Myth #1: Chinese language is just too difficult!
While you will need to have a decent grasp of the language if you intend to study in China, it is actually not as difficult to pick up as one might think.
Yes, the characters may seem intimidating at first glance, but once you give it a chance and really get into learning its various elements, you start to pick up some similarities in the way they are written. The tonal pronunciation may also be confusing initially, but did you know there are only four different tonalities used in the Mandarin speech? And they can be easily learnt with Hànyǔ Pīnyīn.
English speakers will also be glad to know that when learning the Chinese language, you can forgo all English-like grammar, gender agreements, irregular verbs and all that jazz.
What about the language proficiency test then, you may ask? HSK has varying levels from 1 to 6 that starts with the testing of very basic knowledge to eventually your literary, listening and reading skills. What’s more, many universities in China offer HSK preparatory courses for those who do not meet the HSK requirement, and there has been many instances of Chinese language novices who pass the HSK test after only a year at the course. Hence, if you put in the effort to study, you are sure to be able to pass your HSK and meet the language requirements of Chinese universities.
Myth #2: If I apply for a scholarship, I will have to be bonded to the scholarship provider
It is common to think that scholarships will come with strings attached such as having to maintain good academic results, or serve a bond or contract with the scholarship provider. However, you will be glad to know that many of the scholarships offered to international students studying at China universities do not have such strings.
These scholarships, such as the ones given out by the Chinese government, only require you to be of non-Chinese nationality to be eligible, meaning all international students are eligible for application and recipients are not required to serve any type of bond.
There are also scholarships based on one’s geographical location such as the One Belt, One Road Scholarship that was specifically created for citizens of countries within the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road.
These scholarships in China also differ from the usual scholarships given out in other countries because of their better benefits. Firstly, most scholarships in China, such as the Great Wall Programme Scholarship, offer a 100% waiver of tuition fees, cover hostel accommodation, and even provide recipients with a monthly allowance! Also, you will not be required to repay your scholarship fees in the event you are unable to complete your degree course for whatever reason.
If you would like to check your scholarship eligibility for pursuing your degree studies in China, do contact us and we will be happy to assist!
Myth #3: I won’t be able to find a job after obtaining a degree in China
China is more than just tea harvesters and silk weavers. It has reinvented itself over the last decade and established itself on the world stage as a force to be reckoned with their technological advancements, innovations and leading research. The country also has 106 ranked universities and colleges.
Many people have found unique opportunities during their studies in China as well as success at home upon graduating from a higher education institute there.
One such example is Miss Tan Shu Rin, a Malaysian student from Shanghai's Fudan University who majored in broadcasting. During her internship at Nuance Communication in China, she was pleasantly surprised when she had the opportunity to demonstrate a new Proton car model to Malaysia’s then-Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir, during his visit to China. Sitting side by side, Shu Rin performed some of the voice command functions to the former Prime Minister’s amusement which has become a viral video.
Such opportunities, as well as holding a certificate from one of the world’s upcoming economic hub, allows you to distinguish yourself from other candidates during your job hunt and will be of great advantage.
Myth #4: China is dangerous
It is definitely a stretch to assume that China is a dangerous country for foreigners. As with anywhere in the world, there are different levels of security and safety and there are definitely the “danger zones” in every country, state and city.
As a whole, China is relatively safe and you would be surprised to know they rank higher than the United States on the Global Peace Index 2020.
As long as you take the usual precautions such as not leave your belongings or valuables daggling in sight, be vigilant and stay in lit areas, studying in China does not pose any huge safety risk.
Myth #5: I will be subjected to only Chinese food
Lastly, what is life without food? Trying different delicacies and cuisines is one of the many things to do when abroad, but what if you are subjected to only certain food for a prolonged period of time?
You do not have to worry about that in China! As the country became more developed, it has imported many familiar restaurants and fast-food chains from around the world. You would be surprised to know that the most popular fast-food chain in China is actually KFC! So do not worry about not having access to other cuisines when you crave something other than Chinese food.
Another point to note, it is perhaps a common misconception that the Chinese consume ‘strange’ animals and food. While some specific districts, cities and communities do indulge in such unique ‘delicacies’, a typical local’s meal usually consists of Chinese food that you are familiar with such as rice, noodles, poultry, pork, vegetables, etc. So, if you have had that impression, we hereby dispel that myth right now!
And there you have it! 5 common misconceptions about studying in China that people may have. Do you relate to any of these? If so, give the country and yourself a chance to explore and be amazed at how much studying abroad in China may pleasantly surprise you.