Before coming to China it’s often difficult to estimate the cost of living and how much going about your everyday life in China will cost? Well, the answer to that, it depends. To best explain I’ve separated it into 4 spending categories and what you can do for each.
As a student, money is often scarce, but that just means you have to be informed and get the best bang for your buck.
Cost of Rent
Cost wise, it’s cheapest to go for a dormitory if the university can provide it. This usually costs somewhere between 500元 to 800元
Cost of Food
Food is one of the more varied costs because a meal can cost anywhere from 8 to 80 元, However, as a student noodles, fried rice and Chinese dishes are excellent value for your money. A realistic estimate is around 1000元 a month for breakfast lunch and dinner every day. an example of a days food would be a steamed bun with soy milk(4元） for breakfast, noodles for lunch（9元）and Chinese dishes for dinner (20元） and some snacks in between. 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.
Cost of Transport
The costs of transport are of course depending on how far away from the university you live in. 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.
Cost of Chengdu Nightlife
As a student, you want to go 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 liquor 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 . For bar recommendations, you can check out our handy guide to Chengdu.
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 all together 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.
Like mentioned in the article the amount you spend as a student living in China depends on you. But a conservative estimate of how much you need to rent an apartment with roommates and watch your spending 3000-5000元 per month should be enough to get by as a student. If you’ve read this and still want more information about costs of living in Chengdu you can find it on Numbeo.
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.