Frequently asked questions


When should I start my Chinese visa application process?

It is recommended to apply for your visa as soon as you receive your visa invitation
letter and admission notice.

I already have a Chinese visa, do I have to apply for a new one?

If you are already in receipt of a valid Chinese visa that will cover the entire duration
of the Study China programme, you do not have to apply for a new visa. If you are
unsure whether your existent visa will be appropriate for the Study China
programme, please contact your local Chinese visa office for confirmation.

What type of visa should I apply for?

Before applying for a Chinese visa, please consider the purpose of your visit. The
majority of our students apply for the X2 type of visa valid for 30 days. However, if
Study China is not the primary purpose of your visit to China, you might have to
apply for a different type of visa. The detailed description of all visa categories is
included at the end of this document.
If you are unsure what type of visa you should apply for, please contact your local
Chinese visa application centre for guidance.
Please note, whichever visa type the Chinese visa application centre provides you
with, will permit you to travel to China.

In the visa application form I have to provide details of the inviting person or
organisation. Where can I find this information?

The details of your inviter and the accommodation address can be found at the
bottom of your visa invitation letter and admission notice.

My visa invitation letter and admission notice lists only the official Study China
programme dates. However, I’m planning on travelling before/after the
programme. Will this affect my chances of getting a visa?

The visa invitation and admission letters we prepare are based on a standardised
form and can be issued only for the exact dates of the programme. In the visa
application form, you will be asked to provide an itinerary of your trip. Based on the
information submitted, the Chinese Visa Application office will then decide what type
of visa is the most suitable for the applicant.

I have received several copies of the visa invite letters and admission notices.
Which ones should I take to my appointment?

Please take the visa invitation letter and admission notice addressed to the correct
country (top left corner)

Can I apply for a Chinese visa by post?

As of 1st Nov.2018 applicants are required to submit the application in person to get
fingerprints taken at the Chinese Visa Application Service Centres in the UK. If you
are applying at the visa application centre outside the UK, this might be different.

Can I apply for a visa through an agency?

According to the requirements of Chinese Embassy and Consulate General, from 30
April, 2018, you may need to come to the Visa Centre in person to submit your
application and your fingerprints may be collected. If you want to apply through a
travel agency, the agency will be responsible for confirming with you about the
submission and fingerprint collection

What is the price of a Chinese visa?

The price will differ based on your nationality, visa type, number of entries, and the
Application Centre you are applying at. Please check the local Chinese Visa
Application Centre’s website for accurate pricing list.

Is there a deadline by when I should receive my visa and inform the Study
China office?

You do not have to inform the Study China office about the successful receipt of
Chinese visa. You must have a valid visa on the day you plan to travel to China.

Phase 2

Do I have to book return flights?

By the Phase 2 deadline you only need to book outbound flights (flights to China). You can book your return flights at a later date but you will have to upload flight information for this journey as well. It is advisable to book outbound and inbound flights simultaneously as they can often be cheaper.

Can I book flights from a different country than the UK?


I want to travel before/after the programme. Will this be possible?

This is perfectly fine and provides a great opportunity to explore more of China. However, please do consider:

  1. You must complete the whole Study China programme. You cannot arrive later or leave before the official programme dates.
  2. Make sure you have the correct visa if you plan on staying in China for a prolonged period.
  3. Make sure you receive medical advice regards any vaccinations you may need to travel in certain parts of China.

(We cannot provide any visa or medical advice. Please contact your visa centre/GP).

Can I book flights after the deadline?

Unfortunately, we cannot give any extensions to the deadline. Please check your emails regularly and do not leave booking flights/uploading documents to the end of the deadline.

My flights/shuttle bus/insurance information has changed since I uploaded it

All of your information can be updated on the Study China portal. Select the appropriate tab on the left hand side and update where relevant. Once you have done this, please email confirming any amendments made.

Can I change the shuttle bus?

Yes. Please go to the Study China portal and choose the ‘Shuttle Bus Information’ tab on the left hand side. Once you have updated your information on this page, please also email so we can confirm the change of details.

If I miss my shuttle bus, can I catch the next one?

At the airport, upon your arrival, you will need to contact the Student Volunteer or your Programme Supervisor who will be based at the designated meeting point. They will then advise you on when the next available shuttle bus will depart. You will also have phone/email contact information for the Programme Supervisor if you cannot find him/her at the meeting point.

What insurance should I buy?

We do not sell or provide insurance packages; it is your responsibly to purchase your own cover. However, we do recommend that you acquire travel insurance that covers you for the following:

Personal Liability

Legal Expenses


Loss of Tickets & Travel Documents

Loss of Passport


Luggage Delay

Travel Delay

Full medical and emergency cover

Repatriation cover

Also, make sure you read the policy and find out what you would have to do if you claim. Make a note of the policy number and emergency contact phone number of your insurance company.

Please be aware that if you require medical attention in China, you will be required to pay upfront for all medical care received. You will then need to claim this back through your insurance company.

I am covered under my parents insurance but have no proof.

If you are covered under parental insurance, and your name is not on the policy, you will need your parents to send an email to confirming that you are part of that policy.

