Each year, about 6500 French go to study in China. This destination is more and more popular, and that since the Chinese economic development, initiated in 1978 by the reforms of Deng Xiaoping. Studying in China means experiencing an unforgettable experience in one of the main economic and geopolitical players.
Do I have to learn Chinese before leaving?
This is one of the questions that come up most often. And yet, to speak Chinese fluently is far from obligatory to study in China. Indeed, a large majority of Chinese universities have opened up to the international. They have either special faculties dedicated to learning the language or courses in English.
However, knowing the basics of this language may be desirable. The HSK test will evaluate your level of Mandarin. Also be aware that if you plan to apply for a Chinese scholarship, a certain level of Mandarin will be required.
The formalities before the departure
Before going to China, you must obtain a pre-registration of the establishment that interests you. Make your choice now with the list of Chinese universities that host foreign students.
Since 2008, China has been offering an online registration system for foreign students. This is CUCAS. The university of your application will send you, from this interface, an “admission notification” in return if you are accepted. This procedure is often long, pay attention to the delay.
Once this first step is established, you must obtain an “F” visa. To do this, go to the Chinese embassy or consulate with your valid passport to make an application. You will also need to have the admission notification and the JW201 / JW202 form with you. If you wish to leave more than 6 months, you will need the student visa “X”. Attention, it is only valid for 30 days after your arrival. You will need to apply for a residence permit during these 30 days from the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau to obtain legal status.
Finance your studies in China
For expatriate students, there are a multitude of dungs to finance your studies.
Chinese stock exchanges
French students who want to study in China should contact the China ScolarShip Council (CSC) for a scholarship. To obtain a Chinese scholarship, a certain level of Chinese is required.
Benke Stock Exchange – 4 years maximum
Master’s Scholarship – 2 or 3 years
Doctoral Scholarship – 3 years maximum
Mid-level scholarship – 1 or 2 years
Senior Scholarship – for students wishing to do research in China under the direction of a teacher (1 to 2 years)
Great Wall Scholarship – offered to UNESCO for middle and higher education students. Same conditions as for the middle and senior fellowships.
Excellence Scholarship – is for students who have completed or are about to complete a degree program in China, and have completed a master’s or Ph.D. degree.
HSK Scholarship – for students who have achieved an excellent HSK score
Cultural Research Program
Bilateral grants – granted by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs & by the Chinese government
Lavoisier scholarships – awarded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Cotutelles of thesis – support to the thesis Boutelle
French research center abroad
There are about 2000 Chinese higher education institutions, which use the same training system as in France. Your study stay can, therefore, correspond to different courses:
the bac + 2 (dazhuan)
the license (dazhuan)
bac + 4 (benke)
the master (shuoshi)
the doctorate (boshi)
Health in China
To study in China, you must be covered by health insurance. It will allow you to pay for your health costs. Estimate having to give on average 90 euros each semester to Chinese health insurance. However, it will be difficult for you to be sure of their seriousness, especially if you do not master Chinese. It is better to take a French private insurance that covers you internationally with a contract whose terms you will know perfectly.
The exams to be done before leaving to study in China
All students wishing to study in China must pass some medical exams before leaving:
Radiography of the lungs
These exams are valid for 6 months. Beyond that, you are obliged to iron them for safety.
Finally, some obligations to respect: protect yourself from mosquitoes, do not drink tap water and cook your food well. One is never too careful, even when one lives an adventure as extraordinary as that.
Find accommodation in China
On the campus
University housing is very different depending on the institution. It goes from the cozy little apartment to the little room to share with someone. The price of these accommodations is indicated on the program page of your university.
The payment is done every month or semester (in this case, we often offer a discount.)
Some university housing provides sheets and mattresses, but this is not the majority. Plan the budget to buy them once there or take yours in your suitcase.
Renting a private apartment
You can look for a flatshare or alone. In Shanghai, for example, where rents are the highest, you will have an apartment of 40m ² for 300 euros.
Homestays are very regulated in China. Indeed, if you live with someone, this person must “declare” you to be in good standing, otherwise, it is forbidden.