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    Cost of Living in China

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    Cost of Living in China: The affordability of study and living costs in China is pretty most the main characteristics enticing international students to turn their direction toward China. Where countries like UK, USA, and Australia are offer high standards of education, altogether they are an expensive option. Compared China is investing a huge amount of money in the improvement of its educational sector and ensuring the international quality of education with cost-effective tuition fees. Scholarships and fee waiver programs being run by the Chinese Government is another contributing factor in making China a popular study abroad destination.

    Cost of Living in China

    An economically progressive country China hosts over 489,000 international students each year and the numbers are increasing. Internationally recognized degrees, professional grooming, affordable living, and cultural and historical adventure of China make it a top study abroad choice.

    Cost Of Study In China

    China is home to many top-ranked international universities such as Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Public universities have relatively lower tuition fees than private universities which have their tuition fee criteria. The tuition fee also depends on the study program and duration of the study program and academic level.

    -On average, the tuition fee in Chinese public universities for different courses will range between 3,300 and 10,000 USD/year.
    -On average, the tuition fee in private universities for different courses will range from 10,000 USD/year to 20,000 USD/year.
    Note: The above estimation of the fee is for courses other than medicine, engineering, and business management. The courses related to engineering, medicine, and business management are more expensive than others.

    Tuition Fee in High Ranking Chinese Universities:

    -Peking University: The fee of the undergraduate English taught program at Peking University will cost £10,686 for the whole four years of study.
    -Tsinghua University: The fee for English teaching in the undergraduate program at Tsinghua University will cost 7,500 USD/year.
    -Fudan University: The fee for an English taught undergraduate program will cost from 8,000 to 11,000 USD/year.

    Medicine Field

    Under Graduate: English taught program in Chinese University will cost 2200-5000 USD/year. Chinese taught program will cost about 3000-4000 USD / year.
    Post Graduate Masters: English taught program will cost 2500-6000 USD /year. Chinese taught program will cost about 2000-4500 USD / year.
    Post Graduate Ph.D.: English taught program will cost 3000-7000 USD/year. Chinese taught program will cost about 3000-6000 USD / year.

    Engineering Field

    Diploma: English taught program will cost you about 1500 USD / year. Chinese taught program will cost you about 1500 USD / year.
    Under Graduate: English taught program will cost you about 2200-3500 USD / year. Chinese taught program will cost you about 2000-3000 USD / year.
    Post Graduate Masters: English taught program will cost you about 3000-4500 USD / year. Chinese taught program will cost you about 2500-4000 USD / year.
    Post Graduate Ph.D.: English taught program will cost you 4000-6000 USD/ year. Chinese taught program will cost you about 2500 -5000USD / year.

    Business and Management Field

    Diploma: English taught and Chinese taught programs both will cost you about 1500 USD / year.
    Under Graduate: English taught program will cost you about 2000-5000 USD / year. Chinese taught program will cost you about 1500-4000 USD / year.
    Post Graduate Masters: English taught program will cost about 3000-5000 USD / year. Chinese taught program costs about 2000-4500 USD / year.
    Post Graduate Ph.D.: English taught program will cost about 4000-6000 USD / year. Chinese taught program will cost about 2500-5000 USD / year.

    Living Costs In China

    The cost of living mainly depends on your spending habits and your lifestyle. China is an affordable country to live in. The accommodation, transportation, health care, and food expenditures will never be hard on your pocket if you manage your expenses with consideration and modesty. The living expenses will also fluctuate based on the location and city of China you wish to live in. For Example, Beijing and Shanghai are expensive in most cities of China but most top-rated universities are situated there.

    The cost of living varies in China according to where you are geographical. There are also different options for what lifestyle you can choose. In coastal metropolises like Shanghai, Shenzhen, or Guangzhou, the price can be high. The price is all dependent on the lifestyle you choose.

    To have a comfortable living standard, one perhaps needs just as many financial resources as one would in Sydney or Seattle. Shanghai, for example, is amongst the top 10 cities when it comes to living costs in the world. The average salary for a white-collar worker in Shanghai is 1000 US Dollars. If you have a budget of 1000 USD per month, it will be enough. It is always good to look for some extra work. For example, there is always plenty of opportunities for English teachers. This can bring you some extra pocket money.

