Your Guide to Living in China - Housing
Many of the Chinese universities provide international students dormitory for foreign students. In general, the international student dormitory offers single, double and three-bedrooms for foreign students. Most rooms are equipped with internet access, basic furniture, TV and telephone. Please note that not all the dormitory rooms have private bathroom.
Learn more about on-campus housing in China - Accommodation
Students may directly contact a real estate agency to rent an apartment. There are also serviced apartments or international student hotels which especially for foreign students in China. Students are advised to obtain approval from the admission office for off-campus housing, also choosing a place which is safe and near the campus. Never forget to get a temporary residence registration form, which is issued by the local police station of your accommodation. Go to the local police station together with your landlord with your passport.
How to Rent an Apartment in China
Renting an apartment in China can be very difficult for foreigners who have none or little Chinese proficiency. The main concern is that most information you can find on the internet is written in Chinese language and real estate agents in China don’t usually speak English very well. The rental contract will be written in Chinese language. There are apartment rental websites in English language. However, they are mostly for expats that may not be a good option unless you have a big budget.
We do think international students should stay in on-campus dormitory or serviced apartment during their first semester in China. In some universities, the admission office staffs will assist students to rent off-campus apartments in case on-campus dormitory rooms are fully occupied.
Few hints for renting apartments in China
1) Ask the admission office staffs to refer local real estate firms near the campus. Or, you can contact with major real estate firms that have offices in major cities in China.
2) Find out all other expenses besides the monthly rent (security deposit, agency fee, electricity, internet and others).
3) Ask for a regular contract.
4) Learn more about the neighborhood and district of the apartment.
5) Unless you have good to excellent Chinese proficiency, ask your local friend to review the rental contract for you.
High School Dormitory
Most of the Chinese high schools offer double, four-bed or even six-bedrooms for students, depending on different high school. Parents are advised to clarify with the school admission office regarding the weekend and public holiday arrangement when most of the students will return home.
Learn more about life in China, please visit Your Guide to Living in China