Academic Year and Language of Instruction
China has a strong education system in place. Chinese students excel in academics at domestic and foreign universities alike. Prestigious organizations such as the United Nations and top corporate companies also hire Chinese people because they are so talented and intelligent. Mandarin is used as the language or medium of instruction in China in most of the schools. Schools in areas where ethnic minorities live also teach in their native languages such as Mongolian and Korean. But at college level, there are many English medium graduate level programs as well. Top Chinese universities also offer bilingual and English medium courses as well.
In China, the academic year depends upon the Chinese New Year. All schools, colleges and universities in China have two semesters, the second of which depends upon the date on which the Chinese New Year falls. The two semesters in Chinese educational institutions are: Semester I:
September to JanuarySemester II:
February/March ( based on date of Chinese New Year) to July
There is some variation in the length of the first semester in China because institutions follow the lunar calendar. The winter break can last from mid-January to mid-February. The period varies due to the Spring Festival or the Chinese lunar New Year. A gap of 2 weeks exists between the end of the first semester and the Spring Festival. The second semester begins after 2 weeks have elapsed from the Spring Festival. Most institutions have second semesters which end within the first fortnight of July. In Northern China, the Summer Break is for a lesser duration and the Winter Break is longer.
Medium of Instructions in AcademiaWhile some colleges and universities offer only Chinese programs, others combine programs in Mandarin and English whereas some offer bilingual degree programs. At school level, only Chinese or Mandarin is used for instruction purposes however many private schools and international schools use English as language of instruction.