25 Things You Did Not Know About Studying In China
What comes to your mind when you hear China? I imagine quite a lot of things do. Low quality goods definitely rank high. A billion people that appear to look alike would also probably make the cut. Then there would be bullet trains, gigantic factories and smog-clogged cities. How about studying in China? Nah! Definitely did not cross your mind.
In recent years, China has been gaining speed in its international education market. But many prospective international students have no idea what to expect from studying in China.
So today, we share with you 25 things you probably did not know about studying in China.
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- Smog will likely welcome you to China
China is very industrialized with hundreds of factories in large cities. As a result the air is thick with smog for most of the year, but especially around January to April. The cities most prone to chronic smog are usually around the northern regions which include cities like Beijing, Hebei and Tianjin. If you have a respiratory condition, you would be advised to have your face mask and inhaler handy.
- Chinese Universities rank high in world ratings
Chinese Universities while not as prestigious as their counterparts in Europe and North America do rank relatively high on Times Higher Education ranking. There are 21 Chinese universities in the top 500 and 6 in the top 100. The highest ranked is Tsinghua University which sits at the 23rd. Pekings University also in China occupies the 24th spot.
- Mandarin is rife, even in the Universities
China has one of the lowest English speaking populations in the world. Mandarin is the most popular language spoken in the country with pockets of Uighur and Tibetan. Learning the basics in mandarin will help you to adapt and find your way around easily, especially in rural areas.
- International students prefer the big cities
For most international students the big cities are a ‘must stay’ area. While specialized study programs sometimes offer locations outside of the big cities into rural areas but cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong remain popular amongst international students.
- You need a residency permit from the police and you have 30 days to get one
Within 24 hours of your arrival on your student visa you should work on getting your school to create an appointment for you to meet with the police in your area of residence. The police will have to register you as a resident after you pass certain medical tests. A residency permit is a legal requirement to reside in China.
- There is an age limit for each degree
For the Chinese, age is not just a number. Applicants for Bachelor’s degree must be under the age of 25, applicants for Master’s degree must be under the age of 35 while those for Doctorate degree must be under the age of 40.
- Chinese Universities are cheap compared to…
Compared to their counterparts in the US and Europe, Chinese universities fees are modest. The average tuition fee for a public university in the People’s Republic of China is around $3,300 to $10,000. For degrees taught in English the fees range from $2,200 to $4,500. The fees however change depending on the caliber of University. China’s best University, Tsinghua University cost $7,500 dollars on average, while some of their cheapest universities like the Samara National Research University cost on average $1,800.
- There are limitations to work-study options
It is easy to imagine that a country like China with all its big industries and factories would be brimming with jobs and short on supply of workers, thus proving to be a part time job haven for international students. Well, wrong assumption! Until recently international students were barred from working in China, but recent review of that law means that students are now allowed to take Internships as long as they get permission from their university.
- There are diverse ethnic groups in China
The majority of China’s population is Han Chinese who speaks mandarin. They are also the single largest ethnic group in the world numbering over 1.2 billion people. There are however 55 other ethnic minorities in China such as the Manchus, Hui, Uyghurs and Mongols. This diversity is due to China’s rich history stretching over 4000 years.
- Admission requirements for international students is lax
Entry requirements into Chinese universities are different for locals and for international students. The requirements for international students include a test known as Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) to rank their Chinese language skills. But this is only required when the course applied for will be taught in mandarin. If the course is to be taught in English, TOEFL is accepted.
- “C9 league” is China’s “Ivy league”
The “C9 League” is a group of nine universities in mainland China. They receive a huge chunk of government research expenditure. The “C9 League” is China’s version of the Ivy League in the US. If you wish to work in China after graduation you may want to explore your study options at one of the C9 ranked universities. They are more highly regarded by employers in China.
- China is the most populous country on earth.
You probably already know this bit, but we’ll chip it in all the same. China has a population of 1.35 billion people. It is also the world’s third largest country after Russia and the United States. China also has 160 cities that have a population above one million.
- There are scholarships to study in China
If you want to study in China on scholarship, there are quite a number of scholarships for students who want to study in China. The largest of them is the Chinese government scholarship which is managed by the China scholarship council. It is a full scholarship and includes all tuition fees, living expenses, accommodation and some intercity travel.
Watch: 10 Steps to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay!
- Chinese cuisine is… oh well Chinese cuisine.
If you are going to be spending a lot of time in China you may want to know what the food tastes and looks like. You are probably freaking out at the thought of eating scorpions and petrified reptiles for the duration of your stay. Not to worry, the Chinese do have some great dishes that would appeal to most people. Honey Chili Potato, spring rolls and noodles are just some of them.
- Green Tea!
The Chinese take a lot of green tea. The more bitter the better. You will get used to it.
- China has a lot of tourist attraction
A country rich in history, popular tourist destinations include the Great Wall of China, The Terracota army museum, The Yangtze River and the Potula Palace.
- Cost of living is moderate
Outside Beijing and Shanghai which are among the most expensive cities in the world, living in China is relatively cheap. Accommodation for students outside these two cities cost on average; $150 to $1000 per month. Living with a roommate further reduces the cost. Feeding could gulp $170-$200 per month depending on the taste and frequency of feeding of the student.
- Health insurance is required
The ministry of education in China requires all students who intend to study in China for a period over 6 months to have health insurance. They can purchase it either from their home countries or in China itself.
- Dissent is despised in China
For all its technological and cultural advancement, China remains a dictatorship with very little room for dissent. Criticizing the government or the communist party could get you a very lengthy jail term. The government forbids protests and dissent.
- China represses religion.
China has the world’s most irreligious population at over 73%. Chinese state officials often demolish religious structures and places of worship.
- Taking a train in China is almost the same as taking a plane.
China’s bullet trains are some of the fastest in the world, reaching speeds of up to 350 km/h. You may want to hop on one if you want to avoid the chaos of airports and as well as flight delays and cancellations.
- China has 5 time zones
Geographically China has 5 time zones; Zhogyuan, Longshu,Tibet,Kunlun and Chahgbai. Ranging from UTC+5 to UTC+9
- China has a two child policy.
In a bid to curtail its rapidly growing population China introduced a one child policy which mandated married couples to have a maximum of one child. Strict enforcement followed the law. China revised the law in 2016 to allow couples have up to two children.
- There are over 400,000 international students studying in China.
South Koreans make up the bulk of that number at over 31%.
- China has over 2000 universities
China has 2310 tertiary institutions making it the third highest in the world.
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