Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Language Program Review

41 Beijing East Road , Nanjing , China


The Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine language program is not well known in comparison to other language programs in China but if you apply for a Confucius Scholarship through the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) you could well end up there! Nanjing itself is a great second tier city option, conveniently connected to Shanghai and Beijing on the high speed rail, and boasts a rich history and picturesque surroundings.



Regular Language Program
Tuition fees: RMB 14,600/year
Application Fees: USD $100

Language Program with Chinese Medicine language elective
Tuition fees: RMB 15,200/year
Application Fees: USD $100

The course fees include books and a half week class excursion to a nearby city. The course is around RMB 3000-4000 cheaper than most universities in first tier cities. However, the course does not include electives that other universities would normally offer.


Program Schedule

The academic year typically begins in September, with a break between Semester 1 and Semester 2 in February or March for Chinese New Year.

Classes are run daily from 9am with a break at around midday for lunch. Writing, speaking and listening classes are spread out during the week with students spending around four hours a day in class.



The university is well renown in China for its Chinese Medicine courses. There are two campuses in Nanjing, one located downtown and a newer campus located out in Xianlin. Typically, international students undertaking masters courses are located at the downtown campus whereas undergraduate and Chinese language students are situated in Xianlin.  If you are taking the Chinese language course without having any interest or plan to study Chinese Medicine, most people will find it a little odd that you chose this university to study Chinese language. The advantage of the language course being not well known however does mean class sizes are small. The 2012-2013 academic year had only two classes run – beginners and intermediate, with approximately 8 students in each class.



The language program is run at Xianlin campus which is 40-50 minutes on the subway from downtown Nanjing. Located in the outer district of Xianlin, there is hence less in the way of bars, restaurants, and student life compared with universities in the downtown area.



Scholarship students typically stay in the university hotel. It sounds glamorous but the hotel has not been maintained very well and there is no kitchen or laundry that you can use. You must pay for a shop on campus to do your laundry and eat at the cafeteria. The cafeteria is ok but the food soon gets tiresome! Non-scholarships students can stay on campus in the “international dorms”, which includes students from Taiwan and Hong Kong. Rooms are shared between two and you must buy your own mattress and cooking appliances. Curfew is 10pm.



If you are studying Traditional Chinese Medicine at home or want to begin learning in China, the university is a great place to network with Chinese Medicine teachers and students and find a placement at a Chinese hospital to observe Chinese Medicine practitioners treating patients. There is also a specific language subject for Chinese Medicine vocabulary offered in the second semester plus plenty of students willing to help if you need to learn your acupuncture points.

As the campus has very few international students, there are plenty of opportunities to find casual or part time english language jobs. You will find people in the Xianlin area will approach you with requests for tutoring their children English. Alternatively you can simply ask your teachers or friends if they know anyone looking for a tutor.

If you are interested in learning other areas of the Chinese language and improving your vocabulary with other electives, you will be out of luck. Unfortunately due to the lack of international students and the specialist nature of the university, other electives are not offered.



The campus is devoid of much student culture and is relatively quiet. However, being isolated with few other international students does open up opportunities to get to know Chinese students more easily. There are students from Xinjiang also learning Mandarin Chinese at the campus. Although they aren’t in your classes, bonding over learning Chinese is a great way to understand more about Uighur culture. Being on a Traditional Chinese Medicine University campus also means you have opportunities to talk to students studying Chinese medicine and understand more about it.


Asia Options Verdict

If you are planning on studying Traditional Chinese Medicine in Chinese or if you are trying to find a placement at a hospital to study Chinese medicine, then this university is certainly worth consideration. However, if you don’t have any interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine then there is little reason to make the trek and especially as Xianlin is removed from the international student life of drinking and partying in Nanjing.


Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine
6 Total Score
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Small class sizes
Chance to mix with Chinese students
Opportunity to learn about Traditional Chinese Medicine


Isolated location
No campus atmosphere
Few electives

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