China 1As China has been investing greatly in education over the last years and due to numerous partnerships China has with universities from UK and U.S., it is no wonder the number of international students is on the rise. To make studying in China even more attractive, the cost of living is significantly lower compared to many countries worldwide and except for a few universities, tuition fees are affordable. On average, international students spend around 4,000 USD for accommodation and about 2,000 USD for other living costs (such as food, transportation, etc.) per year. However, since China is a big country, you should know there can be significant differences regarding prices and living costs depending on each region of the country.

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Tuition fees in Chinese universities

Tuition fees in public universities
The average tuition fees in public universities range between 3,300 and 10,000 USD/year.
Fees for an English-taught degree are between 2,200 and 4,500 USD/year Programmes in medicine, engineering, and business: between 24,000 and 50,000 USD/year.

UK universities with a local campus in China:

  • 12,000 USD/year for a Bachelor’s degree
  • 13,500 USD/year for a Master’s degree.

Tuition fees in private universities
Apart from several private Chinese universities, you can also apply to many American and British universities with a local campus in a Chinese city. Tuition fees in these universities start from around 8,000 USD/year and can lead to around 15,000 USD/year.

Most affordable Chinese universities

Check the list of Chinese universities with the most affordable tuition fees:

  • Samara National Research University – average tuition fees 1,800 USD/year
  • Nanjing University of Technology – average tuition fees 4,000 USD/year
  • Beijing Jiaotong University – average tuition fees 5,000 USD/year
  • University of Science & Technology of China – average tuition fees 4,350 USD/year
Tuition fees at top-ranked universities

Here is a list of average tuition fees at the top-ranked Chinese universities:

  • Peking University – average tuition fees 17,000 USD/year
  • Tsinghua University – average tuition fees 7,500 USD/year
  • Fudan University – average tuition fees between 8,000 and 11,000 USD/year
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University – average tuition fees between 5,000 and 12,000 USD/year
Living costs in China

Average living costs in Chinese cities Beijing is the most expensive city and you will need between 700 and 850 USD/month to cover your expenses. Shanghai and Shenzhen are the second most expensive cities, as you would spend between 660 and 745 USD/month. In all the other Chinese cities, you could fairly manage with just 440 – 550 USD/month. This sum can also include the accommodation if you live in a residence hall. Check out a detailed list of prices in China and more on living costs in Chinese cities.

Accommodation costs

Although Shanghai and Beijing are known as some of the most expensive cities to live in the world, you can find several affordable options for housing in these metropolitan cities. Rates are even lower in places like Tianjin, Jiangsu or Sichuan.

The most common housing options in China are:

  • Student residence halls – prices range between 150 and 400 USD/month.
  • Renting a flat – the average rate is between 250 and 1,000 USD/month for a one-bedroom apartment (depending on the city, the location of the apartment and the included facilities).
  • Home stay – between 350 and 550 USD/month.
  • Hostel – usually chosen by international students as a temporary option; rates start at18 USD/night for a private room.

Living with a roommate whether in a student residence or in an apartment is the most common option among international students to save money. All accommodation (mainly student residences and apartments) require a security deposit: 300 to 460 USD. Utility bills: around 50USD/month on water, gas, and electricity.

Food costs

Apart from being an interesting study abroad destination, China is famous for its diverse, interesting, intriguing and not to mention very affordable cuisine. A meal at the university canteen, a small local restaurant or a fast food chain should costs between 1 and 4 USD. Mid-range dining options (prices between 4 and 7 USD) include both Chinese and international cuisine. On average, food bills from the local supermarkets would lead to around 170 – 200 USD/month. You can find international chain supermarkets like Wal-mart, Carrefour, Auchan or Metro. Buy fruit and vegetables from the fresh markets and you can get a big shopping bag full of fruits with only 2 – 3 USD.


China has excellent public transport at very low prices and even taxi rides are quite cheap.

Here is a general list of prices for public transportation:

  • Metro ride: 0.5 USD
  • Taxi rate per km: 0.33 USD
  • 20-min taxi ride across town: 4 USD
  • City bus: 0.3 USD
  • A student pass for public transportation costs around 15 USD/month.
Extra costs

Books and course materials: 30 – 50 USD/semester; you could pay more if you study sciences, medicine or art. Medical insurance: around 60 USD for six months.

Scholarships for international students

In order to attract more international students, the Chinese government has set a scholarship scheme, providing full or partial funding for tuition fees for both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
Chinese government scholarships – for international students worldwide, applying to study programmes at any degree level. Scholarships offered by Chinese universities for various study programmes.

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