Preparation for Studying in China (Read Before You Go!)

Soon I will go to college in China. Anything preparations to do to study in China? Read the tips!

OK, I will share based on my personal experience. It should be understood first that the tips that I will give are more for friends who have been accepted by schools or universities in China, yes.

If you haven’t and are interested in studying in China, I suggest you just try to register for the Chinese Government Scholarship program. You can read the conditions here.

Preparation before leaving for college in China

There are several preparations for studying in China before you leave, namely:

1. Apply for a student visa

Of course, before going to study in China, you have to apply for a student visa first. There are 2 types of student visas, namely Visa X1 (more than 180 days) and X2 Visa (less than 180 days).

To go to college means you have to apply for an X1 Visa. Read my previous post on how to apply for a China visa yourself.

2. Learn Mandarin

It’s a good idea to learn Mandarin to make it easier to communicate with local people. If you apply the scholarship may have taken the Mandarin language course because it has to take the HSK exam.

But, if you want to major in English like me, there’s nothing wrong with studying Mandarin.

It’s not easy, especially Mandarin uses special characters, not the alphabet. At least you can talk a little bit even if it’s just a basic conversation.

The average person there is not good at English, so if you want to buy goods or ask questions, you have to use Mandarin. Try studying through an app like Duolingo, or take a private course or tutoring.

3. Download the VPN app

Very important! First download the VPN application before leaving for China. Why? Because in China many applications that we usually use such as google, facebook, whatsapp, are all blocked.

Well, that’s why we need a VPN application. There are free and paid VPN applications. It’s just that from my experience the free ones are unreliable, often drop out and then slow down again.

When I was in China, I used an app called AstrillVPN. Even though the price is hefty, yes, the connection is really smooth and also safe.

There are also several other vpn recommendations that you can use in China, both free and paid.

4. Prepare documents and personal items that need to be brought

There is a list of documents that you need to bring:

  • Passport
  • Admission letter
  • Form JW201/JW202
  • Results physical examination in Indonesia
  • Passport photo

I also brought my last diploma just in case but in the end it was never used.

For goods, it depends on personal needs, yes. In my opinion, you don’t need to bring too many things because later you can Taobaocheap online shopping paradise in China.

Want to find Indomie, sweet soy sauce, chili sauce, yes, there are so many Indonesian products on Taobao. Sometimes there are even supermarkets, so you don’t have to worry about missing Indo food.

The possibility of the new school year starting in September, which is in the fall, so you can bring a jacket. But when I arrived it was still hot.

Bring enough money too. The cost of living in China is not too expensive, more or less the same as Indonesia.

It’s just that when you first arrive, you may need to spend money to pay the hostel deposit, do another physical examination, and the cost to change your visa to residence permit.

I suggest that if you receive a scholarship, it means that the dormitory is free. Take care Just bring around 5,000 RMB or Rp 10 million for the first month’s living expenses.

If you are not a scholarship recipient, you may have to bring more because you have to pay for boarding and school fees later.

Also read: Preparing to Go to Australia After Getting a WHV Visa

5. Join the community

Naturally, if you just arrived at a new place that you have never been to, you will be confused, anxious, and confused.

Well, before you leave, you can join the community either via Facebook or Instagram to get directions from other friends who already live in China.

One very active community is the Indonesian Chinese Student Association (PPIT). Almost in every big city there is a special association, for example in Chengdu there is a group especially PPIT Chengdu.

This community or organization often organizes various events, gatherings, and others.

Even though you live in another country, you will feel right at home because of other Indonesian friends who will help you.

You can also contact me directly, especially if you study in Chengdu. If there are no obstacles, or my location is still in Chengdu, I can help later.

Also read: Au Pair Registration Requirements and Preparation!

friends in china
New friends in China

Preparation after leaving for college in China

I think after arriving in China there are more things to take care of. I’ll also mention it so that when I get to China it won’t be awkward.

1. Re-register on campus

Usually if you get a scholarship, the campus will arrange the transportation that has been scheduled for the student. If not, you can go directly to the special administration office for international students.

From my experience, the university sometimes has 2 buildings. So first make sure which campus building.

For example, my university has two buildings, while the distance between them is quite far. If you take the metro or subway about 40 minutes. Check carefully where the new student registration is.

At the time of re-registration, it is usual to recheck the documents and whether they still need to pay off the payment, take care of it dormitoryand other administrative matters.

Even though I got the scholarship, I still had to pay a hostel deposit of RMB 1,000. So before that I suggest bringing more money hehe.

Also read: How to Write a Good English Research Proposal

2. Report to the nearest police station

After completing administrative matters, the school will direct you to Report yourself to the nearest police station. In China, there are super many regulations when it comes to foreigners or foreigners.

Not only for students. Those who work must also report to the police station in the area where they live. You just bring the file from campus, and just hand it over to the police station.

Later you will get a paper indicating that you have made a report to live in the area. When you change your place of residence, you have to report back to the police station in the area.

3. Changing the visa to a residence permit

Okay, I think the visa that we have taken care of from Indonesia is valid as long as we study in China. Apparently not! The visa is only valid for 1 month after entry.

You have to change the visa into a residence permit at the office named Public Security Bureau (PSB).

After getting this residence permit, you can only go in and out of China for a year or according to how long you study in China.

The cost to make this residence permit is RMB 500. The documents will be notified by the campus or you can check here.

4. Do a physical examination

One of the requirements to get a residence permit is to have a physical or medical exam result. If I’m not mistaken at that time, I attached the results of the medical exam in Indonesia.

Then they were contacted by PSB if they had to do a physical examination again. In Chengdu there is a special hospital for foreigners to take physical exams. Maybe in another city the same.

Another cost to do this physical exam is RMB 500.

Also read: Sample Study Plan in English to Apply for Scholarship

preparation before leaving for college in china
Trip with friends

5. Download important apps in China

I don’t mean to be silly, but in China, if you leave the house, just bring your cellphone, you can survive. Yep, anything can be done via cellphone – take the metro, make payments, buy this and that.

The application that you must download in China is Wechat. In short, this application is versatile. I have previously written what applications you should download in China.

6. Buy a SIM Card

In China, there are 3 main telecommunications operators, namely: China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. The most popular are China Mobile and China Unicom.

I personally use China Unicom, only RMB 20 a month but only get 1 GB if I’m not mistaken, hehe. But I often use wifi, so I don’t need more data.

I heard that the most stable connection is the China Mobile operator. When you arrive in China, you can compare prices and suitable packages.

To buy a SIM card, you must bring a passport. Not all branch stores can open SIM cards for foreigners, so you can try asking friends or other seniors who have stayed longer.

Also read: Tips for Rent Apartments in Singapore, Read First!

7. Open a bank account

If you are a scholarship recipient, the campus will inform you which bank you should open an account with. Because the monthly pocket money you will receive is transferred by the university.

I was advised to open an account at China Construction Bank (CCB). Again, not all branches can open accounts for foreigners.

Other popular bank options available Bank of China (BOC), Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). The four banks that I mentioned are the 4 largest banks in China.

If you want to send money from abroad to Indonesia or vice versa, you can use Wise.


That’s more or less what I want to share about preparation for study in China let you have a clearer image. If there is something you don’t understand or want to ask, please feel free to contact me.

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