FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

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 Arrival in China

Q: How do I get to China?

A: FLY – Start searching early for flights from your departure country to your program city on the specified arrival dates, so you can take advantage of the cheapest deal possible. CSA programs do not include flights to China.

Q: My course is booked in a city which I can't get a direct flight to - what should I do?

A: Most students, if they are unable to find a direct flight to their chosen city, fly first to Beijing or Shanghai and book onward connections from there.

Q: Can you recommend a good website to book my flights?

A: Of course we can! CSA works with, a website that helps students find flights at a lower cost. Let us know when you're planning on coming and we will give you a PROMO CODE so that you can get a further discount on your flight.

Q: I am planning on traveling though China before my program begins and will be arriving at my program city by train – is this ok? Am I still entitled to my pickup service?

A: Yes, of course! Make sure you send your arrival details to your Program Advisor and your pickup service will be arranged from there.

Q. How does my arrival in China work exactly? Is there someone to meet me at the airport?

A: Yes! For all CSA student arrivals, a CSA representative will be there to meet you at the airport and take you directly to your CSA accommodation. CSA staff are easy to spot at the arrivals gate – just look for the happy face holding the CSA sign!

During your application process, your Program Director will inform you of the arrival dates for your specific program with plenty of time to shop for the lowest airfare. You will be provided with more information about your arrival during the pre-departure process.

Q: What can I expect from my first few days in China?

A: On the day of your arrival, CSA staff will take you to your accommodation and settle you in. Here they will go through all the living arrangement information you need to know. If you're not too tired, they will also show you around the local area.

You will be shown the essentials - the CSA office, your university campus, nearest bank and cash machine, supermarket and local cafés and restaurants. There will also be a CSA Orientation Day and Welcome Dinner to get you acquainted with staff and fellow CSA students.


 Eating / Drinking

Q: Can I drink the tap water?

A: We strongly recommend you do NOT drink the tap water. However, those with stomachs of steel do indulge in the practice from time to time. Bottled water is available in large quantities and can be delivered to your accommodation upon request.

Q: Is street food safe to eat?

A: Yes – and it’s great! A helpful guideline is to wait a few weeks until you tuck into the delicious offerings of meals on a stick, just to make sure your stomach is ready!

Q: Are vegetarian / vegan / halal options available?

A: Yes! All cities in China have good vegetarian and vegan options. Please remember to ask when ordering, because in China many consider seafood to be a vegetarian dish.

There are also many halal restaurants around China, due to the number of Muslim Chinese who originate from the western provinces like Xinjiang. They are usually advertised as Muslim restaurants, and their lamb kebabs and flatbreads are super tasty!

Q: What should I do if I have allergies to certain foods?

A: You should always clarify that the food you are allergic to is not in your dish or used to prepare it. If you are in any doubt whatsoever, please do not eat it.

Q: How much can I expect to pay for meals?

A: The amount spent on food varies according to your taste. You can have a meal at a street stall for as low as 5RMB, and you can go to a top restaurant and pay upwards of 500RMB per person. The average meal is usually around 20 – 40RMB, including beverages.

In general, Chinese food is much cheaper than Western food, though in areas with high numbers of foreign students, competition among restaurants can drive down prices of burgers and sandwiches to very reasonable prices.


 Everyday Life

Q: Is there a fitness gym I can sign up for? How much is membership?

A: There are gym and fitness facilities located on all the university campuses, as well as in the areas surrounding CSA apartments. Memberships vary dependent on the quality, location and length of time you wish to sign up for. A handy hint is to go with a fellow student or sign up for a longer period to get the best deal.

Q: Can I get internet access in my dorm?

A: Yes – this is a service available for setup from the internet store on campus. Our CSA staff will show you where and how to set this up during your orientation of the campus.

Q: Is there a local supermarket where I can buy supplies?

