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How Is College Life Different in China

A lot of people think that student life is a universal experience for all young people across the globe. It can seem like that on paper: you get into college, move onto the campus grounds, study, party, and find new friends. On the other hand, in reality, every country has its own unique traditions and circumstances, which can turn your college life into a unique experience!

You can’t imagine two more different cultural backgrounds than America and China. It’s a well-known fact that overall upbringing has a huge effect on education and how it’s perceived. For example, there are thousands of movies about American college students that just like to party, miss classes, and take part in wars between different sororities. But that’s not accurate!

In reality, students in the United States have to study just as much as learners from other countries. You will have to concentrate on choosing a path for your future career. Of course, when you pay for essay and other homework online, you’ll have more time for your friends and even hobbies! College is not only about having fun, but you sure can try to enjoy yourself!

So, do you want to know more about student lives and their cultures in these countries? Read on to learn all about how college life in China is different from the student experience in the United States!

School Year in China

You’ll notice the first difference as soon as the school year starts! Students in American colleges and universities start in September and go on summer vacation in May. In China, learners also begin their year in September and finish only around July. The time off for summer vacation is very short for Chinese freshmen, unfortunately.

Life on Campus and Partying

This is another cultural shock for exchange learners from China who come to the United States for their education. Partying and going crazy with your friends on the weekends is not a huge part of Chinese college culture. In other words, your university social life in the United States will be a lot different from how you spend your free time as a student in China.

Here are some most striking changes that set American and Chinese learners apart:

  • In PRC, students need to get used to having many roommates;
  • Chinese students get more into student organizations, clubs, and competitions than drinking every weekend;
  • Fraternities are not a big thing in PRC;
  • Classes are for closed student groups in China, which means that you will always be sharing your learning space with the same group of people;
  • Chinese dorms usually close at 11 pm, so any residents who didn’t come back before the deadline are locked out for the night;
  • Sports games are very popular among the residents.

Extremely Busy Schedule

Some people say that every college in every country of the world can be extremely hard for anybody. It’s true that American universities sometimes put a lot of pressure on graduates. On the other hand, Chinese schools usually have an extremely tight schedule that is loaded with extra-curricular activities, university-sponsored competitions, and other mandatory things.

Communication Between Students and Teachers

You can often see how learners and their educators have a casual relationship with each other in US colleges. Sometimes they even get on a first-name basis, hang out together after classes, and keep in touch for professional advice after graduation. This is not the case for the universities in PRC at all. Here, all relationships between teachers and pupils are professional.

Mandatory Military Training Program for First-Years

This is perhaps the biggest difference between American and Chinese universities. As it is proposed in the Law of the People’s Republic of China on National Defense Education, all students have to go through military training for one month. There are some sorts of limitations on what is included in this program. Undergraduates train only in basic formation and movement. 

Closed Off Online Environment

This can be a total culture shock for anyone who is not familiar with the internet rules in China. In the United States, it’s completely normal to interact with professors and peers through Facebook, Instagram, or email. Chinese universities prefer WeChat or Soul. Also, you might already know that the Internet there is closed, so you might want to use a premium VPN as well.


So, now you know the basic differences between college life in the United States and the People’s Republic of China. Western colleges usually try to encourage and inspire their students to explore their lives by themselves. Eastern educational system is focused on the results, career, and success after graduation. In any case, you should always find your own balance!

Featured image source: unsplash

Last Updated on 2022/11/11

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