China vs Germany: Which is the Better Study-Abroad Destination in 2024?

10 minute read

China and Germany are frequently opted as a study-abroad destination by students from across the globe. Both nations offer world-class education and that too at a very affordable price. Apart from excellence in academics, these countries also boast high standards of living and extensive employment opportunities for graduates. If you are confused between choosing China and Germany as your study destination, then you are at the right place. We will conduct a China vs Germany contest in this blog and compare these countries based on various aspects. The one which is better in a particular aspect will be awarded +2 points. Finally, at the end of this blog, we will calculate the total scores and the country with the highest score will be deemed a better study-abroad destination. 

Parameters ChinaGermany
Area9.597 Million KM²357,592 KM²
CurrencyChinese Yuan (¥)Euro (€)
Total Higher Education Providers3,012Over 380
Total Indian Students Studying23,00042,997
Average Cost of Living¥4,047.3€1,698 – €3,561
Average Cost of Studying¥18,249 – ¥72,996 Per Year€300 – €28,000
Popular Job SectorsTechnology, Accountancy and Finance, Teaching, Medicine, Marketing, and ManufacturingBuilding and construction Sector, Information Technology and Telecommunications, Electrical and Electronics Industry, Health Sector, and Mechanical and Automotive Sector.
Permitted Part-Time Working Hours24 Hours Per Week 20 Hours Per Week

Top-Ranked Universities: China vs Germany

A good university plays a significant role in shaping your career, and hence, one needs to be vigilant while choosing the right university. So, we have listed below some of the best universities in China and Germany to make the selection easier for you. 

Let’s compare these countries based on their top universities: 

Universities in China

The table given below shows some of the top-ranked Chinese universities: 

Top Universities in ChinaQS World University Rankings 2024Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024
Peking University1714
Tsinghua University2512
Zhejiang University4455
Fudan University5044
Shanghai Jiao Tong University5143
University of Science and Technology of China13757
Nanjing University14173
Wuhan University194164
Tongji University216185
Harbin Institute of Technology256168

Universities in Germany

Have a look at some of the top universities in Germany: 

Top Universities in Germany QS World University Rankings 2024Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
Technical University of Munich3730
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich5433
University of Heidelberg8743
Free University of Berlin9891
RWTH Aachen University10699
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology119189
Humboldt University of Berlin12086
Technical University of Berlin154156
University of Freiburg192113
University of Tubingen21386
Friedrich Alexander Universitat Erlangen Nurnberg (FAU)229196
University of Gottingen232119
University of Bonn23989
Technisce Universitat Darmstadt246301–350
University of Cologne268146
Goethe University Frankfurt302251–300
University of Stuttgart312301–350
Ruhr-University of Bochum 375251–300
University of Munster384185

Which Country is Better?

The above comparison demonstrates that both Chinese and German universities are ranked at the top. Hence, we will award +2 points to both countries in this round of China vs Germany. 

Also Read: China Medical University – Colleges, Courses, and More

Admission Requirements

Let’s understand the admission criteria of the universities in China and Germany before you decide to jump into the admission process. 

Admission Requirements For China

You need to provide the necessary documents mentioned below to be deemed eligible for admission into Chinese universities: 

  • Personal statement
  • A photo (passport size)
  • Physical examination form- medical results
  • Official transcripts
  • Bank statement
  • 2 recommendation letters (should be written and signed by your teachers/professors and contain their contact details)
  • Passport copy
  • Graduation certificate (s)

Admission Requirements For Germany

Admission criteria in Germany vary depending on the academic program and institute. With that being said, the general eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • English-taught programs usually demand evidence of English language skills, which are often proved by examinations like TOEFL (with a score range of 80-100) and IELTS (with a score range of 6.5-7.0). 
  • Exams like TestDaF (with a minimum of TDN 4) or DSH (at Level 2) can be used to validate expertise in German courses. 
  • Most master’s programs need applicants to have a bachelor’s degree with a GPA between 2.5 and 3.0. GRE/GMAT scores may be required in some areas. 
  • A suitable master’s degree and a well-defined research proposal are typically required for doctoral programs.
  • Some crucial documents that the student needs to submit are:
  1. A Certified copy of a high-school diploma or a previously completed degree,
  2. A translation of the course modules and grades,
  3. Passport photo(s),
  4. Proof of language proficiency – German and/or English,
  5. Copy of your passport,
  6. Motivation letter, and
  7. Application fee.
  • Also, please make sure that you apply for a student visa. 

