Cost of living in China

As an international student in China, it’s a memorable and enormously rewarding experience. Not only will you be able to witness first-hand China’s historic conversion from an underdeveloped country into a major global power, but you’ll meet people from all over the world, too. China has the second largest economy. In Beijing, China’s most expensive city, you can live fairly comfortably off of US$15 a day. Renting an apartment costs around US$250-350 a month and a meal at your local noodle joint won’t set you back more than a couple of dollars.

Cost of living in China

Let’s say you have a limited budget, you’ll find that the salary from a part-time teaching job can go a long way in China. Also, unless you have your heart set on living in Beijing or Shanghai, don’t overlook China’s lesser-known cities where you may only have to pay US$150 a month for a ROOM on campus.

Price index of general items 


CNY (¥)

Price in

USD ($)

Combo meal at McDonald’s or similar 30.00 ¥ 4.90 $
Meal at an inexpensive restaurant 20.00 ¥ 3.27 $
Rent for an APARTMENT in City Centre (per month) 3,500.00 ¥ 571.65 $
Rent for an APARTMENT outside of City Centre (per month) 2,000.00 ¥ 326.66 $
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 2.00 ¥ 0.33 $
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 10.25 ¥ 1.67 $
Gasoline (1 liter) 8.00 ¥ 1.31 $
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 300.00 ¥ 49.00 $
Internet (6 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 125.00 ¥ 20.42 $

Depending on current exchange rate, these prices might vary.

The table above shows the prices of the general items that can give students an idea of roughly how much they would need to pay for certain things in China on average. These costs might have to be paid monthly or daily by individuals, but then at the same time chances are that they can be shared for instance the electricity bill or the internet bills can all be shared by a group of people 4 to 5 people who are living in the apartment.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.