Four Options For Studying Abroad In China
- Teach English in China
- Apply for a Study Abroad Program
- Enroll in a Chinese University
- Study at a Private Language School
Watch the video and read through these four options in more detail below.
Option One — Teach English in China
The first way to get your foot in the door is by teaching English in China. This is what I did from 2009 to 2018. This is an excellent way to begin because in your free time you can study with a tutor or at a school and whilst you’re working you’re making money to fund your studies.
All you really need if you’ve never taught English before is your TEFL course. That stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Or if you’re from Europe or places that offer a different type of degree you can study a CELTA program. Both are relatively simple. I’d recommend getting a 120-hour degree from a credible website. It will take around 4-5 months to complete. Upon receiving your certification you can apply online for teaching jobs in China. Or, you can apply for a Chinese Tourist Visa and start laying groundwork once you’re based here in China. Once in your Chinese City of choice, you can apply to Chinese Schools that are hiring. Make sure they will provide you with a work visa though.
I highly recommend using a trustworthy company like Career China. These guys can walk you through all the steps needed to nab yourself a job in China. I’ve actually been to First Leap, a school that they place teachers in. The environment is fantastic, a bunch of positive people who know how scary applying for a job in China can be.
If you’ve seen my live streams you’ll have met Rachel, she works for Career China and has featured in my videos.
Option Two — Apply for a Study Abroad Program
This is the first way I studied abroad in China. I applied for a Study Abroad Program with my College (University) and specified that I would like to study in China. Depending on your major you can study for different periods of time. My major was Linguistics at the University of Washington and they let me study abroad for two years! So I went ahead and studied in Beijing at the Central University of Nationalities.
Go and speak to your Lecturer if you’re interested in studying abroad and see what program your College can offer you.
Option Three — Enroll in a Chinese University
If you’re not a College student, you can enroll directly at a University in China. Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to speak Chinese to get a degree in China. There are plenty of 4-year degrees that are in English. Another bonus is that the tuition is a lot cheaper than in America.
Also, if you plan to major in Mandarin, which I recommend, you’re going to have to take a little bit of extra time studying Mandarin. Add a language course before you enroll in the University.
Already got your Bachelors degree? You can also apply for a Masters degree in China. If you’re from the US or Europe, be careful about what program you apply for because not all degrees from overseas are treated with the same weight or importance as degrees in your home country, so do your research and know your end game. Why are you going to study in a Chinese University and what will it bring you in the future? If you make an intelligent decision then you won’t find yourself regretting it in the future.
You can also enroll in a language-specific program. It’s not a degree program but most Universities in China have language programs where you can study full time (20-hours a week). These programs also offer a student visa so you can study legally.
Beijing Language Culture University offers good language programs if you want to spend your time in China’s bustling capital. For a more unique and authentic experience, I’d recommend going to a smaller city. There are tons of Foreigners in Beijing, Shanghai, and other tier-one cities. You’re likely to get distracted by all the fancy brunches, midnight parties and start socializing in English too much. Head to a tier-two or tier-three city. Check out those cities here.
Option Four — Study at a Private Language School
The fourth and last way to study abroad in China is at a Language School. This would be a private institution. For example, I live in Tian Jin and there is a language school called New Century. They will also give you a visa however you must study full-time and have 80% attendance or above.
Some of the benefits of studying at a language school are that the class sizes are smaller and there are unique experiences available due to the smaller classes.
Want to know how to pass the HSK exams?
Do you want to know how to pass the HSK tests? You’ll need this test if you’re going to study in China or if you want a better visa for the long-term.
Question of the day
What else do you want to learn about studying in China? Leave a comment below. It not only benefits you but the rest of the Elementary Chinese community.
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The Great Firewall of China
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