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Study In China: The Best Guide For International Students

Study In China

China became one of the international students’ most popular study destinations in 2005, and it has grown significantly in recent years due to the rise of China’s national strength and popularity. This location attracts thousands of international students who want to study every year. According to the analysis from the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, over 377,054 international students from 203 countries or regions studied in China’s 31 provinces in 2014, up 5.77 per cent from the previous year.

In 2015, China welcomed well over 397,635 international students, cementing its position as the third most popular destination country for international students, trailing only the United Kingdom and the United States. While the United States and the United Kingdom attracted nearly a third of all globally mobile students, their dominance is threatened by the “Third Wave” of political turmoil and fierce competition from English-medium Instruction or English-taught Programs in countries such as China and Continental Europe. Asia was the most significant source of international students, accounting for about 60% of the total, followed by Europe (18%) and Africa (11%), respectively. South Korea (62,923), the United States (24,203), and Thailand were the top three individual countries of origin (21,296). Only 10% of international students receive Chinese government scholarships, with the remaining 90% being self-funded.

According to the most recent statistics from the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, China (which hosted 492,185 international students in 2018 according to Study in the UK) has surpassed the United Kingdom (which hosted 458,520 international students in 2018 according to Study in the UK) to become the second-largest host of international students after the United States. In China, around 1004 higher education institutions welcome international students in 2018. Hence, the continuous increase in the growth of students who wants to study in china.

Study In China-Admission Requirements, Scholarships, Top Institutions, Visa & Post Study Opportunities
Study In China-Admission Requirements, Scholarships, Top Institutions, Visa & Post Study Opportunities

So, if you are looking to study in China as an international student, you will enjoy the amazing culture and enjoy the benefits of a high-standard education system. As a student applying to study in China, you tend to ask what you need to know about studying in china. This will be discussed below:

Want To Study In China? These Are All You Need To Know

  1. The cost of studying: The cost of studying in China is very affordable. China is a developing country and this makes the cost of living cheap. You will have access to necessities in the marketplace.
  2. China mitigates costs through scholarships.
  3. You need a student visa to study in China. The details of the visa application and policy that applies to the home countries are stated in the Embassy’s directory.
  4. China’s official currency is Renminbi
  5. You can’t make transactions
  6. Political issues are an abomination and cannot be spoken about in china. Criticising of the Chinese government is also avoided including Taiwan and Hongkong issues
  7. Not all common apps and web services are accessible in China. For example Gmail, Google map, Facebook, YouTube, Google.
  8. You can communicate to people in cities, hotels, at the Chinese airport and also in the university environment in English asides the people in the local community.
  9. There are several attractive places in china for tourist Attractions i.e Tourist centres like the great wall of china.
  10. Chinese people are full of customs, and as such learn to adapt and blend in. For instance Chinese people use spoons for liquid food and chopsticks to eat.
  11. You need a basic knowledge of Chinese to study in China, you don’t have to speak fluently.
  12. Chinese universities also make ratings across universities in the world. Tsinghua university and Pekings university ranks 23rd and 24th respectively among university ratings.
  13. It is essential you acquire your residency permit, and be registered as a resident in china
  14. There is a limit to which one can undergo a program depending on the age. In china applying for a Bachelor’s degree requires you to not be above the age of 25 and not above 35 for Masters and 40 years limit for Doctorate degree
  15. China is multicultural with several ethnic groups
  16. China has nine prestigious universities. They are highly ranked and popularly known as the C9 league.
  17. Like most countries, you will be required to have health Insurance if you are going to be studying for more than six months.

Why Study In China?

  • The Chinese Government offers financial assistance to international students, thereby making education accessible to all students across the globe.
  • China’s degree are recognised and it gives you an edge, it helps you gain prestige in the Job market
  • China’s share borders with about 14 countries and you have the opportunity to explore
  • The cultural diversity and people gives you a chance to interact and relate with different people, make friends and connect with new people where you can create a strong network
  • China is a developing country and is enhancing it’s industry and economy.
  • Majority of products used in China as things consumed in China are made in china. A student can learn from these development and explore from several options
  • Studying in china prepares for the professional experience. The understanding, difficulties and challenges you have overcome while studying in China and the insights you gain gives you exposure and changes your perspectives.
  • You will be opportune to learn a new language. i.e  This could open so many doors of opportunities for you.
Study In China - Admission Requirements, Scholarships, Top Institutions, Visa & Post Study Opportunities
Study In China – Admission Requirements, Scholarships, Top Institutions, Visa & Post Study Opportunities

China Educational System Compared to Western Educational System

Chinese education has its own differences, although it is similar to the Western educational system in certain aspects. Unlike the educational system in most countries of the world, China provides for six years of primary school, three years each of lower secondary school and upper secondary school, and four years in the standard university curriculum. This is different compared to the 12 years of primary school in other countries.

For international students, the Chinese education system is the second most popular in the world and the most popular study education destination in Asia. It is distinguished by its hierarchical structure; it offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate degrees in a variety of subjects. Higher education in China is given by either private or public universities, and the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China is in charge of education and language issues (MOE).

