How can a Chinese student with not much money study abroad?

Many countries offer university courses free of tuition. Some of them even have a part in online courses (which could minimize your costs). Try searching of Open University or something similar. Greece is a rather affordable country, with SOME decent universities. Germany has a great system and much recognized universities. The Netherlands have generally low tuitions and even better universities. Some Scandinavian countries can help you greatly. Think of South Korea as well - they offer a lot of opportunities and are close geographically. For Law or International Relations you may also find France attractive. Eastern European countries have some notable universities which are also cheap (I have heard especially for Poland). Israel is often considered good (particularly for Strategic Studies) - some of the professors are really great.

Hope it helps!

Kostas Mouratidis, Programming, Data Science, Int'l Relations, Consulting