Why International Students Are Flocking to China

Why International Students Are Flocking to China

Stephanie Lukins

Updated May 30, 2023 Updated May 30

Sponsored by Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

It’s official – China is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations for international students to study. Coming in third just behind the US and UK, the Ministry of Education of China announced that in 2017, a record-breaking 489,000 international students enrolled in Chinese universities.

Improving standards of Chinese universities and their positions in university ranking league tables can be considered just one of the reasons for this rapid rise in popularity, as well as the opportunity to gain an understanding of China’s dominating economic power as the world’s second largest economy. Not to mention being able to learn Chinese Mandarin – the world’s most-spoken language.

Understanding Chinese culture can boost your career prospects

Being able to say that you’ve immersed yourself in the culture of one of the world’s most populous nations can really make your CV stand out to potential employers.

Filip Krzyzanowski, a computer science student, from the University of Liverpool undertook a year abroad at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. He really enjoyed his experience studying in China, saying: “In terms of career I have made a lot of connections from my time in Suzhou, which might benefit me in the future. Now that I’m back in the UK, I find it much easier to engage with Chinese people in the UK as I now have a better understanding of their behavior and culture.”

Building a strong network of contacts and friends from across the world has definite potential for future opportunities. 

Filip also considers how, “it has definitely been a beneficial experience to get to know the Chinese culture and learn a bit of the language”.

So, whether you spend a semester abroad, or study an entire degree abroad, gaining firsthand experience of living and studying in the country can demonstrate your ability to adapt to a new culture and environments.

Knowing Mandarin can open doors

Chinese Mandarin is becoming increasingly important in international communications, so having an understanding and knowledge of the language can open many doors. In the western business world, being able to speak Chinese Mandarin is a skill that is in huge demand, and can make you a very attractive hire.

Although learning a new language may be challenging for some, it can be one of the most rewarding skills you will ever have. Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University offers a range of academic opportunities for international students, ranging from short-term and summer school courses, to full-degree programs. While courses in degree programs are taught in English and delivered by experienced academics from around the world, international students also have the chance to study Chinese Mandarin.

The importance of the Belt and Road Initiative for students and graduates

The Belt and Road Initiative aims to strengthen positive relations between China and 65 countries and regions across Asia, Europe and Africa. Therefore, the demand for graduates who have Chinese experience to lead key projects in the countries along the Belt and Road Initiative is considerably high.

Of the 489,000 students who furthered their studies in China in 2017, 317,200 of them were from a number of Belt and Road Initiative countries, including Iran, Indonesia, Laos, Pakistan and Thailand.

Pakistani student, Fatima Khan, has just begun her BSc Biological Sciences degree at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. She is very aware about the benefits of what studying in China could mean for her future career as a research scientist in genetic engineering: “The research in my field – biology – is huge here in China, and in Suzhou. There are Chinese researchers all over the world, so I would hope being able to speak the language will help me in my chosen career.”

Fatima also considers the importance of her experience: “The things that I’m learning here are going to give me an edge in my career because I’m interacting with people from all over the world. I plan to learn the language as well.”

Education is one of the biggest priorities of the Belt and Road Initiative. As a result, students and graduates who are from countries along the Belt and Road Initiative should find themselves seriously benefitting from their experience of studying in China.

What are you waiting for…

Ranked 79th in the QS Mainland China Rankings 2019, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University is a joint venture between the University of Liverpool in the UK, and Xi’an Jiaotong University in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China. The university itself is located in Suzhou, a destination that combines a rich 2,500-year-old history, with a drive to become one of the most modern cities in China.

XJTLU prides itself on its international mobility prospects. Due to its close links with its parent institution, the university offers students from the University of Liverpool the opportunity to take part in a Year in China program, as well as a range of other visiting programs which are available to all international students. Students have the chance to undertake modules on Chinese society, history and politics, as well as learning Chinese Mandarin.

For more information about the range of study options available for international students at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, visit their website.

This article was originally published in October 2018 . It was last updated in May 2023

Written by

As the sponsored content writer for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com , Stephanie creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics. 


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