There is a wide debate on which knowledge and skills can equip future urban planners with suitable tools to tackle with the societal and environmental challenges of massive urbanisation. This is urgent especially in fast changing societies like the Chinese one. One consolidated strand of research within urban studies has traditionally looked at the integrated topic of rural fringe management and urban food planning in order to achieve more sustainable urban development outcomes. As in other parts of the world, this would require discipline-related knowledge and skills, such as country-related ones. Thus, by establishing conceptually the nexus between sustainability and rural fringe development in the particular context of China, the main aim of the paper will be to unfold the pedagogic implications of this relationship. This will be achieved by reflecting on a series of heterogeneous but interwoven experiences employed in a foreign University located in China: the development of a new “Rural planning” module and the implementation of action-research activities, in form of international workshops, mainly located in the countryside of Suzhou in the Jiangsu Province. The paper will show in the conclusion the achievements and limitations of these teaching experiences, in this particular field of study, exploring the enabling factors in urban studies education for the sustainable development/management of the urban fringe of China.