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Study in Qingdao, China

Population: 8,715,000

City Overview

Qingdao is one of the largest cities in Shandong Province, set along China’s Eastern coast. The city is home to a large number of Korean expats and was named China’s most liveable city in both 2009 and 2011, due to its cleanliness and unique appearance – indeed the Chinese call Qingdao ‘China’s Switzerland.

Originally colonised by Germany, the city’s architecture retains a European feel that gives it a unique look among Chinese cities.

Education profile

Qingdao is home to more than 28 different institutions offering postgraduate courses and education. You can study a graduate program in Qingdao at the following:
Qingdao is also home to a number of international schools and colleges, offering courses in different languages.

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 Qingdao 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 Qingdao

Qingdao is not a typical Chinese city. Although it has plenty to offer in terms of Western comforts and is a major industrial town, it also feels compact and has a sense of calmness about it.

One of the best features of life in Qingdao is the ocean, which gives the city its fresh feel and blows away the pollution. Most international students will find themselves wandering along the beach during both day and night to escape studying.

One of Qingdao’s major annual events is its International Beer Festival held in August. A celebration of Qingdao’s brewing history, expect food, karaoke, comedy and concerts.

Working in Qingdao

Qingdao is one of the most important and influential cities in Eastern China and has seen rapid development over the last couple of decades. Qingdao is probably best known internationally for its Tsingtao beer, which is China’s most well known and most exported beer.

Qingdao’s growth can be traced back to 1984, when the Chinese government named Qingdao a Special Economic and Technology Development Zone, which has allowed many industries to develop at a fast rate. Qingdao is a particularly important trading port, and is involved in a large amount of international trade.


Most postgraduate students coming to study in Qingdao will opt to stay in university accommodation. This will allow you to meet other international students, live near to the campus and settle in quicker.

However, if you do decide to live privately in your own apartment, you should consider living in Shinan District, which is the downtown area that runs along the coast. You should expect to pay between RMB 2500-3500 per month for a one-bedroom flat.

Weather and Climate

Qingdao has a moderate monsoon-influenced climate. Winter are cold and windy with temperatures often dropping below freezing, while summers are hot and humid, but slightly cooler than further inland.

Expect the main winter months to be between December and February, while summer hits between June and August.

What to do next

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