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Veeti

Dalian University of Foreign Languages

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Veeti

After spending spring 2013 in Beijing studying Chinese, I have decided that I'm on the right path and want to become a full-time Chinese student. I am 24 and still no degree in anything, only studies that I've started and later quit when I've come to realize that those weren't the things I should be doing. I want to earn a Bachelor's degree in China. I've heard some opinions on this, from what I've understood it's not necessarily the smartest thing to do. I hear people say that unless it's Tsinghua or Peking University, it's a waste of time and my degree will not be recognized outside China. I would be doing a degree in Chinese Language.

I guess right now I'm at HSK2 level, never done the test though. As most of you probably know, usually HSK3 or HSK4 are required for foreign students to attend degree programs. However, it's seems that Dalian University of Foreign Languages does not require any HSK certificates (why?). I have sent them an application through CUCAS, I have not been accepted yet but I don't see any reasons why I wouldn't get accepted.

The thing is..I'm not really excited about moving to Dalian for 4 years. Actually I'm not sure if I'm that excited about moving anywhere in China for so long. But at this point I don't know what else to do. I don't have anything going on for me in my home country, I'm stuck with everything. All my friends are graduating soon and I don't know what to do. I would like to study in my home country, but it is super hard to get accepted in uni's here, the competition is very tough. I already wasted last year trying to get accepted but I failed the entrance exam. Also, studying Chinese in my home country is not an option, I don't think they offer courses beyond that "你好,你叫什么名字?"-level. I guess that if I really want to learn Chinese, China is the place to be.

It's okay. I can go to Dalian. But after living 4 years there, I want to do my master degree in my home country. Here they offer a master course in East Asia Studies, super interesting! I just don't want to hear that "Sorry, this Chinese degree is not valid, we can not accept you in a master program"-stuff. That's what I'm most afraid of.

Do you have any thoughts on this? There's nobody I could talk to about these things. My family says that "well it's a university of course a degree is recognized etc." but they don't understand haha... I keep telling them that look, it's CHINA, things don't always go as they do in Europe... but they don't understand.

I've searched information related to Dalian University of Foreign Languages but I haven't found enough resources to form a real opinion. Apparently it is an OK school when it comes to teaching. Apparently it has an "OK"-reputation. Then there are tons of other questions (as always when you're moving somewhere you've never been to, alone), like how's life in general in Dalian, is finding an apartment easy etc. But I don't want to bother you with those questions. I mean, if I do make the decision to move there I'll deal with those things later and I will find out on my own. Right now my biggest concern is just that should I even move there in the first place. Studying, learning Chinese and getting a degree are my priorities. I'm willing to move all the way to Dalian for that (I wouldn't want to move back to Beijing though heh). But ONLY if the education is worth it!

How does this all sound to you?

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roddy

Ok, on degrees - I'd imagine you're getting into an undergraduate degree in Chinese, for foreigners. Basically it'll start from scratch (you may test right into year two) and it'll be four years of BLCU Chinese-for-foreigners textbooks. That's why you don't need any particular HSK score

General advice on here would be to focus on getting your HSK up to whatever level, then do an actual undergrad degree along with the Chinese students. Or maybe to do your degree back home, although if that's not possible, maybe in another country, and spend all available holidays and a sandwich year in China.

As for what's acceptable for Master's entry at home - ask a university. Things might change in four years, but that's your best bet, especially as I don't think you've told us where you're from.

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DalianXpat.com

Hi

Firstly, Dalian University of Foreign Languages is now at Lvshun South Rd, Lvshunkou, Dalian which is a good hour by bus from downtown

The Main office is still in Yan'an lu, Zhong Shan

Do a Google maps search = Dalian University of Foreign Languages" that should give you a better idea

Finding apartments is easy as is places to eat, drink, shop and even the best hospitals

There is a very helpful group of English speakers in Dalian

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skylee

I think all your questions are very relevant but sadly I don't have any information for you. But why are you not excited about doing your degree in Dalian? It might not be a good choice if you have reservation about the place where you are going to spend a few years.

I don't mean to confuse you but have you explored going to Taiwan? Personally I think Taiwan is a nicer place to be, and its top universities have good reputation.

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Ruben von Zwack

It's funny that you're not so excited about Dalian, I was gathering information about Chinese cities, and thought, Dalian sounded one of the best cities to be. Except for the temperatures in winter...

And I second what Skylee said - have you looked into Taiwan?

I don't know where you live, but in my country, there is a foreign office at every university, and there you can look up the international partner unis of your uni. There were a quite a few Chinese universities and Taiwanese universities partners of my university (Munich, which has got an "excellent" rating) and certainly not just Tsinghua and Beijing Daxue, so they can't be all bogus? And of course, if they are partners, they will recognise the degrees (within reason).

Anyway, good luck!

