China is one of the world’s oldest civilizations with a storied history defined by discovery, innovation, and triumphs for humankind. In China, you can find the longest man-made structure in the world (The Great Wall of China) and colossal megacities (Beijing, Shanghai, and Guanghzou) alongside magnificent natural landscapes such as the Yellow Mountains and Li River. It is possible to study in China for several years and still barely scratch the surface of this vast land. In a country with a mostly rural population, economic reforms in the 1980s brought huge levels of urbanization and industrialization to China, resulting in unparalleled economic growth that transformed China into a global superpower.
The rise of China’s economy has been mirrored by improvements to its higher education sector. Chinese universities are some of the best-funded in the world. Since 2016, they’ve seen an income increase by some 57%, vastly outpacing other nations. The country is now home to several universities within the global top 200 and also the third-largest international student population worldwide. There is little doubt that China will soon sit at the table of the most prestigious countries in the world for higher education – if it is not there already.
For one of the most reputable countries for higher education, the cost of studying in China is very reasonable. The cost of a Master in China is in line with the high quality of education – you’re looking at at least EUR€30,000 in tuition fees. Given that it is such a large country, living costs can understandably vary a lot. For one person, monthly costs are estimated at around ¥3,700 (US$552). However, this depends largely on location and prices are likely to be lower in smaller cities.
All international students who plan to study in China for more than six months are required to apply for the X1 visa. You can book an appointment on the website of the Chinese Visa Application Service Center (CVASC) and fill out the necessary forms. The standard visa processing time is four working days and the cost of a student visa varies depending on your country of origin. For example, US citizens pay US$140 while Australians pay A$109 – most other countries pay an application fee of less than US$30. The X1 visa is valid for 30 days and visa holders are required to apply for a temporary residence permit within 30 days upon entry into China. The temporary residence permit can be issued with a validity of up to five years.
China’s wealth of universities and grad schools has been rapidly growing in quality over recent decades. Today, institutions such as Tsinghua University, Peking University, and Fudan University are all ranked within the top 100 in the world. Meanwhile, the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) boasts the best Master program in China.
The proportion of the population who hold a master’s degree, Master, or equivalent remains low in comparison to China’s peers in Asia, Europe, and North America, meaning there are job opportunities for highly-qualified graduates in China. Average post-graduation salaries have also been steadily rising for master’s and Master graduates. If you would like to work in China post-graduation, you will need to apply for the Z visa (Chinese work visa).
The number of international students in China has risen from 75,000 in 2003 to over 700,000 in 2019 – reflecting the concurrent rise in teaching standards, investment into higher education, and initiatives aimed at attracting more international students. China is now the third-most popular destination for international students in the world.
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