Major reforms and influences from the Western and Soviet Union education models have influenced the system, but it was developed in the 1980s to be a more advanced, autonomous, and Westernized model.

A bachelor’s degree in China (xueshi xuewei) lasts four years for most majors, with the exception of medicine and surgery degrees, which can take up to six years to complete. You must have completed at least 12 years of formal schooling and show sufficient proof of English language command to be eligible for undergraduate studies in China as an international student. You will be required to submit a personal statement along with your Bachelor’s application.

Depending on the program you’re applying for, a cover letter, one or two recommendation letters, and any extra documents. The Chinese Ministry of Education must certify all of the paperwork. Because China is attempting to internationalize its higher education system, several Bachelor’s degree programs are also available in English.

The Chinese education system divides Master’s studies (shuoshi xuewei) into two categories: taught or course-based and research-based. You must have finished your Bachelor’s degree to be eligible for Master’s studies in China.

International students can study for their Master’s degree in English if they can demonstrate their English language competency through a language test.

In China, a Master’s degree lasts two years, with occasional exceptions for specific programs that can last three years. The academic year in the Chinese education system begins in March and concludes in October, as it does for Bachelors’s and Doctorate degrees. Semester dates, on the other hand, may fluctuate from year to year based on the Chinese New Year’s date.

China holds the record for the most PhD graduates in the world. In China, doctoral studies (boshi) take three to four years to complete. To be eligible for Doctorate studies, you must first complete your Master’s degree and pass entrance exams. In China, the first two or three years of doctoral study are spent teaching, while the fourth year is usually spent completing an academic dissertation. In China, the curriculum and entry requirements for doctoral studies differ and are published annually by each university, as well as the study purpose.

Another distinction is that China’s rank-based grading system is competitive. This is one of the key distinctions. Chinese schools and universities use a rank-based grading system in which students are assigned a class rank based on their academic performance.Teachers and lecturers are only allowed to assign a specific grade a set number of times.

For example, in a class of 30 students, Grade A, which is the highest, may have just two spots. The total number of students in a given class determines this figure. As a result, students compete directly with one another for the top grades in class, as only a specific percentage of the class can be assigned the highest grades. Academic success is highly valued in Chinese society; hence competition is fierce at all levels of schooling.

China Educational Grading System

In China, the majority of institutions and colleges use a 4- or 5-scale grading system. Keep in mind, however, that prominent colleges such as Peking and Zhejiang use a separate grading system to assess their students.  Universities, schools, and colleges use either a 5 or 4-scale grading system. The following grades can be acquired using the 5-scale grading system:

  • Grade A: This grade is given to pupils who score between 85 and 100 percent on a scale of one to ten. Grade A is for people who score between 90 and 100 percent on a scale of one to ten. A- is granted to students who score 85 to 89 percent.
  • Grade B: This approximates to a percentage of 75 to 84 percent. Students who score 82 to 84 percent get a B, while those who score 78 to 81 percent get a B. Students that receive a score of 75 to 77 percent are given a B-.
  • Grade C: This grade is given to pupils who perform fairly or rather well academically and receive a score of 64 to 74 percent. Those who score 72 to 74 percent also receive a C. As well as students who score between 68 and 71 percent. and C- is given to those who receive a score of 64 to 67 percent.
  • Grade D: Students who are able to pass the examinations or tests receive a grade of D. This grade is given to individuals who score 60 to 63 percent in percentage terms.
Study In China - Admission Requirements, Scholarships, Top Institutions, Visa
Study In China – Admission Requirements, Scholarships, Top Institutions, Visa

Admissions Into Universities In China

Getting into Chinese Universities is not quite difficult for international students except for the Ivy league universities in china. If you are applying to study in a Chinese university, make sure to find a unique subject for the degree, be careful to get adequate informalities. Basically all portals will take you to the requirements, check if you qualify for the requirements by the university. In terms of age, be sure you are qualified for the program, would be either Bachelor’s degree, Masters or Doctorate degree program. China has specifics as to the age limit as regards students’ age.

Also, it is advisable you widen the scope of your interest by applying to more than two universities to increase your chances of getting admitted into a university in china. So also, check your budget for the required university, the tuition, hostel, other resources and you can check for scholarships opportunities in China or in the university you are applying to. You can apply via the official university website or through organisations that can serve as your advisor, guide, intermediary between you and the university you are applying to.

For eligibility as regards proficiency in the required language. If you are applying for a program taught in English the required test is any of:

  2. IELTS Academic

If a program is taught in Chinese than you will be required to write:

  • HSK Elementary if you are applying for science, Engineering and Medicine programmes
  • HSK intermediate for other programs

During your application some documents will be required but not limited to the following;

  • A medical report
  • Passport photograph
  • A photocopy of a valid passport
  • An identity card
  • A photocopy of a valid visa
  • A proof of No record of criminal activity
  • Evidence of proficiency in English or Chinese depending on the program
  • Letter of Attestation
  • Evidence of financial capability during the period of studying
  • Academic records- Secondary school certificate/ Diploma
  • Transcript

Be sure to check the official website to know the deadline of the university application. Although, The spring semester’s deadline is in Mid July while the autumn semester’s deadline is late April. When your application has been approved and you get your letter of acceptance you apply for a student visa in the Chinese embassy of your home country.

