Get your visa
Every foreigner must have a valid passport and visa/residence permit to stay in China. Please ensure your passport and visa/residence permit do not expire. Foreigners who reside in China illegally shall be given a warning; where circumstances are serious, they shall be imposed with a fine of RMB 500 yuan per day, with a cap of RMB 10,000 yuan in total, or be detained for not less than five days but not more than 15 days.
Apply for a student visa from outside China
After receiving the Admission Notice and Foreign Student Visa Application Form JW201 or JW202, you can apply for a Student Visa (X1 or X2 visa) at a Chinese embassy or consulate.
Chinese student visa, also known as the X visa, is issued to aliens who come to China for study, advanced studies, or fieldwork. It can be divided into two types:
X1 visa: For long-term study > 180 days
X2 visa: For short-term study ≤ 180 days
The validity of both is 90 days from the date of issue, while the stay duration for X1 visa is usually 000, which needs to be determined after the applicant enters China, and that for X2 visa is not more than 180 days.
Requirements & Documents
- Applicant's original passport valid up to at least six months with at least one blank page.
2. Application Form
- One accurately and truthfully completed China Student Visa Application Form.
3. Recent Photo
- Affix one recent passport style color photo with full face, front view, no hat, and against a plain light background onto the application form.
4. Admission Notice
- Original and a copy of Admission Notice from the Chinese university or school.
5. JW201 or JW202 Form - for X1 application only
Original and a copy of approved Foreign Student Visa Application Form JW201 or JW202.
A Few Necessary Steps Before Entering China
- Open a bank account and activate an international debit or credit card. For example, VISA; they will allow easy transaction with a small fee per transaction. Sending money to local Chinese bank accounts is hard and might rack up the cost per transaction, thus using local ATMs to withdraw from an international card and deposit in a local card will make life easy.
- Open a trustworthy email account. Gmail remains a favourite among mail users, however Google and all its services will be blocked and you will be unable to access them during your study period without VPN. Thus, opening a second account in mail providers like outlook, zoho etc will ensure you do not have to wait for VPN to connect to check mail. In regards to mail, you will also be provided with a school mail ID in the school mail system.
Must have APPs before arriving in China
The alternate to WhatsApp in China. It’s key to communication here, and every individual you are bound to meet in your 6 year journey will have a WeChat account. It also has various others uses including payment functions which will require more careful activation preferably after opening a Chinese bank account. You can also use it to order food, in its inbuilt food software called Meituan (美团).
A payment app that forms the cornerstone of the cashless ecosystem that China has created. But Alipay is more than just for payment, it allows you to order food, buy train tickets, pay for buses, order taxis etc. Having Alipay is a sign you are integrating into live in China. Alipay activation requires passport authentication and identity verification, international bank cards can be linked but if that doesn’t work then Chinese bank cards are a simple alternative.
3. Baidu Map
Baidu map is the google map alternative, its the most effective map application in China, and after familiarising yourself with certain symbols and Chinese characters, the map app is easy to use and will make sure you are updated about travel alternatives all the way to possible traffic en route. Alternatively, apple map and any other map alternative will also work, but baidu map remains a trustworthy application for any traveller in China.
4. Translation App
Translation will be essential especially if you are unfamiliar with the language, thus it is essential to download a trustworthy translation app. There is no particular recommendation for an app but some local apps such as baidu translate, youdao etc can be particularly helpful. However, international alternatives are just as effective for simple translations.
Pack for school Checklist
- Important Documents: passport, visa, Admission Notice, Foreign Student Visa Application Form, insurance document, itinerary, plane tickets, ISIC card, etc.
- Electronics: phone + charger, laptop + charger, USB stick/external hard drive, adapter/converter, etc.
- Clothing: several sets of clothes for different weather conditions (to deal with the changable weather in Southern China), outfit for formal occasions, different types of shoes (shoes size run small in China).
- Toiletries: towel, toothbrush and other hygiene essentials for the first few days.
- Accessories: belt, scarf, and other seasonal additions.
- Medication Products: If you have to take medication regularly, you can bring enough to last you the entire duration of your stay or bring some for the beginning of your experience and research how you get more while in China (going to a doctor, etc.).
- Finances: RMB cash, credit card/debit card, etc.