Which Country is Better?

The above comparison implies that China has an easier admission process than Germany. Henceforth, we will grant +2 points to China in this round of China vs Germany. 

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees are also an important consideration one needs to have while selecting their study destination. So, let’s compare China and Germany based on their tuition costs. 

Tuition Fees in China

The table below shows the average tuition costs charged by Chinese universities according to their websites:

Study Program Average Annual Tuition Fee
Undergraduate ¥15,000 to ¥60,000 
Postgraduate¥18,000 to ¥90,000 
Doctoral¥20,000 to ¥50,000 

Tuition Fees in Germany

As per the websites of the universities in Germany, the average annual tuition fees in the nation are as follows:  

Study Program Average Annual Tuition Fee
Undergraduate €300 
Postgraduate€300 – €28,000
Doctoral€300 – €3000

Which Country is Better?

Studying in Germany is more affordable than studying in China, as clear from the above tables. Hence, we will give +2 points to Germany in this round of China vs Germany. 

Living Expenses

The cost of living is also a major factor that determines whether a study destination is suitable for you or not. Hence, we will compare China and Germany based on their living expenses in this section. 

Cost of Living in China

The living costs in China as per Numbeo are shown in the table below: 

Monthly Rent ¥2,191.31 – ¥7,900.84
Average Apartment Price (Price per Square Metre)¥33,742.16 – ¥58,250.61
Average Cost of an Inexpensive Restaurant Meal ¥25
Average Transportation Cost (Monthly)¥200
Average Cost of Utility (Monthly)¥584.12

Cost of Living in Germany

The cost of living in Germany according to Numbeo is shown in the table below:

Monthly Rent €837.16 – €1,542.61
Average Apartment Price (Price per Square Metre)€4,673.91 – €6,446.89
Average Cost of an Inexpensive Restaurant Meal €12
Average Transportation Cost (Monthly) €63
Average Cost of Utility (Monthly)€353.68

Which Country is Better?

The living expenses are lower in China than in Germany, and hence, we will award +2 points to China in this round of China vs Germany. 

Also Read: Scholarships for MBBS in China

Work Permit and PR

Countries that easily grant work permits and PR allow graduates to find employment and eventually settle there without much hassle. You should ideally target the study destination that awards you a work visa and permanent residency easily. 

So, let’s compare China and Germany based on their ease of giving work permits and PR: 

Work Permit in China

Let’s see the princess of obtaining a work permit in China: 

Eligibility Criteria to Get a Work Permit in China

The applicants are needed to submit the documents mentioned below to apply for a Chinese work permit: 

  • A valid passport,
  • Reference letter,
  • An approval document for commercial performances,
  • Medical examination report from an authorized hospital,
  • A completed application form,
  • Clean criminal record,
  • A passport-sized photograph, 
  • TEFL/TESOL certificate authenticated by the Chinese embassy or consulate (applicable only for teaching positions),
  • Registration Certificate of Resident Representative Offices of Enterprises from Foreign Countries,
  • Foreigners Work Permit notification letter issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the PRC, and
  • Issued by the Chinese government authorities for Cultural Affairs. 

To obtain a notification letter, your employer has to submit the documents written below to the Labour Bureau: 

  • Degree or diploma (legalised and authenticated),
  • Your resume,
  • Verification of education or professional qualifications,
  • Proof of at least two years of work experience in the relevant field,
  • A copy of the job contract,
  • Information concerning any accompanying members,
  • Verification of employment history, and
  • Physical examination record. 

Steps to Apply for a Chinese Work Permit

Here are the steps you need to follow to be awarded a Chinese Work Permit:

Step 1: You have to first make sure that you have been given a job proposal in China. 

Step 2: Once you have successfully been offered a job, gather and prepare all the necessary documentation.

Step 3: Now, apply for a work visa at a Chinese embassy, and make the payment of the asked application fees. 

