help bg

Keats Blog

Keats Blog offers great information about Chinese language learning, Chinese culture, Mandarin Chinese, and information about China.
Go Back


So, you want to be a savvy saver to be able to make studying abroad a reality. While traveling and studying abroad will be expensive and you probably will hit some unexpected costs, there are ways of how to save money while studying abroad. In this blog post, we show you how to become a well-informed traveler (the best kind of traveler) and give you tips that will keep your money in your pocket while you are learning Chinese in China.


What is travel without a little planning? Preparing for your trip beforehand will not only save you money, but you will have better peace of mind when you reach your new home. So, to start: plan, research, and then plan some more.

Get to know your new city. Scroll through news sites, travel forums, and your new school’s website.

Create an “Adventure” savings account, and with every paycheque until your trip, pay yourself first. Make sure the account can’t be touched with your debit card. That way, spending won’t happen. This would greatly help you save money when learning Mandarin Chinese in China.

While you’re at it, create an emergency or a “just in case” fund. The same as your abroad account, pay yourself every paycheque. This money will allow you to feel more comfortable heading overseas because, most likely, something will come up, and having an emergency fund will save you from going into debt.

Tip: Check online to see if you’re eligible for study abroad scholarships, grants or loans. These could be a good way of saving some money.


On top of paying yourself, you need to create a budget, stick to it and review it regularly. There are going to be unexpected costs when you’re traveling and living abroad. For example, when you study abroad in China and get sick, you need to pay for the hospital bills before getting reimbursed by the insurance company. By choosing Keats School, you can also save expenses on medical insurance. To get ready for your study abroad, you should also know how to see a doctor in China and more information about your medical insurance in China.

When selecting the language school to study with, you may choose those whose tuition fee covers most of your daily expenses to save some money. When studying Mandarin Chinese at Keats School, you may choose the most economical language program of the small group class. Or you can choose a language school that owns different branch locations in touring cities across China, such as Dali, Lijiang, Puzhehei, Yuanyang, Xishuangbanna, Tengchong, Jianshui, and Jingmai Tea Mountain, so you can enjoy touring while learning Chinese in these different locations, which allow you to save expense for traveling. Educate yourself on the many costs associated with travel and put them together to create a travel budget.

Sit down with someone to talk about your options to save the most money. Don’t forget that your bills in your home country won’t stop just because you’re living abroad.

Tip: Tell your banks and credit card companies that you will be abroad. Talk to them about fees associated with using your card overseas. Telling your banks you will be abroad will also allow them not to freeze your accounts for fraudulent activity, which could leave you stranded with no money.

The plan is to have enough money in your bank account when you head abroad. If you’re realistic and smart with your money, it’s possible.


There are many ways to slowly chip away at your current travel price tag/budget, bringing it down to a more reasonable number.

One of your biggest ticketed items will be your plane fare. You’re going to want to compare airplane costs to make sure you are getting the best deal.

Tip: Always clear your cache and browse in incognito mode to get the best prices every time you use a travel site.

The other big item you’re going to be saving for is your schooling. Choosing a school abroad is a big decision. To save money, pick a school that includes essentials like room and board, meals, internet services, laundry, etc.

Tip: Keats School in Kunming offers all of these services along with several different Chinese language courses at different price points, such as the intensive one-on-one Chinese program, small group class, HSK test preparation program and Online Chinese lessons. More than 10,000 students have picked Keats as their school abroad. Choosing to study Chinese in Kunming is a great way to save money in China because the tuition fee covers almost everything.

After those two large expenses, there are smaller ways to save money too.

Learn how to fully use free online Chinese lessons and resources to facilitate your self-study! Sufficient training out of the class can make you progress faster and help you save money on language learning.

Learn how to cook! If you’re not attending a school that includes meals, learn how to prepare healthy, hearty meals. It will be easy to fall back on readily available services like take-out food, but you will save a lot of money by cooking your own food. However, it is not expensive to try Chinese cuisines in local restaurants neither. Do you know what food to order in a Chinese restaurant?

Learn to navigate! Transit can be expensive, and taking a cab is more money out of your pocket. To save some cash, learn how to read a map and start walking more. Metro in Kunming or other cities in China is also an economical way to get around.

Tip: You can even use Google Maps to navigate offline, just remember to download map areas while connected to WiFi. Other apps in China such as Baidu Map or Gaode Map would work the best if you want to get around in China.

Start saying no to luxuries now while you’re saving for your trip. If you don’t have money for travel now, you probably won’t have it later when you are studying and not working.


Is it expensive to learn Chinese in China? The cost of living in every city is different. Putting in the time to research the average costs of items and living will allow you to prepare for your new home.

Take into consideration the exchange rate when saving and spending money. Ask and learn about the gratuity in your new country. Do they tip? If so, how much? And for which services?

In China, we do not tip. However, if you are really satisfied with the service, you can tip a little and people will feel very grateful. When you study abroad in China, you can try to learn bargining a little. Bargining is common at vendors, but not common in big shopping malls or supermarket.

