Living on Campus
Almost every university provides on-campus accommodation. Students who plan to live on campus should submit your Accommodation Application Form (with links to form) as soon as possible to ensure you have a room. If you have any problems reserving accommodation, you are always welcome to contact SICAS (firstname.lastname@example.org) for help.
The budget for living on campus is around RMB 55 to RMB 120 per day, depending on the type of room and charging standards of the university.
Below are the rates of SYSU (Sun Yat-sen University) as an example:
Student Dorm in the South Campus:
Double Room: RMB 1050 per month
Single Room: RMB 1650 per month
Student Dorm in the North Campus:
Double Room: RMB 950 per month
Single Room: RMB 1500 per month
You can email to email@example.com to reserve your room on campus if you have received the admission letter of a Chinese university through SICAS and have got your visa.
You can find out specific costs for each university's on campus accommodation on the university's SICAS page (click on the 'Accommodation' button on the left navigation bar).
Besides, you can get all kinds of services such as shopping, dining, laundries, entertainment, ATM etc while living on campus.
If you don't feel like living on campus, you can choose to rent a room near your campus or join a local homestay family.
Rent a House/ Apartment/ Flat
Most of the universities will allow foreign students to live off campus while you have to inform the university and get the permission from the university first before you make the arrangement. Local listings in English are typically available on expat community websites (a sample of which are listed below). Just be aware that most housing ads you find are posted by agents who may charge an agent fee when you sign the contract (typically one month’s rent) and who may not speak English. As with anywhere, rent various considerably depending on location and the condition of the apartment. Browse the listings first to get a sense of local prices, then try your hand at bargaining!
If you need help from SICAS, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Average Rents for off-campus living
One-bedroom apartment: RMB 1500-4000 per month
Two-bedroom apartment: RMB 1700-4500 per month
Three-bedroom apartment: RMB 2300-8000 per month
Notes: The price varies depending on the condition of the apartment, facilities/furnishings, and especially the location.
Those who want to rent accommodation outside campus should be familiar with the following procedures as they involve your visa/residence permit and the legality of your stay in Guangzhou.
1. Negotiate Rent
Before making your decision to rent, you need to negotiate the rent, and whether the tax is included or not. Bills are usually not included but some apartments in Guangzhou are heated for free by the government during the winter months.
2. Payment Method
Most landlords require that tenants pay three months rent plus a deposit of one month's rent in advance. Some ask tenants to pay half a year's rent or even one year’s rent plus the deposit of one month’s rent in advance. Be wary if they ask for an entire year's rent up front and make sure you get a receipt.
3. Sign the Contract
Before you sign the contract, ask to take a look at the original property ownership certificate. If the landlord refuses to show you his/her property ownership certificate or just shows you a copy, then you have to be alert.
Generally, the landlord will prepare two identical contracts, which includes the apartment's basic information, household appliances, etc. Before signing the contact, the landlord will show you his/her identification card, and he/she will look at your passport So you will sign your name along with your identification/passport No. together.
4. Get House Key
After you sign the contract, the landlord will give you the house key along with one of the contracts.
5. Register at the Police Office
The landlord needs to pay taxes first, and then he/she will take you to the police station for registration. Make sure you bring your passport. The landlord should prepare his/her identification card, original/copy property ownership certificate, lease agreement, tax list.
After all of above are done, you will legally registered to live in the property.
Expiration of Lease
When your lease expires your landlord should notify you one week in advance, and he/she will check the house for damages. If something is destroyed or the room is dirty, he/she will deduct money from your deposit before returning the remaining amount.
To find house housing, browse the following websites for listings:
Homestay/ Au pair
It might be a little difficult for a foreign student to live in a total new environment all by himself or herself, and it is not easy to find a perfect house or apartment either. As a matter of fact, SICAS offers homestay/Au pair arrangement service for foreign students. The Chinese meaning of Homestay is “Living in a local family”; means foreigners live in typical Chinese families when they are studying, working or travelling in China. In this way, International students are able to know more about Chinese culture, custom and life style. Besides, if you come to China to study Mandarin, to know about the real Chinese Culture, or to do kinds of internship in China, SICAS homestay/Au pair program is the best choice.
All the host families are well-chosen by SICAS thus they all have nice house/apartment and are very kind-hearted. For SICAS conducts a thorough interview and security check, our hosts are particularly excited and welcoming toward foreigners. Students can have their private room with all the necessary appliances like Internet access, telephone, iron, etc. in a host family. As a fully integrated family member you will participate in the daily ins and outs of Chinese living including eating meals together, watching TV, and bargain shopping. Should you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to ask your family! They welcome questions from curious students and travelers. Our staff will also be available at all times to assist you if necessary.
The prices of living in a host family vary based on the house/apartment condition and relevant services and the type of your homestay/au pair. Generally speaking, it costs a foreign student RMB 50—150 per day living with a local family.
The following are the general steps to apply for a homestay in China through SICAS:
1. Fill out the homestay/au pair application form (click to download 下载表格) and send it to email@example.com.
2. SICAS will reply you within 10 working days on arranging a homestay family depends on applicants’ requirement.
3. Applicants will make payment and sign a contract with host family through SICAS within 20 days if both of the two sides agree.