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Introduction to China

China is situated in eastern Asia on the western shore of the Pacific Ocean, with an area of 9.6 million square kilometers (world’s second-largest country by land area). China’s continental coastline extends for about 18,000 kilometers, and its vast sea surface is studded with more than 5,000 islands, of which Taiwan and Hainan are the largest. It is the world’s most populous country, with a population of over 1.35 billion. It exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing), and two mostly self-governing special administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau). China had the largest and most complex economy in the world for most of the past two thousand years, during which it has seen cycles of prosperity and decline.

Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China has become one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies. As of 2014, it is the world’s second-largest economy by nominal total GDP and largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). China is also the world’s largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world’s largest standing army, with the second-largest defence budget

Why Study In China?

Study abroad in China provides opportunities for international students to view things from Chinese perspective. Merging the knowledge of both China and their home countries will give students an advantage to explore potential opportunities in China for the future. China has become one of the most popular study abroad destinations for international students because of its long history and exciting culture. Both living costs and school fees are comparatively inexpensive, especially by comparison with United States and other western countries. International students can both study and save money to study in China. There are scholarships from the government, universities, foundations and corporations designed to support international students from different academic disciplines.
International students can receive education with medium of instruction in English. English taught program is a good option for international students who want to study in degree program in China, but don’t want to spend two extra years in Chinese language program. After the government has adjusted the visa policy for foreign nationals, international students are now allowed to work part-time or take on internships while they are studying in China. International students in China with residence permit are allowed to take part-time jobs or internships outside the campus as long as they obtain approval from their academic institutions and the entry and exit administrative authorities.

Six Reasons to Study Abroad in China:

  1. Affordable tuition and scholarships.
  2. Learn from China’s development.
  3. Enhance your global experience.
  4. Improve your career prospects.
  5. Learn Chinese language.
  6. Discover Chinese culture.

Education System

China is one of the most progressive countries in terms of economic and business development, with an education system that offers children many opportunities to thrive in the future. The Chinese school system is often perceived as a breeding ground for highly educated future professionals.
However, while schools in major metropolises seem to offer great quality education, schools in rural areas aren’t as developed. They are often terribly understaffed, and the student’s opportunities and the educational environment are radically different from that in the big cities.
Another good insight into what the schools are like in China is the infamous National Exam. The pressure is so high, many students burn out, and stories of depression and suicide are not unheard of. Therefore, you should make sure that the Chinese school system is the right choice for your child.

Higher Education:

Students in China can choose between a great variety of the best universities in the country that offer various degree programs such as bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as non-degree programs. Foreign students are welcome to enter all institutions of higher education in China. Since the mid-1980s, higher education in China is no longer funded by the state, which is why the competition for scholarships is high. Thus, international students have to prove themselves in this competitive environment, especially because more and more foreigners are enrolling at Chinese universities. Students spend two or three years on an undergraduate level program if they attend a junior college (also known as short-cycle college). Other regular universities, however, usually offer three-year and four-year programs on the undergraduate level. Many also offer graduate programs leading to masters or doctoral degrees. Aside from the usual undergraduate and graduate programs, scientific research is also an essential part of Chinese higher education. Various key laboratories, open research labs, and engineer research centers have been established by Chinese universities, and function as a driving force behind innovative new science and technology.


There are three main scholarships in China:

  1. Chinese Government Scholarship.
  2. Local Government Scholarship (city or province).
  3. Confucius Institute Scholarship.

Get a Full Scholarship:

Everyone wants to get a full ride scholarship. Chinese Government Scholarship covers tuition, accommodation, living expenses and insurance for the entire duration of study. Confucius Institute Scholarship is as good as Chinese Government Scholarship. However, it is limited to Chinese study. If you are planning to study in other majors such as business, engineering and science, this scholarship is not for you.
Some students assume the best way to get the full scholarship is applying to as many universities as possible in Chinese Government Scholarship. We don’t think this is the right way to do it. You don’t know which university and major you can be accepted or whether you can get the scholarship or not until you receive the notification. Some students find out they can’t get the scholarship in July.
If you want to get a full scholarship, the best way to do is focusing on one or two universities that you have a better chance to be accepted. If you take your application very seriously and will enroll at the university after receiving the scholarship, it’s more likely that the university admissions officer will be more willing to assist you. There are other scholarships you can apply for such as scholarships offered by local government, university and enterprise. In many cases, you can still get another full scholarship even if you can’t get the Chinese Government Scholarship.

Important points you should know:

  • You don’t know your chance of getting the scholarship. No one can guarantee that you will get the scholarship. However, you can increase your chance by applying to less competitive universities or certain majors.
  • Students can still get the Chinese Government Scholarship without the award letter to qualified candidate for Chinese Government Scholarship and pre-admission letter. Some universities don’t provide pre-admission letter.
  • The award letter to qualified candidate for Chinese Government Scholarship can’t guarantee that you will get the scholarship.
  • If the university which you want to apply for provides pre-admission letter, you must get one. You will have no chance to be accepted if you don’t get one.
  • Pre-admission letter is very easy to get in some universities.
  • You can still apply if you currently live in China. You will have to send all application materials to Chinese embassy in your home country.

Working in China

In a statement to China Daily, the MoE said the government has been introducing a number of exploratory changes that would allow international students in Beijing and Shanghai to take part-time jobs or internships off campus – as long as they obtain approval from their academic institutions and the administrative authorities.
The announcement comes as part of a series of positive policy changes that are seeing China well on its way to its target of hosting 500,000 international students by 2020.
Then last year, the government introduced a program for international students with postgraduate degrees or who had attended “well-known” universities to obtain Chinese work permits after graduation.
According to the government regulations, international students cannot work during their studies. However, part-time work or internships are sometimes allowed. Jobs teaching English are particularly easy for native English speakers to find. Many native speakers of English may choose to teach English for several reasons – mostly to earn some part-time income, and to increase their daily interaction with Beijing locals.
Tutors with a teaching background, or an ESL teaching certificate, may be at a slight advantage when looking for a tutoring position, particularly at formal English teaching schools that demand higher qualifications from their tutors. However, for the most part, previous teaching experience is not necessary.
English learners range from four-year-old kindergarten children to business professionals wanting to improve their spoken English skills in the workplace. Class sizes range from one-on-one tutoring to groups of about ten.
Another option is to start by enrolling at a Chinese university. First of all, some employers may be more willing to consider you if you have attended a prestigious institution of higher education. Secondly, it is easier (and cheaper for your future employer) to change your visa from a student to an employment visa, than applying for an employment visa “from scratch.” Moreover, it will give you the opportunity to spend time in China, attend interviews, build your professional network, and contact potential employers.
The downside is that a Chinese student visa does not allow students to work, so you will have to make sure that you have a financial buffer. Some language schools are not as strict when it comes to work permits, offering international students and language teachers another source of income. However, many expats have had less than positive experiences with language schools and, as this solution is in a legal grey area, we don’t recommend it.
For actual students and young adults, an internship might be a great way of getting a foot in the door. Many big Chinese companies like to hire interns and, if they do a good job, keep them around full-time.