years-experience access-alumni-network airfare airport-pick-up assistance-with-application-process community-service-placement continuous-support cultural-trips domestic-transport emergency-support field-trips global-competence-certificate grade-transcripts host-family-placement housing individual-contact-person internship-placement language-instruction meals medical-insurance orientations-during-your-time-abroad other pre-departure-orientation product-materials re-entry-orientation school-dipolma school-materials school-placement school-transport school-uniform stipend teaching-materials vaccinations visa-and-passport-fees visa-application-assistance world-wide-presence

China is an awe-inspiring, friendly, and delightful country. Discover this land of striking natural formations and centuries-old temples set amidst gleaming skyscrapers – a land where ancient traditions are being transformed every day by the rapid pace of modernization. Become part of one of the most dynamic and populated societies in the world and experience the historic transformation of the Chinese people firsthand.

Beyond catching a glimpse of the Great Wall or the famed terracotta warriors, China has a rapidly changing and excitingly different culture to anything you will have experienced in New Zealand – there couldn’t be a better time to see it for yourself!

Eligibility Requirements

You must be 16, 17 or 18.

What's included in your experience

  • Airfare
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Host Family Placement
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • School Placement
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Domestic Transport
  • Assistance with Application Process
  • Visa Application Assistance
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • Orientations during your time abroad
  • Access to Alumni Network
  • Continuous Support
  • Worldwide Presence
  • 70 Years Experience

What you are responsible for

  • Vaccinations
  • Visa and Passport Fees
  • School Uniform

High School

In Chinese high school, the value of hierarchy is reflected by the authority of the teacher. Chinese culture places a high value on education and academic achievement. Like students in most parts of the world, high schoolers in China wear uniforms. During your study abroad in China, you’ll go to class Monday through Friday, usually starting around 7:30 or 8 am and finishing around 4 or 4:30 pm. School provides an excellent opportunity to learn Mandarin, which is spoken by 70% of China’s population. You’ll also be provided with Mandarin language courses during the first two months of your stay to help ease your transition.

You’ll probably attend the Senior 1 level with a special class schedule as an exchange student. This means that you’ll focus on learning the Chinese language, culture, history, art, and music with other AFSers in the first half of your day. The rest of your day will be dedicated to taking classes with other Chinese students.

Many hosting schools will provide special courses for exchange students to experience Chinese culture, such as calligraphy, Chinese painting, and folk music. As a teenager in China, most of your social life will happen at school. You can also get involved in extracurricular activities like sports, martial arts, and dance, to make friends and engage with the culture.


Accommodation and lifestyle

AFSers have lived in communities all throughout China, but you will likely be in an urban area in the Eastern half of the country, such as Shaanxi, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Sichuan, Henan, Anhui, Dalian, Tianjin, or Beijing. You’ll live in your host school dormitory on weekdays and with your host family on weekends and holidays. If your host family lives in a city, you’ll most likely share an apartment in a multi-story building. You’ll get to experience the amazing sprawl and endless adventures of China’s megacities and metropolitan areas!

Like anywhere in the world, all families are different in China. But, spending time with family is usually very important. Most couples have only one child, and grandparents often live in the home. Because the well-being of the family is viewed as more important than individual success, everyone works together as a unit.


Global Prep: Bites of culture in China

Interested in a short-term immersive experience in China? Check out the Global Prep programme.

Global Prep China

Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

Kick-start your future with AFS and discover who you really are, make new lifetime friendships and immerse yourself in a fascinating intercultural experience.

This programme begins at your home country with a pre-departure orientation and continues with orientations, other supported learning activities and facilitated conversations which will help you maximize your experience, cope with the challenges of navigating a new culture and community as well as gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding throughout your time abroad, and as you return to your home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family the whole way through.

Find out more