And, don’t forget… you’re in bartering culture. Don’t end up paying far more than a reasonable price. Get comfortable bartering for goods.

Understanding these basics will allow you to feel more “at home” when you arrive.


Cha-Ching! Your comfort level abroad will depend on how much you plan and prepare while you’re home. Keep an eye on your daily expenses and learn as much as possible about your new country before jet-setting.

Lastly, live like a local, and you will get the real experience. You won’t get stuck in any tourist money traps, and you will be thankful later when you’re calculating how much money you spent (and saved) studying abroad in China.


How to save money while studying abroad?

Firstly, do some research about learning abroad and make a budget plan on the statistics you found.

Secondly, selecting language programs at a reasonable price covers most daily essentials such as meals, housing, events after classes, and other activities. It can help you save lots of unnecessary spending daily.

Thirdly, studying at a touring spot may help you save money on traveling and sightseeing. Keats School has set up a well-connected net of schooling locations across China. Most of these locations are popular touring spots, which allow you to enjoy Mandarin learning and sightseeing simultaneously.

How much does it cost to study Mandarin in China?

Except for the fixed 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 should be considered.  The truth is that the living cost of learning Chinese in China could be very cheap or economical once you can mix these cost items smartly. The most economical city for living in is Kunming, and the most economical language program is the small group class at Keats School.

Is it possible for me to involve in internship when study in China?

Yes, it is possible. Keats School has set up well collaboration projects with local groups and companies, which provides internship opportunities to teach Keats students when they study Mandarin in China. This is also a good chance for the students to better understand Chinese culture and better communication with local people. You can choose to enroll in the Chinese language Study + Internship program.

Is there any special offer or discounted price of the Keats language program?

There is a discounted price for each language program. You may check out the details on each information page of the introduction of language programs.

What is the average flat-renting price and utilities in Kunming?

If you’re living in the Keats Dormitory, there is no need to worry about these issues, for all of the expenses are covered in your tuition fee already.  It’s also straightforward and cheap to ask for a room cleaning and drinking water supply service at Keats Dormitory.

Related Articles

Which Chinese Language Program
is right for you?


Rients's Story at Keats Kunming, My Second Hometown



Josh | USA

Small Group Chinese Class

I really had a wonderful experience at the school. The teachers are very very friendly. In my class, we practice speaking, listening, reading, and writing. We play games and other fun activities. We have trips around town. The staff at Keats is phenomenal. My teacher is one of the best teachers I have ever had in my educational experience. She comes in with a smile every day.


嶋田京子 | Japan

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

Kunming’s scenery is very beautiful. It is the best place to study Chinese in China. 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 when learning Chinese in Kunming is very good and the weather is very good. The air is very good. It is good for the elderly’s body.


Claudia | Australia

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I’ve been at Keats school and Kunming now for one month doing the one-on-one Chinese lessons with two different teachers. I really enjoy it. Both of my teachers are very friendly and patient. They really helped me to improve my Chinese, both of my reading and speaking. I really enjoy studying Chinese in Kunming as well. This city is really beautiful and the weather is nice, the air is clean. It’s one of the best cities in China to study Chinese.


Hilary | USA

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I’ve had a really great time here. I’ve studied a lot with my teacher who was fantastic. Keats School tried very hard to match its students with really good teachers that their personality works very well together. I really enjoy studying Chinese at Keats and I will definitely come back.


Jean | USA

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

I can’t tell you how much I liked it. The thing I liked about the teachers and the teaching method is that there is so much flexibility. The other thing I liked about the teaching is the combination of classic textbook learning and going outside. I loved it! I like getting to know other students. Everybody shared the same goal and that’s making their Chinese better. Kunming is a big city, but it is very safe to live here. Another thing I liked about Keats is the idea that people here help you. I can’t recommend it enough. I think it was a valuable experience. Looking forward to coming back!


Ramji | USA

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

The best part of the school is the patience the instructors had and the time to focus on the fundamentals like pronunciation. I think it is very easy to skip over those and go to vocabulary. But by learning the pronunciation, I feel like it helped me gain a better understanding of the language.


Mike | Australia

Small Group Chinese Class

I think Kunming is a great city, the weather is really good. I really like Keats school and found it is very organized. The teachers here are very good. They have a coffee shop and new classrooms, a new lounge area here now, so you can chill out with your friends and practice your spoken Chinese with natives. If you’re considering coming to Keats to study, I would really recommend it. It’s the best place to learn Mandarin and I think it will be a great experience for you.



Judith | USA

Intensive One-on-One Chinese Classes

Listening and speaking in the classroom every day has improved my communication skills. After three weeks, my new words and sentences became more and more natural and fluent. Now I am used to thinking in Chinese, and I understand better what other people say, to be able to have real conversations with other people.

Please use vertical scrolling on your mobile device.