What to Know Before You Study in China

Acceptance into China’s top universities is competitive, but students there have some impressive options for higher education.

You too can take advantage of these options if you study abroad in China!

Getting into a University in China

China has nothing if not choices. The country has about 4,000 institutions of higher education with an enrollment of about 15 million, according to the American Council on Education. However, China is a country of 1.3 billion people. This may be why winning entrance to a Chinese university is so competitive.

Students must first take a notoriously rigorous national entrance exam. The score on this exam determines whether they will gain admittance to a university. Some Chinese universities are overseen by the country’s Ministry of Education while others are operated by smaller government agencies or even communities.

Students who study abroad in China will find a semester format similar to what they are used to in the US. Universities have two or three semesters. The first begins in September and the second in mid-February. Each lasts about 20 weeks.

Keep in mind that applying to a Chinese university means you will need professional translations of your transcript and other personal documents.

Higher Education in China

Universities in China are trying to acquire a world-class reputation. Tsinghua University and Peking University are two of the best and have a concentration on research.

In the 1950s, the government focused on promoting higher education after the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 70s, followed by reforms later in the decade, limited and then expanded who could attend Chinese universities.

Degrees in China

Undergraduate study can follow many paths in China. Students can choose from two and three-year junior colleges (also known as short-cycle colleges), four-year colleges, and universities that offer academic and vocational topics. Many colleges and universities also have graduate programs for students to earn a master’s or doctoral degree.

Students spend four to five years earning an undergraduate degree. A master’s degree takes two to three years and includes a thesis and written and oral exams. A doctoral program lasts three years.

Tuition to Study Abroad in China

Undergraduate costs in China can vary widely depending on the course of study, ranging from about US $2,000 to $4,000. Annual tuition to study for postgraduate and doctoral degrees is more expensive. Students who study abroad in China can win full and partial scholarships from the Chinese government.

China’s rich history and growing presence in the business world can make a study abroad program in China an excellent option. Many American universities offer students the opportunity to study abroad in China and explore the country firsthand.