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Study in China: Considering Important Factors
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To plan your study experience in China, we suggest you consider the following questions.
--What kind of program are you interested in?
--How much money are you willing to spend?
--Where do you want to study?
--How long you are you willing to spend in China?
--When do you want to start classes?

  • What kind of program are you interested in?

China's universities offer thousands of programs for foreign students. Non-degree programs teaching Chinese language and culture are particularly popular, but it is also possible to earn a degree in China. Most degree programs are taught in Chinese and therefore require a certain level of language proficiency. However, an increasing number of English-taught degree programs are available.

If you already know what type of program you want to take, please click Find a Program. Most degree programs have certain requirements regarding the applicant's academic background and language skills. Click to see the list of Requirements. >>

  • How much money are you willing to spend?

Compared to developed countries, the cost of living and studying in China is relatively low. Accommodation in Beijing is roughly 1500RMB-3000RMB per month. An average meal costs around 10-35RMB. The subway has a flat rate of 2RMB and buses within the city are even cheaper. Smaller cities and those in China's central and western regions are particularly inexpensive. You can click here to see average cost of study in China. >>

  • Where do you want to study?

If you're unfamiliar with China's cities and universities, there are a number of pages you may want to take a look at.
>> For Chinese top university and all types of school rankings, you can browse Top University in China.
>> For more information on Chinese cities, please peruse our City Guide or City Index.

If you're interested in taking a non-degree program to learn Chinese, you may have been told that Beijing is the best location because the local dialect is the closest to standard Mandarin. In fact, native Beijingers do have a distinctive dialect of their own, one that some beginning students might find difficult to understand. In addition, if you choose to study in one of China's large, internationalized cities, you may find that you spend most of your time speaking English to all the expats you meet. Consider a smaller or regional city where you'll have many more opportunities to practice your Chinese, and experience a more complete and authentic cultural immersion. Consider somewhere in the northeast like Liaoning province, where locals speak standard Mandarin, but the cost of living is lower.

  • How long are you willing to spend in China

Degree programs are generally of a fixed duration: undergraduate degree programs last from four to five-years, master's degrees for two to three years, and doctorate degrees for three to five years.

Language programs are mainly one semester (4-6 months), one year or short-term (anywhere from 1-8 weeks).

  • When do you want to start classes?

Degree programs: At most Chinese universities degree programs begin every autumn (September). A small number of programs can admit students beginning in the spring semester.

Language programs: one-semester (4-6 months) language course usually begin in both semesters (in which start in September and February/March); one year language programs usually begin during autumn (September); some short-term courses run according to a fixed times while others may operate on an on-demand basis at the request of a group of students. Short-term summer programs have start dates throughout June, July and August, and last between 1-8 weeks.

Chinese universities have a one to two-month long winter break (January-February) and a two month long summer break (July-August). Apart from short-term winter and summer language programs, universities usually do not arrange classes during the vacation (if the applicant wishes to study during the school holidays, please contact us Private language schools usually accept applicants anytime.

Note: Schools which state that you can enroll anytime mean that you can enroll anytime except during holidays, winter and summer vacation. Winter and summer vacations are normally during January to March and July to Sept.

  • Deadline for submission of applications

Please remember that each program has a corresponding application deadline and applicants who submit their applications after this date will not be accepted. Schools usually require 4-8 weeks to process your application and to prepare your visa application form (JW202 form). Please do not forget to pay the application fee in order to ensure that you receive the School Admission Notice in time to apply for a Chinese visa so that you may enroll on time.

If you've thought about these questions seriously, but still do not know what to do, we suggest you visit Admission Requirements. CUCAS has designed different pathways for applicants planning to study in China.

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