It's no secret that China has risen to prominence on the international stage. China is not only at the forefront of creativity, but it also has one of the most extensive histories on the planet. Students studying in China will be surrounded by ancient imperial ruins as well as tall skyscrapers. China is as varied as it is populated, with lush green mountains giving way to bustling towns. Students who study in China gain a unique perspective on a society that continues to influence the western world.
China is brimming with potential, adventure, and... delicious dim sum. There has never been a better time to hop on the Mandarin bandwagon and ride it full steam ahead into a future with a competitive advantage, with more than a billion people speaking the Chinese language. China is home to over 20 ethnic minority groups and is known for its fascinating (and long!) history. China is home to the eastern terminus of the Silk Road and the world's fastest train, and studying there can excite and surprise you as you learn about the many facets of its multifaceted personality.
Student.com released a new study this week that highlights China as a fast-growing international education destination.
According to the survey, 398,000 international students flocked to China to study last year, making it the world's third most popular destination (behind the US and UK).
The attractiveness of studying the world's most-spoken language can be clarified in part by government-sponsored scholarships, as well as Chinese universities' continued success in international ranking tables.
1) A Scholarship!
The Chinese government has increased its efforts to expand the amount of scholarships available to foreign recruits. Last year, the government awarded a whopping 40% of international students who had just started studying in China with some kind of financial prize.
2) Study at a popular ranked university
China's leading universities have an increasing presence in international league tables, with 33 universities rated among the world's best in the QS World University Rankings® 2016-2017 and just under 100 universities in the QS University Rankings: Asia 2016. So, if you want a world-class education and a degree on your CV that will only grow in value in the coming decades, China is the place to be.
3) Learn the most widely spoken language on the planet.
While language classes can help, immersion is the best way to learn a language. According to UNESCO, Mandarin Chinese is the world's most commonly spoken language. It's also one of the most useful languages to learn for future careers, particularly if you want to work in international business or banking.
4) Explore and Discover the Region
During semester breaks, take advantage of your place by flying to Mongolia, Thailand, or South Korea to broaden your horizons! Studying abroad in China is a perfect way to pack as much travel into as little time as possible before settling down in one place or starting an international career.
5) Consider the past (approximately) 4,000 years.
Wherever you study in China, you'll be surrounded by ancient temples, palaces, and buildings that coexist with modern technological marvels. On a regular basis, you'll see the super old and the very new collide, and you'll have many chances to visit some of the world's most popular sites and sights. Consider the Forbidden City, the Rainbow Mountains, and giant pandas.
6) Move to one of the best student cities in the world.
In the QS Best Student Cities 2016, Beijing is ranked 25th and Shanghai is ranked 39th. This is unsurprising considering their high-ranking universities, promising job opportunities, and relatively low living costs.
Regardless of the strength of your study abroad program, an increasing number of student expats and young professionals are flocking to China's major cities, giving you plenty of opportunities to make new friends and develop a social life.
It can be challenging for students to make friends with local Chinese students. Creating a “language partner” relationship with a Chinese person is a perfect way to make friends with them. This mutually beneficial “hang out time” will encourage you to meet and get to know a Chinese person on a regular basis, which will most likely lead to friendship.
Though Beijing and Shanghai are the most popular Chinese destinations, we suggest looking into programs in smaller cities such as Chengdu, Guilin, or Kunming.
The Beijing dialect is the traditional Mandarin for language learners, and local universities have the most developed programs for teaching Chinese to foreigners. Aside from the language, there are plenty of cultural places to keep you occupied during your study breaks (including the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and the Forbidden City!).
Despite its location in China's colder north, Beijing is an excellent option for students interested in witnessing China's recent history and dynamic future firsthand.
The rhythm of life in Shanghai is robust, fast-paced, and vibrant, evoking Hong Kong or New York. Shanghai is said to be the pinnacle of China's future growth, with the stunning Oriental Pearl Tower at the helm. Shanghai will be a great place to start if you are more of a money-driven sort interested in getting involved with China's booming business sector.
Kunming is a city in China.
Kunming is the ideal destination for an immersion experience, as it is the perfect example of a Chinese city that seamlessly blends modernity and tradition. Because of its smaller size and distance from the developed coast, it has a much lower foreign population, allowing you to immerse yourself completely in Chinese culture.
Kunming's strategic position in China's southwest corner, bordered on the south by Burma, Laos, and Vietnam, and on the west by Tibet and India, has made it one of the country's best travel hubs.
What to Look for When Choosing a Study Abroad Program in China
China provides a wide range of study abroad opportunities: if you prefer city life, Beijing or Shanghai might be the best fit.
Smaller, more inland cities in Chengdu and Yunnan provinces may better fit your study abroad experience if you're looking for a more immersive experience. When choosing a curriculum, take into account the language of instruction, lodging, and cultural events.
Chinese is, without a doubt, a world apart from English. It is possible, although difficult, to arrive in China without knowing the language. Prioritizing language learning while in China would be a great first step toward maximizing your time there.
It is possible to enroll in universities that specialize in teaching foreign language to non-native speakers. Similarly, private learning institutions that provide language instruction in smaller groups can be found. Check to see if your curriculum requires language lessons and if it doesn’t then it is best that you hire a tutor.
Your choice of residence would have a major impact on your Chinese experience. Many universities have affordable foreign student dormitories, which provide unique opportunities to learn not just about life in China but also to meet people from all over the world.
Some programs can assign you to this dormitory or arrange for dorm-style housing in hotels. China Study Abroad (CSA) offers a variety of living options, including home stays, private-luxury rentals, and even apartments with a Chinese roommate.