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roddy

Xiamen University

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Chris Two Times

Xiamen University appears to be a university that offers those with HSK, Level 5, direct entry into the 3rd year of a 4-year undergraduate degree program in Chinese (Business Chinese, Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, and Chinese Culture tracks).

 

http://english.xmuoec.com/programview.ashx?website_id=51

 

Has anybody on the forums made such a move, jumping directly into the 3rd year and completing the undergraduate degree in just 2 years? What was that experience like?

 

Warm regards,

Chris Two Times

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amanda92

I just came across this forum again and my old post 2 years ago asking about Xiamen University. Now that I have completed my studies there i'd like to share my experiences.

 

I got the CSC scholarship for an MA degree. I think it depends on your department, however my department was a mix of good quality teachers and classes and not so good ones.I had a lot of time to study Chinese there since for the English MA program you have 2 years with light schedules. In my 2nd year, I didn't even have classes for my degree, was just doing thesis writing.  This really depends on your program because in other programs like economics and finance they have a heavier load of classes. I was more satisfied with my experience studying Chinese in the other campus however, so i'd like to talk about it more.  

 

I experienced studying in the Xiang'an campus for two semesters, upper intermediate and lower advanced chinese. Because of my CSC scholarship I had a dorm on the siming campus, and so I had to take the teachers bus (45 minutes) to the xiang'an campus. However you have to be lucky with your schedule that the times match the teachers bus schedule. If it didn't match, i had no choice but to take the public bus (almost 1 1/2 hours). 

 

Quality wise, a lot of the teachers in xiang'an were very good, although I had maybe 1 or 2 teachers who's teaching methods were quite dull. Majority really engaged the students in their classes and I really learned a lot. There are a mix of teachers from Fujian but also a lot who studied in major cities like Beijing, Shanghai etc. Regarding the class size, it depends on your level. A lot of the beginner levels had a lot of classes with a lot of students, but I guess the more advanced you get the less students there will be. I was in a class of 12, and we weren't always complete so it was quite a good size.

 

Xiang'an is far from the city center, but the teachers bus is quite convenient. So if I were you, i'd live in the main part of Xiamen  instead of xiang'an campus, although every year xiang'an campus is improving its facilities. It is a relatively new campus since they only moved the OEC in 2013. In the future I know xiang'an would be a great place to live in once it's fully developed. 

 

Since the OEC moved to Xiang'an campus, a lot of mandarin training schools have recently opened on the main island. However, it is quite hard to find good advanced chinese classes in these training schools. I also think the beginner classes aren't so great so I still recommend going to a uni since they have a lot more experienced teachers. Other unis in Xiamen like Huaqiao and Jimei I heard are also good choices, since that part of Xiamen is already more developed than Xiang'an campus. It is more about personal preference about what you want though. 

 

Overall, I made a lot of great memories in Xiamen, its a great place with great weather, and I learned a lot of Chinese. I'd totally recommend it to anyone coming to study in China.  

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Alex_Hart

Hi Amanda,

 

Thanks so much for sharing your experience! It's great to hear you enjoyed it so much. I'm constantly oscillating between ZheDa or XiaDa, so every review changes the equation!

 

I know you wanted to talk about the Xiang'an Chinese studies portion, but when you say you were in an English MA, could I ask which? It seems like you didn't find the material particularly challenging? Did you know any 老外 studying the Chinese language MAs that you would suggest over an English language MA?

 

Glad to hear the commute is doable as I was considering the same. Was it a 5 day, 3 hour a day schedule for the Chinese? While obviously subjective, did you find the pace of the courses rigorous enough?

 

Sorry for all the questions! Thanks for coming back and reporting in!

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amanda92

Hi Alex, It's no problem, happy to share!

 

I actually didn't find the material challenging at all. But then again, my objective coming to China was  to improve my Chinese, and getting a scholarship for an  MA degree was a way for me to come to China easily, however I had to finance my studies in Xiang'an on my own, it wasn't included in my scholarship. My scholarship did help me a lot since I only paid for tuition fee at Xiang'an. Dorms, allowance and everything was already included in my CSC scholarship for my MA degree. 

