When it comes to deciding where to pursue higher education, there are countless factors to consider. From academic quality to cost-effectiveness, cultural immersion to personal growth, prospective students often find themselves at a crossroads, weighing various options. While we can certainly provide you with many reasons why China is an increasingly popular choice for international students, sometimes, it’s more enlightening to hear these insights straight from the students themselves. In this article, we compiled the compelling reasons given from a multitude of our student interviews (which you can watch in full over on our Youtube channel). Then, we dive a little further to see if other students share the same sentiments.
What are your reasons for studying in China? Leave us a comment below to let us know!
1 A Fascination with China’s Culture
- “I have been interested in China since I was a kid. I don’t know why.”
- “I wanted a changing culture. I also want to see the country for myself because you hear about China a lot in the news, and I wanted to see what it was for real.”
2 Quality Education and Cost
- “I always wanted to explore the world. I looked all over the world to study, and China offered the best fit in terms of education quality and cost. I actually have close family members who have been to China, and they just gave amazing reviews of the culture, the people, and the quality of education.”
3 Diverse International Community
- “[My classmates are] coming from all over the world – from Egypt, from Morocco, from Africa… all over the world! It’s very diverse. I look forward to getting a cultural experience, speaking Chinese. I look forward to all of those things”
- “What’s surprising to me is that I’ve learned so much about other cultures, not only the Chinese culture but cultures from France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Russia, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, you know, the list goes on. There are just so many people there.”
- “We have so many amazing people here – besides students, their professors are so broad-minded. They inspire me in so many different aspects of my life. So I’m in this great environment, and that’s basically what I wanted when I came here, right? I would definitely suggest trying it out; this is an amazing adventure.”
4 A Modern, Dynamic Country
- “When I got to China, I saw so many things I didn’t expect. I didn’t expect people to speak English; I didn’t expect people to be friendly.”
- “Every part of China, they have their own specialty food – everything is different. The safety – that’s the first thing that comes to my mind, how fast everything is in China, how fast and how convenient. That’s what I really like about China.”
- “The university looks really cool, and the city is just gorgeous, so I was like, you know what, I might give it a shot. China has been really amazing. When I first arrived, I remember just being in awe; this city is crazy gorgeous. I did not think it would be like this. The city is very modern and it’s really clean, very organized. It really opened my perspective, helped me become more open-minded and more understanding of how different people act from different countries or cultures.”
5 Personal Growth and Perspective
- “This experience here in China has been incredible for me. It has only been four months, but I feel like I am such a different person in ways of seeing things and how I deal with people.”
6 Infrastructure and Convenience
- “Ten years ago, it’s nothing like it is now. It’s much more developed, much bigger. That transformation is just so beautiful to see. That’s what I like about China, developing so fast.”
- “Life in Suzhou was really convenient. Especially Alipay and WeChat. I find it a step-up from the life I have witnessed in India. Being in XJTLU brought about the best in me, which I had not experienced anywhere else. So I like the infrastructure that they have, especially in Suzhou. I literally have everything around me,”
Diving deeper into the motivating factors for students in China, a study published in Springer journal identified the following top reasons, many of which were also shared by the students we interviewed.
7 Optimistic Belief in China’s Future Development
Many students are drawn to China because of their optimistic belief in China’s future development prospects. This sentiment is reflected in their statements, such as, “China’s economy is developing so well, and Chinese will become more and more popular,” and “China is undergoing rapid development and reform. This would be a wonderful opportunity to witness this historical moment and to learn and conduct research at the heart and leading frontier of the world.”
“Just remember, such a platform is going to open amazing doors in the future. China is going to be a big part of the future. Living in China is a whole new concept for us, discovering new cultures, new people. So that’s the best environment for us to study in. I have a really big important opportunity because if I finish my studies here, I will have many options to go further.”
8 Bright Prospects of Learning the Chinese Language
International students recognize the importance of language skills in the global job market. Learning Chinese is seen as a valuable asset that can enhance career prospects. As one student pointed out, “If a Vietnamese knows both English and Chinese, it is quite easy to find jobs with high salaries.” Learning Chinese also opens doors to opportunities such as interpretation and translation services.
9 Access to Scholarships
Scholarships play a crucial role in the decision-making process for many international students. These scholarships provide not only financial support but also recognition of the students’ capabilities and experience. Scholarships are particularly vital for students who may not have adequate financial resources otherwise. As one student from Kyrgyzstan emphasized, “My dream finally came true when I received a scholarship from China.”
10 Professional Career Development
Many students are driven by the desire for self-development and professional growth. Some study in China to improve their job performance, like the Vietnamese student who teaches Chinese at a university and came to China to enhance her Chinese language skills. Others are passionate about specific fields of study and believe that studying in China provides them with unique opportunities to pursue their academic interests.
11 Exploration of Different Cultures
For some international students, studying in China is not just about academics but also about experiencing a different culture. They seek adventure and the challenge of living in the “mysterious country” of China. As one Canadian student put it, “More and more, people like to go to Germany or countries in Asia, rather than the US or the UK, as these cultures are similar to ours.”
12 Reconnecting with Chinese Culture
Some students of Chinese descent choose to study in China to reconnect with their cultural roots. Growing up in countries where Chinese is not the primary language, they come to China to learn about their heritage and fill the cultural gaps. This sense of identity and cultural belonging drives them to study in China.
Seize the Opportunity; Apply Now
From personal growth and cultural immersion to educational opportunities and the allure of China’s rapid development, it’s clear that China holds a unique appeal for international students looking to broaden their horizons. As one student wisely advises, if you have the opportunity to study in China, seize it; you will never regret it.