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How Much Does It Cost to Learn Chinese in China

How much does it cost to learn Chinese in China? Except for the fixed amount of tuition fee for Mandarin learning, the answer to this question depends on what kind of cost items are included in your daily expense. Besides that, which city are you living in and what your lifestyle is like should be considered as well.

Cost of living in China varies from one place to the next, if you’re living in tier top cities of China and stick to the Western living experience with fancy housing, restaurants and foreign shopping stores and supermarket, then you would find your overall living cost is in a considerable high expense in China. 

The truth is that living cost to learn Chinese in China could be very cheap or economical once you can mix these cost items smartly. Because if you only stick with the western standards of food, groceries and housing, then your expense amount would be considerably high and you will lose the chance of authentic living experience of China. However, you may experience a hard transition if you only try local kinds of stuff. Therefore, the best solution is to mix these two up, trying both authentic local living and maintain part of your home lifestyle. So you wouldn’t break the bank after completing your study in China.

In this article, we’re going to discuss different kinds of cost items you may count into your budget if you’re planning to come to study the Chinese language in China. There might be a few items that be missed but we will try to cover everything comprehensively.

Renting a flat and utilities

Rent could be the most expensive thing to pay for when you live in China. Normally, it takes up to 30% of the monthly income to enjoy a comfortable living condition for locals. The average renting fee is various in different areas of China. In the big metropolitans like Beijing and Shanghai, rent prices here start at the point of approximately 4000 RMB a month. This start price is just for a studio or even a room in a shared apartment. To enjoy a modest apartment in a nice complex, most shopping and eating outdone locally, and probably be located close to the city centre or not far from bus stops and metro lines, you may have to spend over 10000 RMB on rent.

However, you may enjoy the same standard flat with much less price in other second-tier cities of China, such as Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan province. It won’t charge you over 5000 RMB to rent a fancy flat that well decorated and with a full package of furniture.

The better option would be having your accommodation and meals inclusive in your tuition fee, such as the language program provided by Keats School, the best Chinese language school in China. Keats School is dedicated to delivering the best Mandarin education to foreign students who want to have an immersive learning experience in China. At Keats School, once you’re enrolling in the intensive One-on-one Chinese program you can not only have customized language course with top quality but can also enjoy the accommodation and 3 meals a day which is included in your tuition fee already.

It’s also very easy and cheap to ask for room cleaning service and drinking water supply service at Keats Dormitory.

So you wouldn’t have to charge extra expense on these items during your stay in China. By saving from these cost items, your cost to learn the Chinese language in China will be quite cheap.  

As to utility fee, it costs less than 200 RMB per month for apartment utilities. This is how it breaks down:

Electricity: Averagely it charges from 40RMB to 100 RMB per month, depending on if you use AC or electrical heating.

Water: approximately costs for 35 RMB per month; may increase a bit if you do laundry frequently.

Gas (for cooking): If you love cooking by yourself, it’s a good idea to use gas. It’s cheaper than electricity. 200 RMB can last for a couple weeks.

Eating out & Coffee

If you can adapt to local food very well, then you may save more costs on eating out than those who mostly go to western restaurants. A Western restaurant usually sets you back twice that much. Normally, it won’t cost you over 100 RMB to get a typical Chinese meal with drinks for two persons, and it even costs much less if you’re happy to eat at a small hole-in-the-wall place. But it would also possible to expect to pay around 200-300 RMB if you’re eating at a fancy and expensive Chinese restaurant.

If you are a fan of coffee drinks and need your daily caffeine fix, you will expect to pay at least 40 RMB for your daily intake of coffee, not only at Starbucks but also other coffee chains and cafes.

If you’re happy with making coffee on your own, you can save a lot from this item too. Upgrade coffee beans may charge quite expensively but normal good coffee beans, especially the local Yunnan coffee beans only charges 50 RMB per pound.

DOMESTIC HELP

A Yi, the Chinese word of the professional domestic help lady, is normally hired to help with households, such as cleaning, food shopping and cooking. It cost around 180 to 360 RMB for each session of service. There is also the option to hire a live-in A Yi, which can be a good choice if you have children, A Yi could also be a good native speaker to practise your Chinese with.