    Generally, you need 3000/5000 RMB (4000/600 USD) to afford an apartment in Shanghai. The cost of food is very individual. You can get shark fin soup for 60 USD a bowl or 1 USD for beef noodles on the street corners. Fast food such as KFC (Kentucky fried chicken) and McDonald’s are cheaper in China, at 4 to 5 dollars.

    Smaller cities can however be much cheaper in terms of living costs. Hiring a taxi in Xi’an, a Midwest city in China, for instance, costs no more than 8 US dollars for up 30 kilometers. An apartment (1 room) will cost you no more than 150 USD per month in those smaller cities.

    Costs of food

    Apart from being a great study abroad destination, China is also famous for its diverse, interesting, and very affordable cuisine. A meal at the university canteen, a small local restaurant, or a fast-food chain should cost between 1 and 4 USD. Mid-range dining options (prices between 4 and 7 USD) include both Chinese and international dishes.

    If you buy food from the local supermarkets, you’ll spend around 170 – 200 USD/month. You can find international chain supermarkets like Walmart, Carrefour, Auchan, or Metro. If you want to save money, you should try to cook at home. Also, buy fruit and vegetables from the fresh markets and you can get a big shopping bag full of fruits for only 2 – 3 USD.

    Costs of Utilities and Connectivity

    If you use gas for cooking only, the gas bill for a two-person household is fairly low, at 50-100 CNY per month. Water is somewhat more expensive, with approximately 80 CNY, but electricity is the largest expense. Since summers can be hot and humid, you’ll need the air-conditioning a lot. For an 80m² apartment, this quickly adds an average of 500 CNY a month to your cost of living in China.

    Domestic phone calls on the landline tend to come cheapy, for as little as 30 CNY per month. You usually pay extra for a monthly flat rate tariff at Chinese-style housing, whereas the phone bill is often included in the rent for ex-pat apartments.

    Internet access – uncapped, without a set data limit – requires spending up to another 150 CNY per month. For your mobile communication needs, you can choose a pre-paid card and a minimum amount of 100 CNY, or you can choose a cell phone plan according to your specifications, e.g. 60 CNY for several hours of voice calls, 0.1 CNY per text message, etc. Also, make sure your phone supports the GSM standard.

    Costs of Utilities and Connectivity

    Even when you are insured, you will need to open up your wallet when visiting any sort of hospital in China. An appointment, especially if you go to private practice, can get fairly costly. For a consultation with a specialist or a routine dental check-up, you’ll pay about 600 CNY. And this doesn’t include any follow-up tests or further treatment.

    Transportation Expenditure In China

    In general, transport in China is relatively cheap. The prices for buses and urban railway systems vary from one city to another but, in most cases, a one-way ticket should cost you under 5 CNY.

    If you wish to travel around the country, you can choose to travel by plane, train, or bus. The communication between the major cities in China is very good with most modes of transportation offering departure times a few times per hour.

    China has excellent public transport at very low prices and even taxi rides are quite cheap. Here is a general list of prices for public transportation: a) Metro Ride: 0.5 USD b) 20-min taxi ride across town: 4 USD c) Taxi rate per km: 0.33 USD d) City bus: 0.3 USD

    Driving: For foreigners, driving in China will not come easily. Legally, you are not allowed to drive a car in China with a foreign (the UK, the US, European, etc.) or international driver’s license. As a tourist on a visitor’s visa, you can get a temporary driving permit to join the motorized traffic in China. Those staying longer have to apply for a Chinese license.

    Accommodation Costs In China

    International students have different residence options in china like other student cities of the world. Let’s take a look at residence options for international students.


    Almost every university in china offers on-campus accommodation to local and international students. These on-campus residences are called hostels or dormitories. These hostels are economical for students. Students may be charged according to facilities and location of residence. Students can be charged 3 Euro to 20 Euro per day for a room in the dormitory. Rent depends on the cities also. In big cities, you may be charged high rent and in small cities, you may be low rent.


    Students who cannot find a place in a hostel or don’t want to live in a hostel for any reason can rent their private apartment or flat near the university. The rent of flats is also varying as per location and facilities. Normally rent of a flat in student cities of china is 190 Euro to 380 Euro per month. Students can search for flats or apartments with the help of a realtor or commission agent. University also can help you to search for a flat or apartment. Some international students rent a flat or apartments on sharing basis. This is a very economical way of living in china. So make the decision wisely to live in china.