A: Yes – generally there will be small supermarkets or convenience stores situated on campus or around your apartment. For a wider range of food and supplies, there are larger supermarkets within walking distance from your accommodation.

Q: What clothing should I bring to China?

A: This varies greatly depending on your program city as well as the time of year. Both winter and summer are known for extreme temperatures, especially in Beijing, so please be sure to research your city of study prior to packing your suitcase.

Our Program Directors will happily point you in the right direction, so do not hesitate to ask them for their advice. China also has many clothing markets and Western department stores with reasonably priced clothing, should you find you need anything once you have arrived.

Q: How can I do my laundry?

A: Washing machines are available in all CSA apartments and homestay arrangements. There are also laundromats available in certain areas in the city, though they tend to be quite pricey. For dorm students, there are usually laundry services available on campus for a small cost.

Q: Are there dry cleaning facilities available?

A: Yes - each city has dry cleaning services available. In most cases, these services can be found within your apartment compound or university campus.

Q: What voltage is used in China? Are power adapters readily available?

A: The electricity standard here is 220V at 50Hz AC. There are two types of plugs typically used in China: the North American standard 2-prong ungrounded plug and the Australian standard 3-prong grounded plug (2 blades in a V-shape with a grounding blade above).

Adapters, converters and multi-plug power strips can be purchased locally at supermarkets and electronic markets.

Q: What is the weather like in China?

A: This is dependent on the city's location and time of year, and you can find more information about weather in the individual city sections on the website.

It can be very hot and very cold - in Beijing, Tianjin and Dalian, the temperature can reach up to 35 degrees Celsius in summer and –10 degrees Celsius in winter. Shanghai is milder in the summer but far more humid. The winter temperatures in Shanghai can go as low as 0 degrees celsius.

Please research your program city prior to your departure and bring appropriate clothing. But don’t panic if you forget anything or bring the wrong clothes; there are lots of places you can buy clothes from within China at all price ranges.



Q: Do people generally ride bikes to get around?

A: Yes! Bike are considered a main mode of transport in China. Bike riding is quite safe, provided you stick to the bike lanes and pay attention to surrounding traffic. Our CSA staff will help you purchase a bike in your first few days of your program if you require one.

Q: How far / where is the closest subway station to my apartment?

A: The subway station in the university area is usually no more than a 10–25 minute walk from all of our accommodations. In most cases, it is also located close to all the local cafés, restaurants and social areas.

Q: How much should I expect to pay for a bus / subway / taxi?

A: Public buses are quite inexpensive and usually cost 1-2RMB per ride. Subway fares differ per city - in Beijing, you can go anywhere on the subway system for 2RMB, while in Shanghai, fares are based on distance travelled.

Taxi fares also differ depending on the city and time of day you're travelling. In Shanghai, the meter starts at 12RMB (16RMB at night) and includes the first 3km, increasing by 2.4RMB (3.1RMB at night) per km for the next 7km, and 3.6RMB (4.7RMB at night) for every km after the first 10km travelled.

In Beijing, the meter starts at 13RMB (14RMB at night) and includes the first 3km, increasing by 2.3RMB per km for the next 12km, and 3RMB (3.4RMB at night) for every km after the first 15km.

Q: Where do I buy a subway / metro card?

A: These are usually available at any subway station in the “IC” ticket window. You can also purchase single-trip tickets from the automated machines in the station.



China Study Abroad recommend using Student Universe for booking flights. Please request PROMO CODE from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive a discount!  

  • Beijing

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    3610 Capital Mansions,
    6 Xinyuan Nan Road, Chaoyang
    Beijing, 100027
    Phone: (+86) 10 8468 3799 
  • London

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    154 Bishopsgate
    London EC2M 4LN
    United Kingdom
    Phone: (+44) 0207 377 84 
  • Hong Kong

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    Rm 604-7 Dominion Centre
    43-59 Queen’s Road East
    Hong Kong
    Phone: (+852) 800 968 924 


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