Flights to China
Cheapest time to book
How to fly
Student flights from the USA to China
China is home to a culture that is both centuries-old and yet increasingly modern. This amazing country is filled with unreal natural landscapes, ancient architecture and bustling urban centers. If you want to be at the hub of a country known for its blend of rich history and innovative technology, China is the place for you. Students in the US also have a chance to learn the most-spoken language in the world, encounter an amazing culture and people and learn and work in a hub for business and technology.
Getting ready to book your flight to China? Sign up to become a member and unlock exclusive student and youth discounts and promo codes!
Keep scrolling for more info on cheap flights to China, travel tips for China and more.
What are the main China airport hubs?
Although China has dozens of airports, there are three main airport hubs: Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Beijing: Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is the main international airport in Beijing and the largest airport in China. As such, it’s usually pretty busy, so be sure to leave plenty of time to get through security and customs. The wait time can be 3-3.5 hours, so be prepared! The easiest way to get downtown from the airport is to take the Airport Express train, which comes every 15 minutes. There’s stations at both Terminal 2 and 3 and a one-way ticket costs 25 RMB ($3.50 USD).
Shanghai: The Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) is the main airport in Shanghai for international flights. The easiest way to get into town is take the Metro Line 2 to People’s Square. The ride takes just over an hour and costs about 28 RMB ($4 USD).
Hong Kong: The Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) is the main airport for international flights. Again, make sure you leave plenty of time here for customs and security. The easiest way to get downtown from the Hong Kong airport is by taking the Airport Express Train. It costs 115 HK$ ($14.50 USD) and the ride is about 25 minutes. If you get off at the Central station, you can take the free MTR shuttle bus to 50 nearby hotels!
How to fly from the USA to China
The US is well-connected to China, with direct flights to China every week from more than a dozen US cities (and many more cities with connecting flights!) The most popular airlines to fly to China are United, Delta, Air China and Cathay Pacific. All of these airlines offer nonstop flights to China, although of course, there are other airlines that offer nonstop flights as well.
For smaller US cities (and some larger ones as well), taking a connecting flight will obviously take longer, but can save you a lot of money. If you don’t mind having a layover, there are plenty more airports, routes and discounts available.
When is the cheapest time to book a flight from the USA to China?
Prices based on searches made 30-60 days prior to departure.
China universities and campuses
Wondering where you can study abroad in China? You’re in the right place! Although there are tons of places you can study in China, these amazing universities are home to lots of international students:
- If you’re studying science, consider Shanghai Jiao Tong University. It’s very prestigious and one of the best research universities in China (and the world!).
- Want to upgrade your business resume? Tsinghua University in Beijing is world-class for business students. If you’re interested in government, sociology or research, check out Peking University.
- Fudan University is a well-respected and traditional Chinese university while housing plenty of international students. Plus, it has an amazing intensive Mandarian program!
- Of course, Hong Kong University is another amazing option that gives you a western-oriented school while still putting you at the heart of a vibrant Asian city.
China lifestyle and culture
Visitors and students in China will find life very different from what they might be used to in the US, but will enjoy friendly locals, a mesmerizing culture and beautiful cities! Whether you’re staying in a big city like Beijing or Shanghai or a smaller town, you’ll plenty to see and do. Keep in mind that there are many cultural differences in China—for example, smoking is common in most public places and tipping is not always common, especially in restaurants. Fashion styles also tend to be a bit more conservative in China (i.e. you won’t see very many bikinis if you head to the beach!). It helps to be mindful of different cultural norms, but traveling in China is a learning experience: don’t be too hard on yourself if you make a mistake!
Exploring China on a student budget
It is easier than you may think to visit China on a student budget! You can find budget accommodation easily in China, especially in major cities and eating out tends to be cheaper in China than it would be in the US. Breakfasts are usually between 5-20 yuan ($1-3 USD) and lunch/dinners are usually around 30-50 yuan ($4-7 USD). In addition, there are plenty of free things to do through Chinese cities, from strolling through main squares and city streets to visiting museums and more.