In this article, a comprehensive guide of scholarships in china is presented for academic year 2024-2025. Although it requires a lot of thought beforehand, but I think its an opportunity that worth a lot. In most cases Chinese Scholarships will cover not only tuition and accommodation fees during your study period, but you will also benefit from a monthly amount for your personal expenses.
Here you will find some clues that will help you decide which scholarship is best for you, as well as the steps and documents necessary to apply for them. Good luck and Cheer up!
What type of Scholarships are available to study in China?
There are three most popular scholarships to study in Chinese universities:
- Chinese Government Scholarships
- Scholarships from the Provincial Governments of China
- Confucius Institute Scholarships (governmental entity for the teaching of the Chinese language to foreigners)
These scholarships in China are universal. Citizens of almost all countries can apply for these scholarships, depending on educational agreements between countries. These scholarships do not have many application requirements. Because of the expensive university education in the eastern country, these economic endowments are quite generous.
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Of course there are many other scholarships, such as inter-university scholarships, those granted by private organizations, scholarships awarded by Chinese universities, or others that may be granted by educational institutions in your country. However, in this article I will focus only on the most popular and universal scholarships in china.
Which type of Chinese Scholarship is suitable for me?
This question is tricky. The first thing you have to ask yourself is what are you going to study? You basically have two options: study Chinese language (with which you obtain a university diploma of advanced studies), or do a degree (Bachelor’s Degree, Master of Science or PhD). Then, you have to think about which city you want to study, since that will also influence the choice of your scholarship.
To give you an idea, the entities that grant the scholarships have agreements with many universities nationwide (in China everything belongs or is connected in some way to the government). After all, both the sections of the governments which provide scholarships, such as the Confucius Institute and the various universities, are part of the government body.
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Several scholarships quotas are derived from these agreements that each financier grants to each university by the type of course. Students from all countries are eligible to apply for Chinese government scholarship, which translates into a very high competition.
That is why it is very important that, once you are clear about what are you going to study and in what city or university you would like to study, you have to investigate the following points university by university:
- If they offer scholarships to study what you want (master’s degree, Chinese course, etc.)
- How many scholarships each entity grants to the type of course you choose?
The research can be done online, but not all universities have published this information on their web pages (especially in the English version), so I recommend you ask them directly by email. And it is absolutely essential that you do this sweep if you want to have some scholarships to finance your study in China.
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Now I will give you a series of clues about scholarships in China which, I hope, will guide you a bit more and help you to find that Which type of Chinese Scholarship is best for you, for example, Chinese Government Scholarship or Confucius Institute Scholarship.
Scholarships to Learn Chinese Language in China
Many foreigners venture to take a Chinese course at a Chinese university. It is a great idea if you already study the language in your country . You will see how your level progresses exponentially, unlike the minimal advances that are occasionally seen in your city. If you have never studied Chinese before, it is perfect to try and see if you like it and have aptitudes. I have friends who spent one year studying Chinese in China, know more than I learned in five years studying in UK. But that evidently depends on you.
The three scholarships mentioned in the previous section accept Chinese language course students, the Confucius Institute scholarship being the most oriented for this purpose (it also offers grants for doctoral students and researchers, but they are not very popular). However, this scholarship requires that you have studied Chinese before and in priority in one of the countless subsidiaries that have throughout the world.
To apply for scholarships of the national and provincial governments to do a Chinese course, it is not necessary to have studied the language previously. However these scholarships are much more requested, so they are also somewhat more difficult to obtain. Between these two scholarships, the Chinese government scholarships award more grants for Chinese language courses at a larger number of universities. Not all provincial governments, however, grant scholarships to study Chinese. You will have to investigate university by university.
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In summary, if you have already studied Chinese, I strongly recommend that you apply for the Confucius Institute scholarship to study Chinese in China. If you meet all the requirements (I explain them in detail in the corresponding section), it is very likely that they will award scholarship to you for the university you choose.
If you have never studied Chinese or have not been a student of the Confucius Institute, you must request either the Chinese government or the provincial government that corresponds to the city in which you want to study. Between the two, my advice is that you request the first, since the offer is wider and therefore you will have more chances of obtaining scholarship at the place of your choice.
