Upon arrival, international students often get stuck financially due to the insufficient amount of money they touch down with. International students in pursuit of academic excellence in China are expected to know basic banking and financial matters governing China. They are also expected to take some cash along. This will afford them the opportunity to exchange cash upon arrival at the airport or at the bank. Ensure you go through official channels to change money into Chinese currency – RMB. Today let’s look at how international students can set up bank accounts in China.

To withdraw money, you can use a Visa or Master card linked to an international network. This usually comes with bank charges and restrictions on the amount of cash to be withdrawn. Another option is using Moneygram/Western Union or at best, a Traveller’s Cheque. Traveller’s Cheques and credit cards have limited uses for students in China. The easiest way to withdraw money is through the use of a debit card. International students should know this about banking and financial matters in China.

 Opening a Bank Account

As an international student, you will need to open an account while in China. This will enable you to conduct transactions and other banking and financial negotiations within and outside the country conveniently. This comes with a fee for every transaction and for the recovery of a lost card (Debit or credit). Here are a few tips on how to open an account:

  • Go to the bank you’d like to get an account with.
  • Take your passport along.
  • Fill out an application.
  • Go with an interpreter (if need be).

There are two types of banks in China. Firstly, the state-owned commercial banks: Bank of China (BOC), the China Construction Bank (CCB), the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), etc. On the other hand, there are foreign banks such as The HSBC, City bank and Standard Chartered Bank and so on.

Advantages of Opening a Chinese Bank Account

Acceptability: Chinese bank cards are accepted throughout the country. This enables you to withdraw cash without a fee.

Ease of Solving Bank Issues: With a Chinese bank account, you can solve any issue you have with your account. Peradventure you lose your card, you can personally go to the bank and remedy the situation.

Ability to Withdraw and Transfer: You can have money transferred into your Chinese account. This can only be possible if you have opened the international service. You can directly withdraw a huge amount of money in RMB directly from your Chinese account. The Chinese bank may have problems with an international card to withdraw the RMB directly if your account is in foreign currency.

Counterfeit Money: You should associate yourself with locals to know how to distinguish between counterfeit notes and the real one. The Chinese government has given detailed information on how to identify counterfeit bills and clamp down on persons in possession of such. Peradventure an ATM dispenses fake bills, do well to put a call through to service number at the ATM station. Failure to this immediately could make you liable. Equity usually aids the vigilant and not the indolent. Do not take money torn or defaced. If you do, you will find it very difficult to make any transaction with such monies.

Having learnt about how international students can set up bank accounts in China, you won’t have problems doing so. Best wishes!

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