Studying in China immerses you in a unique culture and is the best way to develop Chinese language skills. The value of a Chinese education is growing in step with the country’s powerhouse economy.
China is a booming international student destination, with enrollment numbers growing by about 10 per cent each year. It is on track to meet its target of hosting 500,000 university students from abroad in 2020.
Chinese courses are generally taught in either Mandarin or English. Almost every study program includes language training as part of the curriculum.
Why Study Abroad in China?
People study in China in order to experience China. Students gain knowledge of an important culture while developing useful language skills.
China is definitely one of the more challenging study destinations for international students. Chinese is a difficult language to learn and you need some level of competency to make the study trip work. But the rewards from studying in China are great as well. Here are the top three reasons for studying in China.
1. Cultural Immersion
Studying in China exposes you to different cultures in a powerful way. It’s not just that going to China places you in a different environment. There is also tremendous cultural diversity within China.
China has a complex tapestry of ancient cultures. It is a big country and was, for a long time, relatively isolated. But it is now open and rapidly modernising. Western influences are penetrating many parts.
There is a mixture of poverty and wealth, agricultural and industrialised society, east and west. Travelling within China is an important part of the study-abroad experience because there is so much diversity to see.
Living in China while you study gives you a more rounded, bigger perspective of the world. It takes you out of your comfort zone as you have to adapt to a new way of doing things. Heating, air conditioning, sit-down toilets and good television viewing tend to be in short supply. An absence of modern conveniences encourages you to be more active and experience Chinese life. You may appreciate your home country’s lifestyle more upon returning.
A China study-abroad experience will better equip you to engage with different types of people and make you more flexible in how you think and live. An appreciation of Chinese culture is also valuable in many jobs. After all, China is fast becoming the world’s biggest economy.
2. Language Skill Development
For many people, the only way to become genuinely fluent in Chinese is to live in China.
The language is notoriously difficult to learn. It is distinctive in having 4 different tones, each of which can produce a different meaning for the same word or phrase.
- There is no doubt that living in China forces you to learn Mandarin. The vast majority of people only speak Chinese.
- You need to be able to understand and speak some simple phrases just to do things like shopping or eating at a restaurant.
Language training is part of almost any study program for international students. This includes programs where the majority of courses are delivered in English.
- It is generally recommended that you do some serious study of Chinese before you travel.
- Studying in China is a much more rewarding experience if you have the ability to communicate effectively with the locals.
3. An Affordable Education
A big positive about studying in China is affordability.
- Most things are much cheaper than in OECD countries.
- Wages in China, though rising, are much lower than the most advanced economies. That means services and many types of goods cost very little.
- You can, for example, travel on public transport or eat at local restaurants at a fraction of the cost of doing the same thing in America or the UK.
Education is one of the affordable services available in China. Tuition fees are fractions of the amounts students pay in advanced economies.