 

I do know some studying Chinese MA. Most of them are South East Asians, however i do know 2 Europeans also who are studying.  It actually is quite challenging, however I know some of your classmates and teachers are willing to help you out since they understand your situation. I also do know though they don't give very special treatment to foreigners studying those majors. I would suggest a Chinese MA over an English MA quality wise,  although it does require a good level of Mandarin, which I know 2 of my european friends studying those majors, definitely have. 

 

It depends on your schedule. I was lucky as I got a 4 day class schedule. Monday - Thursday I had 2 classes of 1 1/2 hours each, however I had a long break which I didn't like. But I would rather have a 3 day weekend of course. My schedule was perfect, and it almost matched the teachers bus perfectly. But then again, you have to be really lucky with the schedule. If there was no teachers bus theres no way I would take classes at the other campus, since 3 hour commute everyday for me is too much :)

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Alex_Hart

Thanks again, Amanda! 

 

Have you heard of anyone doing the BA/MA program, where you do the BA to learn Chinese and then transfer right into the MA program? I had hoped that it would be enough to get students to an MA level in Chinese, but perhaps that was overly ambitious of a goal. 

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amanda92

Hi! Sorry late reply... I only know that you can take one year language program in xiangan campus in preparation for your MA, however I don't know anyone who did that although it is possible

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Alex_Hart

Amanda, thanks! I finally found a phone number that worked, too.

 

For future reference, I ended up getting through and I was told the BA would not be funded under the Government Scholarship. 

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thesyn41

Hi guys, i'm new here I recently registered and applied online through Xiamen University. I would like to know how was your experience there? Studyload? I am planning to take masters in economics major in international business. Any of you have feedbacks with the courses? Do you know any students currently taking up this course. Any comments and guide would really help. Thank you!

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idieh

Hi, I am planning to study chinese language program. can anyone tell me what the chinese language courses and any reviews

thanks  :)

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CharlieLi

Hello guys, I'm on the Gen UK/British Council Autumn 2016 scholarship at XiaDa for the Chinese Language programme. Anyone else?

Pretty excited, despite having read some really awful reviews on some sites (but I suppose a lot of the time people only leave reviews when they've had a bad experience). From what I've read here on this forum it looks like this place will suit me quite well. Many of the questions I would ask have been answered already.

One semester is such a short time, and It's well and truly what you make of it with these things, so can anyone provide advice on how to get the most out of the experience? What would you recommend getting involved with from the get-go? 

 

Cheers guys!

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Ori_A

Hey CharlieLi, 
I've studied in Xiamen this past year, and I'm going back in September for another semester or two. I've also read a lot of bad reviews before I got there, and I can see why some people can't really find themselves in Xiang'an campus, but I found it relaxing, with more than enough opportunities to actually practice your Chinese, even in one semester. That being said, it's hard for me to compare to other places, as I haven't studied anywhere else in China.

I find the classes themselves pretty good, but quite relaxed. The homework and exams vary according to the teacher's own view, but they will definitely won't take much of your time, as the general approach is not so strict and It seems like they really want all of the foreigners to be satisfied and not have a hard time. I can compare that to the experience of friend of mine who studies at Zhejiang University, and tells me that they have a very strict approach and a lot of homework. Not saying which one is better. I guess it depends on what suits you best. I personally find Xiada's approach suitable for me, because it leaves me more time for my own ways of study, while the teachers and classes are genreally quite good.