PHONE & INTERNET

For a middle of the road Internet connection that is bundled with a land-line phone and one cell phone SIM card, we pay around 200 RMB per month. This includes unlimited (but not always fast) data, but only 300 minutes of talk time for the phones combined. We have another mobile phone for about 100 RMB per month for unlimited data, 50 minutes talk and 300 text messages per month, which suits our needs. The prices are lower if you commit to longer terms, meaning if you buy 6 months or so in advance.

Transportation

Public transportation is very cheap in China. To get more details about transportation in China, you can read another post of Keats School: 6 Types of Main Transportation When You Live in China.

Buying a western car in China is more expensive than in many European countries. Gas prices are similar to the US.

Groceries

Shopping at an international supermarket will cost you more than the local ones, for western items cost western prices plus a premium.

A typical trip to the local supermarket often costs less than 200 RMB for staples like milk, yoghurt, fruit, vegetables, cleaning supplies, etc. If you want to but fresh food materials, an open market is better at the supply of fresh veggies, fruits and meats at a cheaper price. You can also find a lot of typical local street snacks at this kind of open market.

Reading more about the famous local open market in Kunming from this post: THINGS TO DO IN KUNMING.

The tip about using Cash or Card in China

Besides the expense, you should also take this “using cash or card problem” into your consideration when related to the costs of learning the Chinese language in China. Cash used to rule for everyday life here in China. However, in recent years, mobile payment, such as WeChat Pay and Ali Pay, has been taking over. More and more people use this mobile payment to pay by simply scanning a QR code. You would find it’s quite inconvenient at some places if you insist on paying by cash or card. You have to open a Chinese bank account firstly for using mobile payment.

International credit cards are often accepted but are not as widely accepted as local Chinese credit cards. Visa and MasterCard are better than American Express.

 

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PROGRAMS

OVER 7300+ STUDENTS HAVE STUDIED AT KEATS

嶋田京子

嶋田京子 | Japan

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

Kunming’s scenery is very beautiful. My favorite learning method at Keats School is one-on-one because it is suitable for everyone. My teacher is very good, very caring, and lovely. My life in Kunming is very good and the weather is very good. The air is very good. It is good for the elderly’s body.

Ida

Ida | Italy

Small Group Chinese Class

I have studied at Keats for 2 semesters. I highly recommend Keats School. If you are very interested in Chinese culture, I would suggest you come to Kunming. Kunming people are very friendly. The weather in Kunming is great. So I recommend that you study at Keats in Kunming.

Dr. Med. Beatrice

Dr. Med. Beatrice | Austria

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

I decided to go to Kunming because I like smaller cities and I like the climate here. We had four hours a day study here and my dear teacher taught me very much and never lost her patience with me. It was a really wonderful experience to be here and I recommend Keats school and the teachers here to everyone who likes to learn Chinese.

Faith

Faith | UK

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

I have 2 teachers, and I do 4 hours a day. So I have got Dong Laoshi and Jin Laoshi. Both of them are very good. They made the experience very nice to me. They are willing to help you whenever, so if you ever have a question here, the teachers are always there to help you whether it is visas, whether it is getting around the city. Everyone wants to talk to you.

Caroline

Caroline | France

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

It is very comfortable studying at Keats. The teachers are very friendly. I welcome you to come to study Chinese at Keats.

Rients

Rients | Netherlands

Small Group Chinese Class

Kunming is a great place to learn Chinese because not many Chinese on the street speak English. Keats has been a great school for me and a lot of other foreigners who studied in china recommended it to me. I think they are all right. The study method here is really structured. They make learning Chinese really easy. There are also a lot of cultural and natural places to visit.

David

David | Australia

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

It has been notable because I have met a lot of people who I met first time last year like me to come back to Keats this year. The teaching has been fantastic. The teachers carefully prepare each lesson. I think this one-on-one approach is really a great way perhaps any way to rapidly increase your level of Chinese and increase your confidence and fluency with the language.

Sarah

Sarah | Dubai

Intensive One on One Chinese Classes

My teachers are all excellent. They trained the teachers so professionally. I feel like I learn very quickly with my teacher. They are very serious about their students and I know every teacher is like this. I would highly recommend that you come to Keats.

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