It’s been five months since I’ve set foot on land of People’s Republic of China. How quickly I went from admiring it to loathing it to finally loving it. It has it’s moments, but I still enjoy every bit of it, and take it as yet another experience. I’ve grown to love it in my own way, and surrounded with incredible people I encourage you to do the same. Here’s my 5 reasons, why you should most definitely without a doubt Study Abroad in China and even more so Study in Beijing.
1.Beijing is still an affordable place to live and study
Even as a global city, Beijing is still an affordable place to live compared to London, Sydney or just about any western capital. How much you spend a month depends entirely on your habits, food and drink preference, and overall the choices that you make. As a student, you can spend as little or as much as you want in Beijing and live equally as comfortabe. Getting around costs 40 pence on average and most tourist attractions and other entertaining activities are fairly cheap even without a student discount. You can snowboard for £30, have fun at the water park for £20 or do white water rafting for £15. All these things that would cost you an arm and a leg in a world we live in, here could quite easily become a regular hobby. Feeding yourself is a bargain too! Of course, it depends how picky you are (which I am with food and otherwise) and if you’re happy with local Chinese food, you can spend as little as £1 a day! Western food and treats are a luxury here, so cost more than back home, anything western is usually triple the price you’d normally pay in London. But you’re in China right, so immerse yourself in the local culture and cuisine, once you tire of rice and greasy foods, you can always make yourself an omelette.
2.There is an abundance of scholarships to fund your study abroad in China
It has never been easier to come study in China. Whether you’re coming for a few months language study, a semester study abroad or a full out degree. You can have it with little effort so long that the motivation is there. Both UK and US are investing in programmes to encourage students to study abroad in China. Chinese government is basically throwing money at you to come and study in China. You just need to say yes! With Chinese Government Scholarship increasing to £9000+ this year, there is no excuse not to take the chance. They even now have arrangements in place to fund your travel here (I wasn’t so lucky!). So compared to the cost of study in western countries, it is a damn good option. I would still recommend to do undergraduate degree in the western world, however master’s in China is certainly a plus. There are countless courses taught in English and if you rock at Mandarin already, then degrees taught in Chinese will be right up your alley. Maybe.
3.Studying in Beijing (or China) will push your boundaries
You’ve heard it all before, traveling or studying abroad will open your mind and push you out of your comfort zone. That’s true. But China will put you in a slingshot and shoot you like an angry bird and you’ll bounce around like a pingball until you can’t remember what comfort zone is never mind see its boundaries. Nothing will challenge your preconceptions about life like living in China will. You’ll deal with things you never had to deal with before, issues that are too simple back home become unsolvable puzzles that you want to give up more often than you’d like. But you don’t, you grow balls and learn to appreciate little things that we take for granted. You’ve never know struggle until you’ve been shoved and pushed in a subway meat grinder in Beijing, been cut in a queue on every occasion, became succesfull at avoiding a spit flying in your face by an inch with every other step you take, and I could go on and on.. This needs to be experienced! And you’ll love the chopsticks. Who needs forks anyway!
4.There’s The Great Wall of China in YOUR city
The Great Wall of China is so great, that it deserves its own spot on this list. It is after all one of the Seven Wonders of The World. I’ve been there, it is amazing and a feeling that you get standing on this great wall that has been there for thousands of years its indescribable. You’ll get to experience it once you come to study in Beijing, as it is only couple of hours drive from Beijing. To my surprise, I failed to write a blog post about my trip there, so I will definitely do that in coming days! To complement The Great Wall of China, there are numerous world famous sights to visit, the awe-inspiring Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven is Unesco World Heritage Site and there are many more. Once you’ve had enough of all the temples, there are futuristic modern architecture to admire and little narrow hutongs all around Beijing, where you can soak in cultural contrasts seeing a woman washing clothes outside her hutong house opposite of which, trendy new bar hosting hip Chinese and foreigners alike with prices to rival New York. You need to see it, to believe it. No one does rough and filthy rich quite like Beijing. Honestly.
5.Studying in China will benefit your career in the future
Of course, in the current job market, you need to stand out to even get the chance to be consider. How many competing candidates will have a Study in China on their CV? Likely none and with Beijing to talk about at your job interview, you’d calm your nerves too. Despite the slowing growth, China is a booming market with dozens of Fortune 500 companies based here and e-commerce must be the biggest in the world, they do love online shopping here to obsesive levels. Bag yourself an internship, so you gain experience to add to your knowledge and you’ll become a valuable asset to so many corporates around the world seeking to understand Asian and Chinese markets. Whatever your aspirations, you’ll make an interesting interviewee, valuable employee and god knows what the future holds.
Well, and of course..
If you’re only looking to have a good time, Beijing is your place too! Partying can be cheap, and there are a lot of guestlists giving you perks such as free booze and tables. Bartenders here are finally starting to learn how to make cocktails and quirky little bars are popping up all across hutongs. You’ll meet a great amount of people, some of which will make friends for life and they’ll get your struggles of living in China unlike anyone else.
I’m here. I love it and I most definitely recommend it!
Note: I am currently studying Master’s in International Journalism and Communication at Communication University of China in Beijing. If you need any advice on just about anything related whether to coming to CUC or generally studying in Beijing, scholarships etc. feel free to drop me a line! I’d be happy to help. I did not add some of the obvious reasons many would think of, internet is full of them. These are some of my reasons, why I love studying in Beijing.
Also check out: Top 10 Reasons To Study In China