, in most places you can find affordable housing without to much a problem.
You will need a student visa to earn a degree in China, though the exact type will depend on the length of your degree program and your home country. For more information regarding your specific visa requirements, you can check out GoAbroad’s Chinese Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Cultural Exchange. Earning a full degree in China will give you the opportunity to make many friends your age and learn from each other’s cultural similarities and differences. China remains a largely closed off country, so expect local students to be very engaging and interested in your viewpoints!
Economic Boom. In case you haven’t heard, China’s economy is soaring. The country has managed to largely lift itself out of poverty over the last few decades and make huge infrastructural strides. Earning a degree abroad in China will give you the chance to become part of something special.
Master Mandarin. On a practical scale, Mandarin is one of the most highly sought after languages in the world. While earning your degree in China you will have the opportunity to take your language abilities to the next level, and carry this valuable skill with you the rest of your lifetime.