Step 4: Finally, you will be granted your work visa after you have completed the whole process of application. 

The processing of the work permit for China usually takes around 4 working days. 

PR in China

You can obtain permanent residency in China regardless of your employer or post if you:

  • Ensure the payment of your income taxes on time (¥120,000 or over per year),
  • Get a salary of more than ¥600,000 every year, and 
  • Have worked in Shanghai for over four years and don’t hold any criminal record in your home country.

Work Permit in Germany

Now, let’s look at the process of receiving a work permit in Germany:

Eligibility Criteria to Get a Work Permit in Germany 

Here are the criteria for obtaining a work permit in Germany:

  • You must fulfil the qualifications and competencies needed for the position.
  • Make sure that you have the health insurance to live in Germany.
  • Moreover, you need a genuine work offer from a German employer.
  • You also have to ascertain that you have lodging arrangements in Germany.
  • You have to give your prospective employer a signed employment contract.

Apply for a German Work Permit

Non-EU residents have to obtain a work visa as well as residence permission to work in Germany. For this, they need to contact a German embassy or consulate in their home country. 

Their application for a German Work Permit needs to include the following:

  • Valid passport
  • Approval letter from the Federal Employment Agency
  • Job offer letter from the firm in Germany
  • Certificates of academic qualification
  • Annexure for an employment permit
  • Certificates of work experience

Work permit applications are typically processed in around 1-3 months.

PR in Germany

You need to live in Germany for a minimum of five years (or three years if married to a German citizen) to become eligible for a German Permanent Residence Permit. Moreover, you have to provide proof of employment, German language skills, and financial means. 

Which Country is Better?

The above comparison implies that both China and Germany have a straightforward process for granting a work permit and PR. As a result, we will award +2 points to both countries in this round of China vs Germany. 

Average Salaries: China vs Germany

The typical monthly salary of a fresh graduate in China is ¥10,342 as per TeamedUp China. On the other hand, the average starting annual salary of a graduate in Germany is €44,000 according to Expatrio. 

Which Country is Better?

The average salary in Germany is more than in China and hence, we will award +2 points to Germany in this round of China vs Germany. 

Also Read: IELTS 5.5 Band Colleges in Germany

Other Major Elements

In this section, we will look at some other small factors you should consider while selecting a study-abroad destination, which is as follows: 


The east, south and southwest are normally warm, humid and rainy in China. The north, on the other hand, is usually dry and windy. Coming to Germany, the climate in the country is pleasant, and without any prolonged spells of cold or hot weather. The climate in Northwestern and Coastal Germany is marine, with mild gloomy winters and pleasant summers. 


China is safe for the most part and serious crimes against foreigners are rare in the country. Similarly, Germany is among the safest countries across the globe. When it comes to gun crime,  assault, petty crime, or murder, the country is low on any worldwide rankings. 

Culture for International Students

China is known for offering a very gratifying experience to international students. If you culturally adapt and understand the local culture, you can have an even better student life experience in China. Coming to Germany, the country is renowned for its efficient work culture that values punctuality, precision, and order. Studying in Germany truly prepares you for a global career. 


After computing the total scores, we find that both China and Germany have scored 8 points. Hence, this China vs Germany contest is a draw. Both countries have a reputation for offering top-notch education via their prestigious universities and are excellent destinations for the pursuit of education. The choice of your study destination depends on numerous factors, such as your personal preferences and budget. So, now that you know both countries are excellent to study in, you can apply for admission to either of them. 

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China vs New Zealand: Which is the Better Study-Abroad Destination in 2024?New Zealand VS USA: Which is the Better Option for Studying Abroad?


Q1. Is China good country to study?

Ans: Yes, China is an excellent destination to study in, with its top-ranked universities and great living environment. 

Q2. How much does it cost to study in Germany?

Ans: The average annual tuition fee in Germany is €300 – €28,000. Moreover, the public universities in the country offer free of cost education. 

Q3. How can I get PR in Germany?

Ans: You have to live in Germany for a minimum of five years (or three years if married to a German citizen) to be considered eligible for a German Permanent Residence Permit. 

So, this was all about China vs Germany. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad

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