By choosing China as your study destination, you have become part of a rising trend. China has become a top-rated study destination, which is attracting many international students. It is ranked third in the International student population. And the number is rising by 10 percent every year. With such a vast community, you will run into students from not just your native but all over the world.
China is an exotic country full of ancient cultural traditions. The architecture reflects cultural history. It's not just a destination to visit but a vast wonderland to discover.
Before you start your academic journey in this amazing country, here is a list of Do's and Don'ts to make your life easier.
1. Take the opportunity to travel and explore China. China is a vast country with cultural diversity. From natural wonders to ancient architecture, there is something for everyone. The Great Wall of China, old palaces, giant Budhha, pagodas, and canals, there is so much to discover in the ancient architecture of China. If you are a nature lover, Mountain peaks in the sea of clouds of Yellow mountains will take your breath away. Tibet, the world's highest plateau, the rainbow lakes of Jiuzhaigou, rice terraces of Yuanyang and many more natural wonders are awaiting you. If you are interested in cultures, there are several cultural festivals which will enrich your experience. In China, the new year is celebrated for 15 days and is an elaborate affair.
2. Enjoy Chinese cuisines. Chinese food which you would have tasted in your country is not the same as the authentic Chinese flavor. China offers a variety of cuisines. Flavors of food vary in different provinces. Restaurants in China offer all these cuisines, and it's a delight if you love exploring and experimenting in food. If you have dreamt of starting a food blog, this is your opportunity. You can taste something new and delicious every day.
3. Get ready to be pushed and shoved. It's not easy to stand in a queue in China. If you leave some space someone will try to occupy it. So, get used to Chinese ways and don't feel offended.
4. Be very punctual. Punctuality is a virtue in Chinese culture. You will see people arriving ahead of time. If you are punctual for your classes, it shows respect for your teachers and studies. Class attendance is essential. Low turnout can result in a stern talk from a career advisor.
5. Get ready for physical fitness classes. Just like high schools elsewhere, physical education is mandatory for university students here. You might have to take up different physical activity classes every semester. Students have to run around the university campus every morning. It's called 'Morning run' . If you are slow or miss it frequently, your Physical education grades will get impacted.
6. Download WeChat and get used to the interface. In China, all popular social media sites like facebook, twitter, and Instagram are blocked. So, you will have to get used to Chinese social media sites.
7. Be patient while dealing with government and administrative authorities. Administrative work might take a lot of time and paperwork. Be patient, avoid creating a scene by getting angry on officials. Such behavior will not help and you will stand out as a sulking outsider instead.
8. Try learning Mandarin. It's one of the hardest languages with 10,000 characters. You might be tempted to give up in the beginning, but your learning experience in China will not be complete without this experience. Once you get the hang of it, you will enjoy it. Also, you will be able to interact with locals and know so much more about their culture. It will be even better if you learn some phrases before reaching there. This will really help you in your initial days.
9. Carry toilet paper with you. Many public toilets don't have toilet paper. So, carry tissue paper or toilet paper in your bag if you don't want to get stuck.
1. Don't worry about the quality of education. Chinese university holds an excellent reputation. The number of universities ranked in top listings like Times Higher Education's World University Rankings is increasing every year. China has left other popular destinations like Canada and Australia behind.
2. Don't worry about study expenses. To encourage more and more international students Chinese government is offering many fundings and scholarships. There are more than 40,000 scholarships available. Nearly 40% of International students received financial aid in 2016. So, you have a high chance of securing financial aid in China.
3. Don't worry about being alone. As China attracts a lot of international students globally, you will undoubtedly find people from your tribe here. After the US and UK, it's the third most popular choice for international students. You will not just connect with people from your homeland but from all over the world. You can make global connections which will help you throughout your career.
4. To greet someone don't hug or kiss, nod or bow down and lower your head before other people. Greet elders first. Asking people if they had there meal is common in China. It shows your concern and cares for them.
5. Don't talk about Tibet and Taiwan. These two countries are fighting for freedom from China. So, it's a controversial topic and can offend Chinese people. Also, avoid talking about Tiananmen Square, where thousands of deaths occurred in 1989. The Communist Party of China forbids discussion on this event and censor the information. So, stay away from such topics.
With all this information your stay in China will become smoother. Chinese experience will surely help you in your career and life and will help you stay ahead. All the best.
Roohi is an academician and a traveler and loves to explore new places and interact with students from all spheres. She has a B.Tech degree in electronics and telecommunication and loves to initiate students and counsel them, in their journey to higher education. In her free time, her 6-year-old keeps her hands full.
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