The cost of studying and living in China

Cost of studying at a university in China

How much are the cost of living, tuition fees and other study expenses in China for international students?

Universities’ tuition fees have changed a lot in China. In recent years, the country has made huge investment in the field of education. This went along China’s great economic development and growth of the recent decades. 

Inevitably, these positive changes have contributed to attract thousands of international students who come to study abroad in China. Moreover, the country has established valuable partnerships with institutions from countries already known for the quality of their education system. This is the case of the United States or the United Kingdom, to name just a few. 

Another reason why China is very attractive for international students is the fact that study costs in the country are affordable, compared to many other developed countries. On average, a student will spend about four thousand dollars on accommodation and two thousand dollars on common living expenses such as food, transportation and so on. However, these costs tend to vary from one region to another.

Here is our overview of the tuition fees as well as the living cost in China for international students.

The costs of studying at Chinese universities

Public universities

The average cost of studying at public universities in China is between $3,300 and $10,000 annually. Generally, the cost of studying for an English language course ranges between $2,200 and $4,500 per year.

Not to mention, medical, engineering and economics programs are estimated at 24,000 and 50,000 dollars.

Private universities

There are many private Chinese universities that offer several programs of study. In addition to this, there are also private American and British universities with branches in China.

Generally, the cost of studying in this type of university can range between $8,000 and $14,000 annually.

Low-cost universities

Here’s an example of universities that can accommodate a normal fee.

  • Nanjing University of Technology: The cost of studying at this university is around 4000 dollars.
  • China University of Science and Technology: The average cost of studying is 4,300 dollars.

Discover also our ranking of the cheapest universities in China

How much does tuition cost in international universities in China?

According to the article of the best universities in China, the ranking of the most important Chinese universities is also among the most prominent universities from around the world:

Cost of living in China for international students


China’s sprawling capital with a history stretching back 3 millennia.

Also, the most expensive city in living costs. It may take about $700 to $900 a month to cover the cost of living. This showcase how rapid the city is!

Known for modern architecture as its ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex, the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Nearby is the site of Mao Zedong’s mausoleum and the National Museum of China


Shanghai is also among the most expensive cities in China for the cost of living, with around 650 and 750 dollars a month.

Similarly, the price is almost similar to Beijing, which makes you wonder how these two cities in China are different for others!

However, in other Chinese cities, you can spend about 440 and 550 dollars a month to cover different costs of living.

Cost of living in China: Student housing

Available options for student housing in China are many, and the cost of each one is according to its type and advantages. Here’s a brief info about it!

  • Student residence halls prices for the students’ residents are around $150 to $400 per month.
  • Apartment rent: The average price ranges between 250 and 1000 USD per month for a one-bedroom apartment, not to mention this price is depending on the city, location, and amenities.
  • Homestay: This one comes between $350 and $550 per month.
  • Finally, all accommodations (mostly student apartments and apartments) require a security deposit of about $300 to 460. Not to mention, your utility bills can be about $50 a month for water, gas, and electricity.

Learn here how you can benefit from a student accommodation in China

Eating costs and transportation

The cost of a meal in the university restaurant or in a fast-food restaurant and comes between one and four dollars. The average monthly bill for students may be between 170 and 200 dollars a month. Ever thought of alternatives to fast food?

One of the best things about China is its diverse transportation network, which comes at very low prices. The monthly cost of transportation to a student is around $15.

Finally, check out my articles about how to get admitted to a university in China. Also, don’t forget to check out our ranking of the best universities in China.

About Sam

Sam is an editor in chief at Aljawaz, with a decade-plus experience in improving and advising students travelling progams in Asia, North America and EU. Views are his own.


  1. Jennifer D. Harris

    Just want to say your article is as amazing. The clearness in your submit is simply nice and that I can assume you’re an expert in this subject.

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