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Your Need-To-Know Guide To Studying At A Business School In China

Your Need-To-Know Guide To Studying At A Business School In China

Interested in studying at a business school in China? Here are the top things you need to know as an international student

By Shannon Cook

If you're seeking an immersive experience in a nation at the forefront of technological advancements and boasting the world's second-largest economy, pursuing your business degree in China could be an ideal choice.

Depending where you’re from, living and studying in China might be quite different from your own country and culture. With so many various aspects to consider, such as navigating the language, visa regulations, and cultural etiquette in China, you’d be forgiven for feeling just a little bit overwhelmed.

That’s why BusinessBecause has put together a helpful guide to studying at a business school in China: 

Access courses unique to business schools in China

Studying a business degree at a Chinese business school wouldn’t be unique if it didn’t include some Chinese-focused business coursesThe customs and formalities of business conduct in China varies from other countries, so it’s important to become well-versed in Chinese business. At Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management, the Bejing-based Global MBA program offers a China Roots course, which enables students to experience business in China via company visits and lectures from influential Chinese business leaders.

“Through the experience with companies, students get to know the right people or maybe even find the right companies that they work to work for after graduation,” says Jia Ning, academic director of Tsinghua Global MBA program.

Meanwhile, Zhejiang University School of Management in Hangzhou offers courses such as Doing Business in International Markets, which looks at business strategies and operations in major markets such as China.

"China has a large and rapidly growing consumer market, which will create a lot of data and business opportunities," says Wenguang Sun, professor of statistics at Zhejiang University.

Enjoy affordable business school programs 

Business degrees in China are generally more affordable than those in the US, while still offering a high-quality learning experience.

At Peking University (PKU) Guanghua School of Management in Beijing, for example, the 22-month Guanghua Global MBA program costs just 188,000 RMB (roughly USD$26.5k) for the whole program.

This is a stark difference to the average tuition cost of a two-year MBA in the US, which sits at around $160k—according to the BusinessBecause Cost of MBA Report 2023. 

Many business schools in China also offer substantial scholarships for international students, such as the Chinese Government Scholarship. 

You might also consider the Belt and Road Scholarship in China, which is aimed at international students from 147 countries located across Asia, Europe, and Africa. 

Be supported with accommodation at business school in China 

If you’re looking to get the most of your business school experience in China, it’s likely that you will want to study on campus. This offers a great opportunity to meet new people, socialize, as well as being conveniently located near to your classrooms.

Most business schools in China offer accommodation services for international students at competitive rates.

Fudan University School of Management in Shanghai offers accommodation for students in the main Handan campus of the university. There is a dedicated foreign students’ dormitory, which requires pre-booking online.

The fee is 90 RMB (US$13) per day for a single room and 60 RMB (US$8) per day per person for a double room.

As demand can exceed supply for on-campus accommodation, business schools in China can point you in the direction of suitable off-campus services. 

Learn to navigate the language

There’s no need to worry if you’re not yet fluent in Chinese as international business degree programs in China are taught in English. This is because the programs tend to attract a large international base.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University offers an array of master’s degree programs in English for international students, including their International MBA and Master of Finance. 

Yet, learning Mandarin will be extremely beneficial for living and studying in China, as well as boosting your career prospects. This is why many business schools in China offer Chinese language courses suitable for international students. 

Anais Pothon chose to study for an MBA at Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Antai College of Economics and Management as she wanted to improve her Mandarin and explore the Chinese business environment.

“I therefore decided to offer myself a one-year break dedicated to learning,” she says.

Some schools also offer pre-enrollment language courses. At Fudan University School of Management, for example, international students can join a Summer Chinese Language Immersion (SCI)—for which scholarships are available—in the July and August before starting an MBA.

Meet and network with Chinese companies

Networking should be a lifelong habit for business and management professionals, and what better time to invest in your networking skills than at a business school in China?

Top business schools in China understand just how important building a strong network is in the business world, which is why schools often partner with local companies in China, as well as multinational firms.

