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Chinese Studies

Year Abroad in China

University regulations stipulate that students of Chinese Studies spend their third year in China.  In order to maintain control of the students’ programme in China, the Faculty has arranged that students study at either Ocean University of China in Qingdao, or Peking University in Beijing. It is perhaps worth emphasising that both programmes are the same in content and are taught by highly competent teachers. Beijing is the capital city of China, and Qingdao is a medium-sized city (according to the Chinese standard) located on the east coast of China.

The Study Abroad Co-ordinator for Chinese Studies is Dr Boping Yuan.

I. Costs

Airfares from London to Beijing currently run to about £800 for a round-trip ticket (although tickets may be found for lower prices by booking far in advance or not taking direct flights), and an air ticket from Beijing to Qingdao (one-hour flight) costs about £80. Tuition fees are paid directly to the Chinese university on behalf of the students.

Peking University in Beijing

Accommodation in the campus:
A single room in Shaoyuan foreign students’ dormitory approx. £300 - £390 per month
A flat outside the campus (depending on the location, the size, the condition, etc.):
Low rent approx. £300 per month
Mid-rate rent approx. £400 per month
High rent approx. £600 per month

(plus a deposit (approx. one-month rent), water/electricity/heating bills,
and a commission charge (approx. one-month rent) if via an agent.)

Please note that it is students' own responsibility if they choose to use

an agent for finding accommodation in Beijing rather than staying in the University accommodation. 

Ocean University in Qingdao

Accommodation in the campus:
A single room in a foreign students’ dormitory £160 - £190 per month (57-60 yuan/day)
A flat outside the campus (depending on the location, the size, the condition, etc.):
One-bedroom flat £130 - £160 per month
Two-bedroom flat £180 - £220 per month
Three-bedroom flat £230 - £280 per month

(plus a deposit (approx. one month rent), water/electricity/heating bills,
and a commission charge (approx. one-month rent) if via an agent. )

Please note that it is students' own responsibility if they choose to use an agent

for finding accommodation in Qingdao rather than staying in the University accommodation.

Each student will have to obtain a resident permit from a local public security bureau within 30 days of their arrival in China, which may cost £50 for a permit within 12 months. Students should contact their chosen Chinese university first when preparing all documents for resident permit application.

If students are travelling in China prior to starting their courses at university, they will still have to obtain a residence permit within 30 days of arrival.

Students need to apply for an "X" visa. The "L" and "F" visa may not be changed to the "X" visa in China

Students will be required to have a health examination (if they have not done so in their home country before going to China), which may cost approximately £50. The costs for food, travel, and daily necessities are relatively inexpensive and vary with individual students. Students are encouraged to talk to fourth year students who studied in China to get useful information from them.

Students are encouraged to take out medical and travel insurance. They should also be made aware that visitors need a passport valid for six months after their date of departure before they will be able to apply for a visa.

Students will be required to sign a form [download here] agreeing to pay the fee to the Chinese university in full upon arrival, agreeing to abide by the arrangements and agreeing to reimburse the Faculty should they discontinue the course after their return from China.

The Study Abroad Coordinator, Dr Boping Yuan, will be happy to answer questions about the period abroad.

II. Course Arrangements for Studies in China

A. OPTION 1:    Peking University (Beijing Daxue)

Contacts and correspondence address:

Ms. LI Ke
International Students Division
Office of International Relations
Room 335, New Sun Student Centre
Peking University
Beijing, 100871
People’s Republic of China
Email: etolike 
Tel: +86-10-627-58203 
Fax: +86-10-627-59754

B. OPTION 2: Ocean University of China

Contacts and correspondence address:

Mr. CHEN Zhixi or Prof. NING Aihua
International Education Centre
Ocean University of China
23 Eastern Hong Kong Road
Qingdao, 266071
The People’s Republic of China
Email:, <> or
Tel: +86-532-5901666,   +86-532-5901555
Fax: +86-532-5901868

C. Period of study

The courses at both Peking University and Ocean University of China start around the beginning of September and finish around the end of June in the following year. There are breaks for  Mid-Autumn Festival (one day in September), National Day (about one week at the beginning of October), New Year's Day (one day), Spring Festival/Winter Vacation (which usually lasts from the middle of January until the middle of February), Qingming Festival (one day in early April) and Dragon Boat Festival (one day in June). Please note that Christmas is not a public holiday in China and you would not be expected to leave at this time.  

D. Courses

There are 15 hours of teaching per week at both Peking University and Ocean University of China:

  • Readings in Classical Chinese (i.e. texts specified by Cambridge)
  • Readings in Classical Literature (i.e. Hong lou meng, San guo yan yi, Shui hu zhuan, Xi you ji, etc.) 
  • Modern and Contemporary Literature
  • Newspaper readings
  • Chinese aural and oral
  • Chinese writing
  • English-Chinese Translation

Dissertation guidance/advice (upon request)

E. Attendance and examinations

While studying in China, Cambridge students should abide by the Chinese university's rules and regulations (including the Chinese university's academic calendar, examination arrangements, etc.). Students must attend all classes and take all the examinations, unless they have good reasons not to do so. There are exams in the middle and at the end of both the autumn and spring semesters. Peking University and Ocean University of China send the University of Cambridge a report of each student's academic performance, class attendance and examination results for the courses.

F.  Finances

Students who choose to set up a bank account in China will need to provide both their passports and residence permits.

G. Preparation for study in China

1. Students should fill in an Application Form for Foreign Students Wishing to Study in Peking University/Ocean University of China, which can be downloaded at Peking University ( and  Ocean University of China (as a Word or PDF document)    

The completed form must be handed to Dr. Boping Yuan no later than Tuesday, 24th April, 2018.  

2. Peking University and Ocean University of China are expected to send each student, in June, a notice of admission and necessary documents for a successful visa application at the Chinese Embassy in London.  Students should then apply for the visa as soon as possible.

3. The University will collect the tuition fee at 15% of the normal rate while the student is abroad.  In general, Colleges do not charge College fees for students of Chinese while they are abroad but it is the responsibility of the student to confirm this with their own college.

4. Students eligible for tuition fee or maintenance loans who are spending the year overseas with the agreement of their institution may be entitled to an increased maintenance loan and the 15% of the regular tuition fee loan (paid directly to the home institution). Students should log into their student finance account to change the details of their next year's application (specifying that they will be living outside the UK for all three terms) as soon as possible to avoid late arrival of loan payments.

Students' finance is a tutorial matter and is not dealt with by the Faculty. Students must be aware that it is their responsibility to ascertain what level of support they can obtain.

5. It is also the student's own responsibility to secure a visa for China. The official website of the China Visa Application Service Center can be found at

6. Students are advised to take out medical insurance in their home country before going to China. Specialised "year abroad" packages for students are available from some insurers.

Students preparing for their year abroad may find the following, student-written, guide to some of the practicalities helpful: Chinese YA Guide (your Raven password will be required to download this PDF file from outside the University).  Students can also go to the Faculty Library to read a similar guide written by a different year group (It is catalogued as “Reference only” and it is not borrowable).