The basics
China: Student Accommodation - Must read

Student accommodation in China

Are you unsure where you will be living while studying abroad in China? Here’s what you need to know about student accommodation as an international student...


Searching for your own accommodation can be challenging, but you do have a number of options when deciding where you want to live in China. Universities usually offer housing specifically for international students, so talk to your programme about housing before you begin looking on your own!


Campus Housing

Dormitories are often the cheapest and most convenient option for university students. Many universities have dormitories specifically for international students, so you would be around people that share your same experiences as a foreigner in China.


At many universities, you can choose from a single room or a shared room between two or more people. These can have private showers and toilets attached to the room, or a shared bathroom with other people living on your floor. Most dormitories, though, do not have kitchens in the rooms but a larger cafeteria in the building where students can buy food.


Prices vary from university to university, with some rooms costing as low as ¥800, or £86, for an entire academic year. Be sure to ask your university for more information, because certain students do have to pay for water and electricity, while others have those costs included.


Private Apartments

No matter where you study, you almost always have the opportunity to rent your own apartment. Because China is such a big country, prices vary based on where you choose to study. Average rent in the Beijing city centre is around ¥7185 per month, or £770. In smaller cities, like Shenyang, the same type of apartment would cost ¥1525, or £165, per month.


Before looking for private arrangement, speak to your university to see if this is the best option for you. While private housing may be nicer than dorms, you might not meet as many people as you would while living in a dormitory and it may be harder to work around the language barrier, if you do not know Chinese.


Tips for finding student accommodation

  • Always contact your university if you have any questions about housing
  • Be aware of all expenses you may have to pay – including electricity, water (drinking and washing), internet, transportation, and laundry, among others.
  • Always ask to see the contract for you housing arrangement so you are aware of all expenses and rules of the accommodation
  • Take your time – you may not know where you are living right away, but begin the search early and take time to find the place that best fits you!

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About Author

Ella Frazer is a student at the University of Puget Sound studying English Literature and Religion. She is currently studying abroad in London and is busy enjoying the collection of museums, constantly losing her way, and being of legal drinking age. When she is not writing for Hotcourses Abroad, you can usually find her searching for manuscripts at the British Library.