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mason12

possible jobs from studying chinese

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yonitabonita

Over the last few months, I've been on the hunt for a job in a law firm here in China. What I think I have that interests employers is a combination of good language skills in Mandarin, native English, fluent Cantonese, a bit of relevant work experience, and a solid degree from a good Western university. At job interviews, there's been mention of wanting someone with 'critical thinking' skills that are developed through western educational systems. Through the eyes of an employer, I think that last factor was that something extra that gave me a competitive edge over Chinese candidates. (Since a job offer was made yesterday).

Do you see yourself living around the world, or just in China? If it's the 'international' career that appeals to you, you might want to think about what might make you marketable around the world. Righty or wrongly, I think employers from Nicaragua to Bolivia to New York to Delhi would by and large prefer a western degree to a Chinese one.

It's great that you want to learn Chinese. But if I were you, I'd give it a bit of time to see how you go beyond the few days. Gato asks a wise question - how do you know you'll like Chinese later on? While I love to study it, it's not for everyone. You'd not want to find yourself in the situation of having enrolled at Beihang and discovering you're not so keen on rote learning chengyus and characters day after day afterall. Best to discover that you love it, and then come over to pursue it, then to come to test yourself by enrolling in a degree.

If you hate studying for your A levels back home, you may find studying over here just as crappy or maybe even worse. I loved studying in Australia and I love studying Mandarin, but I hate studying Mandarin in China sometimes. This has a lot to do with traditional Chinese teaching methods. I'm here in spite of the teaching methods, not because of it.

OK, just some more issues for you to consider.

Good luck!

y

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Luobot

Try it for a summer or interim semester (without giving up any options back home, if possible). Then, if it's still in your system, go for it. :wink:

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mason12

Thaks everyone for the advice, its deffinatly food for thought! But can i just answer a few things, firstly i did enjoy studying the subjects that i have an interest in for example English language and literature and when i enjoy a subject i can study it to a higher level, its just the way i work. Thats how i know that i will like studying Chinese because since i was about 12/13 years of age i have had a profound interest in China, there is just something about the country, the people and the language that i love, it is hard to pinpoint one main reason why i have a fascination with this country but all i know is that i do. Also for me studying a language is fun, thats why i enjoyed studying French and German at secondary school and just because i don't enjoy higher Maths and Physics doesn't mean that i won't enjoy Chinese.

I also know that i like other aspects of Chinese culture because at school i shared a dormitory with two people from China and in time i got to hear stories of the country and the culture and i could also try various drinks and snacks that are available in China and since then i have been hooked.

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newyorkeric

I agree with some of the comments questioning your strategy. I think a western degree is a much safer route. You can do a year in China and/or move to China after finishing your degree. My concern is that if you ever choose to work outside of China, a Chinese degree is nearly worthless, or at least worth much less than a degree from a western university.

I also recommend studying another field along side Chinese (for example, engineering or economics but this is something you have to decide on your own). In my experience having a "non-language" marketable skill along with language abilities will open the door to many more career-oriented positions then having the language skills alone.

Just my two cents but I felt like I had to express my opinion. I wish you the best.

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johnd
I agree with some of the comments questioning your strategy. I think a western degree is a much safer route.

Yes, this should be considered. But I think Mason's enthusiastic drive and get-up-and-go attitude is also very valuable to employers. If you can be successful at a Chinese university, people will respect that. Especially since you don't want to go into a technical or engineering career.

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bijian

Hi,

Have you considered a UK university with study-abroad program to China?

  • allows for transition from UK to China since still close to home
  • allows options for graduate work in China
  • allows options back home

In any case, good luck and best wishes in whatever you do.

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mason12

Thankyou everyone for all of your comments, they have all been of great interest to me and i will bear them in mind whilst making my final descision regarding studying in China.

Once again thanks.

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simonlaing

I knew some people who did 4 year degrees and they didn't seem to enjoy it.

One was Canadian Teacher who had taught English in Latin America and China in his early twenties and now did this as he could afford to do it with part time English Teaching. Although he finished his Chinese degree , he seemed a bit dissappointed with some of the classes. He was about 30 plus when he finished his degree so it is a slightly different motivation.

Another Friend was French guy who had taken some sort of 2 year associates degree and then came here and did a 4 year Biology degree. He told me it was incredibly hard. His Chinese was great but he didn't know if his biology crediential would be accepted in the French corporations. Also he had a lot of "help" from friends and teachers.

I think the try it first and keep studying if you like it method is the right way to do. In addition Chinese undergraduate students in general are very sheltered, naive students so finding people who like to talk about politics or have deep dating relationships might be difficult.

