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Smart Ways to Earn Money as a Foreign Student in China

So how can you take care of yourself if you are not on a scholarship or even on a partial scholarship?

There are several smart ways to earn money whiles studying in China. Below are 19 smart ways to make money as a foreign student in China.

  1. Drop shipping or reselling. Selling products from China to people back home or even foreigners within China and other Chinese is one of the smart ways to make a living in china as a foreign student. There are foreigners who find it difficult to use the Chinese eCommerce platforms like the Taobao or Tmall because of their inability to understand the Chinese characters. You can pick some products from those platforms and sell them in groups on WeChat or put them on your WeChat moment with price tags.
  2. Part-time online or one on one teaching. This is a smart way to make money as a student in china. In China a lot of parents want their kids to study English and English is also one of the core subjects you have to pass in the high school before you can get a good university. So many students always want to study English. As a foreigner who speaks English or English is your native language it is very easy to make money out of it. The pay is really good. Just do it online or part, in your home or in their home. Do not visit public places or training centers to teach over there. Just do it online or arrange to go to their home.          
  3. Online translator. This is for those who are good in the Chinese language. Learning the language gives you advantage and opportunity in different ways. Someone will pay you to be a translator for them and their foreign business partner.
  4. Mini Restaurant. If you are a good cook then this is the time to put your cooking skills into good use. A lot of students always spend a lot of money on food they don’t even like but they have no choice. Some are fed up with the Chinese food they eat every day. You can bring variety in their daily meals by cooking and selling to students. This is real money you will earn from your own skills.
  5. Making online Videos. You can decide to be a YouTuber and make videos about anything. Tell people about your life in China. Show China to the world through you videos. It will surprise you how many people will be watching your videos and how much YouTube will be paying you. Another way is to also make videos and post them to the Chinese video sharing platforms like Douyin (Chinese TikTok) and other live streaming platforms. Just make funny videos and educative videos about things that Chinese do not know and it will trend. In the live videos people will send you gifts and you can exchange the gifts for money.
  6. Barbering or hair styling. This is also another smart way to make extra money only if you have that skill. If you are a woman and you have the hair styling skill you will make money because in addition to that, you can also sell wigs and hairs.
  7. Teaching Assistant in your university. Being a teaching assistant in your university also pays. Even though it is not that much money because the money they will have to pay you should not exceed certain amount otherwise they will have to pay taxes on it which means you are a worker in the school which the law forbids. But it builds your confidence and also improves your CV because you will be given certificate to show that you did that kind of service for the school.  
  8. Club Promoting. You can work as a club promoter and you will be paid just by inviting foreigners into the club. This is also a good business for those who love night life.
  9. DJ or MC. Being a DJ or MC in a club is also one of the smart ways to make money as a student. If you love music and you can be able to entertain guest in clubs and parties then this job is for you.
  10. Babysitting. This is also one of the ways to get money as a student in china. Parents will pay you hourly to just babysit their child. By babysitting I means just playing with the child and teaching the child simple English sentences.
  11. Freelancing. Freelancing is sometime you can do no matter where you are. You can do it everywhere in the world. People pay money to people for their services. If you can solve someone’s problem, you will get paid. Just register as a freelancer in any of the freelance websites and start solving people’s problems for them.
  12. Doing voice overs. A lot of Chinese need English speakers to do voice overs for them for a short period and they pay them huge money for that. Just record your voice and get paid.
  13. Modeling. This is also one of the highly paid smart jobs in China. If you are handsome or beautiful in anyway then you fit for this job. You can earn money just by taking photos as a model.
  14. Being an agent for people back home. You can act as agent for businesses and people back home and help them transact businesses in China.
  15. Basketball coach. Chinese love basketball and it is a sport they do in all their schools. Having knowledge about basketball can earn you this job. As a foreign student in China, you can do it part time or in your free time.
  16. Be part of a movie team. Shooting a movie or being part of a movie team can get you paid. Some movie production will be seeking for a foreign face in their upcoming movie and will pay you to be part of it.
  17. Research writing. It is mandatory in some Universities in China to publish at least one paper before you graduate. Some students, even the Chinese, finds it difficult to do publications in the international and the SCI journals. If you are good in research you can help them do the publication and they will pay you for your help.
  18. Campus delivery. Some universities in China are very big and the express stations are sometimes far away from the hostels. You can set up a campus delivery business to help deliver peoples parcels to them with a fee.
  19. Accompanying people to meetings and parties. Chinese sometimes want to show off to their friends, families, and colleagues that they have foreign friends so they will pay you to accompany them to some meetings or parties. All you need for this kind of job is your time.


All these are smart ways to get money as a foreign student in china. Remember you are in China for studies so let the studies be your top most priority. You can make bigger money after graduation.

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