As a result of what I've just said. it is very easy to *not* study hard (or not study at all) and still be OK in class, which is what many students do. Even if you show up to all of the classes, that is not enough (not even close), and you must use what you learn outside of class. At first I thought it would be hard. because Xiang'an Campus is far from the city, and you don't get as much exposure to locals as you would want to. However, as the campus itself is full of chinese students, it wasn't as hard as I thought. I would say that the most important thing is to be active and look for it. Once you look for the opportunities to practice your Chinese and get together with chinese people, you will definitely find them. For startes, you can join the language corners that are being held every week. Whether it's an English corner, Chinese corner or English-Chinese corner (I think there was even a Japanese corner), each one of them is an opportunity to meet chinese students and find friends. Once you start making Chinese friends, it's much easier making more.
The second thing would be speaking Chinese with your classmates!!! It's obviously not as good as speaking with native Chinese speakers, but it is very helpful, much (much) more than people think, especially as your Chinese level gets better. It can be hard because many people get out of class and immediately start to speak english with their classmates, particularly the native English speakers who, of course, find it more convenient (no offense meant). It's really up to you to get out of you comfort zone and dive into the deep water (as deep as they get when you're surrounded by foreigners).
 

Practicing your Chinese outside Campus is also very important. The Island is quite far, but it's becoming easier getting there and back (a new bus line started working about half a year ago, for example). Xiang'an District also has a few places where you can hangout, a very short bus ride away, including a shopping mall, restaurants etc. Apart from that, whereas Xiang'an Campus is not next to a city, it is next to several villages. people live there, they want to speak with you just as much as any other Chinese guy, and the area is very nice to walk around (some countryside and mountains to climb). That is of course, if you like these kind of things. I personally don't enjoy the big city (any big city), so I do find the good aspects of being away from it.

I don't know what you Chinese level is, so everything I said should be adjusted according to your capability. Just remember, it is really up to you. If you really want to make friends, speak Chinese and improve, there is no doubt that you will.

I hope that's been helpful, good luck! :)

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Alinasong911

Hello,

 

I am going to go to Xiamen university to study PhD however, I am not a student of CSC scholarship. 

As I am not a priority to apply for campus housing, I am suggested to look for the house. 

Could I get some tips or information like how much it will cost per month near siming campus or where I can get the reasonable price and so on

 

Thanks

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Namrah145

Hi, I'm planning in applying to Xiamen university year 2017 (Clinical Medicine) and I have a few questions I would appericate if a MBBS student can given an insight on course related question, general question replies are welcomed by everyone.

1) How do I know which campus will I be located in?

2) is it true that everything is at least half an hour away from campus? (Xiang'an campus)

3) are the teachers fluent in English language? (for teaching MBBS)

4) is the administration friendly

5) is it true the local language is far different that the common Mandarin?

6) is there halal food on campus or near by? ( I'm I'm Muslim so this is very crucial)

I'm not exactly from a large city but it isn't small either there aren't sky scrapes here I'm situated in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Will I be able to Adjust fine?

*PICTURE ATATCHEMENTS AS REPLY ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED*

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obscuritea

@Namrah145

 

I don't know if MBBS students stay at Xiang'an campus for the entirety of the program, but I do recall MBBS students being on the Xiang'an campus. I attended the Chinese language program on Xiang'an campus 2014-2015, by the way. Yes, lots of stuff is far away from the campus, but all the necessities you can find nearby, like groceries. There are some bank offices on campus, but if you use Bank of China, you will have to take a bus to the nearest town, Xindian, which is 10-20 minutes away by bus. The main campus of the university, and the central part of Xiamen island is at least an hour bus ride or a 45 minute taxi ride away.

 

I don't know if MBBS teachers are fluent in English since I was in the Chinese language program. Administration is ok.

 

Yes there is a local dialect, but you will hardly encounter it. Any Chinese people you will speak with yourself will be able to speak Mandarin just fine. Maybe if you try to talk to some old man or lady in the village next to the campus they won't understand Mandarin, but anyone in stores and such will speak Mandarin.

 

Yes there is halal food! There are two cafeterias on campus (maybe more since I left!). The 2nd floor on the main cafeteria has a section with halal food. There is also at least one halal restaurant on the student street next to campus.

