China, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Mandarin

Study in Shenzhen, China

Population: 10,350,000

City Overview

Located just across the border from Hong Kong, Shenzhen is one of China’s wealthiest cities and a “Special Economic Zone”. Studying a graduate program in Shenzhen will allow you into one of China’s strongest economic centres, but it isn’t all luxury shopping malls and bright lights. Shenzhen has one of the biggest gaps between the wealthy and the poor in China, and is a very expensive place for students to live.

Despite this, its proximity to Hong Kong and rapid growth makes Shenzhen an attractive destination for international graduates, particularly those looking to learn Mandarin.

Education profile

Shenzhen’s proximity to Hong Kong and its status as a special economic zone makes it a popular destination with international students.

Consequently, there are several universities, colleges and institutes at which you can study in Shenzhen. Here are some of the most popular places to study a graduate program in Shenzhen.

Most graduate level programs in Shenzhen will be taught in Mandarin, so it’s vital that your language skills are up to scratch. You may be asked to take the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) test to prove your Mandarin skills before being allowed to sign up for the course.

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 Shenzhen 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 Shenzhen

Shenzhen is quickly becoming an alternative home for Hong Kongers sick of the bustle, crowds and daily grind of life in Hong Kong. Consequently, Shenzhen is growing rapidly in both size and population, and things change quickly in this developing city.

This means that living in Shenzhen might feel like living in a giant construction site, with cranes, high-rise buildings and workers all milling around. This also impacts on the city’s pollution, with the air quality low even when compared with other Chinese cities.

Despite this, Shenzhen has developed a thriving culture, with much of it revolving around food and eating out. It also several large parks and is close to the Honshuling coastal reserve.

Working in Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a major manufacturing centre in China and is home to some China’s most successful high-tech companies, such as BYD, Hasee, Huawei and Tencent. Only Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have higher GDP among Chinese cities.

Despite this, international students on graduate programs in Shenzhen will most likely find work as language teachers or translators during their time studying. Other ways of earning some cash during your time in Shenzhen include acting, voice recording and even modelling.


Most international students on a graduate program in Shenzhen will choose to live in accommodation provided by their university. This can either be a shared apartment or halls of residence. The benefits of finding somewhere to live through a university is that it takes the stress away from moving to China and allows you to meet other students more easily.

However, if you decide to look for private accommodation, you should consider looking in these areas of Shenzhen:

  • Shekou
  • Luohu
  • Dameisha

Weather and Climate

Shenzhen has a warm, monsoon-influenced climate with mild winters and hot summers. The city has poor air quality and is afflicted by both fog and smog during winter and spring. Monsoon season starts in April and lasts until late September, with the heaviest downfall coming in July and August.

Summer temperatures can regularly exceed 30C, while winter lows rarely drop below 10C.

What to do next

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