Renmin Business School  in Beijing, for instance, offers Global Network Events with CEOs of global companies such as Unilever. These events are often themed around a particular topic, which could be related to business sustainability, finance, or consulting. 

“There are so many different business opportunities,” says Nontarom Manathanya, an International MBA graduate from Renmin Business School.

Not only do these events invite students to put their questions to successful business leaders but it’s also a chance to forge connections with those high up at the featured company.

Over in Shanghai at Fudan University School of Management, networking is also a central part of the business school curriculum.

During the Master of Finance program at Fudan, students can connect with top financial institutions such as HSBC, Citi Bank, and Shanghai Stock Exchange. These engagements happen through campus talks, career fairs, campus business competitions, and more. 

At Peking University Guanghua School of Management, there are tons of business school clubs to join, including consulting, tech, and women in business clubs. 

Two Guanghua Global MBA students even launched their own club: The PKU PitchClub Experience, which helps students network with companies and become better business leaders.

“PitchClub was born to be the safest place to practice and enhance our communication skills,” says Beverly Fung-Mock, Guanghua Global MBA graduate and co-founder of the PKU PitchClub.

Make sure to take advantage of the networking opportunities you have at business school—it could just be your gateway to a successful career in China.

Study abroad opportunities at business school in China

If you want to become a global business leader, it’s going to be important to understand business operations in various parts of the world.

Many international business programs in China are formed in partnership with top international institutions in the US.

The Tsinghua Global MBA program is a collaboration between the prestigious MIT Sloan School of Management and Tsinghua University, bringing together both institutions’ expert faculty, research expertise, and strong brand name.

Students in the Tsinghua Global MBA program can even opt to travel to MIT Sloan’s campus in Boston, Massachusetts, to study for business courses at MIT.

Meanwhile, Zhejiang University School of Management allows Global MBA students to study for one semester abroad at leading business schools such as Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. 

Understanding Eastern and Western business values will be sure to stand you in good stead when applying for careers at multinational firms. 

Access the best MBA jobs in China 

China’s economy is growing, with its real GDP expected to expand by 4.1% in 2024. 

As the country continues in its reign as one of the world’s largest economies, sectors such as technology, manufacturing, real estate, and finance are booming.

Looking to the business hub of Beijing—the home of Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Renmin University of China—more specifically, the jobs outlook looks bright for business school graduates. 

Grads from Tsinghua Global MBA land jobs at top tech companies such as Tencent, and consulting and banking roles at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Those graduating from the Peking University Guanghua Global MBA alumni have found jobs in global sales and luxury goods at Richemont. 

Meanwhile at Renmin Business School, grads successfully enter jobs in sectors such as entrepreneurship and investment banking. 

Shanghai—the home of Jiao Tong University and Fudan University—is renowned as the international financial capital of China.

Venturing beyond just the finance sphere, Shanghai Jiao Tong MBA grads have entered careers in areas such as client relations management. One NBA star even used his Jiao Tong MBA to pivot from sports to vice presidency at JuneYao Group—a giant of the Chinese service sector. 

Graduates from Fudan University have used their International MBA (IMBA) experience to access top careers across technology and management consulting. The iLab Business Consulting Project enables students to work with Fudan partner companies to solve a real-world business issue.

“The iLab is also a way to enrich your job opportunities and your professional career after you graduate from Fudan,” says Rafael Vega Valtierra, IMBA alumni and regional director at travel tech company, Shake to Win.

Heading southwest of Shanghai is Hangzhou—the home of Zhejiang University—which is known for its entrepreneurial climate within the information technology industry. 

Entrepreneurial Zhejiang Global MBA grads have used their business skills to strengthen their expertise in trading, green energy, and ecommerce. 

Check out student visas for international students in China

Visa requirements for studying at business school in China will vary depending on your nationality. Make sure to check your country’s government website and consult the admissions office of your target business school.

Remember, studying abroad for your degree in China will require a lot of preparation, which might involve speaking with the admissions team, alumni and faculty from your chosen business school and researching cultural etiquette and customs in China.

This is a sponsored article, paid for by the featured business school(s).

Image: ©hxdbzxy / iStock

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