There are many scholarship opportunities out there, but few are as coveted as the Confucius Institute Scholarship.

  • Country of origin: China
  • Funded by: Chinese Government
  • Type: Fully funded
  • Education level: All about the Chinese language and culture.
  • Duration: Accordingly, based on the program chosen
  • Deadline: Annually on 1st May

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What is the Confucius Institute?

With the 2020 Olympics in full swing, China is making a play for global domination. With this in mind, the Chinese government has taken steps to increase its cultural & economic influence around the world. One of these initiatives is the Confucius Institute Scholarship program, which offers fully-funded scholarships for international students from all over the world.

Confucius Institutes are educational organizations that promote the Chinese language and culture on university campuses around the world. They offer programs ranging from Mandarin lessons to lectures by high-ranking officials like General Liu Yuan. They also provide funding for tuition, lodging, medical insurance, & personal expenses. The scholarships are open only to international students who want to study at one of the hundreds of participating universities in China or other countries with a Confucius Institute. It’s easy to see why so many young people are drawn to this opportunity—China is home to more than 700 colleges!

What Does the Scholarship Cover?

The scholarship covers tuition and lodging fees, medical insurance, and a monthly allowance for personal expenses. In addition, scholars will have access to a number of resources on campus including language classes and cultural activities. Basic medical insurance is also included in the application process. Applicants must provide documentation of their most recent physical exam with the documents listed in the application form to receive the scholarship. The following is a monthly allowance for personal expenses:

  1. Students enrolled in the BTCSOL program will receive 2,500 Yuan per month, which is approximately $350.
  2. Students enrolled in the MTCSOL program will receive 3000 Yuan per month, which is approximately $420.
  3. To support rental costs, offer 700 Yuan per month over and above the monthly allowance if the student wishes to live off campus.
  4. They will also arrange flight tickets from and to China from your country of origin.
  5. Scholarship renewals for programs lasting longer than 1 year are dependent on student performance.

Types of scholarships offered by the Confucius Institute and their duration

There are three types of scholarships offered by the CIS. They are as follows:

  1. An academic year’s scholarship: It starts in September or March and has a duration of 11 months.  
  2. Scholarships for an academic semester: These start in January, April, July, or October and have a duration of 5 months. 
  3. China offers short-term scholarships for one month to six weeks during the winter or summer holidays.

You can find full list of scholarships in China for international students here.

Scholarships for aspiring teachers of the Chinese language:


 This scholarship is for foreign students who aspire to teach Chinese at a university or college after graduation. This scholarship is awarded for two academic years with a monthly allowance for living expenses.


It is for international students who want to study abroad but don’t want to pursue Chinese language teaching careers. The award includes a monthly allowance for living expenses, tuition fee exemption, and return airfare upon completion of studies. This scholarship lasts for four courses or four semesters.


  1. An academic year of Chinese language and culture + 2 years of Master in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language

Who Can Apply for the Scholarship?

International students who have graduated from high school, possess a high school diploma, or are still studying in the final year of secondary education can apply for the CIS scholarship. The CIS scholarship is sponsored by the Chinese government and administered by the China National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (CNOTCL).

  1. All international applicants are eligible regardless of their nationality or ethnic background 
  2. Must have good health and sufficient command of the English language  
  3. Age should be of 16 to 35 years which can extend up to 45 years in certain conditions.
  4. Undergraduate scholarship candidates cannot be older than 20 years old.
  5. You really have to have a degree in Chinese linguistics
  6. Minimum qualification for an MTCSOL scholarship is at least a Bachelor’s degree. 
  7. Scholarships are only open to international students who can provide proof of proficiency in Mandarin Chinese at or above level HSK5 (currently equivalent to N5). 
  8. Minimum qualification for a BTCSOL scholarship is a high school diploma. 
  9. One-semester and four-week scholarships require no previous study in China.
  10. After completing their master’s degree studies in China, candidates for the MTCSOL scholarship will be given preference if they intend to teach the Chinese Language.
  11. A letter of motivation must also be submitted to demonstrate that you want to promote Sino-foreign cultural exchanges.

How to Apply for the Scholarship?

International students can follow these steps to apply for the scholarship:

  1. Complete the application form which can be found on the CIS website. 
  2. Submit their academic transcripts 
  3. Letter of recommendation from their current university. 
  4. Submit an essay on a topic given by the CIS (in English) 
  5. Wait for up to three months & find out if they have been awarded a scholarship or not. If so, then congratulations! If not, don’t worry; there are many other scholarships that may suit you better.
  6. Send documents in order to complete the formalities. Once this is done, he/she will receive a notification when everything is ready for them to start at the Confucius Institute. 
  7. They will also receive instructions as to what they need to bring with them & how much money they should bring with them. 
  8. The process takes about two weeks but it all depends on the country they come from. For example, people coming from Brazil usually take around 10-15 days while people coming from Singapore usually take around 20-25 days. 

This scholarship is perfect for those who wish to study the Chinese language or learn more about China’s culture.

Required Scholarship Documents 

The following documents are required for this CIS scholarship:

  1. Proof of a Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution by the time they start their studies. 
  2. Proof of English proficiency must be provided by applicants
  3. It is necessary to provide a letter of recommendation in order to apply for a scholarship from the Confucius Institute.
  4. You need to write a letter of motivation of around 300 words with your reasons & expectations. 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all scholarships have been awarded. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!


 Q. I am an EU/EEA citizen residing in China – can I apply for this scholarship? 

  1. No, you are not eligible for this scholarship because you are living in China.  

Q. Does my nationality affect my eligibility? 

  1. No, all applicants must be non-Chinese citizens from outside of Mainland China (including Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Macao). The only exception is if you are on a student visa and live in Mainland China as a temporary resident, but then you must show that your home country is willing to sponsor your tuition and lodging expenses.

Q. Can CIS provide emergency funds during my study? 

  1. Yes, our Financial Assistance Fund provides financial assistance for students who experience unforeseen emergencies such as sickness or accidents. It also provides support to students who need help completing their degree program due to changes in personal circumstances such as a death in the family, disability, etc., and to those with severe illnesses who want to continue their studies.

Q. Will my application be checked for plagiarism? 

  1. If any evidence of plagiarism is found on your application, it will automatically be disqualified. 

Official Website


All in all, the Confucius Institute Scholarship is a fantastic opportunity for students of all backgrounds who want to study Mandarin & learn more about Chinese culture.