Keystone logo

Study Master in China 2024

Study in China

The People’s Republic of China is located in the eastern and central parts of Asia, with borders on the Pacific Ocean and 14 other countries, including India, Vietnam, and North Korea. China is the world’s most populous nation, with over 1.3 billion citizens. It is the world’s fourth largest country in terms of land mass and the diverse geography includes forests, beaches, mountains, deserts, and 7,600 islands. Modern China blends 5,000 years of history with high technology and bustling cities. In addition to major industries such as electronics, China is one of the world’s largest agricultural exporters.

Climate in China
Since China is a very large country, the climate varies significantly across different locations, from sunny beaches to chilly mountains. However, the country in general enjoys a moderate year-round climate. Winters tend to be cold and dry, with temperatures in the south being as much as 40 degrees C warmer than the north. Summers tend to be rainy, with smaller temperature differences. The southeast part of the country receives the most rain and the northwest the least.

Although there are 56 distinct ethnic groups in China, more than 90 percent of the population is Han Chinese. Social values are based on Confucian and Tao religious principles and the business culture values relationships rather than rigid operating rules.

The Chinese have a long and distinct history of literature, music, art, architecture, martial arts, and fashion. Major cultural destinations include the Forbidden City and 798 Art District in Beijing, the Tian Tan Buddha in Hong Kong, and the 2000-year-old Great Wall.

Chinese cuisine comes in countless varieties across different regions and is considered to be one of the best in the world.

Cost of Living
The overall cost of living is very low, from about $200-$400 (US) per month depending upon location; larger cities are generally more expensive, but still very reasonable. Since few Chinese citizens own cars, public transportation such as buses and rail are well developed and inexpensive to use.

Change currency

Basic monthly living cost

  • Rent in a shared flat

  • Share of utilities

  • Internet subscription

  • Local transportation


Sample lifestyle cost

  • Fast food combo

  • Cinema ticket

  • Pint of local beer


About China

Higher Education in China

China has more than 2,000 universities and colleges that offer bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Institutes of higher education are concentrated in the eastern half of the country. China currently hosts more than 300,000 international students; the majority of foreign students are from Asian countries, Russia, the United States, and France.

Chinese higher education institutions have significant autonomy in choosing academic programs and organizational structure, making many schools attractive to international students.

Why Study in China?

Many people obtain a master's degree in China for cultural and language experiences. In addition, the cost of a master's degree is much lower than in Europe, the United States, or even most Asian countries. China has well-regarded master’s programs in disciplines such as engineering, science, economics, and business administration, as well as unique programs in areas such as Chinese language and martial arts.

Although most master’s degree programs require proficiency in Chinese, many programs are now offered in English, especially for disciplines in engineering and business.


Recent government reforms and investments have moved nine Chinese schools into the top 200 as ranked by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) - Peking University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Zhejiang University. China established the ARWU to use as a benchmark for evaluating the quality of Chinese institutes of higher education.

Master’s degrees are available in a wide range of disciplines, such as medicine, management, economics, engineering, philosophy, law, education, history, natural science and even military science. For those interested in studying primarily Chinese language and cultural studies, some institutions offer special programs for international students, such as the Beijing Language and Culture University.

Tuition and Program Duration

Tuition prices for master's degrees in China vary greatly depending on your school of choice, as well as the location. In order to find out specific tuition costs, it is best to contact a university for the most current information and listings.

Academic Year

The academic year is based on two semesters, autumn and spring. The autumn semester starts in September and ends in late January or early February and the spring semester runs from February through June.

Post-Graduate Opportunities

There are many employment opportunities for individuals with advanced degrees to teach in China. Non-Chinese master’s degree graduates will also be highly sought after by companies around the world that do business with China.

Visa Requirements

All international students require a visa. There are two types of visas for students, the Study visa (X-visa), which is for programs lasting more than six months, and the Business visa (F-visa) for programs of less than six months. The visa application process takes 2-4 weeks. In some cases, students are allowed to arrive in China with a tourist visa and then convert it to a Study visa.

Health Insurance

The universities provide health insurance for a set cost. Students must have a current medical examination before they can begin studying, which they can obtain in their home country or after arriving in China.


Chinese currency is called Renminbi, abbreviated RMB. RMB units are in Yuan, also sometimes called Jiao and Fen. The use of foreign currency in China is prohibited, but banks and many hotels provide exchange services.

MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club, and JCB card are the only credit cards currently accepted in China.

The official language in China is Standard Mandarin, which is based on the dialect of Mandarin spoken in Beijing. However, only 70 percent of the population speaks Mandarin as their first language and many distinct regional dialects exist across the country.

Prospective international students should work with the Chinese embassy in their country to ensure all immigration and other entrance requirements are met before traveling to China.

Visa Requirements

  • X1 Visa - issued to those who go to China to study for more than 6 months.
  • X2 Visa - issued to those who go to China to study for a period of less than 6 months.

What type of Visa do you need?

Visa name

Student Visa (X1 Visa; X2 Visa)

Price and currency

The student visa application fee varies according to your nationality, the number of entries required, the country you are applying in, and whether you want an express service. The fees can be around $30 to $150.

Who can apply for the visa?

Any foreign student who intends to study in China will have to obtain China student visa (X visa). This visa is granted to those students who have already been accepted for admission by a recognized educational institute in China.

Where can you make the application?

Chinese Embassy or Consulate or at the Chinese diplomatic mission

You can submit your visa application form at the Chinese Embassy or Consulate or at the Chinese diplomatic mission in your home country. In case you cannot come personally for the submission, you can send it through a travel agency or a visa agency for submission on your behalf. Remember that applications sent by post are not accepted by most of the Chinese Embassies or Consulates.


How to make the application?

You can download the visa form here: Fill the visa application form carefully and accurately on your computer. Take a printout of the filled-in application form and sign it. Remember that a print out of the application form is essential as hand-written forms are not acceptable. Note that change or correction is not allowed on the printed form.

The following documentation should be submitted at the Chinese Embassy or Consulate:

  1. Original passport with at least six months of remaining validity and blank visa pages, and a photocopy of the passport's data page and the photo page if it is separate.
  2. One completed Visa Application Form with a recently-taken color passport photo (bare-head, full face) against a light background.
  3. Proof of legal stay or residence status (applicable to those not applying for the visa in their country of citizenship)
  4. Original and photocopy of the Admission Letter issued by a school or other entities in China.
  5. Original and photocopy of "Visa Application for Study in China" (Form JW201 or Form JW202).

After arrival: X1 visa holders must register at the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) within 30 days of arrival in China and apply for a Temporary China Residence Permit from the local PSB. X2 holders shall stay in China within the duration period as indicated on the visa, and it is not necessary for them to apply for the temporary residence permit.

When should you apply?

Apply for a student visa at least a few weeks in advance of your planned travel date to allow enough time for the application procedure to be completed on time for you to join your course. The regular processing time is 4 working days. If you want to collect your visa earlier, express service and rush service are available for an extra charge.

X1 visa is normally issued for multiple entries with validity of up to 5 years. X2 visa is usually issued for one entry with validity for up to 6 months.

Processing time

4 Days

Work opportunities

Foreign students are permitted to do part-time work in China. The university should issue a Consent Letter; the hiring unit/company should issue a Certification; the police station will then mark on your visa "Part-time-work; Part-time-study".

Hours per week


Why do you need this type of visa?

Here are some important things that you should not do when applying for a student visa to China:

  • Do not attempt to submit your student visa application form by sending it through the post as it will not be accepted.
  • Do not present false documents for your student visa.
  • Do not hide or misrepresent facts in your visa application.