When preparing to study in China, it is important to calculate how much money you will need to cover for your expenses. Some universities require students to provide a letter from whoever is paying the fees to guarantee that they can cover the cost of the program. It is in nobody’s interest for a student to drop out of the program because they haven’t budgeted properly.
The good news is that the cost of studying and living in China is comparatively low to other countries, as an example, the subway in Beijing costs 3-5 RMB for each trip, and you can buy a beer for the same price (the cost of textbooks are low too.)
The main categories of costs for studying in China are:
• Visa Application Fee
• Tuition Fee (varies according to each program)
• Books and supplies
• Insurance – insurance is necessary and students can’t register without it, students can arrange it themselves, or they can buy can be arranged when you arrive in China, Ping An has an insurance policy for students which costs 600 RMB per year.
• Accommodation – this depends on whether you are staying on-campus or off-campus.
• Flight Tickets – this will depend on which country you are flying from. You can find cheap flights on Orbitz.com
• Food / Eating out – this will depend on you and your habits, University food can be very affordable and can cost 15 RMB or less for each meal. Eating outside the University can also be cheap.
• Other Living Expenses – what other things do you like to do in your spare time? Playing a sport, going out to bars or restaurants.
Before coming to China it is a good idea to use the above categories to make a budget for how much you expect to spend in each category. Try to add a little bit extra than you think in each category, and something to cover for emergencies. It is always better to have spent less than you expected than the other way around.
Then when you come to China, try to keep a record of your expenses every month so you can keep track of where your money is going.
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