China has become THE forefront country in industrialization and a leader of the global economy, making it a very enticing study abroad location. Following a massive urbanization movement, China currently boasts 20 cities with over three million inhabitants, including seven cities with over 10 million people. Specialized study abroad programs sometimes offer locations outside of the big cities in smaller towns or rural areas, but Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong remain the most popular study abroad destinations. The sheer size of China’s territory means a tremendous variety of climates, cultures and landscapes await. Head northeast to Harbin to enjoy the ice festival, hit the ski slopes or just to see the water in your eyes form icicles around your eyelashes. If -25°C sounds a little too cold, then head south to the tropical beach paradise of Hainan Island and kick back in the sunshine.
Following rapid economic development over the last 30 years, Chinese cities now boast eye-catching works of modern architecture – from the towering skyscrapers of Shanghai to Beijing’s Olympic Bird’s Nest – in addition to impressive ancient structures like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. China’s 5000 years of history has bequeathed a seemingly endless amount of tourist attractions to visit, while natural wonders of breathtaking beauty are also scattered about the country. Perhaps less well known, but equally unmissable for international students, is China’s unique nightlife made up of private karaoke rooms and extravagant mega-clubs.
China is striving to build more world-class universities, and investing heavily in higher education. Aside from China’s unique Chinese language, calligraphy, martial arts and other cultural subjects, Chinese degree programs in majors such as engineering, science, medicine, economics and trade, MBA as well as finance are highly revered. As for those who don’t know any Chinese, many universities offer degree programs taught in English, so you can earn your degree while learning the most widely spoken language in the world.
China has 40 institutions ranked in the QS World University Rankings® 2019, including six in the global top 100, with 60 more top universities in China included in the new QS Mainland China Rankings. With the latest figures showing that nearly 490,000 international students were enrolled in Chinese universities in 2017 (10 percent more than in 2016), China seems certain of meeting its target of hosting 500,000 foreign students by 2020. Leading sending countries include South Korea, Thailand, Pakistan, the United States, India, Russia, Japan and Indonesia.
The current rise of China has made it very clear that people who can speak Chinese and have firsthand experience of living in China are going to have a great advantage in terms of employment. China serves as a huge market for multinational corporations, and employers are well aware that a real understanding of China, Chinese culture and Chinese people is a big plus for those who want to become the world’s next generation of leaders.
When preparing to study in China, it is important to calculate how much money you will need to cover for your expenses. Some Universities require students to provide a letter from whoever is paying the fees to guarantee that they can cover the cost of the program. It is in nobody’s interest for a student to drop out of the program because they haven’t budgeted properly.
The good news is that the cost of studying and living in China is comparatively low to other countries, as an example, the subway in Beijing costs 2 RMB for each trip, and the cost of text books are low too.
International students can’t work on a study visa at the moment but policies are in place to allow students to work part time if they obtain permission from their universities. The government has also announced that graduates from reputed Chinese universities can obtain work permits to work in China.
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