China’s higher education system consists of technical schools and universities. The tech schools prepare students for careers in fields such as manufacturing, cosmetology, and cooking, while the universities function just as in the United States. There is no community college or junior college system, but some private schools are filling in the gap, such as the Australian Informatics College. Unlike the universities, the private schools often don’t require minimum test scores.
More than 50 Chinese universities accept foreign students. Beijing is the top destination for most, with Qinghua and Beida Universities at the top of the list. Shanghai is the second most popular study city, and Fudan and Jiaotong are the preferred schools. Another popular choice is Zheijiang University in Hangzhou, China’s largest.
The Chinese university system is almost identical to the U.S. system, with bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees awarded. Be aware that at this point in time, a degree from a Chinese university may not be recognized by a western employer, and credits from a Chinese university might not transfer into a western university.
As in the United States, the academic calendar consists of a fall and spring semester, and most schools also have intensive summer programs. Admission is typically limited to the fall semester, which generally starts around September 1, so you’ll need to apply in the spring-you’ll need to submit your completed application before the end of June at the latest.
The cost for one year of undergraduate study at Beida is a minimum of $6,000. Tuition is about $3,000. If you live on campus, your dorm room (if you can get one) will rent for around $1,200, and you’ll shell out another $1,200 for the cafeteria meals (if you can survive for a year eating Chinese school lunches). Realistically, you’ll need a few thousand more for traveling and for the psychological benefits of having a western meal once in a while.
Beijing University (Beida)
International Student Affairs
1st Floor, South Pavilion
Qinghua University, Beijing