Free tuition at China’s Universities through the Chinese Government Scholarship Program
One of the reasons I chose Beijing University is because of the low tuition. To enroll in one of China’s best universities, it cost me a whopping 13,600 RMB or roughly $2,000. I want to clarify that I’m not rich, and as a 23 year old student, I couldn’t be much further far from it. However, $2,000 for a semester is cheaper than tuition at most community colleges in the U.S., so it’s pretty hard to argue with that price tag. I didn’t think it could get any better until a friend told me that he was going to Beida for free (legally).
How? With the Chinese Government Scholarship Program. Because I decided to apply to Beida just a few months before the semester started, I was a little too late. But I wanted to share with you not only how you can get free tuition, but also free housing, an allowance for books, and even a travel bonus. So here it is.
The Chinese government has set up a scholarship program to sponsor international students, teachers and scholars for study and research, with 12 different types of scholarships currently being offered. A lot of these scholarships are specifically for post-grad education or senior scholars, and some are allocated for students from specific regions of the world like the ASEAN or EU member countries. I decided to focus on the general Chinese Government Scholarship Program because it’s the most practical for undergraduate students or students who want to enroll in the Chinese Language Training Program, but you can see all 12 scholarship descriptions on the China Scholarship Council Website.
Chinese Government Scholarship Program
The Chinese Government Scholarship Program was established by the Ministry Of Education to provide both full scholarships and partial scholarships to international students and scholars. The program supports students who come to study in China on undergraduate and postgraduate programs, Chinese language training programs, general scholar and senior scholar programs.
1. Applicants must be non-Chinese citizens and be in good health. (Should be easy enough.)
2. Education background and age limit:
- Applicants for undergraduate program must have high school diploma with good academic performance and be under the age of 25.
- Applicants for master’s degree program must have bachelor’s degree and be under the age of 35.
- Applicants for doctoral degree program must have master’s degree and be under the age of 40.
- Applicants for Chinese language training program must have high school diploma and be under the age of 35. Chinese language is the only subject available (which is fine by me).
Value of Scholarship (i.e. striking gold):
A. Full Scholarship
1. Exempt from registration fee, tuition fee, fee for laboratory experiment, fee for internship, fee for basic learning materials; and accommodation fee for dormitory on campus.
2. Living allowance; Monthly allowance is granted to the students through the host institution at the following rates (CNY Yuan per month):
- Undergraduates & Chinese language students: CNY 1,400 Yuan
- Master’s degree students & general scholars: CNY 1,700 Yuan
- Doctoral degree students & senior scholars: CNY 2,000 Yuan
3. One-off settlement subsidy after registration for new student;
- CNY 1,000 Yuan for new students who will study in China for less than one academic year
- CNY 1,500 Yuan for new students who will study in China for one academic year and above
4. Fee for outpatient medical service, Comprehensive Medical Insurance and Protection for International Students in China.
5. One-off inter-city travel subsidy.
- A hard-seat train ticket (hard-berth train ticket for overnight trip) will be provided for scholarship students traveling.
B. Partial Scholarship
One or several items of full scholarship.
Learn how you can apply for the Chinese Government Scholarship Program
Other Scholarships For Studying Abroad In Asia
Quick note – most of the descriptions were cut and pasted from the scholarship websites, but I did my best to try and get rid of the fluff so you’re not reading a novel about each scholarship.
1. Student Exchange Support Program For Short-Term Study In Japan
The Japan Student Services Organization offers a “Short-term Student Exchange Promotion Program” for foreign students. The program is available for qualified students enrolled in American universities who are admitted to a Japanese university for a period of 3 months up to one year. The grant covers air-fare to and from Japan, a monthly stipend ¥80,000 per month, and a one-time settling allowance ¥25,000 upon arrival.
2. Study Abroad in Japan: Bridging Scholarships
The Bridging Project offers scholarships to American undergraduate students participating in study-abroad programs in Japan. Students majoring in any field of study are eligible to apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and must be enrolled as undergraduates in a college or university in the United States before and during the time they are studying abroad. Bridging Scholarship recipients receive a stipend of $2,500 (semester-long programs) or $4,000 (academic year programs).
3. Freeman-ASIA (Freeman Awards for Study in Asia)
Freeman-ASIA is designed to support American undergraduates with demonstrated financial need who are planning to study overseas in East or Southeast Asia. Applicants must be an undergraduate student with a minimum GPA of 2.8, pursuing his or her first bachelor’s degree (or associate’s degree), at a two-year or a four-year institution of higher education in the United States, and have applied or have been accepted to a study abroad based program in: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.
4. The Blakemore Foundation
The Blakemore Foundation was established in 1990 by Thomas and Frances Blakemore to encourage the advanced study of Asian languages and to improve the understanding of Asian fine arts in the United States. Blakemore Freeman Fellowships fund a year of advanced language study abroad for college graduates using an East or Southeast Asian language in their careers.
5. Fund For Education Abroad – Hiliary Echo Douglas Memorial Scholarship
In memory of Hiliary Echo Douglas, a study abroad advocate, beloved daughter, wife, mother, and colleague. This scholarship will be awarded to a student who demonstrates Hiliary’s love for Vietnam and other cultures, her desire to give back to the world community, and her contagious love of life. Hosted and administered by the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA), the Hiliary Echo Douglas Scholarship will award up to $5000.
6. Yoshi Hattori Memorial Scholarship
This full, merit-based scholarship is designed to promote intercultural understanding and peace, and was created in memory of Yoshi Hattori, an AFS Exchange Student to the U.S. from Japan who was tragically killed in 1992. Students applying for a one year AFS Exchange Student program to Japan are eligible.
7. The Fulbright Grants
The Fulbright Grants support one year of post-graduate study overseas in any field. Awards are available to conduct independent research, to act as teaching assistants of English, or to support the projects of creative artists. There are about 1,100 awards each year sending American students to about 140 different countries. Each grant provides tuition (for those enrolled in a course of study), living expenses, travel costs and insurance as determined by the host country.
8. The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program
The CLS Program is a United States Department of State cultural and educational exchange program which offers roughly 600 students from the United States the opportunity to study abroad in intensive summer language institutes. This nationally competitive program funds students who study one of the 13 critical need foreign languages, and is part of the National Security Language Initiative. The 13 critical languages include Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish and Urdu.
9. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad. Such international study is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. Over 2,300 scholarships of up to $5,000 are awarded for U.S. citizen undergraduates to study abroad. Students who apply for and receive the Gilman Scholarship are then eligible to receive an additional $3,000 Critical Need Language Supplement from the Gilman Scholarship Program for a total possible award of up to $8,000.
10. The Boren Awards For International Study
Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in parts of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Boren Scholars represent a variety of academic backgrounds, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Swahili. Scholarships are funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), which focuses on geographic areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security.
Some important advice – don’t get deterred from the larger government scholarships because you think they’re too competitive, or the eligibility requirements are too demanding. I have close friends who received a Boren, Fulbright, and CLS, and if they can get one, or any other of the scholarships I’ve listed, then so can you.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you!