Best Time For Foreign Student to Apply for Chinese University

Chinese full-time universities' school year contains two semesters (except for a few ones that start trial implementation of the 3-semester system). 

The first semester starts in the autumn of each year, and the second semester starts in the spring. Student studies 5 days a week, each semester lasts about 20 weeks.

Spring semester


Courses: usually Chinese language training, short-term cultural, medical training, and so on. 

Time: usually starts in early March of each year

Application: usually starts in September or October of the previous year and closes in mid-January of the current year. The deadline for some universities is at the end of December of the previous year.


Autumn semester


Courses: usually degree programs, Chinese foundation program, short-term Chinese language training, and other short-term training programs (Cultural, Medical training and so on). 

Time: usually starts in September of each year

Application:  usually starts at the beginning of March and closes before mid-July. 

The deadline of some universities is at the end of June, and in some universities, the deadline is extended to the end of August. 

Most Chinese universities' Chinese language courses accept application throughout the year, foreign students can apply at any time.


That the specific date to apply, especially the application date of short-term training programs, please refers to each university's official website.


Time Arrangement for Study in China

Application for the course offered in Spring Semester

Submitting the Application: September to October of the current year

Waiting for admission result and JW202 form issuing: November to December of the current year

Waiting for receiving the Admission materials mailed: January of the next year

Feb. of the next year: Applying for visa and preparing for going to university (Luggage, Air Tickets, Accommodation, etc.)


For short-term (less than 6 months) Chinese language or other training program students, the university usually will not issue JW202 form, and will not mail original admission notice, instead, most universities will send student canned copy of admission notice, so student can apply for tourist (L)visa or visitors (F)visa to come to the university. 

The student should contact the university when scanned copies of admission notice, letter of invitation are required for applying for a tourist (L) visa or visitors (F) visa.


Application for the course offered in Autumn Semester


Submitting the Application: March to April

Waiting for admission result and form JW202 issuing: May to June

Waiting for receiving the Admission materials mailed: July 

Applying for visa and preparing for going to university (Luggage, Air Tickets, Accommodation, etc.): August 

Going to university: September

When applying for a Chinese university, the earlier, the better.

Then you will have enough time to prepare for materials that are required for your application, and there will be more time left for you to deal with emergency cases that may happen during the application. 


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