Study in China Guide for British Students

Why study in China?

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Are you interested in studying in China? There has never been a better time for British Students to study in the fastest growing economy. Get ahead of the rest, and give you career a head start, by building a greater understanding of China. Studying in China will be an adventure that you will never forget, and it will put you in good stead for China’s economic rise, while also providing you with sought after transferrable skills and cultural experience that will give you an edge in the job market. Check out our 8 reasons to study in China

“The value of a student’s international experience goes beyond purely the acquisition of language – it lies in the ability to see business and personal issues from other than your own cultural perspective.”
Charles Macleod, Head of UK Resourcing, PricewaterhouseCooper

About Chinese Universities

With over 2,000 Universities, and over 7 million Chinese students graduating from University each year, China has the largest network of Universities in the world. With 377,054 international students studying in China in 2014, China is now the third largest study abroad destination (after US and UK).

From the beautiful campus and cherry blossom of Wuhan University, to studying at Shanghai Jiaotong University in the bustling streets of Shanghai, and studying Chinese at the Central Academy of Drama in the old city of Beijing. You are sure to have a unique experience in China. For further information on Chinese Universities, click the University page here.


What can you study in China?

There hundreds of high quality programs in English, and short term Chinese language programs. Such as: Economics, Business, Finance, Law, or Chinese. You can study for 1 semester, 1 year, or take a Master’s or PhD program.

Some examples of programs attractive for British students are:

 – Chinese Language Program at Central Academy of Drama – this is one of China’s best kept study secrets. Study Chinese in the heart of old Beijing in Nanluoguxiang, as one of only a handful of foreigners. With the small amount of foreign students in this area, learn Chinese with the upcoming Chinese movie stars.

 – Chinese Language Program at Peking University – study Chinese at China’s top University, with the beautiful campus, and surrounded by the elite of Chinese students, learn Chinese and build your network. This is a great first step for those who want to get ahead in China.

– Semester Program at any University in China, such as Business or Law or Economics such as at Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University. Many Chinese Universities allow students to study as a semester student in any subject. Although this is not always advertised. This can make for a great study experience.

Master’s Program in Business at UIBE. Not sure what to do next? Study a Master’s degree in China at UIBE in Law, Business or Economics. Not sure which one to pick? You can also take credits in other discipline. Take the master’s program, you only need to take the classes in the first year, in the second year you can stay in China (or travel back to UK or elsewhere if you wish) and take an internship or work while you complete your thesis.

For a full list, check out our searchable list of over 800 high quality English language programs in China

Student Experiences

What is life like in China for British students?

Chinese people are generally very welcoming to international students, and many student find it enjoyable making new Chinese and international friends from all over the world. The picture below is from a British Roast dinner organised by some members of the British Community Beijing

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There are currently over 5,000 British students in China, and the British Council has set a target of 100,000 British students by 2020, so the number is only set to increase as more British students reap the benefit of studying in China.

Living in China is a fascinating experience and can suit many different types of people. With the fast pace of economic growth, there are many opportunities for work or business. Chinese people are generally very welcoming and friendly to foreigners. Students can learn Chinese, kungfu, table tennis, and visit the many tourist sites in China and the surrounding region. You can also enjoy the many varieties and specialties of Chinese cuising, from hotpot, to xibei, dimsum to dumplings and roast duck.  Studying in China makes for a rich life, and huge opportunities for personal growth.

Frederick Leclarcq from UK studied the LLM Program at CUPL, here is what he said about his experience.


“CUPL has an excellent reputation in the legal world. It is interesting and exciting studying law here in Beijing. Studying law in China is an excellent opportunity and I can’t think of any better place to do it than CUPL. My classes here are always interesting, students from different cultures and legal backgrounds discuss law in China with insightful and helpful professors.”
Frederick Leclarcq, LLM Student from UK

For more student experiences check out the

How much does it cost to study in China?

The cost of living in China is very low compared to other countries and particularly compared to UK, with a wide variety of accommodation options to suit different budgets. The cost of food is also quite cheap, and there is a wide range of options. Check out our cost of living breakdown.

Travel Opportunities

Another advantage of living in China is the opportunity for travel within China, and also the wide variety of tourist destinations within China, such as the guilin lakes, the mountains, and wild grassland of Xinjiang, to name a few. Also outside, such as Korea, Japan, and South East Asia. Being based in China is a great opportunity to travel to new countries and cultures.


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Working in China

Some students will be able to work whilst they are studying in China, either part time or in the holidays. Working can be a great way to get additional experience and enhance your employability or find opportunities for after you graduate. There is legislation about working in China for students and it is your responsibility to check and ensure that you comply with all the requirements. Previously international students were not permitted to work in China, but now it is allowed if you get permission from your University.


Internships are a valuable way of getting real experience in China, and can enhance your skillset and improve your employability. They can also broaden your network.

You can search for opportunities online by looking at adverts in University cafes, or through websites such as, you can also attend networking events. Another way is to ask your University professors or director of the university program, because they will have industry links and can help to make an introduction to help you find an internship. You can also try contacting companies yourself.


There are also a number of available scholarships in China. Students need to be sponsored by an institution in order to get a scholarship. The institution can be the Chinese embassy in your country or University. The scholarships are only open to students who are applying to start in September, not in February.

*Hint* There are a large number of unfilled scholarship opportunities for British students to obtain in China particularly in the fields of law and also in other programs taught in English.


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