I’m having trouble uploading documents.

All documents must be saved as a PDF or JPEG and be no larger than 2MB. If, however, after you have checked this the documents still won’t upload, then please contact us.

I’m not sure if I’ve uploaded everything correctly, can I ask the Study China office to check for me?

After the Phase 2 deadline, we complete a thorough check of all uploaded documentation and will contact you if anything is missing or incorrect. Therefore, please refrain from contacting us requesting we check your uploaded files.

Will I receive a handbook prior to departure

You can access the Study China handbook on the application portal.

When other information becomes available, we will post this on the website as News items.

Is there any information I can give to my next of kin before departure?

We will send out information to your nominated next of kin prior to departure. This will include contact information and an e-copy of the handbook. Additionally, next of kin are welcome to attend the pre-departure briefing.

If any next-of-kin have any concerns or questions, they are welcome to contact the programme manager.

Internet and Phones in China

Internet access in China is sporadic, during certain times of the day you may have no connection at all or a weak signal.

Parts of campus will have Wi-Fi, but data is cheap to buy. You either will be provided with a SIM card, or assisted in procuring one from a campus outlet. If you are able to make a wireless hotspot, this may help establish a more stable Wi-Fi connection.

Please ensure your phone is unlocked in order to work in China. Alternatively you may wish to bring a second phone, so you can have both your UK and China SIM running simultaneously.

Remember, Google, Facebook, Gmail, Pixel Phone, and some other apps you use a lot in the UK or Europe are blocked in China.


Will I get to meet other students before I travel?

Study China hosts three pre-departure briefings in the early summer, for participants to meet each other, as well as meet the Study China team. These are usual held at University College London, the University of Manchester, and Queen’s University Belfast.

We will also invite offer-holders to join a Facebook group, in which you can meet each other, ask questions, and figure out if you’re travelling on the same flights to China.

I have specific health and mobility requirements, can these be accommodated?

Health and mobility facilities are not be standardised across Chinese universities.

We will ask you to specify on your application form whether you have any health and mobility requirements which you may require support with. If you are offered a conditional place on the programme we will discuss your requirements and conduct a risk assessment to determine that they can be accommodated.

Study China cannot accommodate carers or support workers.

When I arrive in China how do I get to the university?

On the official arrival Sunday, the day before the commencement of the programme, your host university will provide a schedule of shuttle buses from both Beijing Capital Airport (for BNU students) and PuDong International Airport (for ECNU and ZJU students).

You will be asked to register for a shuttle bus ahead of time, so we can arrange sufficient transport.

The same service will be provided by your Chinese host university to transfer you from university to airport on the official departure Saturday only.

Where will I be staying?

The accommodation will be located on the university campus. Generally the accommodation is for international students or visiting lecturers.

You may have your own room, or have to share a twin room with another student of the same gender.

We do not accept requests to be paired with friends. Room allocation is done by the host university, and we do encourage all participants to take this opportunity to make new acquaintances, and see it as an opportunity to further develop your interpersonal skills.

What support will I have while in China?

Your programme will be managed by two University of Manchester Programme Supervisors. Your Programme Supervisors will be located at your host university, and will provide support throughout the programme.

The activates on the programme will be delivered by a team of host university staff, all of whom are very experienced in running similar programmes for student from all over the world. They will be supported by Chinese student volunteers.

I am a coeliac; will I be able to find gluten-free food in China?

Gluten-free food will be difficult to locate. You will need to do your research prior to departure as the availability of suitable restaurants and eateries will be limited.

Study China will provide some guidance and tips on both places to buy food/eat at, as well as mandarin phrases to assist you once in China.

I require Kosher or Halal food, is this available in China?

Halal and kosher food will be difficult to locate. You will need to do your research prior to departure as the availability of suitable restaurants and eateries will be limited.

Study China will provide some guidance and tips on both places to buy food/eat at, as well as mandarin phrases to assist you once in China.

Can I buy western style food in China?

There are western-style food outlets across the major Chinese cities, but they are more expensive than in the UK. You will be able to find the likes of McDonalds, KFC, and Starbucks quite easily.

We do recommend taking some staple snacks (cereal bars for example) with you, if you think you will struggle with eating Chinese food all the time.

How much free time will I have to explore China while on the programme?

You will usually be in lessons and classes from Monday through to Friday, generally starting at 9.00am and finishing at around 1.00pm.

You may have free time in the afternoons and evenings, but this is dependent upon your schedule. You will receive a draft of your itinerary in advance, and a copy of the full and finalised programme itinerary on arrival at the host university.

You will only have two weekends during the programme; generally these will include a full-day visit to a local family and organised excursions and trips to areas of local interest. Attendance on all trips and visits is mandatory.

We recommend that if you want to travel independently that you arrange to do so before the programme starts or once the programme has finished. If you do have a free weekend on the programme during which you wish to visit a different town or city, you must consult with your Programme Supervisor.


The University of Manchester

Samuel Alexander Building 

Oxford Road, M13 9PP

T: 0161 306 1725

T: 0161 306 1689


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Instagram

Funded and delivered by: