Reading Now – Uncommon Study Destinations: Study in China
China’s economic importance has been rapidly rising over the last few decades. The growth they have seen in this area has been followed by an increased focus on Education.
The government has invested large amounts in higher education in recent years. This makes China the perfect destination for international students looking to explore a new culture.
Why Study in China?
- Opportunity to Learn a New Language
- Quality of Education
- Exposure to entirely different Culture
- Cost of Education is cheaper as compared to the Big Four Countries (US, UK, CANADA, AUSATRALIA)
- Scholarships available for Post Graduate Studies
- Relatively Low Cost of living.
- Part-time Work and Making Money in China
Opportunity to Learn a New Language
The most common language in China is Mandarin. It is the number one language in the world spoken by the most people, it certainly would make you attractive to future employers if you used your time studying in China to master this language.
To begin with, China offers plenty of options at all levels of higher education, from Bachelor’s to PhD. Most programs and courses are not taught in English, so it helps to be fluent in Chinese.
In addition, the government is committed to improving the number and range of degrees in English that are available. This has already increased by 63% in the last five years.
Quality of Education
China has many universities that rank well in the QS World University Rankings. There are 21 Chinese universities in the top 500, and 6 in the top 100. The highest ranked is Tsinghua University, which comes in at 25th.
In retrospect, the Chinese education system has their own ranking for their universities. It is known as the C9 League and is comparable to the Ivy League in America.
If you wish to gain employment in China after your studies, it might be useful to explore your study options at one of the C9 ranked institutions, as they are can be more highly regarded by Chinese employers.
Exposure to entirely different Culture
As well as differences in education systems, there are also many differences in the culture of China. China is home to great food, amazing arts and crafts, and even more importantly Kung- Fu.
Cost of Education is cheaper as compared to the Big Four Countries
Tuition fees in China will depend on the university and the subject that you have chosen. Public universities will offer a more affordable option, with tuition fees ranging from $3,300 – $10,000 per year.
Consequently, for an English-speaking degree, fees are between $2,200 – $4,500 per year. Medicine, engineering and business degrees are a more expensive option, and tuition fees could set you back anywhere from $24,000 – $50,000 per academic year.
Moreover, private universities can be both Chinese or for UK and US universities with a campus in China. Fees for these institutions can range from $8,000 – $15,000 per year.
Although there are some Chinese universities that are known for offering more affordable study options. These include:
- University of Science and Technology of China: approximately $4,350 per year
- Samara National Research University: approximately $1,800 per year
- Nanjing University of Technology: approximately $4,000 per year
At some of the top-ranking universities, the fees will be much higher. Peking University, for example, charges an average of $17,000 per academic year.
Scholarships available for Post Graduate Studies
Even with its target to encourage 500,000 international students to study in China by 2020; the government of China set up a program to further entice foreign students through the offer of scholarships.
International students are eligible to apply for the Chinese government award Program. The grant is available for both undergraduate and postgraduate students for study at 243 Chinese universities. The scholarship covers all living expenses and student fees.
Though there are scholarships, Nigerians have a slim chance of getting these scholarships. The Chinese government may release 150 seats of the scholarship opportunities and they are shared between several countries.
Most times, only a few seats are allotted for Nigeria. Remember, application for these seats are through the Embassy and unfortunately, there are some forces in high places in that will give these seats to their own.
Nevertheless, if you did your undergrad in china and you want to do masters in the same school, your school can give you 30-50% off your school fees.
Relatively Low Cost of living
Similar to the tuition fees, cost of living in China is also reasonably low compared to other international study destinations. Accommodation for students costs somewhere between $200-$300 per month, depending on the location.
Furthermore, it is estimated that if you were to live in cities, your annual living costs would be around CNY 24,000. This equates to around £2,700/$3,500.
Transport in China is very cheap, and there are many affordable options for public transportation, which will set you back only a small amount of change for each trip.
Another cost in particular that you need to consider is health insurance. Many universities in China provide health insurance at a reasonable cost.
NOTE: You must also have a current medical examination before you can begin studying. This can be done either in Nigeria or when you arrive in China. You can contact your chosen institution to get more information about health insurance.
Part-time Work and Making Money in China
Generally, international students are not permitted to work while in China. This said, however, part-time jobs have been known to be permitted at times. Some students choose to teach English.
This helps them to earn some additional income while also meeting and interacting with local people. If you are considering taking up part-time work while in China, seek guidance from your university regarding the steps needed to gain government permission for this – it is not worth risking the conditions of your study visa by working without permission!
Top Chinese Universities
- Tsinghua University: Located in Beijing
- Peking University: Located in Beijing
- Fudan University: Located in Shanghai
- Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University: Located in Suzhou. Studying in this school can get you two degrees, one from Xi’an Jiaotong University and the other from University of Liverpool in the UK.
NB: All programs in Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University are taught in English.
Other Chinese universities of note are;
- Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai)
- Tongji University (Shanghai)
- Northwest University (Xi’an)
- Shandong University (Shandong)
- Xiamen University (Xiamen)
- Beijing Institute of Technology (Beijing)
There are also a number of UK institutions with campuses in China at which you could choose to study.
There are many intensive language courses on offer if you decide to challenge yourself to learn the host language.
However, if learning languages is not such an appealing option to you, China still offers a good experience for English only speakers.
Interestingly, the number of courses taught in English are increasing across the country and many locals will speak English; if you choose to study in one of the major cities.
Nevertheless, if you choose an English-speaking course in China, you may need to submit evidence of your proficiency through IELTS or TOEFL.
Likewise, if you choose a Mandarin-speaking course in China, you will need to provide proof that your language ability is at a level suitable for studying a degree course. The university will likely ask you to take the HSK (the Chinese proficiency test), and the level that will need to be achieved will depend on your university and course of choice.
Applying for University in China
Similar to the UK, there is a centralized system used for application to university in China. CUCAS (China’s University and College Admission System) is a website through which all applications can be submitted.
There is also an online portal called CUAC (China University Application Centre) through which applications can be made. This service also offers guidance to students for choosing the right university and course.
Alternatively, students can also apply directly to the university, if they so wish.
NOTE: Students must be under 30 to apply for a bachelor’s degree and under 40 to apply for a postgraduate course.
Foreign students are required to obtain a visa in order to commence study.
Here are a few stipulations for obtaining the visa:
- You must have already been offered a place at university and have a confirmation letter to submit as evidence
- If you will be studying in China for over 6 months, you will need the X1 (study) visa.
- If you will be studying in China for less than 6 months, you can apply for the X2 visa.
Along with your visa application form, submit your passport, acceptance letter and a recent photograph.
On arrival in China, a residence permit will need to be obtained within 30 days. For this, visit your local police station or a public security office.