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Selecting the Right Programs for International Students in China - Part 1

Selecting the right program for further studies in China is all about surveying your options and making a choice based on your preferences. International students have to take care regarding admission requirements depending upon the courses they opt for.

What are your Goals?

The first thing you need to consider while applying for a program or course in China is the nature of your studies. Chinese universities offer a wide range of courses for foreign students. Non-degree programs based on cultural subjects such as calligraphy and martial arts are popular for foreign students. There are also non-degree programs on Chinese language and culture. A majority of the degree programs are Chinese medium.

Therefore, if you want to pursue these courses, you need to have proficiency in Mandarin/Chinese. There are an increasing number of English medium degree programs in Chinese higher educational institutions as well. Most degree programs have certain requirements regarding the academic background and linguistic capabilities of foreign applicants.  

Another important consideration is the amount of money you are willing to spend. As against developed nations, the cost of staying and studying in China is really low. According to CUCAS, the cost of staying in cities such as Beijing is around 1500RMB to 3000 RMB. Your food bill would be around 10 to 35RMB per meal and subways have a flat rate of 2RMB while buses are even less costly.1Smaller cities particularly in western and central China are even less expensive than this.
 
A major point to consider is where you want to study. Universities have been ranked for different programs by CUCAS.
You can also check out the city guide to get an idea of the different types of universities and information about their host cities.

 Selecting Kind of Programs

Language Programs: A lot depends upon the kind of program you want to pursue. If you want to opt for a non-degree program to study Chinese, Beijing is the best city to opt for as the local dialect is very much similar to standard Mandarin. Language programs last for one semester or one year. A semester in China lasts for 4 to 6 months. Short term courses can be for 1 to 8 weeks.

 Degree Programs: Degree programs in China are for a fixed number of years. The amount of time you want to spend in China is also important therefore.
  • An undergraduate program in China lasts for 4 to 5 years.
  • Master’s degree programs are for 2 to 3 years. Doctoral degree programs can last from 3 to 5 years.
Commencement of Program: When you want to start classes is also an important point which must be taken into account.
  •  Degree programs in most Chinese universities and colleges commence in autumn (during the month of September). Some universities also have certain programs which begin during the spring semester.
  •  Language programs for one semester start in fall or spring while one year programs usually commence in the fall semester.
  • The timing of certain short term courses begins according to either a fixed schedule or an on-demand basis. Short term summer programs last for 1 to 8 weeks and they commence in months of August, June or July.
Chinese universities have winter break for 1 to 2 months from January to February. A two month summer break lasts from July to August. Private language courses accept applicants anytime except the holidays and vacations.

Application Deadline

Each degree program has a certain deadline for application. Universities also require 4 to 8 weeks to process applications and prepare a visa application form called the JW202 form. Application fees need to be paid on time as well. Selecting a program means taking all these aspects into consideration.

Academic Requirement for Programs in China

All degree and non-degree programs in China have their own requirements when it comes to admission. You can find out about the admission requirements for Non-degree programs  here. CUCAS also provides specific guidelines for admission requirements for Bachelor's degree programs, Master's degree programs and Doctoral degree programs at its website. The general academic requirements are as follows. The Chinese government as well as higher educational institutions prescribe certain requirements that applicants must meet to gain admission into study programs in China. They are as follows.

  1. Authorities
  2. Admission Requirements
  •  Admission requirements of the government of China
  • Applicants must hold a student or visitor visa
    Applicants must not have criminal records. Applicants of certain nationalities must provide a non-criminal certificate that has been certified and notarized by the Chinese Embassy.
    There are resulictions on the number of students who can apply if they are from certain countries
    Applicants must have the right qualifications for the program. They should also be able to finance their studies in China.
    International students must have a guarantor in China. 
    Transfer students must possess agreement certificate of both universities/institutions.
     
    •  Admission requirements of the universities in China
    • Non-degree programs for language and culture studies have certain minimum requirements and you must also have a high school diploma if you want to apply for these.
      Degree programs taught in Mandarin only admit students who have passed the HSK (Chinese Language Proficiency Test)
      English medium degree programs in China require good scores on proficiency tests such as IELTS and TOEFL. Native speakers of English or those with academic English medium degrees are not required to provide test scores.

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