Guest blog: How to be Prepared For Studying in China
According to reports, China currently hosts around half a million foreign students, which is a number that not many people would have predicted 20 years ago. The reason why China is so popular among foreigners is that of the versatility of academic programs, the quality of education, multilingual universities, and the rapid growth of the Chinese economy. If you have an interest in moving to this faraway land and study, there are more than a few arrangements you should make before planting your flag in the land of Kung Fu. Here are some interesting pointers that will help you prepare yourself for studying in China.
It’s always a daunting task gathering all sorts of paperwork; however, the Chinese legislature is not too harsh to those who come to seek knowledge. Most foreign certificates can be accepted after any verification process. But some should be translated to Chinese or English – depending on the University and the type of certificate you’re submitting. The usual documents needed for most Universities include:
- Copy of your passport
- Application form, along with the required fee
- The highest degree of education certificate
- A CV and recommendation letters, if you have any
- For programs in Chinese – HSK certificate (Most programs require HSK 4 level or higher)
- Statement of interest which you can write on your own or hire an online essay service if you’re uncertain about your writing skills, which could do the job for you
It’s not a bad idea to check with your local Chinese Embassy in order to see if they require any additional documentation to make you eligible for studies in their country.
Acquiring Visa and Resident permit
Before we explain what, you need in order to get these documents, it’s important to set a clear distinction between Visa and Resident permit. Visa is a document that allows you to enter the country for the purpose of studying or any other purpose. However, without a Resident permit, you won’t be able to reside in China in order to fulfill the purpose of your entrance. In short, Resident permit allows you to stay in the country once you enter.
In order to get your visa, you need to contact the Chinese Embassy in your country and apply. When it comes to Resident permit, there is one thing in particular that needs to be taken care of. In order to get your permit, you should undergo a medical exam which you will submit along with your Resident permit application. The medical exam can take place in your home country or in China, depending on which option suits you better.
Where to study?
It is very important to inform yourself about all the options available for studying. Programs-wise, China offers everything you could study in any other developed country – math, engineering, arts, languages, economics, urban development, political science, and many more.
Disregarding the fact that China is one of the largest economies in the world, the country itself and the infrastructure is still in development with loads of people moving to, already overpopulated cities. In order to keep the foreign students away from the crowd, Chinese authorities decided to place the bulk of their abroad study institutions in the vicinity of smaller cities like Kunming, Chengdu, or Tianjin. Nevertheless, there are programs available in metropolitan areas like Hong Kong, Beijing, or Shanghai, if you prefer living in a big city. Keep in mind that there are more than 20 provinces in China, most of them using different languages, their cultural heritage differs, even the cuisine is not the same; so basically you’d do well to inform yourself about the region you're planning move in.
How expensive is China?
Compared to most developed countries, China is very affordable, even if you’re on a tight budget. Food is extremely cheap; you could eat an entire meal for less than a couple of dollars, especially if you decide to buy food on the street. Moreover, a lot of merchants are happy to negotiate prices with you, so if you’re able to make a good bargain life in China will come naturally to you.
As for the scholarship’s opportunities, China offers a variety of options; though there are three major scholarship programs you could apply for:
- Chinese Government Scholarship which is open for application from January to April. You should check with the Chinese Embassy about the details regarding the application from your country.
- Local Government Scholarship program is different from province to province; some receive applications all year long.
- Confucius Institute Scholarship is only available for students interested in Chinese study. Any other program is not eligible for application.
It’s important to state that the interest for these scholarship programs is so vast that you will need to have excellent grades in order to hope for the positive outcome of your application.
China is an important industrial entity, and as such requires an educated workforce accustomed to life in China. Add to the equation, the fact that work permits are now much easier to obtain if you finished your education in China and the need for bilingual experts that large companies seek all the time and you have a perfect reason to study in this country. We hope this article has taken you one step closer to deciding and packing your bags for a journey to the land of silk, gunpowder, and future.
Check out a previous blog post about scholarships in China. If you are planning on making the journey all the way to China, you should be aware of some of the misconceptions about the Chinese language. It might also be interesting to read about the types of people you might meet here.