The Cost of Living in China
The cost of living varies in China according to where you are geographically. There are also different options for what life style you can choose. In the coastal metropolises like Shanghai, Shenzhen or Guangzhou, the price can be high. The price is all dependent on the lifestyle you choose.
To have a comfortable living standard which corresponds to the Western OECD-level, one perhaps needs just as much as financial resources as one would in Sydney or Seattle. Shanghai for example, is amongst the top 10 cities when it comes to living costs in the world. An average salary for a white collar worker in Shanghai is 1000 US Dollars. If you have a budget of 1000 USD per month, it will be enough. It is always good to look for some extra work. For example, there is always plenty of opportunities for English
teachers. This can bring you some extra pocket money.
Generally, you need 3000/5000 RMB (4000/600 USD) to afford an apartment in Shanghai. The cost of food is a very individual. You can get shark fin soup for 60 USD a bowl or 1 USD beef noodles on the street corners. Fast food such as KFC (Kentucky fried chicken) and McDonald are cheaper in China, at 4 to 5 dollars.
Smaller cities can however be much cheaper in terms of living costs. Hiring a taxi in Xi’An, a Midwest city in China, for instance costs no more than 8 US dollars for up 30 kilometers. An apartment (1 room) will cost you no more than 150 USD per month in those smaller cities.
Useful student housing & accommodation websites
Student.com offers over 1 million beds in China and other countries around the world. Their website is free to use and offers a dedicated team of expert accommodation consultants and price match comparisons. They also have formal contractual relationships with every landlord on their site for an added layer of security for you!