The Confucius Institute Scholarship (孔子学院奖学金)


For the purpose of supporting the development of Confucius Institutes, facilitating international promotion of Chinese language and dissemination of Chinese culture, as well as cultivating qualified Chinese-language teachers and excellent Chinese-language learners…  You have probably read that line a million times if you have been to the CIS website, but am not going to bore you with just a copy and paste. Here is a raw deal from my experience of receiving this scholarship.

First of all if you  have not read the official info about this scholarship, please visit here then come back, we continue. I will be waiting….

The CIS scholarship mostly covers language learners who want to teach, learn Chinese more. If your Confucius Institute has a relation with a university in China, which in most cases is the situation, students will be mostly sent there. A new different environment is what expects you when you arrive. For the one year students, 1,400 Yuan is what you will be getting but on the first month its actually 4,500 Yuan :-). For a word of advice, good budgeting is what will make you survive here. I’ll introduce you to my friend later…

The beautiful city of Nanjing, in Jiangsu Province.江苏省,南京市
The beautiful city of Nanjing, in Jiangsu Province.江苏省,南京市


The host institution will provide you with a double or single room for your time in China. In most cases will be in an International Students building separate from the Chinese students. While this is good for first time, do explore into the Chinese students dorms once in a while to understand how the live. You will need your Chinese friend for this. Accommodation includes free electricity,water, shower and Internet.  A bed and other basics will be included. Some institution will also have a common kitchen so this will be a plus. This will be your quarters for your time in China and the students are responsible for cleaning it.

Scholarship Money

This is normally and important subject so I will avoid any unnecessary stories. Before departure from your country Example: Kenya, each awardee should carry enough cash for transport and living before the scholarship funds arrive. KSh. 30,000 (2,159 Yuan). Expected Expenses before scholarship funds arrive;

  • Transport around China to host university – 900 Yuan(may vary)
  • Accommodation on transit – 500 Yuan
  • Host University Accommodation deposit – 300 Yuan(Refundable)
  • Just in case cash and communication – 400 Yuan

The scholarship money will be sent monthly to your bank account at ICBC Bank. Most institutions will assist students in setting up the accounts which can be really hard to do in the beginning. If you loose your bank card (ATM) please read my experience because it involves many steps. 15 days after registration in your university, some many coins will be dropped into your account, many coins…  4,500 Yuan. This is expected to help you settle down and recover the cash lost during your entry into China. However in some cases, the next month there may be no scholarship money so be wise as this may need to push you through 2 months. Chinese are clever people. The following are your expected monthly expenses:

  • Food
  • Electricity(If you exceed the free 80kWh)
  • Shopping(Be wise, don’t shop like there is no tomorrow)
  • Mobile Phone top-up
  • Traveling

On the first month many students rush to the tech stores to by laptops and mobile phones. Infact the sellers know this and will be ready. I would strongly caution against this especially if you can barely speak Chinese. Wait until 2 months when you know your surroundings and have a Chinese friend. China’s stuff are cheap and cheap (got it :-)) The sellers will cheat and confuse you, you might not like what you get.

Nanjing Confucius Temple Area

If you have questions, please post them in the comments section below. 🙂


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