re: Studying Mandarin Abroad For Free: China Scholarships

The Great Wall, Beijing, Winter

Following my previous post covering funded study in Taiwan, unsurprisingly, there are also many opportunities to do so in the Mainland itself. Whether you’re from the UK or elsewhere a quick google search should provide you with some general ideas – however a good starting point is checking with your university’s Chinese department if you have one!

Since I’m writing from my own experience, I’ll cover the scholarship awarded by the British Council’s Generation UK programme who are seriously a godsend when it comes to funding work or study in China. With quite a few options to apply for, chances of acceptance are high.


Programmes range for one semester or one full year studying at a Chinese University and cover accommodation (provided by the university) and tuition fees. Additionally, a monthly stipend of 1100-1600RMB is also provided to cover living costs.

Baozi, Beijing


Applications open in April, with outcomes expected mid-May. As with the Taiwan scholarship, your application is judged on your answers to two questions consisting of 250 words max. The questions will probably change each year, but in general, the first would address your personal motivations and reasons to undertake the programme, whilst the second looks at your knowledge of China. Unlike the internship programme also funded by Generation UK, there is no telephone interview, so do make sure to submit only when you’re ready.

A word of note, you are able to apply to multiple programmes, but can only be accepted into one. This is important when applying – make sure you send off the application to your first choice first (sensible right?) before applying to others. Once accepted by one, progression of all other applications will be stopped – at least that’s how I believe the system works. I received an outcome from this mid-May.


To further increase your chances of studying abroad, it’s also worth looking into options offered by your university. Naturally these options are for existing students, thus it’s best to start thinking about this before your final year! In some cases, your employer may also provide mandarin lessons – if you do have any experience with this, let me know in the comments!


  • 1100-1600 RMB p/m*
    *handy settlement 1000RMB allowance in first month, location dependent
  • Tuition Fees: Included
  • Accommodation: Included
  • Not Covered: Flight, Visa, Medical Insurance, Vaccinations.
  • Application Period: April

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