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Study in Beijing, China

Population: 20,180,000

City Overview

Beijing is a brash, confident city that seems assured of its place as one of the world’s top cities. The city is both the seat of China’s communist political party and one of the world’s foremost economic powers.

As a centre of international exchange, business and study, international students should feel welcome in Beijing, although the city’s vastness and pace can be overwhelming at first. However, as the world’s premier city, studying a graduate program in Beijing is not something to be missed.

Education profile

Beijing is home to many universities, colleges and further education institutions, so international students have plenty of choices when it comes to studying in Beijing. Some of the most popular and internationally regarded places to study a postgraduate course in Beijing are:
There are more than 70 other establishments where you can study a graduate program in Beijing. The majority of postgraduate courses are taught in Mandarin, so you will need to take the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) test to proof your language proficiency for most graduate programs in China. However, there are approximately 30 institutions that offer courses taught in English.
Graduate programs in China can be divided into two main categories:
  • Masters degrees
  • Doctoral degrees (PhD)
Masters degrees in China usually take between two and three years to complete, with doctoral degrees generally taking three years.

Immigration and visas

Foreign students intending to study on graduate programs in Beijing for longer than 6 months need to apply for a student visa (X-visa). Applicants will need the following:
  • A passport valid for at least six months after arriving in China
  • A health certificate legalised by the Chinese Embassy
  • A Letter of Admission, Foreign Student Visa Application Form (JW202) issued by the relevant Chinese government unit.
More information about visas can be found on the website of the relevant Chinese Embassy.

Life in Beijing

Life in Beijing as a postgraduate can be overwhelming, but it’s always exciting. Yes, the crowds, bustle and smog can quickly get to you, but the people, culture and excitement will soon get you coming back for more.

There are plenty of sights to see, even once you’ve ticked off the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Look out for the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace (both World Heritage Site) for highlights of Imperial Beijing, or for more recent and austere history, head to the Mausoleum of Chairman Mao.

Beijing has a lot to offer in terms of social life. Residents of Beijing love eating out, so restaurants form a big part of social life and are a great way to get to meet locals. Although Beijing is a concrete jungle, the mountains aren’t far away and are easily reached in around 45 minutes from the centre.

Working in Beijing

Beijing is simply one of the world’s economic powerhouses. Home to 41 Fortune Global 500 companies, 100 of the largest companies in China and still growing, it’s no surprise that the city was ranked the number one most economically influential city in the world by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Of course finance is a huge part of Beijing’s industry. The city generates 11.6% of the total financial revenue of China, but Beijing’s real estate and automobile industries are also booming. The Yizhuang region is becoming a new centre of pharmaceutical and information technology, while agriculture continues to be a major driver on the city’s outskirts.

As such a global metropolis, there isn’t really an industry that Beijing doesn’t excel in – this is truly a city where you can realise your dreams.


Most postgraduate students in Beijing choose to live in university accommodation if provided, as this is an easy way to make friends, get your accommodation sorted and adjust to life in China. However, if you do decide to go privately, you should consider looking in these areas of Beijing:
  • Wudaokou
  • Haidan
  • Lido
Wugaokou and Haidan are the two main student districts of Beijing and are extremely popular with foreign students.

A one bedroom apartment in Beijing will cost between RMB 2500-3500 per month.

Weather and Climate

Beijing has a dry, monsoon influenced climate with hot, humid summers and cold, windy winters. Beijing has extremes of temperatures, with the hottest months between June and August where temperatures can hit 30C, and the coldest months between December and February when temperatures can get as low as -10C.

What to do next

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