Being an international student in China is an unforgettableand immensely rewarding experience. Not only will you be able to witness firsthand China's historic transformation from an underdeveloped country into a major global power, but you'll meet people from all over the world too. Many international students take advantage of the two long holidays in an academic year (each lasting one to two months) totravel around China and Asia.
For most people, homesickness is an unavoidable part of living abroad, but you'll almost certainly find that the benefits vastly outweigh the costs,and like many foreigners before you, you may well end up looking for excuses to stay in China!
In Beijing,China's most expensive city, you can live fairly comfortably off of US$15 a day. Renting an apartment costs around US$250-350 a monthand a meal at your local noodle joint won't set you back more than a couple of dollars.
If you're on a tight budget, you'll find that the salary from a part-time teaching job can go a long way inChina. Also, unless you have your heart set on living in Beijing or Shanghai, don't overlookChina's lesser-known cities where you may only have to pay US$150 a month for a room on campus.
Private car ownership inChina is a relatively recent phenomenon. This means it's extremely easy to get around inChina without a car.China has one of the world's most well-developed railway systems, making it both convenientand affordable totravel around this vastand fascinating country. Urban public transport systems are also efficient, modern,and, in most cities, vastly superior to those in Western metropolises. The only downside is, with so many people, it's not always easy to get a seat!
|Subway||About 30 US cents||About 40-120 US cents||About 40-120 US cents|
|Bus||10-20 US cents||About 30 US cents||About 20-40 US cents|
|Taxi||About 30 US cents per kilometer||About 40 US cents per kilometer||About 40 US cents per kilometer|
Mandarin, or Putonghua, is the official language ofChina,and is spoken throughout the country. Most Chinese people also speak the local dialect of their hometown. Standard Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect, but this doesn't mean that you won't learn to speak ¡°proper¡± Chinese if you study in another part of the county. Your Chinese teacher will certainly speak standard Mandarin (a prerequisite for teaching foreign students)and Beijing locals speak with just as strong an accent as the locals anywhere else.
You may have heard that Chinese is one of the world's most difficult languages to learn,and indeed, many foreigners struggle with pronunciationand writing characters. However, Chinese grammar is largely straightforwardand logical. For example, verbs do not conjugateand tenses can be expressed simply by saying what time an action occurred. If you come toChina with no or minimal language skills, you might actually be surprised how quickly you can pick up basic phrases.
If you can't speak any Chinese, is it difficult to get around inChina? It is certainly possible to live inChina without speaking Chinese, but it can be a struggleand you will need plenty of patience. Many young people especially college students speak English to a reasonable level as English is taught from primaryand middle school onwards.
You might be surprised to find that the local food inChina is rather different from the Chinese food in your home country. This is partly because recipes are adapted to suit local tastes, but also because Chinese cuisine differs from region to region. Many Chinese restaurants outsideChina serve Cantonese fare, which emphasizes lightand balanced flavors. Food in the north ofChina tends to be heavier,and locals favor wheat-based staples like noodles, breadand dumplings over rice. Meanwhile, the central provinces of Sichuanand Hunanand famed for their spicy dishes, while the cuisine of the predominantly Muslim province of Xinjiang is halal. Regardless of where you choose to study inChina, regional cuisines from across the country can be found in any Chinese city.
International food is also widely available; the bigger the city, the wider the variety. Japaneseand Korean restaurants are particularly popular inChina, as are Western fast food chains like KFCand McDonald¡¯s. Vegetarianism is not widely practiced inChina but Buddhist restaurants do existand you can always find meat-free options on a Chinese menu.
Eating out inChina is very affordable. A meal at the university canteen, a small local restaurant or a fast food chain typically costs between 5-25RMB (roughly US$1-4). Mid-range dining options (25-45 RMB, US$4-7) include both Chinese and international cuisine.
Daily products inChina are very affordable. All universities have convenience stores inside or nearby , where you can buy your basic necessities.
Usually, a good pair of jeans costs around 20 dollars, while a suit may cost 30 dollars. A pair of socks costs 50 cents, a book bag costs 3 dollars, 5 dollars for a T shirt. .You can buy all the things you need at a very cheap price. Even a new 32-inch LCD TV costs less than 500 US dollars.
Most Chinese universities provide very goodand comfortable dormitories especially for international students. The dormitories usually have private bathrooms for every room, TV, Internet access, washing machine, refrigeratorsand even a small kitchen.
You can also choose to rent an apartment outside the university if the city security allows.