Study Abroad in China: Benefits, University Rankings, Tuition Fees and Cost of Living

China is known to be the most populous country in the world and the second largest nation by land mass. China had economic reforms in 1978 and since has been one of the rapidly growing nations in the world. Recently, it was announced that China has the second largest nominal GDP in the world. The Chinese government heavily funds the education sector and ensures there favorable policies for international students and that’s the more reason many students choose to study abroad in China.

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Why Choose to Study in China?

China has grown in the past decades to become the destination for students all across the world. Apart from getting familiar with the Chinese culture and way of life generally, studying in China offers students an opportunity to meet fellow students from various countries, which could be very exciting. Chinese universities have many accolades under the belt as the institutions have grown to start competing with other world-class institutions. The Chinese government invests heavily in education and has various policies to support international students and the academic excellence imbibed from Chinese institutions provides great careers for students.

Top Ranking Institutions

Here’s a list of top 5 institutions you should consider in China:

  • Tsinghua University

Founded in 1911 Tsinghua University has grown to be the top ranked university in the China. Tsinghua University is part of the C9 League, prestigious Chinese schools that are equivalent to US Ivy League. QS World University Rankings recently ranked it the best university in China while Times Higher Education ranked it the best in architecture, engineering, and the sciences.

  • Peking University

Peking University is a highly reputable school in China with a keen focus on research. Itis also a member of the C9 League, just as Tsinghua and they are both located in Beijing. Times Higher Education in the best universities 2018 ranked Peking University the best in Asia followed by Tsinghua University while Webometrics ranked it second behind Tsinghua. Peking University boasts of excellent academics in many fields, from architecture, engineering, social sciences to applied sciences.

  • Fudan University

Fudan University was established in 1905 and is currently located in the largest city in China, Shanghai. It’s also part of the Chinese Ivy League, equivalent to that of the US. This institution boasts of thorough research studies, as it has over 70 research institutes and about 10 teaching hospitals. Webometrics ranks Fudan University the 4th best university in china and QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education both rank it 3rd in China and top rated university in the world.

  • University of Science and Technology of China

University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) is one of the top ranking institutions in the world in the field of science and technology. It was established to meet the high level of global competition and the rise in technology. University of Science and Technology of China is one of the best institutions in the world to study science and technology related courses. Times Higher Education ranks the 4th best university in china and QS World University Rankings also ranks it the 4th best in China and on the list of 200-300 in the world.

  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University

The next on this list of Chinese top universities is Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Founded in 1896, Shanghai Jiao Tong Universityhas since risen to compete among the best schools in the world. BRICS recently ranked itthe 22nd best university in
Asia and the 6th in China. Shanghai Jiao Tong University has vast areas of disciplines, with top-notch academic delivery.

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How to Apply to Study at a University in China

Chinese universities, like many other universities in the world, have their own peculiar requirements. It is necessary for an applicant to be very familiar with the requirements.

There’s an online portal CUCAS that allows applicants to apply for their choice of programs in China, whether degree programs or non-degree. Applying through this portal means it will take close to a month for your application to be processed. The following are the procedures to follow if you are applying through CUCAS:

  • Log-in to the portal to fill your personal details:
  • Completed academic programs
  • Work Experience, if any
  • Language proficiency: most Chinese Universities require HSK Level 3-6
  • Proposed Course of Study
  • Source of financial support
  • Family members’ information
  • Academic transcripts
  • Passport photograph
  • Valid visa or residence permit
  • Personal ID card
  • Health certificate
  • Certificate showing no criminal record
  • Make application payment
  • Submit application


When to apply (undergraduate and graduate applications)

Chinese institutions have basically two semesters: spring and autumn semester.

Applicants can apply either during spring or autumn.

If you are applying during spring semester, you are expected to apply between Sept. – Oct of the previous year to January of the following year.

Autumn application usually begins at the beginning of March and ends at the beginning of July.


Deadline for students to submit application

The application deadlines for most of the Chinese universities usually fall around the end of June; however, a few of the universities extend their applications to August.

For language courses, applications for most Chinese universities are always open throughout the year.

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What to expect when you study in China

Studying in China always comes with various expectations, especially for international students. It’s common to see prospective students wanting to know the things to expect from studying in China, and here are the common things:

  • You will be part of the global increasing growth
  • Propensity of meeting students from all over the world
  • Be part of the highly esteemed Chinese academic reputation
  • Tendency to enjoy scholarship while you study
  • Great future career prospect


China is one of the leading nations of the world and is highly respected for its industrial activities. Apart from this, the Chinese government pays keen and rapt focus on the education sector to make sure it grows exponentially, so it is obvious that considering to study in china is a great step towards being part of global development.

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