According to Beijing’s Ministry of Education, the number of international students studying in China has maintained a double-digit percentage growth, with the country attracting nearly 500.000 foreign students in 2017. This makes China Asia’s most attractive study destination.

The increasing popularity of China is due to different factors, including the improving standards of the universities and competitive prices. Also, a great number of students are coming to China under some type of scholarship.

If you are thinking about studying abroad and you haven’t yet shut out China as one of the options, here is everything you need to know about studying in this Asian economic, cultural, and possibly even, educational giant.


The government is investing in international students

Getting a university degree without a looming mountain of debt may sound as something unrealistic to young individuals from the U. S. and U. K. However, the Chinese government is willing to provide foreign students with a wide range of funding opportunities. There are tens of thousands of scholarships offered across hundreds of institutions.

The number of government sponsorships is increasing every year, so you should check all the available options before you decide to go.

The tuition fees for international students in China, normally range between 1.800 USD/year and 17.000 USD/year.


Beijing and Shanghai are not the only cities that welcome international students

The improving reputation of Chinese universities, particularly when it comes to welcoming international students, has made other cities besides Beijing and Shanghai, popular options for studying abroad. Now, expats can choose their destination based on their interests and preferences. For example, the Terracotta Warriors and Middle Eastern influence in Xi'an will attract history aficionados. The outdoor enthusiast will find their cup of beautiful nature in Guilin. Chengdu is a foodie paradise.


Living costs for international students

Money is always an important issue for students, especially when abroad. The cost of living will depend on the city in which you are located. You should know that Beijing is the most expensive with the average living costs of $1.000 a month, and it is followed by Shanghai and Shenzhen. In other, smaller cities, you will need about $600 per month. Student resident halls are affordable across the country with the monthly rates between $150 and $400, while renting flat costs between $300 and $1.000.

The food in China is very affordable, with the meals in university canteens costing up to $4, and mid-range dining options in restaurants up to $7.

The public transport is well-organized and it can get you anywhere for $0.3 to $4.


The cost of health insurance

Basic medical treatments in Chinese hospitals are very cheap compared to the U. S. and European countries. On average, medical insurance for six months costs $60. While this is almost always a sufficient option, you should be prepared for the worst. The cost of surgeries and complicated medical treatments can be well over $10.000.

You also must know that basic medical insurance often covers your needs in certain public hospitals and that it doesn’t cover all the treatments. That is why compare different health insurance options in China to make sure you are getting the best service for your money.


Disadvantages of studying in China

Traveling and staying in a country like China can have its negative sides, as well. The culture shock and the language barrier are not something everyone can handle properly. Many Chinese don’t speak English well enough to communicate efficiently, provide you with directions, etc. The food is different, the public toilets and toilets in the restaurants do not live up to those you had at home, the air in larger cities is polluted, the people have little to no feeling of personal space… This should not discourage you from visiting this country, though. It is a marvelous experience, and if you think you are able to live up to the challenge, go for it.

Finally, you should know that studying in China can be an excellent move, career-wise. The country’s cultural and economic significance is growing by the day, and the Chinese language is the third most popular to learn. The technological advancements sparked and developed in China are shaping the world. And the experience of living and studying there will make you more open-minded and flexible, both of which are sought-out qualities by the employers.

Author's Bio: 

Biologist by day, writer by night, and a huge geek. My fields of expertise could be summed up to health, psychology and lifestyle-related topics.