Get to school
Arrival in China
Planning your arrival in China will make the journey to the campus much smoother. When booking tickets please take note of available transportation that might facilitate your travel to the campus. For example, booking a late night ticket might require you to exclude various transport facilities such as metro, buses and railways, leading to delay and racking up overall costs.
There are two cities that have been commonly used by students of our University when arriving in China: Hangzhou and Shanghai. Of these Hangzhou Xiaoshan international airport is perhaps more convenient than any other. But as discussed, timing must be taken into account when considering this airport. This travel guide will give students and family members a brief introduction to the various transport facilities available, though details will not be heavily specified due to possible changes in itineraries. Through this section, it is our hope that people who have never traveled in China might not be frightened by the prospect of travelling in a country with a language barrier.
Xiaoshan International Airport Arrivals
The only available airport for international arrivals in Hangzhou. It is well connected to the central city and also has plenty of shuttle buses going back and forth between various location in and around Hangzhou.
Key information will be quoted obtained from various websites, but site links will also be included for further details.
A Brief Look Into Hangzhou Metro
Hangzhou has a well developed metro network. The metro is active between 6 am and 11 pm depending on the station. The lines 1, 7 and 19 of Hangzhou metro directly links Xiaoshan airport with the downtown area, and to the railway stations. The tickets can be bought at the counter or at the self ticketing machines. People with Alipay can use the metro card below the search bar to pay. Transport cards can also be used if in possession of one.
Route To Yiwu
As mentioned previously, there are buses travelling from the airport to locations in and around Hangzhou, including direct routes to Yiwu. All of them arrive at the same location and are available every two hours with the last bus departing at 21:00. The tickets can be booked at the airport, through calls or through third parties like mobile apps or websites. The arrival point in Yiwu is Yiwu International Trade City Bus Station or Yiwu Shangmaocheng Bus Station (义乌商贸城客运中心). There are also shuttles departing to downtown Wulinmen and the East Railway Station, more information can be obtained from the airport bus station. The price ranges from 20 CNY for downtown buses to 110 CNY for long distance buses, though some variations can be expected depending on the type of bus it is.
- Ticket Office: Ground transportation center, Terminal 4
- Boarding site: Northwest of Ground transportation center, Terminal 4
- For people who don’t wish to travel to Yiwu by bus, other choices such as car and railways are also available.
For people who do not prefer buses, taxis are a good option. Taxis can be taken to the downtown area or to the railway stations if railways is the primary choice of travel to Yiwu.
There are options to book a car/taxi directly to Yiwu from Xiaoshan airport, but the cost might be high depending on the company, the estimated cost can range anywhere between 400-700 CNY. Online booking options are available, and apps like Alipay also have softwares of third party applications like 高德打车(Car Hailing) which allow people to immediately book a car/taxi. However, if such applications are being used, the drivers might request you cancel the order or you pay double, so please verify a definite amount before you decide to choose this option.
There are three railway stations in Hangzhou
-Hangzhou East Station 杭州东站 (Hangzhou Dong Zhan)
-Hangzhou South Station 杭州南站 (Hangzhou Nan Zhan)
-Hangzhou West Station 杭州西站 (Hangzhou Xi Zhan)
They are easily accessible through metro from the airport. For Hangzhou East, line 1 and 9 are directly connected to Xiaoshan airport. For Hangzhou South, you will be required to take line 7 and make two transfers, first to line 2 and finally to line 5. Booking can be done online through third party websites or if you are familiar with Alipay through an application called 12306, the official platform for booking train tickets all over China. The average travel time to Yiwu is 30-40 minutes, and the last train is at 10.20 pm on usual days.
Majority of the trains from Hangzhou to Yiwu depart from Hangzhou East Railway station with an exception of the few departing from Hangzhou South Railway station. The price of tickets is 50 CNY, particularly the ones departing Hangzhou East, the price of departures from Hangzhou South is about 42.5 CNY.
Regarding cancellations: if the ticket is cancelled more than 8 days (including) before the departure, no refund fee will be charged; if the ticket is cancelled more than 48 hours before the departure time, it will be calculated at 5% of the ticket price, at 10% of ticket price for cancellations more than 24 hours and less than 48 hours before departure, and 20% of the ticket price for less than 24 hours before time of departure.
Please always have your passport when passing through security checks, its a must for foreigners. Upon arrival at Yiwu, unless you have already verified your identity in the 12306 website, they might require you to leave contact information and register before exiting the station according to standard procedure.
