China is a large country that offers many opportunities to students from all over the world. Finding the right opportunity in the right moment is what helps students to grow and develop. Listening to the stories of people who have already experienced China and lived here is all the more important in helping you to make the choice which is just right for you!
Joseph came from Nigeria to study a Master’s program at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (short XJTLU) in Suzhou. The city is quite close to Shanghai and the university offers a big variety of Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD programs (find out more). We decided to ask Joseph about his experience and listen to his story.
Why China Why XJTLU?
Interviewer: So maybe you could start off by telling us a little about your background and your story.
Joseph: I came to China in 2015. The main reason why I came to China was because I was looking for a particular course, like in different parts of the world. The course is called Data Analysis & Machine Learning. I actually figured that I could do it in Australia. I could do it in America. I could do it in China. But like, I looked through the syllabus and courses, and I figured they were all like pitching the same thing. That’s why I decided to come to China. It was offering a way cheaper tuition. So I came here, and I have been here since then.
Joseph: I applied to two other universities. I applied to the University of Canberra in Australia, and– what was the name of the other one? There’s a second one. I can’t remember the name right now, but it’s in Melbourne. Yeah, it’s in Melbourne. I got into Canberra. The other one, I didn’t hear from them. So, yeah.
Studying and working in China
Joseph: So I came here, and I have been here since then. It was one year and six months program. So far I was able to like round up my Master’s Degree in my Master’s program in pretty much less than 18 months. After 12 months of studying, I decided to– I got an internship with a company here called– a Canadian company called Canadian Solar … So I was there for eight months, and then I decided to leave Suzhou. The plan was to get a better opportunity to somewhere else. So, I got like– right now, I have an offer from a company in Shanghai, an Internet company. Right now, I’m just trying to process my work visa and get settled in Shanghai.
Interviewer: Was it hard for you to get these kinds of connections at the internship and everything, or was the university helpful with that?
Joseph: I got the connection from a professor of mine from the school. So, he connected me to somebody in the office. I made a proper application. I went for an interview, and I was able to get employed
Interviewer: So for you– work, do you need more than the basics of Chinese, or is English just fine?
Joseph: No, it’s English actually. It’s English. Yeah.
The XJTLU Experience – Studying at XJTLU and life in Suzhou
Interviewer: So in terms of your education, what would you say is your greatest experience you had?
Joseph: Okay. The first six months was like really challenging, because like it was a field that is pretty much new, so my biggest challenge was getting in line with what was being taught and– but when I got that on check, I figured that–every other thing just flowed, went smoothly … Then, at the end of the program, after 18 months, I got a scholarship from the Suzhou government. I paid my full school fees, but at the end of 18 months, they … took off 30,000 (rmb) from the payment that I had already paid. So, the school refunded me about 30,000 (rmb) back.
Interviewer: What do you think– how’s your experience at XJTLU so far?
Joseph: My experience at XJTLU? It’s a very international university, so I never really had a bad experience. It was completely good. I never really had a bad experience, because the school was set out to see that most of their international students are comfortable, like even accommodation and stuff. They sent international students and staff to where they could get cheaper rates. For Master’s program, they recommended like hostels that were cheaper for Master’s students. Not just that, they also provided on-campus jobs, like teaching assistants for Master’s students, where they can make some money for themselves too while working in campus. So yeah, it was all good experiences.
African and international student community at XJTLU
Interviewer: What do you think about– have you met many students from Nigeria in China?
Joseph: In this part of China, there are not so many. I think it’s growing anyways. Compared to when I came– there were about five of us at that time. I think around five of us. As of right now, I believe that that number has tripled or so. So, I think the number has really increased. Not just Nigerians but like Africans generally– the numbers are really increasing on this side, like Suzhou generally.
Interviewer: Why do you think students from Africa is increasing so much?
Joseph: Okay, first of all, I would say that African universities– I wouldn’t say they’re bad. They’re good. But the thing is getting into them is the biggest problem or the biggest challenge. So most families back home– I believe it’s the same scenario in every part of Africa– most families don’t want their children waiting another year to get into school. So, the ones that have the money to send their children out actually do that … people–graduating from like Chinese universities are coming back home and doing good things, doing big things back home. So parents are enticed by that, and they’re willing to like– they’ve included China as one of the spots to send their kids to have good education. One of the biggest questions was that why China? Why didn’t I go to Australia?… I have figured that China was offering more opportunities in line with what I wanted to study. So almost every sector of
China is growing, especially in the area of data, artificial intelligence, and so many other things. So, I would say people are coming here generally because they figure that China is actually– there are way more opportunities here than every other place, and it’s something that people just discovered recently.
Interviewer: Yeah. What do you think about– so what do your parents think about it now?
Joseph: They’re very excited about my decision. And yeah. They are fully in support, and they hoped that I would stay here longer. Like yeah. Like pretty much get a good job here, and I already got– just got to secure it with my work visa and stuff. That’s what they’re looking forward to, because they can actually tell that that’s what I want.
XJTLU offers a big variety of popular programs for all educational levels (Bachelor, Master, PhD, non-degree), as opposed to most other universities in China you also don’t have to pay an application fee, so applying is completely for free. If you are interested to apply for XJTLU or for other programs make sure to follow these three simple steps:
1 – Find the right program: You can look up programs here, you can type in “xjtlu” to find programs from this university. By clicking on the program name (not the university name) you can visit the program website to find out more.
2 – Apply: Scroll down to the bottom of the program’s webpage and click the “Apply Now” button to start your application. Fill in your personal details and upload your documents. Make sure to read this article here to find out which documents are required for your application.
3 – Submit: Click the “Submit Application” button at the end of the application, we will then review.
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