Scholarships for Undergraduate or Postgraduate Studies in China
Many people decide to go to China to study undergraduate, master or doctorate, whether in Chinese or English. In this case, as in the previous one, you must first investigate which universities offer your required course that you want to do and, secondly, review if such universities offer scholarships to students granted by the government (national or provincial). Click here to start your search.
Once this is clear, contact the university to find out how many students admit both to the Chinese government scholarship and to the provincial government scholarship (this specific information is difficult to find on the internet). At this point it is worth making a differentiation: there are two ways to apply for the Chinese government scholarship(national). One is through authorized agencies (basically the Chinese embassy in your country or some international organizations in your area of membership, such as the European Union, etc.), and the other is directly at the destination university.
Both routes have the power to grant the scholarship of the Chinese government, and both have a different scholarship quota. Also, if you apply, for example, through the Chinese embassy in your country, you will only compete with other students of your same nationality. But if, on the contrary, you decide to apply for this scholarship directly at the destination university, you will compete with students from all over the world as they accept applications from all five continents. Because of this and because the scholarship quota awarded directly by the university is lower, it is more complicated to obtain the Chinese government scholarship if you choose this route (if you are already in China, for example).
On the other hand are the scholarships of the provincial governments. The way of application for this scholarship is exclusively delivering the documentation at the destination university. This means that it is necessary to be in China to request them (you can also ask someone to do it for you or send the documentation by mail, but this last option I do not recommend).
Obviously, this requirement greatly reduces competition, as there are not many candidates who are already in China before beginning their studies. However, unless you want to study Chinese language, provincial government scholarships require that you already hold an official Chinese or HSK diploma (normally 4 for a degree and 5 for a master’s or doctorate, depending on each university).
This last requirement is very favorable for those who already have the necessary Chinese qualification. There are not so many people who have such a level of Chinese, and even fewer who are already in China during the application period. In short, play the card that most likely gives you scholarship, depending on your situation and your background. In general terms, if you are in your country of origin and do not speak Chinese, I recommend that you apply for the Chinese government scholarship from the embassy of your country.
This scholarship also includes financing for a Chinese language course of up to two years that allows you to follow the undergraduate or postgraduate courses in Chinese. You can also select a program taught in English, but the applicants will multiply exponentially for this opportunity. If you are already in China and have HSK4 and up, applying for the provincial government grant then you clearly have greater chances for obtaining this funding. Remember to check if the university accepts scholarship students for the course you want to study.
A couple of considerations to finish:
- If you are applying in prestigious university with higher ranking, then remember, it will also be the first option of a greater number of people, so you will compete with many more candidates.
- In the case of the two government scholarships, you should evaluate if you want to apply for full or partial financing (more information in the corresponding sections). It is much easier to get partial scholarship.
If you are not clear anyway, my recommendation is that you apply for as many scholarships as possible (as long as you meet the minimum requirements). Although you cannot be a beneficiary of two scholarships during the same year (I speak of the government, including the Confucius Institute), yes you can apply to as many as you want, thus increasing your chances of being granted with scholarship.
Popular Scholarships in China
Now I will present a complete guide about the popular scholarships in China. Step by step procedure to apply for these scholarships is also presented.
1. Chinese Government Scholarship (CSC Scholarship)
Chinese government scholarship finance undergraduate, postgraduate, and Chinese language study programs, as well as research stays throughout the country.
Regarding the type of funding, the Chinese government scholarships are divided into:
- Total or type A Scholarship: Includes registration fees, accommodation (in a university residence in a shared room with another person), basic medical insurance and a monthly allowance for personal expenses (between 2,500 and 3,500 Yuan per month, approximately 350 and 500 USD respectively).
- Partial or type B Scholarship: It usually covers the same as the total, except for the monthly allowance for personal expenses.
- Type C Scholarship: Another type of partial scholarship that indifferently includes some of the benefits of the total scholarship.
2. Chinese Provincial Government Scholarships
These type of scholarships are granted by the provincial governments, including the governments of the four Chinese cities called “municipalities under central jurisdiction” (Beijing, Tianjin, Chongqing and Shanghai), since they function as provinces in themselves.
