8 Reasons to Study Abroad in China

Have you ever thought about studying abroad in China? Here are eight reasons why you should pack your bags and explore this gorgeous country.

portrait of Kim-Ling Sun
by Kim-Ling Sun

Published on May 26, 2022

Edited by Lorraine Mumby
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8 Reasons to Study Abroad in China
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One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself in college is travel. Studying abroad is an economical way to see the world. By going abroad, you can earn college credit and immerse yourself in another culture (and, often, another language).

What's especially great is that room, board, and classes all typically come at a fixed and relatively affordable rate.

China is among the top 10 study abroad destinations for U.S. students, along with Costa Rica, the UK, and Italy. The Asian country boasts a rich legacy of cultural influence. Here are eight reasons to study abroad in China.

1. You Get to Experience Chinese Culture

Spending time in China as a student gives you the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Chinese culture. You could visit a Shaolin Temple and learn about Chan Buddhism and its famous martial arts tradition. Or you could spend an evening watching Kunqu, a traditional Chinese opera.

Given the vast influence of Chinese culture abroad, future employers will undoubtedly view your study abroad experience as an asset. Studying abroad helps people form a cultural appreciation for others and develop a greater world perspective.

2. There Are Plenty of Programs to Choose From

Now that you're considering studying abroad in China, where should you start? Many students choose to utilize the study abroad programs affiliated with their college or university, while others seek out separate programs run by popular education abroad organizations like CIEE.

Some of the more popular study abroad programs can be found at well-known institutions with longstanding relationships with sister campuses abroad. For example, William & Mary has been a sister school of the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China since 2010.

Visit your campus's study abroad office to learn more about study abroad programs in China that are available to students.

3. You Can Learn Chinese in an Immersive Environment

One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is being able to immerse yourself in a foreign language. When you study abroad in China, you can learn Mandarin Chinese, making you an appealing candidate for future employers and strengthening your resume.

Mandarin Chinese is considered one of the best languages to learn in the global economy and can provide you with the possibility of working at a Chinese or international company after you graduate.

4. You Can Eat Authentic Chinese Cuisine

Delectable delights await you in China! Studying abroad allows you to expand your palate to regional Chinese foods. You'll be able to sample authentic Cantonese, Sichuan, Fujian, and Hunan cuisine.

In China, meals are often served communally, sometimes called family-style. This lets you sample various delicacies without fully committing to a new dish.

5. It's Inexpensive to Study In

Studying abroad in China is relatively inexpensive. According to Numbeo, the cost of living in China is 41% lower than that in the United States.

What's more, a single person can live off of less than $600 a month (excluding the cost of rent). This gives you more room in your budget to go on excursions to nearby cities and visit historic sites.

6. You Can Explore Beautiful Landscapes

Imagine walking down to the cobbled city square at sunrise to grab breakfast before class and being greeted by the sight of people practicing the art of tai chi. Or, you could take off on the weekend to explore the Great Wall, where many warriors fought centuries ago.

China is a large, geographically diverse country. From mountains and coastlines to grasslands and deserts, China has both manmade and natural wonders that you can see during your travels throughout the region.

7. You Can Find Adventure in One-of-a-Kind Cities

While living in China, you'll be able to see the various architectural styles China is known for. Traditional Chinese architecture in Xi'an boasts fine timberwork, elegant exteriors, and elaborate and intricate decoration. In Beijing, you can look at centuries-old temples that echo the history and culture of a people.

If sleek and futuristic architecture is more your style, you can see plenty of modern buildings in Shanghai and in parts of Beijing.

8. You Can Live in a Fast-Growing Country

Given its significant impact on the global market in the last few decades, China is the place to learn about international business and growing markets. As the center of Asian trade and industry, the country is an exciting and pivotal place to live.

In the last few decades, China's tremendous growth and economic development have led to an influx of foreigners working, living, and studying in this fast-growing country.

Frequently Asked Questions About Studying Abroad in China

How much does it cost to study abroad in China? true

The cost of studying abroad in China depends on whether you enroll through your university, with a third-party provider, or directly with a Chinese university. A semesterlong study abroad program through a U.S. college could cost around $16,000, including room and board.

Enrolling directly in a Chinese university is generally less expensive. In addition, the cost of living in China is 41% lower than that in the United States.

Where should I study abroad in China? true

Two very popular cities to study abroad in China are Beijing and Shanghai. The center of China's political and cultural life, Beijing is steeped in history, with old buildings, temples, and famous sites like the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.

Shanghai, lovingly referred to by many as "the Paris of the East," touts a more international vibe, often bringing more social comfort to study abroad students.

What are the requirements to study abroad in China? true

American students who want to study abroad in China will need a valid U.S. passport and the appropriate visa from the Chinese consulate. If enrolling directly with a Chinese university, most undergraduate programs also require you to pass a Chinese language proficiency test called the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi. However, some Chinese universities have study abroad programs catered to English-speaking students.

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