Tsion-Haile is from Ethiopia, and has written this article for China Admissions about the things Ethiopian students should know about studying in China!
This article was originally written in 2019
11 Things Every Ethiopian Student Should Know About Studying in China
1- Why do you want to study in China?
China is not a country you go to when you just want to go “ውጭ አገር”. China does not give “ግሪን ካርድ”. You have limited time to stay here. So it is important that you know the EXACT REASONS as to why you want to come to China and to achieve what?
You need to be aware that when you study abroad you will have challenges and difficulties. Of course there are amazing times, but it will not always be easy and simple. Knowing clearly, before you come will save you a lot of time and ease the confusion and/or inevitable difficulties a lot of students face when they arrive to study in China. It may lead them to regret why they are here or to find themselves lost somewhere they feel like they don’t belong. Knowing the answers to the above two basic questions will keep you motivated through the culture shock or any other difficulties you may face in China as well.
So that you may come out of it the other side a stronger, more confident, mature and better version of yourself, ready to take on the world.
2- Where is the best place for Ethiopians to study in China?
Don’t come thinking ““ምንም ቢሆን ከኢትዮጵያ ይሻላል””. Just because China is the 2nd largest world economy in the world it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any rural areas or cities not very suitable for foreigners like Ethiopians. Some cities have very difficult weather to bare including a very cold winter in the north-east of China which we have never experienced in Ethiopia or extremely hot summer. So make sure you check the suitable weather for you to live in.
If this is the first time for you in China I also advise you to apply to universities in or at least around the cities where there is embassy consulates & direct flights from Ethiopia so you can easily travel easily and there will be larger foreign communities.
Cities with Embassy Consulates in China-Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing & honorary consulate in Hongkong
ET direct flights to China-Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Hong Kong & soon Chongqing.
3- How to Study in China?
There are very few registered companies like China Admissions which helps students apply to Universities in China.
Be careful about agents who you contact online. If you just use one of those agents to apply to China, don’t expect everything to be smooth for you not everything they tell you is right, be ready for it. You can also directly call the embassy for information if you have any doubts (doubts like if the admission letter is real or fake even after you receive it from any agents, or to get consulted if paying that much dollar just to apply is right or wrong). There is a phone & full information in the official embassy site but anyways here is for the Beijing Embassy Student Service 17600833401.
You can also ask questions on China Admissions by leaving a comment on the blog or contacting us here.
4- How to apply to study in China
You can go to Google to find the school official page and apply yourself to any University you want, any! Even call the phone number they provide & talk to them. However sometimes it is hard to find the information, or to get in contact with the universities because they can be quite busy. You can also find registered companies like China admissions in Google which will help you apply to Universities suitable upon your interests. The difference is China Admissions will make your application process faster & easier and it is free – there is no extra service fee.
5- It’s Important to Learn Chinese
Learning the language will never make you lose anything! The truth is that studying in in China, you can learn a lot more from the outside the classroom, but if you don’t know the language you wouldn’t even be able to really go outside as much as you want to because of the language barrier. So I advise you to apply to learn the language for the first 1 year or the first 2 years.
Don’t consider the years you will be learning the language as “waste of time” or think that “I don’t want to graduate late”, time flies in China like crazy & learning the language in advance will open doors and is an incredible investment. Imagine being able to talk to 1 billion more people in the world it will definitely bring you a lot of opportunities! TRUST ME YOU WILL NEVER REGRET IT!!!
6- Should You study in English or Chinese?
Transferring from one University to another does not work in most Universities in China. So if you are not so sure of what you want to learn just apply to take the Chinese language for 1 year then give yourself time to see & decide what major & in what language you want to learn afterwards. But most of the time students choose to major in Business or Engineering. I don’t personally suggest medicine in China.
7- Which university should you study at?
If you are going to use China Admissions you will get consulted more about “your interests & the Universities suggested for you”.
But if you are applying online yourself or if one of those unknown agents are applying for you don’t be so ignorant – the University names as per most of the University names explain what their main majors are. If not you might end up like “Learning ኢንጅነሪንግinጥቁር አንበሳ”, which in China might be possible but will not be that good.
I think it is always suitable to learn a Language in Language University, Engineering in Engineering University, Business in Business University, medicine in the University of Medicine & so on….
8- Scholarships to Study in China
China has a target to bring 500,000 international students by 2020 G.C which means the government will pay a lot of money to attract foreign students to come to China to hit the target. So a lot of Universities do offer a lot of Scholarships. But it’s just the way you are searching those scholarships is wrong. Using the FULL SCHOOL FEE as a “half-scholarships” because it is cheap is one of the frequently used methods by fake agents to attract you. Relatively studying in China is not very expensive. When the school fee is cheap, don’t be so surprised, you probably might even find cheaper. I suggest you either directly contacting the schools through their official websites on Google or legal platforms like China Admissions are the 2 right ways to reach those scholarships.
Read More: China Scholarships: The Guide for International Students
9- Working in China
Foreigners in China stay with different visas. Unless you have a work permit and a visa that allows you to legally work in China you can’t be employed and do a full-time job because it is illegal.
Please don’t come with the mentality of “let me pay for the 1st semester then I will work & cover my fees afterward.” You are able to intern and do part-time study in China, but the earnings may not be enough to cover tuition and semester payments. It will probably only be enough extra money to cover your food and travel around China.
Read More: Updated Policy for Foreign Students Working in China, How To Find An Internship in China
10- What is the food like in China?
The misconception of “food in China is dogs, snakes, insects, donkeys.. .” is completely wrong! There are way more western restaurants in China than in Ethiopia, you have a lot of options to choose from so you can eat whatever you want and also you can cook up something for yourself because the cooking ingredients are cheap and easily accessible.
11- China has Zero tolerance to Drugs
Intentionally or unintentionally if you are found with a drug (including KHAT), China has a completely zero tolerance policy towards drugs or any other drug-related activities whether you are a foreigner or a Chinese citizen.
The law is strictly enforced in China. This means that China is extremely safe. I have never felt in any danger whilst living in China, and feel that I can go to any area.
BY: TSION-HAILE STUDENT, BEIJING MAY 14, 2019
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