These scholarships are applicable to undergraduate, masters and doctoral studies, as well as to take Chinese language courses. However, not all universities have scholarships from their provincial government for all types of courses. You should review your case carefully.
Chinese Provincial Government Scholarships cover registration fees, accommodation in a university residence (sharing a room and bathroom with another person) and health insurance will be covered. If you are awarded a scholarship with full coverage, you will also receive a handsome amount of money per month for personal expenses.
3. Confucius Institute Scholarship (CIS)
The Confucius Institute scholarship are very popular among students from all over the world. It is a government entity whose purpose is to promote knowledge of the Chinese language and culture throughout the globe. It annually offers numerous study grants in a total of 150 universities.
Although it also offer scholarships for specific doctoral studies, research stays, participation in international conferences, etc., in this section, I will exclusively focus on the scholarships offered for Chinese language and culture courses, since they are the most demanded.
Confucius Institute scholarships include tuition and lodging fees (in a university residence, in a room shared with another person), basic medical insurance and a monthly allowance for personal expenses.
4. Scholarships for high school students in China
Although they are much less popular than the aforementioned scholarships, there is also the possibility of obtaining a scholarship to study a year of study in a Chinese high school. As far as we know, no general scholarships are available and therefore the only opportunity will be through bilateral agreements between China and your country.
5. Postdoctoral Scholarships in China
One of the specific characteristics of the Chinese research system is that there is a postdoctoral degree, this means that if you get a final postdoctoral scholarship you must write a “postdoctoral” thesis and defend it in front of a board of faculty. Postdoctoral grants are usually managed directly by universities or research centers, so the requirements, procedures and conditions can vary greatly. Below I detail these points in a general way.
Characteristics of Postdoctoral Scholarships in China
- Amount of the scholarships: It will depend on the province and the university in which they are offered. In most cases, apart from the base salary, you will receive financial assistance for house rent, the option to opt an apartment at the university at a very reduced price (with private bathroom and kitchen), basic medical insurance (usually covers 75% of all medical expenses in public hospitals), deposit for the purchase of a house (obtained upon graduation). The monthly salary is around 4,000 Yuan (including housing assistance).
- Number of scholarships awarded: Each university has a certain number of postdoctoral scholarships especially in areas related to science and technology.
- Duration of the scholarships: The postdoctoral scholarships usually have a duration of two years that can be extended a half or a year more.
Note: Having a postdoctoral fellowship is not incompatible with other national and international scholarships, in fact many universities have programs to retain talent that supplement the postdoctoral base salary.
Minimum Requirements of Postdoctoral Scholarships in China
Although the only requirement is usually to have a doctorate degree, each university has its own specific requirements.
Documents Required for Postdoctoral Scholarships in China
- Application form duly completed: The University must provide you documents.
- Letter of acceptance from the principal investigator.
- Official medical form or Foreigner Physical Examination Form: This form must be completed and signed by an accredited doctor (may be from your country), and carry an official stamp of the hospital where you perform the checkup. Make sure that this stamp is stamped on the photo that you must attach.
- Doctorate degree. If this document is not written in English or Chinese, you may need to submit a sworn translation to either of the two languages.
- Research project written in English or in Chinese.
- Two letters of recommendation written in English or in Chinese by a tenured or associate professor.
- Curriculum Vitae: Publications and participation in conferences must be well specified.
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Steps to Apply for Postdoctoral Scholarships in China
- Place of application: The documentation must be sent directly to the university or research center.
- Date of application: Many universities usually allow you to apply at any time of the year.
- Application procedure: Varies a lot depending on the university.
Note: It is possible that to apply for postdoctoral programs, much of the information is not very well specified (usually only in Chinese) and that you are even asked to submit documents written partially in Chinese, so it is important to ask for help from the destination research group.
I hope that this article will help you to know which are the most popular scholarships to study in China and to guide you when choosing which scholarship is the best for you. It may seem very complicated, but there are thousands of students from all over the world who benefit from these grants every year.
If you meet the requirements and are thinking that you would like to study in the Asian giant, I encourage you to start the application process. Good Luck!