Choosing the Right City and University to Study in China

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Choosing the right city to study in China is a great concern for international students currently. Knowing the right place to study in a huge country like China is vital for it impacts greatly the overall learning experience in China. When this opportunity to study in China strikes, it is prudent for you to decide quickly on what to study and the way you want to spend your time in China. I chose Nanjing City because I saw it suiting my set budget and also, having considered the availability of reliable and delicious Chinese food in the city. But, later I found out that there are still many factors that international students need to consider in choosing the universities and the cities they want to study in China for their smooth transition. This article discusses the important factors to consider when choosing a city and university to study in China. Among them include;

Cost of living

From my perspective, it is cheap to study in China. But, since it is a huge country with the largest cities in the world, the cost of living varies greatly for different cities. For this reason, international students must differentiate the cost of living in these cities and have a start breakdown of living costs such as accommodation, food, transportation, utilities, universities, and miscellaneous expenses. Having established the city with the lowest cost of living, he/she can consider the universities found in that city. I realized that big cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Tianjin, and Chongqing have very large populations and huge sizes, and thriving urban cultures. The high cost of living in these cities might be strenuous for students with limited budgets and hence they might be forced to choose smaller cities in China as smaller cities give these international students the benefits of convenient shopping, public transport, and travel. Also, while studying in these cities, one gets to know Chinese culture better and will acquire connections that are useful for one’s future career. The only downside is that there are fewer foreigners and so local dialect is commonly used and one might be forced to learn Chinese beforehand or have a translation helper to avoid the language barrier in the early days.


This is another important consideration for international students before they choose a good place to study in China. China values security and peace for all and ensures that in all cities where the universities are located, great security is provided. With its strictest laws where every violation of the law is seriously punished, international students must know how to keep off from lifestyles that can find them on the wrong side of the law. They must practice maintaining respect and peace to thrive in these China universities. While studying at Chinese universities, a student must understand the rules and regulations regarding dormitories, academic buildings, parks and lakes, small cafes and canteens, libraries, and many sports facilities. For instance, drinking alcohol on campus is highly prohibited. Therefore, a student should research which campus he/she will be studying on and beware of its rules and regulations.


Ecology is an important consideration when choosing a place of study in China. I discovered that some of the universities in China are located in areas that are unfavorable in terms of environmental conditions. The difficult environmental conditions can make life for new international students unbearable. Thus, one must choose universities that are located in areas with good ecology or in areas that are almost the same environmental condition as home country.

Career opportunities afterward

Career success after studying in China is every international student’s dream. From my view, I advise any international student who wants to stay in China and build his/her career to choose Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou. This is because more foreign companies are located in these cities and so one finds it easy to stay there after studying and work. He/she could have become familiar with the city and would be easier to adapt to his/her work life. In addition to that, the acquired connections will be preserved and help one with employment. However, any international student must be aware that the transition from study to work in China can be difficult. He/she must plan to get a tourist visa as the student visa ends immediately after receiving the diploma/degree. After receiving it, he/she will be looking for work and interviewing and getting a work visa afterward after signing the contract. In my case, I found it more convenient by staying in Nanjing City where I studied. It save me time and money on the job search for I focused on part-time and remote jobs.

In search of adventure

People travel to new places for many reasons. International students may be traveling to China to study and at the same time in search of adventure. In my case, I moved to China to study but did not plan to work there afterward and this is why Nanjing city suited me most. I equally advise those international students moving to China with the same objective as mine to choose cities such as Nanjing, Kunming, Xiamen, Qingdao, Guilin, Chongqing, Chengdu, Dalian, Xian, and Suzhou. Because I found these cities to be the best parts of Chinese culture. I experienced interesting local foods, cultural surprises, and nature reserves in Nanjing. While I studied, I could also go on interesting travels in China making me feel at home always.

For those who are true lovers of Chinese culture, I advise them to consider Harbin, Changsha, Weihai, Hefei, or Fuzhou for they are different from the Western culture and foreigners. But if you had lived in Beijing or Shanghai before, don’t consider these cities as they belong to different worlds.

All in all, an international student choosing a place to study in China should not only consider the set budget and the availability of reliable and delicious food in the chosen city in China but also consider the cost of living, lifestyle, ecology, career opportunities thereafter, and the adventures found in the chosen city. China cities host many universities that offer education and other opportunities to international students and have varied structures that determine the cost of living, culture, lifestyles, ecology, career opportunities thereafter, and adventures. As such, one is required to carefully choose a city and a university that suits his /her needs for a smooth transition in China.


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