Studying abroad in China is relatively inexpensive, much cheaper than studying and living in European countries, the U.S., Japan, South Korea and many other countries. Normally the annual expense is from USD 6,000 to USD 9,000, depending on the location of university. A larger city will cost you more in tuition and accommodation, while a small town or a city in Western China may cost significantly less.
Specifically, the following costs are associated with studying abroad in China:
Application fee: USD 90 – 150, normally not in excess of USD 200.
Visa fee: This depends on your nationality and your local Chinese embassy or consulate. For instance, the visa fee for a U.S. citizen is USD 140. To confirm, please contact your nearest Chinese embassy or consulate.
Travel expenses: Air tickets may be expensive if you are coming from Europe, Africa or America. A one-way trip from the U.S. to China can be USD 600. Flying from within Asia is relatively cheap – students from Korea may fly as cheaply as USD 100.
Tuition: USD 2,000 – USD 4,000 annually
Textbook: USD 100, which will be charged by the university at the beginning of your course.
Accommodation fee: USD 3,000 annually
Living cost: about USD 2,000, mainly depending on your lifestyle, though eating out in China is very cheap compared to many other countries.
For your reference, here is a list of costs for an U.S. student studying in Beijing for one year.
If you would like to study Chinese language, the tuition fee varies between different cities. If your budget is limited, we suggest that you study in a smaller city or a city in Western China, where the studying expense will be decreased by 20% - 30%. These cities include: Xi'an, Chongqing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Changsha, Shenyang, Dalian, Qingdao, Lanzhou, Urumqi, Guiyang, etc. Meantime, the studying costs in such ‘first-tier’ cities as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Dalian, or Guangzhou are much higher than other cities in China.
Specifically, if you would like to study an MBBS program which is taught in English entirely, the tuition fee will be more expensive than other programs in China. The cheapest MBBS program is provided by Jiangsu University (in Zhenjiang) and is 22,000 RMB/year, while the most expensive one is offered by Tongji University (in Shanghai) and is 50,000 RMB/year. However, the average cost of MBBS programs is about 30,000 RMB/year, which is equivalent to about 5,000 USD/year.
If you can't afford the studying cost right now, we suggest you that you start by working on your Chinese. Then, if your HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test) score is high enough, you may be eligible for a Chinese Government Scholarship, which is available to assist international students study at Chinese universities
Note: It is not necessary to bring large amounts of cash with you. Many Chinese shopping malls, shopping centers, supermarkets, cinemas, etc., can accept debit and credit cards and ATMs are plentiful in most towns and cities.