When the decision to study in China hit my family’s mind, I knew that it was to be an experience of a lifetime but also money was to be spent. Luckily, with many consultations, we found that there were many choices to study in China for cheap or even for free. I realized that what mattered most to my parents was my peace of mind and ease and so they were ready to sacrifice everything as they were told that the study abroad programs charge an extra coin to help students find housing, aid in enrolling in these universities, and facilitate the visa process. So unless something happened, my parents could spend the last coin to make my study in China experience a whole lot easier. Luckily then, came my scholarship to study at Nanjing University! Here, I knew it was a big relief as I was to study in China cheaply with the burden off my parents’ shoulders.
Today, more and more students are traveling to China to study and experience profound culture and history at the same time. But the question that remains is: how can they have full and enjoyable studying times in these challenging economic times? Remember, they have to save more money and operate within their set budget. This makes some choices handy in ensuring that they study cheaply. Therefore, some choices will help international students lower the costs of their operations and study cheaply in China.
With scholarships, one can get financial aid, educational benefits, career help, and personal rewards. To an international student, this can be a huge relief enabling him/her to study in China cheaply. In my case, I understood that my career required more than two years and this was to have financial implications and so I felt that a scholarship was to be a desirable form of financial aid. So when it came, I knew that all the financial barriers on my way had been removed. It paid for my education and some living expenses leaving me with more time for studying and learning. I also realized that earning a merit-based scholarship can make you a more attractive candidate as employers recognize it as an accomplishment making you stand out during job searches. I can testify to this and I usually advise students to put more effort into their education, participate in athletes and community services to earn such scholarships, and study cheaply in China as with full-paid scholarships, all the study and living expenses are catered for. Apart from scholarships, still, some ways can enable international students to study cheaply in China as discussed below.
Transportation for the international study is another aspect that needs to be considered and planned for as one plans to study in China. Public buses, subways, and taxis are the major transportation in the cities. For students on a budget, public buses and subways are the most appropriate to save money. I remember seeing friends buy a transportation card to get at least a 30% discount on buses and subway fares but of course, this applied to certain cities such as Xi’an, Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. Others could use an electric bike-sharing program. Therefore, for international students, it is up to you to choose the arrangement that can lower your costs in a great way.
Hotels are another expensive part. Those hotels found in inner cities or near travel stations and attractions are more expensive. So in this case, hostels can be cost-saving for an international student who is new and wants to live within the budget. Of course, they can’t be as good as those in hotels but they are clean and cheap. For me, I considered an apartment after a few months. I had made enough friends and so we opted to rent an apartment as a group as a washing machine and kitchen wares were provided enabling us to save on laundry and meals.
Another way an international student can study cheaply in China is by visiting free attractions. Many good museums are free to enter and offer good places for students to learn the culture and history of China. Also, shopping malls, markets, city squares, and parks are free and the best places to learn and experience Chinese daily life. Going around these markets, I learned that bargaining was another form of saving as I could buy food items cheaply. I was not afraid to ask for the best deal but I always kept in mind that their business was their livelihood too.
The other thing that can help many international students to study cheaply in China is by doing part-time jobs. At first, it can be challenging but as you get used, you can earn extra coins to make your study cheap as you can afford to live comfortably and even support your family. For me, article writing enabled me to earn some money which helped me support my siblings back home and meet my other needs. Similarly, I learned how to use Apps like Weixin to manage my money as most people used it for messaging and developing social networks. It also offered a wallet function that allowed me to send money to other users directly from my account without hassle.
In a nutshell, studying in China does not always require much from one’s pockets. All that is needed is finding out ways to aid in lowering the costs or avoiding the costs altogether. If you don’t get full-paid scholarships, still there are ways you can go to spend less for services and save more. Knowing these tricks can make an international student’s study in China cheaper than expected.