When you arrive in China, obtain a residence permit from the police station within your locality within 30 days.

Best Universities In China For International Students

Some of China’s best universities have been ranked among the best universities globally. This is based on the academic and research performance and impact in the world. They are:


It was established in 1911, Beijing, China. It is a public university and a member of the C9 league. It is rated the best university in China. The university programmes are  taught in English. International students applying to the university all write the required English Proficiency Test. The university is full of life with lakes and gardens, old and beautiful buildings. Eg Quing dynasty Royal gardens. The university has a prestige in sporting activities where Olympic games take place. Both the men and women of the university participate in sport. There are sporting activities like basketball and swimming. Tsinghua University also offers scholarship programs to international students. The university offer programs in;

  • Arts and Humanities
  • Computer Science
  • Physical Science
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Pre-Clinical, Clinical and Health
  • Social Science
  • Life Science
  • Business
  • Law
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Education


Peking is a prestigious institution established in 1898 Beijing, China. It is one of the Chinese universities in the C9 league. Peking university offers; Undergraduate studies, Post graduate degree program, Visiting students program, Pre university program, Chinese studies. The university consist of six colleges:

  1. Health Science Center for Medical Science Program
  2. Economics and management
  3. Social Science
  4. Humanities
  5. Information and Engineering


It was founded in 1905 in Shanghai, China. It was independently established by the Chinese. It is one of the Universities in the C9 league. The university has contributed immensely to the development of the Republic of China. Fudan University offers programs taught in English to Undergraduate international students: A medical program (MBBS) and Economics. Like other universities in the world, Fudan helps Students cultivate social, political and knowledgeable skills to enable their interactions with the society at large through extra-curricular activities. Eg international student Groups

Fudan University expanded and merged with Shanghai medical university in 2000. It emerged a renowned research university having these disciplines;

  • History
  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Literature
  • Science
  • Medical science
  • Education
  • Philosophy


Zhejiang university was established in 1897 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. A public university and an elite university in the C9 league. The university researchers innovate and address global challenges and have made notable achievements in science and technology through this medium.

Zhejiang university has produced notable alumni like;

  • The first Chairman of the Communist party, Chen Duxiu
  • The minister of finance, Xiu Xuren
  • The president and premier of China- Huang Fu
  • The minister of Education from 1928-1930, Jiang Menglin
  • The chairman of UNESCO’s executive board
  • The 13th president of American Society for Cell biology, Tao Chiuh


It is a public university founded in 1896 in Shanghai, China. It ranks amongst the most prestigious universities in China. SJTU offers quality education. Therefore a degree earned from the University will enhance your chances in your career. It offers English taught programs like computer science. The university has a reputation in aerospace engineering. The university is located at the heart of Mainland China, a developed and advanced city. It gucee the student an opportunity to explore through the technology as the university boasts of a rising technology.

Want To Study In China? These Are All You Need To Know
Want To Study In China? These Are All You Need To Know

Scholarships, Financial Aid In China

China is the most populated country in the world. It has over time established a fast growing educational system, having prestigious and recognized universities. These universities are known for excellence in various fields. The Chinese government has made a contribution to society by creating opportunities for all students through financial aid programs to citizens, residents and international students. Every Chinese university offers scholarships, so when you pick a university you can search for a scholarship.

The available scholarships in china are:

  • Chinese Government scholarship
  • Chinese local city Scholarships
  • Scholarships awarded by private organiSation and companies
  • MBA scholarship
  • Confucius institute scholarships, etc.

The scholarship may cover full Tuition, living expenses, traveling expenses and other enrichment fees or a partial waiver or  partial payment of all schooling expenses. To apply, you check out the Scholarships available in your University of choice and the eligibility requirements. A good academic record increases your chance of acceptance.

Chinese Student Visa Processing

It is best to apply for your study visa early, could be 3 months before the university resumes. Also you can get enough information at the Chinese embassy in your country. You will be required to submit the following documents during your application, they are;

  • Original document of your visa application
  • A valid international passport
  • Recent passport photographs
  • Letter of acceptance from the University
  • A medical examination report

Post Study Opportunities For International Students

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign affairs and Education made new regulations that allow international students to be able to apply for work visas after the period of study. Also international students can work as an intern for a period of six months although under the required residence permit. It was uncommon for international students to be enabled to work in China after graduation but now based on regulations, students with a residence permit are opportune o work after graduation. Although a student applying for a post study opportunity must be able to speak Chinese.

Studying in China is still considered as one of the best options for international students. Aside from the cultural- based mode of study and the traditionally inclined system, China offers the best in terms of education. Their system makes it easy for students to also adapt to the culture and learn the Chinese language. overall it provides a good experience. As a matter of fact, China is the world’s largest sending country of international students.

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