Studying abroad can be an adventure to look forward to, one that will definitely broaden your horizons, enhance your resourcefulness, and equip you with new skills and knowledge in your chosen field of study.
While it is surely an exciting time, it is also understandable to have a few questions on your mind while deciding whether it’s the right pathway for you.
Here are some of the top questions that people ask before embarking on a course of study in China.
1. Why should I study in China?
China is an economic powerhouse that is on the rise.
Many students are choosing to pursue their studies in China, not only to enhance their language skills, but to experience the rich and diverse culture and sights that it offers.
One plus point that is worthy to mention is that studying in China is considerably more affordable compared to most Western countries without considerable compromise in quality of education – Universities like Tsinghua University is already beginning to outrank Singapore’s best university.
2. Where is the best city to study in China?
China is a huge country and it can be tough to decide on which city to be based in. Its top-ranking universities are located at the sprawling metropoles of Shanghai, Beijing, and Tianjin for obvious reasons. However, you should also consider second-tier cities that are fast on the rise, such as Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou and Nanjing, where rapid growth may present more opportunities.
3. How much should I expect to fork out if I study in China?
Tuition fees vary from university to university but the range is generally between S$5,000 and S$24,000 a year. Most programs fall within the $8,000 per year price bracket.
As for accommodation, the most common housing options in China are student residence halls – prices range between S$200 and S$550 per month. Renting a one-bedroom apartment can cost between S$400 and S$1,400 per month, depending on location and facilities.
4. Are all university courses conducted in Mandarin?
Most of China’s top universities conduct the majority of their classes in Mandarin, so it can be a barrier for you if you are less proficient in the Chinese language. However, these universities also offer a great deal of their programs in the English medium of instruction.
Applicants who prefer to take a programme in Chinese but are not proficient in their Chinese language may consider taking a one year Chinese language course before embarking on your undergraduate or graduate programme.
5. What is the HSK and do I have to take it?
The HSK test is a standardised examination that assesses your ability to understand the Chinese language. It measures four key components of your language proficiency: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Most degree programmes taught in China require HSK 4 or above, so you will have to take the HSK to determine your language proficiency level.
If you need help in preparing for the test, Singapore Success Stories offers Mandarin proficiency classes for individuals at all levels. We are also the first and only consultancy in Singapore working through the China Education Association for International Exchange to assist students with their university applications.
6. Are there scholarships that I can apply for?
Yes! According to student.com, China offered more than 40,000 scholarships to international students in 2015.
The scholarship opportunities in China are plentiful. Many scholarships, partial or full, are currently offered by the Chinese government, Chinese universities, and corporations as they are hoping to attract the best talents across the globe. Contact Singapore Success Stories to explore your options.
7. Do I need a student visa?
All foreign students have to apply for a student visa. You will need either an X1 visa, if your course duration is more than 180 days, or an X2 visa, if your course duration is less than 180 days. You may apply for a student visa at your nearest Chinese embassy.
8. Am I allowed to work while studying?
Unfortunately, it is illegal for students who are on student visa to look for paid work. However, you may be glad to know that unpaid internship or volunteer work opportunities are still possible.
9. Are Chinese degrees recognised?
The qualifications awarded by Chinese universities are recognised by most countries in the developed world. This has been largely due to the Chinese government’s efforts at investing in and improving the quality of education in the country.
Today, many China’s universities have been included in global university rankings. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings included 37 of China’s universities in 2015, compared to just 6 in 2011.
10. What are the downsides of furthering my studies in China?
In some very congested cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, urban pollution can take some getting used to. Also, because Chinese is so widespread, it can be daunting for those who are not as comfortable with the language. However, these challenges are not insurmountable. With an open mind and willingness to learn, studying abroad in China can bring invaluable opportunities to grow professionally and personally.
Singapore Success Stories has been helping Singaporean students gain placement in universities and educational institutions abroad successfully. We offer a holistic approach that covers pre-programmepreparation, applications, test preparation, and post-acceptance academic support. We also enjoy strong working relationships with over 300 educational institutions in China.
If you’re keen to find out more about pursuing further studies in China, click HERE now!