 

You should be able to adjust fine. If you are on Xiang'an campus, it is very rural (though it was developing very fast when I lived there, so it should be getting less rural), and you may find yourself pretty bored sometimes because of that. Even if it is a long bus ride away, it is nice to have the big city next door, so you can get the feel of both types of areas.

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Namrah145

@obscuritea

Thank you so much!

Just wondering, which year did you attend Xiamen University?

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Sharon_Too

Anyone from MTCSOL in Xiamen Uni? I'd like more info about:

-Your experience in general

-The syllabus

-Classes (with chinese students?)

-Teaching quality

-Campus (in Xiangan? Any classes in Siming then?)

-Dorms

-International community

-Possible to directly apply for CSC via Xiamen uni?

Other related info would be most welcome.

Thanks!

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sufei

Hi everyone. I'm going to apply to Xiamen university this year for the MA in computer science (for the CSC scholarship). I was wondering if anyone had studied this course before and had any more info? Or does anyone know if the csc applications for XiaDa masters are very competitive? In fact, any general information about life at XiaDa would be beneficial :)

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Kherith

Hello, I have several questions.

First, I'm studying chinese at Wuhan university for two months now. At the end of the semester, my girlfriend is moving to Xiamen so I am considering about continuing my language programme in Xiamen. I am afraid that, even with a test, they would put me into a too easy or too hard class. Ways of teaching might also not be the same. What do you guys think about moving to another university to learn chinese ?

Second, from what I read, the campus is located far from town and seems not easy to access. What about it ?

Third, tuition fees are really high, so I'm better considering about huaqiao or jimei. However, the website for jimei university looks really crap so it doesn't make me wanna go there... the one for huaqiao is just empty... so I have no information at all for those two uni, any feedback ?

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Ori_A

Hey
Don't worry about being put into a too easy or a too hard class. It happens, but it's very easy to switch classes at he beginning of the semester, if you find it too easy or too hard. It's even easier to do if you don't have a scholarship, and actually pay the tuition (which basically means you can do whatever you want).
I've only learned Chinese in Xiamen and in my own country, so I don't know how it is to switch universities inside China. I do know many people who has done it, and I believe the overall experience is good and refreshing, so I wouldn't worry about that either.
The classes in Xiamen are not very strict, sometimes a little bit too relaxed, but I think learning a language is up to the student anyway, and I found most of the teachers quite professional, helpful and friendly.
The campus is indeed far away from the city center. It's located in a more rural area, surrounded by villages. It takes 30-90 minutes to get to the island (the actual city), depending on where you want to go and which bus you're taking. There is a close area to the campus (15 minutes by bus), that also has shops, restaurants, movie theater, etc., but it's not as central.
I personally like the location, since I'm not a big fan of big cities, and I enjoy the countryside much more. Most foreingers, however, don't really like it, and though it does improve quickly, it will remain about the same until they finish with the subway in 2-3 years. 
The tuition is high and I don't see the justification for that (though the dorms are very cheap), so yeah, that's not fun... Can't say much about Jimei. I know there is a Chinese program there, but I've never met someone who studied there.

 

Feel free to ask more questions if you have any.

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Chris Two Times

Ori_A,

 

Many thanks for your comments.

 

I have looked at Xiamen University and have been interested in the scheme that I mentioned above (pass on HSK Level 5 gets one directly into third year of a four-year bachelor's degree program). Do you know if that possibility still exists?

 

I also don't mind the idea of a campus being closer to the countryside than to the city. How is the accent of the people in that countryside? Comprehensible to the "putonghua ear" or completely incomprehensible (Minnanhua?)?

 

I have also understood that the tuition is expensive (26,000 a year? as much as Beijing universities!), but the accommodation is quite cheap (2,000 per year for a double room?). 28,000 per year for both tuition and accommodation can be quite affordable in comparison to many other Chinese university programs for foreigners tuition + accommodation costs.

 

Many thanks again for giving the forum further information on Xiamen Daxue, much appreciated!

 

Chris Two Times

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