How Much It Cost To Study Abroad in China, Is It Cheap ?

Do you consider to study in Mainland China? Maybe this post is for you…

Right now I am moving from my country Indonesia to Guangzhou China for some time, and I will share how much it cost to study here. So this topic will mainly be focused about Guangzhou (south city of china) living cost and school fees.

Why Guangzhou
  • Guangzhou living cost is relatively cheap compared to other cities like Beijing, Shanghai.
  • Canton Fair (Google it now if you don’t know about it, and maybe I will write some post about it)
  • Many wholesale markets for you who want start to sell some item in your country. (if you compare it to other city Guangzhou is the best for you who want to search what item you want to sell)

as you see 2 of 3 main reason I described is about businesses, the truth is many many many students in my school come here for businesses purpose especially older people, and I describe it for several types:

  • Type A = a person that rarely attend the class, they spend their time mostly research the Guangzhou wholesale market trying to find some item to import/bring back to their country, so in short, this person just wants the student visa. And Usually, this kind of person just stay here for 5 months. I saw many Russians in my school doing so, they skip the morning class and in the afternoon, I saw a bunch of them bringing several big boxes.
  • Type B = a person who attend 70% of the class, they seriously want to learn the Chinese language but just barely enough to communicate with the seller.
  • Type C = a person who study a lot/nothing at all. Study a lot so they can enter Chinese college, or never study at all just to satisfy they parent that they trying to learn the Chinese/ want to experience live in China.

So Guangzhou is not a bad place for you who want to start business and learn chinese.

How Much it cost

Let’s get back to the topic. Living cost in here is relatively very cheap compared to Europeans country.


  • Bus:  3.5 Cents  | Train : 2 Cents – $2 (at most $2 and if it is very far maybe 1hours++ trip)
  • Eating on the street: $1.5~$3 |Eating in some fine restaurant: $10-$20
  • Mobile Phone: $5-$8
  • Internet: start from $5~$120/monthly – unlimited
  • Book: $20-$50
  • Visa: $70/apply for under 1 year duration
  • Medical Checkup: $75

If you are low budget and can easily adjust I suggest you stay in the dormitories, or if you more comfortable in your own unit you can rent an apartment for around $260/month. If you not so fancy with the high-end restaurant, so I think you can manage with $200/month to cover your living cost (except the accommodation). $500/month will make you eat anything you want without thinking too much about the price. Keep in mind you will spend some extra cost in your first month for your visa/medical checkup, and your room/dorm equipment. Here is some reference Cost in China.

How about the school fees? My school isn’t that very well known so I’ll describe another 2 references with the school website link, For your information, Sun Yet Sen is the no.1 university in Guangzhou, Jinan is well known, and Guangzhou Overseas is my school:

Please be aware the fees above is for Language School, not University (short-term study). And you shouldn’t expect too much about the dormitories but at least your dorm toilet gonna be the best toilet you can find in China lol.

Scholarships for international students

Almost every big university in China have Scholarships for an international student. Since they want you to spread their language and their culture theChinese government has set a scholarship scheme, providing full or partial funding for tuition fees for both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Every University has their own criteria for the scholarships, some required at least HSK 4, and some don’t. If you have decided which University / School you want to go, I think you can find easily about the scholarships on their website. or you can just search it here Check Scholarships in China.



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