Plus lots of the undergraduates have to live in Chinese undergraduate dorms 4-8 ppl per room, lights out at 11 pm at some places, with Chinese hole toilets and Communal Showers outside the dorm in many universities. Just getting used to the Chinese Student lifestyle may be a challenge.

China is a wonderful place. I would recommend it to anyone, but know what you're getting into before you commit.

If you've studied other languages, you're be able to study Chinese. It's only like learning two languages at the same time. (No problem) Also you have get a HSK level 4 in CHinese to enroll in Freshman year, before that you'll be with the foreigners in the Chinese as a second language department.

Good Luck,

Simon:)

P.S,. You could try HK they have English taught degree programs I think. It was on CCTV9 so it must be true.

P.P.S. I studied Chinese for 2 years in CHina and one in the UK and now work at a translation company. (and do marketing and business planning.)

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prince

it's rare a foreigner studies 4yrs and graduates from a chinese university. rarity brings value.

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newyorkeric
it's rare a foreigner studies 4yrs and graduates from a chinese university. rarity brings value.

Or it could be rare because a degree from a chinese university is worth little. Low value brings rarity.

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yonglin
not really, low value brings abundance

you are wrong. the above poster is right.

"low value" in what you are referring to must mean that the price (money, effort, etc.) is high relative to what you get out of it (job market advantage). this means that the price for the product (a university degree at a Chinese university degree) is high. this would make fewer people want to consume the product. this would be why foreign graduates of chinese universities are relatively few.

what brings "abundance" would be a low price. although tuition fees at chinese universities are low compared to western (american) standards, it seems to me that the price in terms of effort (learning chinese well enough to manage) and pressure (the chinese educational system in general) makes up for that, making the overall price (opportunity cost) of a chinese university education for westerners extremely high, and consequently, the number of such graduates very low.

since they are so few, they would earn very much if their skills were demanded in the labour market. whether this is the case or not is an empirical question which i would personally be very interested in finding out the answer to.

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deezy
I was there to study and just chill out and enjoy Beijing so didn't take up any of the offers, but ... I was stopped about 3 or 4 times and asked to be in commercials or bit parts in some TV program or other. Pay wasn't anything much but it would have been a fun experience.

Next time I go to Beijing I'll say "yes". For you, it could lead to an acting career - who knows.

Your advantages over the billion Chinese population would be very good English, looking Western, and thinking like a Westerner. I know that all sounds blatantly obvious and not useful, but - as you'll discover when you get to China - it all is.

Yes, they have scouts "scouring" campuses for White kids to be in commercials and ads. I knew a few that had taken up these offers.

It's a cool experience, but keep in mind that a guy might get paid 100元 per 3 hours shooting while a female model might get paid more for less (maybe 1000元 for a half day shoot). I believe White models typically get paid double the local Chinese models. Now, this is certainly good pay for China - but not by Hollywood standards and you can expect some very long hours per shoot.

My friend who did it thought it was a neat experience, but didn't know if he'd do it again due to the low pay by Western standards (below US minimum wage) and extremely long hours. Point is, I wouldn't necessarily go to China just hoping to become an actor to "make it big." Because being a well-paid actor there isn't considered well-paid in the West. You could probably make more at a minimum wage job. But, it's all relative and if you're in China anyways, there are certainly much harder ways to make less money there! I mean, 1000元 does go a loong way in China!

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Qcash3

Firstly, I definitely agree with all the posters who said that ypu should consider studying something else along with your Chinese. I just returned from my high school/college gap year in Beijing at Tsinghua University, and I ask myself everyday what do I really want to do with my Chinese in the future? I have been studying Chinese for nine years, and now am practically fluent, but I still realize the need to study something else. After all, even if you are fluent in Chinese, so are the billion Chinese people in China. Halfway through last year I considered staying in China to study indefinitely, but I thought long and hard about it and realized that a western degree would be more beneficial in the long run. You are still young and this is a good time to test the waters and figure out what career path you want to take. In the course of my studies i've met alot of people who just graduate from high school and study abroad for years. While I am attracted to the freedom of such a "student lifestyle," it also seems to me like they are kind of floating along through life, and that is something I want to avoid. Now I am back in the U.S. at Uni, but I by no means have dumped Chinese. I am enrolled in a Chinese program at my Uni with all my classes in Chinese, and I will be returning to do more studying in a couple years, perhaps you should look at a program like that. In the end it's your choice mate.

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DavyJonesLocker

Great to see you post 12 years later! 

Happy it's working out for you. 

I'm mid 40s and  no idea what I want to do now 😂

 

Although I don't think I know anyone at my age who does what they first wanted to do when they were 17 or even work in the same careers as they graduated in.

Life us an adventure, it would be boring otherwise  😎

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