China Study Abroad Country Profile

China Overview

China is a confluence of ancient history, modern technology, politics, manufacturing, and regional diversity. China is a vast country with a population of more than 1.3 billion and a civilization dating back more than 5,000 years. The country boasts spectacular cities with monumental skyscrapers, and pastoral country landscapes, still untouched by modern farming implements.

The influence of China’s long and sometimes tumultuous history is evident in many aspects of Chinese life including education, which has become a major priority since the Four Modernizations following the death of Mao Zedong in the mid-1970s. China has established itself as both an economic and political powerhouse, and there is no end to the educational, cultural, and personal opportunities that await you there.

Cultural Highlights

China is a country steeped in culture. In addition to the country’s rich history and colorful culture, China has a number of world-famous landmarks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Great Wall of China near Beijing is just one of many “must sees” for travelers in East Asia, as is the Forbidden City, the largest surviving palace complex in the world and where ancient emperors of dynasties past used to rule China. Not only does it boast the world’s largest surviving palace, but China is also home to the world’s largest city square, Tiananmen Square. Built during the Ming Dynasty, Tiananmen Square has been central to China’s modern political history as well. Paying a visit to these and other historic landmarks in China will make your time spent abroad one of your most memorable experiences.

China also has unique gastronomic, literary, artistic, and linguistic traditions. In Shanghai, sample cuisine that reflects various mixtures of China’s unique traditions with the influences of colonization. Hangzhou is an artist’s haven, and over the centuries, many Chinese writers, poets, and artists have made themselves at home in Hangzhou. The pagodas are beautiful and a true icon of China. While in China you can’t pass up the opportunity to work on your Mandarin, an increasingly useful language spoken by nearly 900 million people worldwide.

Popular Fields of Study

China is a fabulous destination for students from many different academic disciplines, and China’s major cities feature great universities where education is the top priority. Here you can study any number of topics, from international business to art to renewable energy to history and culture of ancient China.

There are also unique opportunities to see more rural, less traveled parts of China if you’d like to take a break from university life. Opportunities to study topics like Chinese culture & ethnic minorities and community health & traditional Chinese medicine will take you to rural villages and distant provinces. Regardless of your interests and what you choose to study, China study abroad programs will most likely include Mandarin as part of your course load.

Why Study Abroad in China?

China has many unique advantages as a study abroad destination. Here are ten reasons why you should consider studying abroad in China.

1. A Fast Growing Language

While Mandarin is a departure from the “traditional” languages that Western students learn, it is a unique, interesting language that may be useful for many career paths as it is growing in use around the world – some 900,000 people speak it.

2. Cheap Travel

Traveling on public transportation in China’s major cities is both easy and inexpensive, allowing you to make the most of your time.

3. Landmarks

Visit the landmarks that you’ve only read about in books. The Terracotta Warriors, The Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square…it’s all here waiting to be explored.

4. Friendly People

Though there are some cultural differences you should make yourself aware of, for the most part, Chinese people are friendly and have great hospitality. Communicating in Mandarin is a much-appreciated gesture.

5. Shopping

China’s cities are simply great destinations for shopping. Find everything you have ever wanted and more, often for much cheaper than you would find at home.

6. Gastronomy

China has a wide variety of food options, from traditional dishes and street food to high-end dining and Western treats. China is a great place to expand your palate.

7. Universities

China’s major cities have a number of great universities that offer courses in a wide variety of subjects. Don’t worry if your Mandarin isn’t great – there are courses offered in English offered at some universities.

8. Natural Scenery

Most people probably don’t think about natural landscapes when they think about China, but they should. China has diverse and beautiful natural scenery, from sand dunes, snowy peaks, and alpine lakes to rice paddies, deep gorges, caves, and mountains.

9. Cultural Understanding

China’s politics and people are sometimes painted in a poor light. Your China study abroad experience will help you gain a better understanding of its politics, social norms, and the issues facing its people today.

10. Life-long Relationships

The people you meet in China, whether in class, as part of a home stay, or just on the street, can easily become people you communicate with once you are back home and of whom you will have fond memories of for years to come.

China Study Abroad Statistics

China Country Ranking: 5

(based on total outbound U.S. students)
  • % of U.S. students: 4.9%
  • Total US Students 2005/06: 8,830
  • Total US Students 2006/07: 11,064
  • Yearly 2006/07 Trend: 25.3%
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    China Study Abroad (CSA)

    China Study Abroad takes the uncertainty and difficulty out of coming to China. We take care of all the necessities before you arrive and continue to provide wide-ranging services after arrival, leaving you to study the language, explore the culture, and have fun interacting with local people and other foreigners living abroad.

    Offering Programs In: China

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