What is the first thing that crosses your mind when you hear about Chinese culture? It can’t be one! From the famous Chinese food and tea, to martial arts like Kung Fu, Feng Shui, the Chinese New Year and Zodiacs, along with the cute Panda bears and Ying & Yang, experiencing life in China will be like diving into a huge pool of a unique rich culture, customs and traditions that will remain indelible in your mind.
Understanding Chinese culture can be a journey itself. Run by dynasties throughout the centuries, the country has gone through multiple political reforms and stages of disunity and togetherness until the establishment of the modern Republic of China was established in 1911. Until today, the traditional cultural values that characterize Chinese people are: harmony, benevolence, righteousness, courtesy, wisdom, honesty, loyalty, and filial piety.
More specifically, harmony is the core value you need to pay attention to when understanding Chinese culture. Harmony is to be achieved among the individual, the family and the society and it refers to the proper balancing and coordination among things by appreciating human relationships and embracing simplicity in all things.
The Chinese nation is the home country of silk textile, tea, kites and even bicycles, which were introduced into the country in the 19th century. Paper and paper money were also firstly introduced in China in 1023. The red colour is associated with the Chinese New Year and symbolizes happiness, good fortune and joy, while the Dragon represents good fortune as well, as supported by former Chinese Emperors. Similarly, the Phoenix represents the female power.
When it comes to the globally well-known Chinese food culture, what makes an impression is that table manners and respect are essential and deeply rooted in Chinese history. China is home to the tradition of chopsticks and this tradition has been spread through other Asian countries as well and respect and giving presents to the table host is highly appreciated. The Chinese cuisine is very diverse and also differs from region to region, but the most notable Chinese dishes include pork Sichuan, fried shrimps, wontons, springrolls, dumplings, variants of hotpots, and of course, roasted duck dishes.
China has been the home of tea since the ancient times. For Chinese people, it is not only an everyday beverage, but part of tradition with great importance, as it also used for health purposes. Being the nation’s favorite drink for around four thousand years, you can nowadays find endless flavors and kinds of tea like black, green, white, and yellow. Put a bet with yourself to try as many tea types as possible while studying there!
Chinese Language History
你好 (nǐ hǎo) or simply ‘’hello’’ in Chinese! The official language or most correctly, dialect of China or the People’s Republic of China is Mandarin Chinese. The Chinese language history begins at least six thousand years ago and is globally the oldest written language, where ancient character inscriptions were found during the Shang Dynasty. Chinese is composed of pictograms and semi-phonetic ideograms and has no tenses, no cases and no gender structures.
The reason why Chinese appears to be such a difficult language to master, is that it is using distinctive symbols or characters in order to represent each vocabulary word. Each character has a particular meaning and despite the changes that have occurred throughout the years in the written language, the principles of the language in regard to the symbols and characters have remained the same. Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language, with four standard tones and one fifth more neutral one. This is what makes the learning process a bit of a challenge, since the grammar is not difficult at all.
Why learn Chinese?
Learning a new language opens new doors and new perspectives in life. Did you know that among the benefits of language learning is the ability to manage problem-solving tasks easier or the strengthening of your memory function and creative thinking? All these benefits are highlighted even more if the language you are learning is a unique one that will boost your CV. So why learn Chinese?
In the first place, Chinese, with around 1,3 billion speakers, is the most widely spoken language in the world! It should not be perceived so difficult, since the grammar in Chinese is significantly easier than the most European languages. Additionally, Chinese language proficiency is opening countless professional opportunities to you, since it is considered one of the most important communication languages in trading, business, tourism and technology nowadays.
Another fascinating fact on convincing you why learning Chinese is one of the best choices you can make, is that Mandarin Chinese is one of the official languages of BRICS, the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This linguistic experience will open new horizons to your personal development and career while pursuing your studies in China and will be for sure an unforgettable learning experience. So why not start learning Chinese even before your arrival in China?
Learn more about education in China:
Study in China - Overview
Thousands of international students choose China as their study abroad destination every year. Click here to learn why.
Learn more about the Chinese student visa process, and all the information you need to enter the country, depending on your citizen status. You will also be required to bring certain documents with you in China, like your medical records, which we cover as well.
Housing & Living Costs
No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to make a plan and create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in China, depending on the city of your choice.
Tuition Fees & Scholarships
Tuition fees in China may vary, depending on the level of education. Both international and European students are expected to pay tuition fees in China. No worries though, there are plenty of scholarship opportunities available from the Chinese government.
Want to learn more about how the higher education system works in China? China is becoming a popular study destination among international students, given its top ranked universities, culture and ancient history. Find out more about the Chinese education system below!
All countries have specific admissions requirements for students to gain acceptance into a university. Learn more about the ins and outs of admission to programs in China, and what you need to apply, depending on your citizenship.
Ready to look at education in China? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in China today!