If you dream of studying in China, here are a few guidelines on the steps you have to follow.
In order to study in China for a period of less than 6 months, you need to be in possession of an F visa or a tourist visa. However, if you want to register in a higher education institution or in a Chinese university for a period of more than 6 months, you need to apply for an “X” study visa, be over 18 years old and hold one of the required diploma (International Baccalaureate, A-Level or equivalent).
In order to apply for a study visa at the Chinese embassy or consulate in your home country, you must submit a certificate of admission delivered by a Chinese university, forms JW201 or JW202 provided by the Chinese authorities, your passport, your flight tickets and accommodation reservations, the visa application form duly completed and a passport-sized photo. Fees apply. Contact the consulate or embassy for more information about study visa requirements.
Before proceeding with your visa application, you must pre-register in a Chinese higher education institution or university. To that end, you need to directly contact the university or school you have selected so that they can send you the forms and certificates required for your visa application. Photocopies of your diplomas and academic transcripts are required, as well as official translations in Mandarin or English. For more information about pre-registrations in Chinese universities, please contact the embassy or consulate of China in your country of residence.
Once your visa is approved, you must take a series of medical examinations. The results of your medical examinations are valid 6 months only. As a result, it is highly recommended to take these tests in a reasonable time before departure.
Some universities offer tuition in English. However, if you wish to take multidisciplinary courses in Chinese, you must pass the international test of Mandarin, also known as HSK. Sessions of examination for the HSK are held both in China and in many different countries. For HSK examination dates in your area, please refer to the Chinese consulate or embassy in your country.
Scholarship schemes are available to foreign students in China. Please contact your home university, the embassy or consulate of China or the China Scholarship council (CSC) to find out more information about government-sponsored programmes and scholarships available.
If you intend to take an internship in a Chinese company for a period of less than 6 months, you need to apply for an "F" visa at the Chinese embassy or consulate in your home country. The documents checklist includes: the invitation letter issued by the Chinese company and certified by the Chinese government, the internship agreement signed with the company, your passport, the visa application form duly completed, forms JW 201 or JW 202 issued by the Chinese ministry of education, several passport-sized photos and payment of processing fees. Once the visa in obtained, do not forget to apply for your residence permit at the nearest police station. A medical examination may be required.
Upon arrival in China, contact your host institution to register and obtain information about how to apply for your residence permit.
Good to know:
You cannot take any paid employment with a student visa in China.