STUDY IN CHINA
China offers a lot of opportunities for international students. The country, which is home to more than 1.3 billion people, is one of the most important economic agents. China also has a unique history and such a diverse culture, that no matter where you travel inland, you will find opportunities to learn about the area’s history. Although the country is one of the largest in both size and population, there are opportunities to study in China for international students, who are interested in providing something unique to the community.
WHY STUDY ABROAD IN CHINA?
The mere fact that you have studied in China can facilitate a successful position, for example, in a Chinese firm with investments in Europe or in a Western firm with an office in Beijing, as most large firms have.
Studying in China is cheap not only in terms of tuition, but also in terms of daily life. For instance, the international tuition fee for all undergraduate courses at Tonji University in Shanghai varies between $3.000 and $5.500 per year, and for graduate courses from $3.500 to $5.000 per year. All universities have their own cafeterias to Western standards, where you can eat well for $2, as well as at neighborhood family restaurants. A subway ticket in Beijing and a kilometer by taxi on any distance cost $0.30, a bus ticket costs $0.06, and a beer at the supermarket is $0.36.
University life is comfortable: large green campuses, large communities of foreign students, qualitative services and value for money. With many years of experience in managing the flow of foreign students, Chinese universities now have specialized departments: both access to studies and the resolution of administrative problems after admission are promptly managed by specialized employees.
A few years of study in China generally bring a good command of the Chinese language, which is becoming more and more fashionable in the West. In addition to knowing the language and becoming familiar with business habits, social relationships can also be important in terms of finding a Chinese employer.
The cultural exchange during the studies is spectacular and creates openness to a new world – however, you might find it difficult to adapt. In China, everything is different to what you may be used to, from the rules of good manners to writing. If you do not come with an open mind, habits such as crowding the subway and seeing people naturally sleeping throughout your commute can make you uncomfortable. Also, the fact that English is not commonly used in daily conversations can create difficulties, but optimists may see this as a compulsion to learn a minimum of Chinese words faster.
Compared to other prices in China, accommodation may be quite costly, but still more affordable than other study destinations. China is a real estate boom, with about $420/month for a single room in the dormitory, and about $180 – $300 for your room in shared apartment outside campus. For a studio rented on the free market, you may pay an average of $500.
HOW AND WHERE TO APPLY FOR CHINESE UNIVERSITIES
Firstly, do not hurry with this decision! Do extensive research and make sure you meet the requirements of your chosen institutions. Normally, your qualifications must have high scores from previous studies, so applying to at least 3 options will enhance your chances of being admitted.
Regarding your application – you may be familiar with, or might at least have heard of UCAS. Just like the British UCAS, China has the Chinese CUCAS! Other options are CUAC for only one option, or directly on the website of your chosen universities. Another interesting option which is allowed by Chinese universities is application through a friend, an alumni at your targeted university. You may send them your documents, and they can submit your application for you. Pretty cool, right?
As far as your documents are concerned, you will be required to submit a plethora of documents as an international, such as:
- ID documents: copy of your passport, copy of your identity card, copy of your valid visa, passport photo
- Academic Certificates: Language proficiency certificate (Chinese/English*), Diploma from your last graduated school, academic transcripts
- Heath documents: health certificate, health insurance plan (either from your home country or once you arrive in China)
- Other documents: certification of no criminal record, letter of guarantee (parent or legal guardian signing for you abiding the rules and regulations of China), residence permit (within 30 days of your arrival in China).
Perhaps not surprising, many courses are naturally taught in Mandarin; so if you are planning to pursue such a course, make sure you prepare intensively for one-two years, in order to obtain a language certificate of a passing grade between levels 3-8 in the HSK Exam (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi). If you are applying for a degree in the English language, you may not be required to learn Mandarin, although you may be asked to take and show proof of having passed an English language test, usually the IELTS or TOEFL.
Consider the economic power and great influence of the country all over the globe, as well as the unlimited and unimaginable opportunities you are to discover in such a beautifully diverse culture. It may seem challenging, but would you study in China?