Cost of Living In Chengdu: The Student

Before coming to China it’s often difficult to budget how much you will going about your everyday life in China cost? Well, the answer to that of course is, it depends. To best explain I’ve separated it into 3 categories and what you can do for each.

The Student



As a student trying to save a buck, it’s best to go for a dormitory if the university can provide it which can cost anywhere between 0元 to 800元,. Even though the dormitories are the cheapest option for students, there are the drawbacks that many universities have curfews for its students and come with stricter rules. If you want the best value for your money it is best to go for a share 2-4 bedroom apartment, this comes with the freedom of having your own room with all the added benefits of it. Depending on the size of the room and the amount of people you are sharing the apartment with, this can cost somewhere between 1000元 and 1500元 per month.


Food is the one of the most varied in costs because you can eat for 400元 a month if you go really low budget, cook from local markets and don’t eat out. but a more realistic estimate is around 1000元 a month this will get you a steamed bun with soy milk(4元) for breakfast, noodles for lunch(9元)and Chinese dishes for dinner (20元).  Whenever you sit down at a restaurant you will get some soup or tea for free, so no need to worry about those pesky expensive drinks. This is a baseline, depending on what you prefer the costs can be much higher or lower.


The costs of transport are of course dependent on how far away from the university you live. Public transport in Chengdu is very cheap, 5 stops with the metro are 1.8元 and you can take the bus for an unlimited distance with unlimited transfers within 1 hour for 1元. Furthermore, the city is littered with bike sharing bikes such as Ofo or Mobike. You can buy a monthly coupon for 20元 for unlimited use of the bikes. If you have some money to spare or want to get home after a night out you can take a taxi, Uber or DiDi this costs roughly 1元 per minute. Having a chauffeur is very convenient, but also very costly if you make a habit of using it. The cost of transport is entirely dependent on your situation.


As a student you want togo out and have a good time. Fortunately Chengdu has a good time on a budget. if you want to do pre-drinks at your own place beers at the convenience store are around 5元  cheapest bottle of wine is 28元 and if you are really looking for some mixers on a budget you can mix BaiJiu with soda(Chinese hard liqour 50%>).  If you go to a budget bar and request a discount card beers will cost you around 5-10元 a bottle and mixers around 20-30元 a bucket if you want to go to clubs, there are certain clubs where foreigners can get free drinks, however if you want to buy a drink in a club a beer can cost up to 30-40元

Other Costs

Furthermore, if you don’t live in a dormitory, there are your apartment’s expenses such as management fee, WiFi, and utilities which vary between the apartment complexes but will altogether cost you around 300-600 a month (shared between the number of roommates) . Your phone subscription will cost between 50-100元 depending on how much data you want.

If you want to know what your cost of living in Chengdu will be you can use this information to make an estimate, if there are any questions you can always contact us.

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