The People’s Republic of China is a land of contrasts. The “Middle Kingdom” is one of the oldest high cultures and civilizations in the world. The over 6,000 km long Chinese wall, the terracotta army of Xian and numerous temples bear witness to thousands of years of history.
At the same time, China is the most populous country in the world with over 1.3 billion inhabitants and has become the second largest economy in the world within the last 30 years. This is also one of the main reasons why a semester abroad in China is becoming increasingly popular with students from all over the world.
Life between tradition and modernity
The contrasts between town and country are enormous in China. On one side there are the snow-capped mountain ranges of the Himalayas. China offers barren deserts, endless rice fields and curved river landscapes. There are also many small villages where people live according to old traditions and customs.
On the other hand, there are futuristic megacities like Beijing or Shanghai with their ultra-modern skyscrapers and huge shopping centers.
But tradition can also be discovered in these booming metropolises during a semester abroad in China: in the capital Beijing in particular, ancient palaces, historical squares, traditional Chinese gardens, winding streets and small houses characterize the cityscape.
According to topschoolsintheusa, the ethnic diversity of China is evident in the cities: 55 different ethnic minorities live here largely peacefully. In addition to Mandarin (standard Chinese), one hears the six other main Chinese languages and a variety of dialects on the streets. Street snack bars and restaurants have all the dishes of the regional cuisine of China on their menus. At night, countless bars and pubs invite you to watch the hustle and bustle on the streets from there. So it will certainly not be boring during a semester abroad in China.
Reasons for a semester in China
Due to its economic development and its culture that is thousands of years old, China is becoming increasingly popular with international students as a destination for studying abroad.
Use China as a career springboard
A few years ago China was particularly interesting for Chinese students. Today more and more budding economics, social or engineering scientists are drawn to the People’s Republic to prepare for future professional practice. Today, China is considered to be the emerging economic power. Where else could one get a better insight into the Chinese economy and business world than in China itself?
A semester abroad at a Chinese university offers the opportunity to deal intensively with the Chinese language and culture. Students with a good command of Chinese and a deeper understanding of Chinese culture are more in demand on the job market than ever.
Semester programs in China for international students
Many Chinese universities now offer special semester programs for foreigners. International students can usually take courses on Chinese business and culture, as well as language courses. In some programs it is also possible to specialize in an area that particularly suits your own interests.
Semester programs for international students have several advantages:
- They enable international students to spend one or two semesters abroad in China in a relatively uncomplicated way.
- Most of the courses are held in English. Therefore, they are ideal for students who want to study in China but do not speak the local language.
- They often include a wide range of leisure activities with excursions, company tours and other activities. This gives the participants a real insight into Chinese culture and economy during their semester abroad. For this reason, internships in local companies are often an integral part of the study programs.
Semester abroad in China: application requirements
In order to participate in a semester program in China, the (technical) high school diploma and sufficient knowledge of English are usually required. Some universities require that the participants are already at the end of their bachelor’s degree. However, there are also semester programs that are suitable for first-year students.
After prior consultation with the examination office, it is often possible to have the work done in China recognized at your home university.
Costs and funding for a semester in China
A full degree in the Middle Kingdom is often associated with considerable costs. In contrast, international students do not have to dig deep into their pockets for a semester abroad.
Moderate tuition fees
The tuition fees for a semester in China are relatively moderate. Between EUR 6,700 and EUR 8,800 incurred for a semester abroad, where accommodation and excursions in the charges included are.
At some universities, students pay separately for each course. In this case, the costs for a course are often between EUR 350 and EUR 1300.
Low cost of living
The cost of living in China is low compared to Germany. Warm dishes are available in cookshops and fast food restaurants from EUR 1 and up. Public transport is also cheap. Students in China who pay for board and lodging separately come to EUR 350 to EUR 500 per month.
Ways to a financially viable semester abroad in China
Of course, there are some costs overall for international students. There is financial support for a semester stay in China
- on the part of the DAAD. With his China section, he offers various scholarships that support students with particularly good performance.
- in the form of education and student loans.
- in the form of foreign BAföG. This amounts to a grant of up to EUR 4,600 towards the annual tuition fees and further grants for airfare and living expenses. Due to the higher costs in the semester abroad, BAföG abroad is sometimes also an option for students who are not eligible for BAföG in Germany. It can therefore be worthwhile to contact the BAföG office responsible for China.
Visa and entry requirements for one semester in China
A student visa is required for a semester abroad in China. Students must apply for this at a Chinese Visa Application Service Center. Once in China, students have to register with the local police authority.
Students should also ensure that they have adequate health insurance cover for the duration of their semester stay in China in good time. The international health insurance should cover all eventualities, such as repatriation for medical reasons.
International students are not allowed to work in China.