    On-Campus Housing in China for Pakistani Students

    Halls of Residence: The universities in China have arranged a well-managed accommodation plan for international students. The halls of residence are usually built purposely to meet the requirements of students belonging from different countries. The halls of residence are located near university campuses and you will be living among your fellow faculty mates.

    Single or Shared Room facility: The students are offered to rent a single bedroom or have a shared bedroom facility in the halls of residence. The rent will be different but the facilities will be the same.

    Cost: A single bedroom will cost 21900 RMB per year and a shared room will cost 10950 RMB per year. Cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou are expensive in terms of housing.


    Hostels have almost similar facilities as halls of residence but they are managed by private student accommodation organizations and have a commercial purpose but they are affiliated with Universities and Colleges. You will find students belonging from different universities in one hostel. Since they are managed by private student accommodation organizations; you must be assured of aesthetically designed rooms and modern furniture in hostels. The hostels are also located near major universities and colleges in China but not as near as halls of residence. To book a room at a hostel, you can take assistance from your hosting Chinese University’s accommodation department or rent it on your own. You will be asked to deposit the rent 3 months in advance as security. The hostels have typically the atmosphere of a dormitory but with less scrutiny from managers.

    Single Room and Shared Room Facility: Similar to dormitories the students can take shared rooms or single rooms in Hostels. The rooms will have similar facilities but the rent will behalf in a shared facility. If you will enjoy the company of a roommate and it is not odd for you renting a shared room will save you money.

    Cost: The cost of renting a single room may vary according to the location of your hostel and city in China. But on average the cost of a single room will be? 50 RMB per month and? 25 RMB for a shared room.

    Off-Campus Housing

    The international students enrolled in post-graduate programs are allowed to live in off-campus housing facilities. To search for an off-campus housing facility, there are websites, real estate agents, and even the international student department of your hosting Chinese university that will assist in this pursuit. The location and city of your intended stay will be the factor behind the monthly rent. To live in an off-campus housing facility knowing the city well is extremely important, it is not for those who are traveling to China for the first time. But if you want to stay off-campus you must either know someone in China, have a friend or relative known to the whereabouts of the country or you must stay in a hotel for a short term and then search for off-campus housing. There are private flats, studio apartments and homestay options in off-campus housing each has different facilities and monthly rents. After knowing China and making new friends that are reliable and trustworthy, many international students book an off-campus housing facility with their friends and share monthly bills. That way they can divide their home chores, cut the cost in half and live independently.

    Private Flat:

    A furnished three-bedroom flat in cities like Beijing and Shanghai is expensive to deal with. To find one you can take the services of your Chinese friends, real estate agents, and websites and newspapers ads. The private flat is for those students who prefer a private atmosphere and want silence to focus on their education. In on-campus housing, the atmosphere is crowded and there is limited freedom. But it has its benefits. In a private flat, you will have the freedom to do things according to your desire. Invite your friends at any time of the day or night you want. There is no restriction on your arriving and departing timings but the security is your responsibility. You can cook your meals per week and refrigerate them and do stuff according to your wishes.

    Cost: The costs of a private flat with one bedroom will b around $ 435 per month in urban cities of China. The bills for electricity, internet, and gas are not included in the rent. Besides monthly rent, the students have to deposit 3 months’ rent in advance and also pay a certain amount to the real estate agent as commission.

    Studio Apartment:

    China is a fast-paced and economically growing country. The infrastructures of the cities are modernly designed owing to the needs of working-class people. You can find contemporary-designed studio apartments in China quite easily.

    Cost: The cost of renting a studio apartment in China will be around $ 435 /Month to $ 573 /Month. The internet, electricity, gas, and water bills are not included in the rents

    Home Stay:

    Homestay is another off-campus housing option for international students in China. The homestay ads for homestay accommodation will be found on websites, newspapers and real estate agents can also assist you in finding one. Homestay accommodation is for those students who would prefer living in a family atmosphere and can follow rules and regulations set by their hosting family. It is a great way to learn the culture of China and hone your Chinese language skills. But before booking homestay accommodation keep in mind your privacy will be compromised and you cannot invite friends over to your place frequently as it might disturb your hosting family.

    Cost: The rent of homestay accommodation will be around $23 to $40 per night. The utility bills of electricity, water, and gas will be divided from the total bills according to your usage.

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