There are three main scholarship options in China: 1) Chinese Government Scholarship; 2) Local Government Scholarship (city or province) and 3) Confucius Institute Scholarship.
See below links to get you started on exploring these scholarship options as well as guidance on application and other procedures;
Application Period and Notification of Receiving Scholarship
For Chinese Government Scholarship, you can apply from early January to early April of each year. You should check with the Chinese Embassy (Consulate General) in your home country concerning details covering the application period and important procedures. Notification: around May and June, some applicants may receive notification as late as July and August.
For Local Government Scholarship: Each of the local government scholarship has its own details. Application is open all year round for some of them. Notification: from May to September.
For Confucius Institute Scholarship, application is open all year round. Scholarship result should be announced within 45 working days after the application documentation are confirmed.
Get a Full Scholarship
Chinese Government Scholarship covers tuition, accommodation, living expenses and insurance for the entire duration of study. Confucius Institute Scholarship is as good as Chinese Government Scholarship. However, it is limited to Chinese study. If you are planning to study in other majors such as business, engineering and science, this scholarship is not for you.
Some students assume the best way to get the full scholarship is applying to as many universities as possible. This may not be the right approach considering that you don’t know which university and major you will be accepted in.
The best way to obtain a full scholarship is to focus on one or two universities that you have a better chance of being accepted. There are other scholarships you can apply for such as scholarships offered by local government, university and enterprises but these may not be as good as Chinese Government Scholarship as they may cover partial tuitions only.
Choose the Right University
You need to consider whether the university you apply for is helpful for your future career or not. Most local universities in China don’t accept transfer applications. It’s not easy to transfer if you don’t like the university after you arrive in China. If budget allows, you should choose the university first, then try to get the best available scholarship.
Steps for getting Chinese Government Scholarship
In most instances, Chinese Embassy or Consulate General is the dispatching authority in your home country. Embassy of each country has its own specific application details and deadline. Information may be updated every year. You must first contact the Chinese Embassy.
1) Submit your application to Chinese Embassy.
2) After reviewing all application documents, China Embassy will issue the award letter to qualified candidate for Chinese Government Scholarship
3) Contact universities in China that you want to apply for with the award letter. Pre-admission letter will be issued. Submit your pre-admission letter to Chinese Embassy.
4) Chinese Embassy will send all applications to Chinese Scholarship Council for final review.
5) Wait for notification of receiving the final scholarship.
Important points you should know
1) You can increase your chance of obtaining a scholarship by applying to less competitive universities or certain majors.
2) The award letter to qualified candidate for Chinese Government Scholarship does not guarantee that you will get the scholarship.
3) You can also apply for the scholarship if you currently live in China. You will have to send all application materials to Chinese embassy in your home country.