Prepare for your life in China

For you to have access to all your accounts (e.g., Gmail, Youtube, WhatsApp, etc) while you are in China, is necessary to have a VPN both on your cellphone and computer. Although you could buy one, you could also use the VPN from Duke.

To use this VPN on your computer, please follow the instructions in this link. The same instructions apply to your cellphone, you just have to download the App "AnyConnect". Its highly recommendable to download the VPN before entering China, otherwise, you could have some problems trying to access them within China.

DKU will help every international student get a Chinese SIM card during orientation week. However, in case that you want another SIM card or you lost your SIM card, you can refer to this guideline to get one by yourself.

You can get different SIM cards to have access to data in China. One of those is Nihao Mobile, which has a specific service for foreigners. The card is delivered to your place in China.

You can also choose one of three famous SIM service providers in mainland China. Before you go to the nearby SIM card store, remember to phone them to make sure whether they have the right to sell SIM cards to international students, and ask what do you need to bring.

Here are the name and service numbers of three providers:

China Unicom (中国联通): 10010

China Mobile (中国移动): 10086

China Telecom (中国电信): 10000

Important: A Chinese SIM card is required when applying for Residence Permit and opening a Chinese bank account.

Although VISA and MasterCard compatible cards are acceptable, it is recommended that you open a Chinese bank account because you need to have a local bank account to set up WeChat Wallet and Alipay in order to use electronic payment. You also need a local bank account if you want to work at DKU.

DKU will help every international student open a Chinese bank account and get a bank card during orientation week. You can refer to this session in case that you need another bank card.

You can go to the nearby China Construction Bank to open an account. Once you are here, if you want to do this, please let us know and we will help you in the process.

Call their service hotline 95533, or visit their website at You can also visit one of their branch locations.

Kunshan location: No. 2200, Life Hub, Qianjin West Rd., Kunshan

Required documents: a valid passport and a Chinese SIM card

WeChat: For all communications in China and to keep updated about what's happening at DKU, we recommend you download WeChat. Alipay: For buying things, including bus/train/metro tickets, as well as food and even ordering taxis, you can just use Alipay. Buying things in China: For daily payment, you can use WeChat payment/wallet or Alipay; for online shopping, you can use Taobao.

Cost of living. 待补充

Translators: If you don't speak Chinese, don’t worry! You can download some translators to make your life in China easier. Some recommendations are Google Translate (to use this App you would have to have the VPN activated); Pleco; DeepL. A map: You could use Google Maps if you have your VPN activated. However, is not always precise. Therefore, we recommend you to download Amap, with which you can also order taxis and other services. To learn mandarin: Anki for vocabulary; Pleco as dictionary; FluentU for learning songs, videos, or movies; Skritter, for learning writing; Chinese Skill, for learning with games; and Standard Mandarin, for pinyin and tone.