- Useful links:
- Train Tickets:
https://www.chinaticketonline.com/trains/?gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAiAvdCrBhBREiwAX6-6UlnXMwpoe4PEaoRZv0uHIs5UnG7zemCS7eBsNMlRx_d9BthEE6wg8hoCvaEQAvD_BwE (Third party)
https://www.chinatravel.com/china-trains (Third party)
https://www.travelchinaguide.com/china-trains/ (Third party)
There are two International airports in Shanghai: Shanghai Pudong International airport and Shanghai Hongqiao international airport. Being an internationally lauded city, the flights available are more than Hangzhou and other neighbouring cities, thus making it a favourable destination for arrival into China. Some means of transport will be explained in this section along with useful links.
An Introduction to the Shanghai Metro
Shanghai is more well connected than Hangzhou, any foreigner traveling in China for the first time will feel comfortable in Shanghai. As observed from the above map, the two international airports are well connected to the city center, Pudong through line 2 and the maglev line, while Hongqiao by line 2, 10 and 17.
Route to Yiwu
Just as Hangzhou Xiaoshan airport, Shanghai Pudong airport is connected to various neighbouring cities by long distance buses. There are other bus stops near both airports with more bus timings. The schedules are not provided here due to possible discrepancies in itineraries at a later date, but an online guide like chinabusguide.com will be helpful in planning a trip. Pudong and Hongqiao airports also have a bus station connected to them, with buses scheduled for Yiwu. However, it is to be noted again that most long distance buses do not operate very late into the night, thus this option will have to be excluded if tickets are bought for evening or late night flights.
Taxi can be taken to any of the four railway stations or bus stations to access further transport. Cars/taxis can also be booked from Shanghai all the way to Yiwu. However, it is to be noted that such bookings usually come at high costs of up to 1200 CNY and more.
There are four railway stations in Shanghai:
- 1.Shanghai Hongqiao Station 上海虹桥站 (Shanghai Hongqiao Zhan)
- 2.Shanghai West Station 上海西站 (Shanghai Xi Zhan)
- 3.Shanghai South Station 上海南站 (Shanghai Nan Zhan)
- 4.Shanghai Train Station 上海火车站 (Shanghai Huoche Zhan)
All trains from Shanghai to Yiwu depart from Shanghai Hongqiao Station. The last train is at 21:18, and the first train at 6:15 am. Shanghai Hongqiao Station can be accessed from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, to reach the station from Pudong International Airport, you can take metro line 2, a direct connection between the two locations. The trip takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes and the cost is a constant at 123 CNY.
Note: China railways are more trustworthy than buses and cars, they are always punctual and are rarely, if ever, cancelled. Please arrive at the station ahead of time, the gate closes 3-8 minutes before departure time.
Route to Campus
Public transport links around the campus are not yet available. The bus routes will be updated from time to time according to the actual situation. You can currently take public transport to International School of Medicine, Zhejiang University (ZJU-ISM), which in Chinese is: 浙大国际医学院 (zhè dà ɡuó jì yī xué yuàn). Please refer to the table below for specific stops and follow the campus WeChat for real-time route adjustments. Service to these stops include bus numbers: 313B to 浙大国际医学院 (zhè dà ɡuó jì yī xué yuàn).
Getting to International School of Medicine, Zhejiang University (ZJU-ISM).
For those who have not visited Yiwu before, taking a taxi from Yiwu Airport or Yiwu Railway Station to ZJU-ISM is the most convenient option.
- Yiwu Airport:
The taxi fee from Yiwu Airport to ZJU-ISM should be around 40 RMB . Once in the taxi, tell the driver that you would like to go to the International School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, which in Chinese is: 我要到浙大国际医学院 (wǒ yào dào zhè dà ɡuó jì yī xué yuàn). Remember to ask for a receipt from the taxi driver upon your arrival.
- Yiwu Railway Station:
The taxi fee from Yiwu Railway Station to ZJU-ISM should be around 40 RMB. Once in the taxi, tell the driver that you would like to go to the International School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, which in Chinese is: 我要到浙大国际医学院 (wǒ yào dào zhè dà ɡuó jì yī xué yuàn). Remember to ask for a receipt from the taxi driver upon your arrival.