Living in China

Living in China

Dec,03 2014

Studying in China will not only allows you to witness the dramatic changes of a 5000-year historic country but also gives you a chance to make a lot of friends from all over the world. Maybe you have already been told by your friends who are studying in China that life in China is quite cozy and comfortable. However, I bet you want to know a more vivid picture of the real life in China.

Cashless and Cardless Payment

As China moves towards a cashless and cardless society,e-transactions have become a part of daily life. Mobile payment like Alipay, Wechat e-wallet and Apple Paycan be used in most malls, stores, supermarkets, andeven with street vendors. Having an account on one of these platforms will definitely make your shopping experience easier. Chinese people are increasingly less likely to carry wallets, as most payments can be made by smartphone.


As an international student, you can choose several ways of accommodation in China: living in school dormitories, renting an apartment outside the campus

For most of the students, the popular way is to accommodate in school dormitories. Most Chinese universities provide very good and comfortable dormitories for international students. Dormitories for international students usually have private bathrooms with TV, Internet access, washing machine, and refrigerators all available. The general costs of accommodation on campus range from 400 to1, 500 USD a year for different type of rooms in different cities. For example, the accommodation of a university in Beijing and Shanghai usually cost more than 1,000 USD a year for a double room and more than 1,500 USD for a single room. However, it will only cost about 600-800 USD a year for a double room in smaller cities such as Qingdao or Dalian. It could be even cheaper in some other cities.

Though a few universities allow all students to live off campus, in most of the cases, Chinese universities only allow senior students to apply for off-campus accommodation or even don’t allow any student to do so. If you want to live off campus, the first thing you should do is to get permission from your university co-coordinator. Remember don’t move out without notifying anyone.

All Your Favorite Food Is in China!

China is an amazing country not only because of the splendid cultures and history, but also for its various world-class cuisines. You can easily find your home-taste food with least efforts. From hamburgers to Kebab, from hotdogs to Korean cuisine, you name it.

On one hand, Chinese local cuisine will at utmost satisfy your appetite. It is hard for many foreigners to imagine the diversity of Chinese cuisine until arriving in China. There are eight main Chinese cuisines and each type has its own identifying features. For example, Sichuan cuisine is spicy-hot and heavy in flavor while Huaiyang cuisine is fresh and light. Regardless of where you choose to study in China, regional cuisines from across the country can be found in any Chinese city and there must be at least one type that suits you.

On the other hand, there are a variety of international foods in modern cities of China. You can find Italian, Indian and French restaurant etc in Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, Dalian and some other cities easily. If you fancy Korean and Japanese food, there are numerous restaurants which provide very typical and authentic Korean and Japanese food in most of the coastal cities like Qingdao in Shandong province, Dalian in Liaoning Province.

What’s more, the western fast food franchised chains such as KFC, McDonald’s, Pizzahut, Subway, and Starbucks Coffee are opened all over China.

Because China is a multinational state, there are a large portion of Muslim residents living in most cities around China. Muslim restaurant is a common sight in most Chinese cities and you can find Halal food easily. Vegetarianism is not widely practiced in China but Buddhist restaurants do exist and you can always find meat-free options on a Chinese menu.

Foods served on Chinese campus are really diverse and tasteful. Chinese universities offer a variety of flavors and dishes for student to choose from, including western food, vegetarian food, Halal food and so on.

Food in China is really affordable. It costs averagely less than 1 USD for a meal while dining in universities or small restaurants, and some bigger ones cost about 2-5 USD a person. Of course, there are also “luxurious” types of restaurant which will cost you much more for some special or classical food. It is your choice then.

Travel in China Easily and Comfortably!

Chinese transportation system has been well developed during the past few decades. There are many world class international airports in China, such as the Capital International Airport, Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Guangzhou Bai Yun Airport. It is also known to all that China boasts one of the world’s most completed railway system connecting the whole country. You can easily travel from one city to another either by air or by train. Of course, most of the time, it is much more economic to travel by train. However, more frequently, the Chinese airlines offer many attractive discounts on the price of air tickets, and sometimes the final price of the air tickets are even similar with or lower than the price of train ticket for the same destination.

What about the daily transportation? The situation is similar in most of the modern cities in China. You can take bus, taxi, subway or rent a car to move from one place to another very conveniently. Currently, not every city in China has subway system but many subways of the middle size cities in China are under construction.

Transportation Fees in Chinese Main Cities

Average Dinner1.5 USDBottle of Beer60 US cents
Packet of cigarettes1 USDBus Fare30 US cents
1/2 kg Pork2 USD1/2 kg Beef3 USD
McDonald’s Big Mac2.3 USDMovie Ticket6 USD
Brandy Laptop540 USDBrand New Jeans30 USD
Internet Cafés40 US cents

Maybe you don’t know. There are also convenience stores selling good quality and diverse stuffs with reasonable prices on campus, so you can buy your basic necessities without stepping out of your campus.

Find a doctor

One thing you may consider is how to get medical treatment when studying in China. The Chinese medical system consists mostly of public and private hospitals. Small and personalized clinics are also available. Generally speaking, there are many public hospitals in all parts of China and most superior hospitals have established specific clinics which are particularly designed to provide medical services and health care for foreigners in China. With professional qualified nurses and doctors who can speak fluent English in those clinics, foreigners are expecting to receive good treatment there. For those who first come to China, the emergency call number for medical service is 120, which is 24-hour call and for free.

China’s media system is experiencing an internationalization process; there are some local English-speaking news media in China nowadays. CCTV 9 is an English channel available in most cities. English newspapers like China Daily are available in various spots ranging from upscale hotels and common bookstalls throughout China. You can also read them on your laptop through wireless network in some cafes.


According to the regulations of the Ministry of Education of China, any international student who studies in China needs to be covered by medical insurance and join the group medical insurance plan designated by his/her university/college that meets the fundamental medical insurance standard. lt's highly recommended to purchase insurance before arriving in China. There is a risk that an international student will not be allowed to register if the insurance is not purchased within the specified time.