China has been a popular student destination for years. For many reasons, China should be in your top list of Asian schools to pursue a nursing degree. Aside from being a tourist destination for its rich culture and heritage, China is a very affordable country to live in. From living expenses to the cost of tuition, it will definitely suit your financial capacity. To help you save more on the budget, most universities offer scholarships and financial aid.

Not only is it affordable, but the quality of education is also at par with international standards. Their nursing curriculum is at three levels: undergraduate, graduate and continuing education. Most universities offer an English-medium nursing degree for international students. If you want to study nursing in Chinese, it is also possible as long as you meet their language proficiency level.

China offers great endless possibilities. Graduating with a nursing degree doesn’t end there. Upon earning a degree, you are greeted with numerous work opportunities in Chinese hospitals, clinics, and community health institutions. With the shortage of nurses in China, foreign nurses are highly welcome to apply to meet the demands with an employment rate of 100% for Chinese and foreign nationals, depending on your work experience and career achievements. To work as a nurse in China, you have to pass the national licensure examination to become a registered nurse. If you have decided on studying nursing in China, here’s what you need to do:

1. Before studying nursing in China, know the prerequisites to become a nurse

As an international student who wishes to study nursing in China, the requirements are quite easy to accomplish. Students who are 18 to 20 years old or under 40 are eligible to apply. You have to be a high school graduate to qualify for a bachelor’s degree in nursing. In addition to the said requirements, you must pass the following high school subjects: English, Mathematics and Chemistry.

As you know, being a nurse requires you to be physically and mentally healthy, that is why all schools ask for a medical certificate indicating you are fit and qualified for the program. In China, a diploma, advanced diploma, baccalaureate degree, master’s and PhD are the degrees of nursing education that you can take.

The requirements of studying nursing in China mentioned above are only general. It is best to check with each nursing school for their specific criteria. For example, at the Jilin University of China, they offer undergraduate, graduate and PhD degrees that are English-medium. To qualify for the program, they require the applicant to be a non-Chinese citizen with a valid foreign passport, age 18 to 30 years old, holds a high school diploma, and no underlying medical conditions.

If you plan to take a Chinese-medium course, you should have a language proficiency of HSK Level 4≥180, whereas if you take an English-medium course, you should present a language proficiency of TOEFL above 70 or IELTS above 6.0.

2. Do your research on Nursing Schools in China

There are numerous factors you need to take into consideration when choosing where to study nursing in China. The first thing you want to look at is the performance of their nursing graduates in taking the licensure examination. Based on the results of the test scores and the number of passers, you can get a bit of background on how good the school is.

You want to be in a school where you will feel confident and help you prepare for the licensure examination. The next thing to ask yourself is where you want to live in China. Depending on your lifestyle and budget, you can narrow down the most suitable location for you. Once you have chosen the city, it will be easier to find the best nursing school that fits the requirements and your financial status.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

3. Fulfill the Chinese and English Requirements

Although some nursing schools in China offer an English curriculum nursing program, knowing the native language is still highly beneficial when living in a foreign country to use it in your daily conversations in stores or any establishments. If you choose an English-medium curriculum, at Jinzhou Medical University, they require an IGCSE Level C, an IELTS band score above 6.0, and pass an online English interview via Skype. If you choose to study nursing in Chinese, you have to pass HSK Level 4 or above before you can qualify for the program.

4. Prepare financially

Among the many factors to consider is the cost of tuition and your financial capacity. If your budget meets the cost, then you are good to go. One of the reasons why international students study in China is the low cost of tuition. Studying nursing in China is more affordable compared to most European Countries and the United States. Whether it is food, rent, and other personal expenses, it is not that heavy in the pockets.

The cost of tuition depends on the location whether you are in the countryside or the city. Moreover, it highly depends on the school of choice, either a community college or university. Generally, the tuition fees can be about USD 2,500 to USD 7,000 per academic year. For example, at Central South University, the cost of tuition per year is about RMB 36,000 or about USD 5,520.

5. Put together your application to study nursing in China

Location and school are all checked. Now it is time to prepare the documents needed to submit to the school in order to study nursing in China. Most schools require similar documents, but it is advisable to check with the school’s website for more details.

At the Jilin University of China, the specific application documents needed are your passport personal information page, an original copy of your senior high school diploma and transcript of records, an HSK certificate (for Chinese-medium courses) or a TOEFL or IELTS English language proficiency (for English-medium courses), a copy of any relevant certificates awarded in high school, and receipt of application fees.

When you have prepared all these documents, you can then proceed in your application online.

6. Submit your application to the list of nursing schools

Head over to your preferred school’s website and you will see their application process. To give a summary, here is an example from Guangxi Medical University. First, you should submit all the documents to the International Education College of Guangxi Medical University by mail or email before the deadline. After that, the university will evaluate all the documents to see if you are fit for the program.

The university follows specific criteria that are well-thought of, it all depends on your educational qualification. If you are accepted, the university will send an Admission Letter along with other additional requirements needed from you.

7. Put together materials for a student visa in China

If you have successfully passed the university’s application process, congratulations! You can focus on getting a student visa, which is also an essential part of studying nursing in China. Anyone applying for a visa knows the importance of passing the visa interview and has qualifying documents, therefore better be prepared. First, look for your country’s Chinese embassy website or any China Visa Application Centers. The detailed instructions are listed on their website and other documents you need to bring in your visa interview. Take note that you should apply for a visa at least one month before your arrival date in China.

The type of visa you are applying for is an X1 visa which is for long-term studies of more than 180 days in China. Generally, the required documents are your passport valid up to at least six months, filled-out student visa application form, one recent passport photo, an original and copy of admission letter from the nursing school, and a W201 or JW202 Form. Once you have fulfilled the requirements, the processing time usually requires four business days. If you want it earlier you can have it rushed for on;y two to three business days for a charge of USD 20 via their express service.


We hope that this article on studying nursing in China was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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