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Study in Nanjing, China

Population: 23,000,000

City Overview

Set along the lower Yangtze River and previously the capital of China, Nanjing plays an important part in Chinese history and culture. It is recognised as one of the four great ancient capitals of China and has long been a centre of education, research, transport and tourism.

The city is continuing to develop at a rapid pace as it looks to keep pace with its Yangtze River rivals, and will host the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics.

Education profile

Nanjing is well known in China for its great universities, having been the centre of education in Southern China for more than 1700 years. The city is home to several national universities as well as the usual array of provincial colleges. You can study a graduate program in Nanjing at the following:
As well as these major institutions, there are also plenty of municipal and private universities which offer postgraduate courses. 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 Nanjing 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 Nanjing 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 Nanjing

Nanjing is a small city by Chinese standards, being home to around six million inhabitants. The city played an important part in Chinese history and is the current capital of the Jiangsu region. Nanjing is used to catering to international students and expats and has many bars frequented by expats, such as the Blue Sky Expat Bar and Grill, Behind the Wall and The Thames.

However, life in Nanjing isn’t just about drinking and partying. The city is home to some leading art groups in China and many international festivals, such as the International Plum Blossom Festival.

Lastly, no graduate program in Nanjing would be complete without several visits to the Confucius Temple near the Qinhuai River, which is full of night markets, restaurants and pubs.

Working in Nanjing

Nanjing’s economy focuses heavily on manufacturing, with electronics, cars, iron, steel and power the main industries. Nanjing is home to several large state-owned companies where you can find work, including Panda Electronics and Nanjing Steel. Increasingly, international companies are starting to base themselves in Nanjing, with Volkswagen, Sharp and Iveco all establishing lines in the city.
The government of Nanjing are continuing to invest in the city by building large industrial parks. The four main plants are called Gaoxin, Xingang, Huagong and Jiangning.

The city also has several foreign language schools, which will be useful for international students looking to work in Nanjing.


If you are coming to study in Nanjing as a postgraduate, then it is likely you will choose to stay in university accommodation. This will allow you to meet fellow Chinese and international students, move in quickly without rental hassle and be near your campus.

Weather and Climate

Nanjing has a humid subtropical climate and is greatly influenced by the East Asia Monsoon, which makes the city damp through winter and humid in the summer. Nanjing can become extremely hot during the summer months of July and August, where temperatures regularly reach above 30C, although these are also wettest months.

What to do next

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