Pre-Departure Checklist

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Pre-Departure Checklist


Contact a Program Director

Your first step to China begins with chatting to one of our friendly CSA Program Directors to finalize your program and accommodation options. Once you've selected a program that suits your needs, the next step is to fill out the CSA Application form and send in the $100 Application Fee to reserve your place on the CSA program.

Apply for Your Visa

Refer to our Visa Requirements page and confirm with your Program Director as to which visa is best for you to apply for. (You MUST obtain a Visa prior to your arrival into China otherwise you will be refused entry to the country).

Book Your Flight

The earlier you book, the cheaper your ticket will be, so don't wait until the last minute! Once you have booked your flights to your programmed city, please forward the final itinerary (including flight number, airline and arrival time) to your Program Director – this will ensure we are present to collect you at the airport.

Pack Appropriate Clothing

Keep in mind that China is a massive country, so depending on what city and season you'll be studying in, be sure to pack appropriately to avoid getting stuck in the snow or melting in the summer sun. Respect local customs by packing a "conservative" outfit too. While there are no religious instances to pack conservative when staying in China’s cities, both big and small, we encourage you to still pack sensibly. What may be appropriate walking down Bondi Beach, may not be as welcomed on the streets of Beijing in the summer time.

Stock Up On Prescription Medications

Some prescriptions may be difficult to obtain once in China, so be sure to bring a sufficient supply for the duration of your stay. It's also a good idea to divide any medications among your bags in case one gets lost!

Don't Forget the Toiletries

Most items such as toothpaste, body wash, and moisturizers are all available from local supermarkets and shopping malls in China. However if you are particular of brands and less mainstream items, make sure you bring a supply with you to China.

Conduct Research

Make sure to spend a little time researching your new city before you leave home. This will help you pack appropriately as well as arrived prepared. Transport, weather, and culture are the best topics to read up on to minimize arrival stress.


Visit your country’s Department of Health website and get updated on all the requirements and regulations necessary for your trip to China. Consult your local doctor for vaccination advice prior to departing for China. It is important to do all this well in advance to traveling. Many vaccinations require repeat doses, and/or require time to take effect.

Prepare Your Finances

Check all bankcards and explore ways of accessing money and various accounts back home. Also, inform your bank you are heading overseas to ensure your accounts security as well as the ability to access it while abroad. There are plenty of cash points / ATM’s available in all the big cities. When traveling to more remote areas of China it is best to withdraw cash prior to leaving a bigger city as ATM’s can be few and far between.

It is a good idea to sign up for Internet banking with your accounts so you can keep track of how much money you are spending - many Chinese ATM machines do not give account balances for foreign bank cards. Once in China, our staff can also help you setup a temporary bank account in China to manage your funds.

Join Skype (or a similar service)

This is the cheapest way to call home – if your calling from one Skype account to another Skype account, its free! Simply head to the Skype website and sign up. Get your family and friends on it too - they will love that they can keep in contact and save money while doing it.

Make Copies of Important Documents

Scan and save copies all your important documents such as your passport, Visa, flight and bank details so you have a copy available to you where ever you are. Its also wise to leave a copy home with your parents or friends for safe keeping.

Pay Remaining Program Balance

If you have not yet paid the reminder of your CSA program fee, please finalize your payment one month prior to your scheduled program start date. You will be issued with an invoice and can pay via bank transfer or credit card. Check out our Payments page for details.

Don't Miss Your Flight!

Make sure you arrive at your departure airport early, with passport and Visa in hand! Board the plane and enjoy the journey (and the plane food). Look for the smiling CSA staff member at the arrival gate – they will be holding a giant CSA sign so you cant miss them!



Apply Now Sign up for a CSA program with a friend and you both receive a 5% discount!
  • Beijing

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    3610 Capital Mansions,
    6 Xinyuan Nan Road, Chaoyang
    Beijing, 100027
    Phone: (+86) 10 8468 3799 
  • London

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    154 Bishopsgate
    London EC2M 4LN
    United Kingdom
    Phone: (+44) 0207 377 84 
  • Hong Kong

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    Rm 604-7 Dominion Centre
    43-59 Queen’s Road East
    Hong Kong
    Phone: (+852) 800 968 924 


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