The Study China programme has been running since 2007, sending hundreds of full time students from the UK to various parts of China annually.

Upon arrival, students are sent to one of the many elite universities in China such as Beijing Normal University and Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. At these universities students are taught Mandarin and will embark on a number of cultural activities such as calligraphy and Tai Chi classes.

This may sound expensive, but Study China is a government funded programme which means that other than flights, travel insurance, visas and food expenses, everything else in the programme is free of charge. Your accommodation will be completely covered by the programme. The trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the rich culture China has to offer and to make lifelong friends with the Chinese students you’ll meet.

Unfortunately, the number of applicants for next year’s programme in April has seriously declined. There are 280 places available on the programme, and so far there have only been 190 applicants. Andrew Taylor, the organiser behind the Study China programme stated: “We’re seriously down on applications for the next programme.  Although it is quite usual for everyone to leave it until the last minute to apply, we’ve not got long until the closing date.”

Next year’s programme also offers an alternative option to just study at a Chinese university. There are 40 places for students to partake on a special internship programme in either Beijing or Zhuhai, which will allow the applicants to gain firsthand work experience in China.

The programme currently exists due to government funding and if all the places are not filled up it is possible that the programme will be stopped. The end of the Study China programme would come at a great loss, not just for students, but also for the continuing relations between some of China’s and the UK’s finest universities. If you are interested in applying for next year’s trip the deadline for applicants is 21 December 2011. Visit studychina.org.uk for more information.