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About Xiamen

Xiamen is a coastal city situated on the straight of Taiwan and is inhabited by over 3 million citizens, which is a relatively small population size for Chinese standards. As of 2012 the GDP per capita is estimated at 77.392 Chinese Yuan (over 9.000 euros), though Xiamen is known for its fast economic development, and the GDP is expected to rise subtly over the years. Not only is Xiamen known for its diverse and fast-developing economic sector, but also for its beautiful beaches, it pleasant climate (though it gets very hot an humid in summer) and rich culture. Next to the comfortable living conditions in a semi-modern developing city, Xiamen’s geographic situation and well-developed infrastructure also offers the opportunity to further broaden ones horizon and travel along the Chinese coast, as well as to explore the inlands, either by train, air or bus.

Next to the geographical advantages, Xiamen is also considered to be a popular holiday destination to many Chinese, and foreign tourists. The island is surrounded by lots of beaches where one can do watersports like water skiing, jet skiing and sailing, or just sit on the sand to relax and read a book. Increasingly more Chinese people take the opportunity to travel to Xiamen and enjoy the friendly coastal atmosphere of a city that is home to many oversea Chinese people, which results in a very vibrant and relaxed atmosphere of a fostering coastal hub with economic relevance. 

Xiamen has a monsoonal humid subtropical climate, characterized by long, hot and humid summers and short, mild and dry winters. July is the warmest month with an average of 27,8 °C, and February is the coolest month with averaging 12.4 °C.

Three interesting facts

  • Frost occurs very rarely, and the last snowfall in the city took place in January 1893.
  • In 2006, Xiamen was ranked as China's second "most suitable city for living", as well as China's "most romantic leisure city" in 2011.
  • Xiamen is the world's largest sunglasses manufacturing base, exporting 120 million pairs each year.

Studying in Xiamen

Acknowledging the geographical advantages and relaxed settings, Xiamen, moreover, hosts some of China’s most notable universities. Whether it be for pursuing a short course in the Chinese language, a full degree course or a school or expat children, Xiamen has some worthy educational institutions on offer. 

One of the most beautiful and prestigious universities to be found in China is to be found in Xiamen: Xiamen Daxue. Not only do they offer well-established courses in Medicinal and Life Science, but also in Natural Science and the Social Sciences, both in English, as well as in Mandarin Chinese. True, there are vast differences in the educational systems that we enjoy in the West, and all that makes it even more interesting to get acquainted with a fast developing, though considerably conservative, Eastern perspectives towards education systems.

Student that will live in Xiamen will also experience a wide variety of culinary delights; not only will they appreciate the diversity of food that is offered in campus dining halls, with specialized restaurants from many regions, but there are also plenty restaurants to be found of campus, offering Chinese food ranging from regions such as Sichuan, Canton, and Xiajing. One should also not worry when it comes to the availability of Western cuisine: Xiamen has become increasingly more internationally oriented, and many Western dishes are on offering in Restaurants off campus, ranging from Mac Donalds Hamburgers, KFC nuggets, to high standard salads, sandwiches and steaks. 

Living in Xiamen

When studying in Xiamen, accommodation is offered on campus which is fairly good. Chinese universities usually have separate dorms reseved for their overseas students, and thus is the case at Xiamen University. Foreign students that wish to live on campus are often offered a room with one roommate, unless they request a single room; PhD or postdoctoral students receive a single room without having to request one.

However, many students also choose to find an apartment off campus, and there are many apartments on offer right outside of the university gates. Accommodation is available for decent prices, and the university most likely has a few agencies that are known to be reliable when looking for a room. If students would like to live together, they will also be able to find shared apartments.  Rooms on campus are usually furnished with available hot showers, TV, study table and shelves, and internet is available through the university network. Off-campus apartments are often slightly more spacious and somewhat better furnished with also decent kitchens and private laundry machines.

When it comes to the situation of Xiamen University, one is only a few bus stops away form the very city center. Even though Xiamen is home to many people, it does come over as being a large incompatible mega hub, because distances are considerably small and most attractive places are just a stone’s throw away from the university.

In short, living in Xiamen comes down to experiencing an incredibly fast growing, and moving Chinese society, which will allow you to recognize China’s future potential as a Great Nation and to gain experiences with distinctive cultures, languages and values, whilst being able to appreciate the Southern friendliness, the ever surprising food, and all the more relaxing beaches. 

Facts about Xiamen

Population      3,350,000
Size (km²)1,573
Life expectancy79 years
GDP per capita$12,260

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