Edited by Lorraine Mumby
One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself in college is travel. Studying abroad is an economical way to see the world. By going abroad, you can earn college credit and immerse yourself in another culture (and, often, another language).
What’s especially great is that room, board, and classes all typically come at a fixed and relatively affordable rate.
China is among the top 10 study abroad destinations for U.S. students, along with Costa Rica, the UK, and Italy. The Asian country boasts a rich legacy of cultural influence. Here are eight reasons to study abroad in China.
1You Get to Experience Chinese Culture
Spending time in China as a student gives you the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Chinese culture. You could visit a Shaolin Temple and learn about Chan Buddhism and its famous martial arts tradition. Or you could spend an evening watching Kunqu, a traditional Chinese opera.
Given the vast influence of Chinese culture abroad, future employers will undoubtedly view your study abroad experience as an asset. Studying abroad helps people form a cultural appreciation for others and develop a greater world perspective.
2There Are Plenty of Programs to Choose From
Now that you’re considering studying abroad in China, where should you start? Many students choose to utilize the study abroad programs affiliated with their college or university, while others seek out separate programs run by popular education abroad organizations like CIEE.
Some of the more popular study abroad programs can be found at well-known institutions with longstanding relationships with sister campuses abroad. For example, William & Mary has been a sister school of the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China since 2010.
Visit your campus’s study abroad office to learn more about study abroad programs in China that are available to students.
3You Can Learn Chinese in an Immersive Environment
One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is being able to immerse yourself in a foreign language. When you study abroad in China, you can learn Mandarin Chinese, making you an appealing candidate for future employers and strengthening your resume.
Mandarin Chinese is considered one of the best languages to learn in the global economy and can provide you with the possibility of working at a Chinese or international company after you graduate.
4You Can Eat Authentic Chinese Cuisine
In China, meals are often served communally, sometimes called family-style. This lets you sample various delicacies without fully committing to a new dish.
5It’s Inexpensive to Study In
Studying abroad in China is relatively inexpensive. According to Numbeo, the cost of living in China is 41% lower than that in the United States.
What’s more, a single person can live off of less than $600 a month (excluding the cost of rent). This gives you more room in your budget to go on excursions to nearby cities and visit historic sites.
6You Can Explore Beautiful Landscapes
Imagine walking down to the cobbled city square at sunrise to grab breakfast before class and being greeted by the sight of people practicing the art of tai chi. Or, you could take off on the weekend to explore the Great Wall, where many warriors fought centuries ago.
China is a large, geographically diverse country. From mountains and coastlines to grasslands and deserts, China has both manmade and natural wonders that you can see during your travels throughout the region.
7You Can Find Adventure in One-of-a-Kind Cities
While living in China, you’ll be able to see the various architectural styles China is known for. Traditional Chinese architecture in Xi’an boasts fine timberwork, elegant exteriors, and elaborate and intricate decoration. In Beijing, you can look at centuries-old temples that echo the history and culture of a people.
If sleek and futuristic architecture is more your style, you can see plenty of modern buildings in Shanghai and in parts of Beijing.
8You Can Live in a Fast-Growing Country
Given its significant impact on the global market in the last few decades, China is the place to learn about international business and growing markets. As the center of Asian trade and industry, the country is an exciting and pivotal place to live.
In the last few decades, China’s tremendous growth and economic development have led to an influx of foreigners working, living, and studying in this fast-growing country.
You might also be interested in: Frequently Asked Questions About Studying Abroad in China