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eliaso

Based on your username you're from Finland, right? Me too. Your plans, reasons and worries are strikingly similiar to mine. As is your level of Chinese (I have just spent 6 weeks in Harbin studying, starting pretty much from the scratch). And right now, I'm writing this message from Dalian! :) I'll assume you're finnish, if not, sorry. Maybe it's more or less relevant info and ideas anyway.

While in Harbin I applied and was accepted to study in Chinese language undergraduate program (for foreigners) at Harbin Institute of Technology. So I'm moving to Harbin next month and plan to stay those four years. Dalian univ. of foreign languages seems to do some pretty good SEO as it was an option I thought about earlier as well. However, for me there were a few turn offs: it is not situated in central Dalian, it's not that well known university and people in Dalian apparently have a slightly peculiar accent. Whether it's important or not for your study city's population to have a standard accent or not is not something I can comment on at this stage, and there seems to be different opinions about that, but I thought that Harbin is at least going to be a "safe choice". As should HIT be as far as Chinese universities go. Some other options I thought about before were Wuhan University, Sichuan university (or something like that) and Heilongjiang university. Wuhan and Sichuan didn't cut it for me because of the languages/dialects spoken on those areas and Heilongjiang university didn't seem like a nice place when I went to take a look while in Harbin. There are plenty of universities that offer Chinese language bachelor degree programs for foreigners where you don't need a HSK level. Using CUCAS as a reliable source is not the best idea but I know there's not much information available anywhere else... better contact universities directly and see what happens. If Dalian turned out to be a bad place to study you could always apply to some other uni in China and you'd be placed with other second year students.

Finnish KELA (responsible institution for paying student benefits to Finnish students) recogniced HIT instantly when I enquired them about my application process. If a degree and a university are good enough for KELA then I guess they should be good enough for future masters degree studies as well ;) My general idea at the moment is that studying for the degree will allow me to live in China for 4 years. After that I hope my Chinese skills are on a good enough level to be used professionally. However, I'll propably try to pursue a masters degree in something else than languages, and plan to have language skills as an extra asset when trying to get some serious jobs later on in life. Or who knows - life has a funny way of turning out differently than you planned for anyway. By the way, Helsinki university does not accept people to do masters degree studies in east asian studies (sinology) just because you are skilled in Chinese and hold a degree in it. Check their (tiedekunnan) homepages for additional information if interested, I don't remember the details anymore.

Besides being concerned if the teaching is good enough etc. I guess you should seriously ask yourself if you want to permanently live in China or not? I'd say it is a bad idea to come here ONLY for the degree if you actually don't like it here that much. Nothing wrong with that - met several people in Harbin who are interested in the language and study it seriously but still rather reside in Europe or USA. Personally, I like it here. Have you looked what options you'd have in Scotland? EU citizens don't need to pay tuition fees there. While getting accepted into a Finnish university is hard it can be done if you really want to. Bad grades in you're high school diploma / matriculation examination? Go raise those grades. A few months before the entrance examinations start studying seriously: get up early, do eight hours a day with needed breaks, eat healthy, excercise and don't go out drinking with your friends. Do that and you can get accepted into the programs that take less than 10% of applicants in. I'm some years older than you. My life has turned out fine despite I didn't start studying in the early 20s like most did.

Thats my two cents for what I feel I can comment on. Fire away if you want to ask something more! I'll be based in Finland for the first three weeks of August sorting my things out before moving to China. If you are in Helsinki or surroundings and are interested in meeting, let me know. There aren't too many of us who are seriously interested in Chinese.

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Veeti

Thank You all for taking the time to reply!

I don't think there's anything wrong with Dalian, as a matter of fact, it sounds like a great city. Also, I don't mind the cold winters, in fact, I prefer to live in the cold! I'm used to freezing winters. What I meant by "I'm not excited about moving to Dalian" is just that.. 4 years is a long time and it scares me a little bit, I have no friends there etc. This school seems to be the only university that a) allows applicants with no HSK results to enter their BA program, and b) application deadline hasn't passed yet. I know Dalian University of Foreign Languages is not a partner university of the one where I'm planning to my master degree, but it doesn't necessarily mean they won't recognize the degree. I was just wondering, in general, what kind of reputation do Chinese BA degrees for foreign students have.

What Roddy said about getting my Chinese to a level where I could study WITH the Chinese sounds wonderful but realistically thinking I know that I'm not reaching that level any time soon, heh, I think they require HSK6.

I have looked into Taiwan universities but the use of traditional characters makes me doubt... and even in Taiwan it would still be 4 years abroad, plus I don't think I'll find a program that doesn't require HSK certificates to be admitted. The most important thing for me right now is to get back to studying in September! Almost all deadlines have passed already, September is just around the corner. It’s my own fault for postponing the application process. I just have been too lost with everything, I arrived home from China less than a month ago and needed some time to figure out what is my next step.

Actually the more I think about this, the more I want to study in Dawai, it seems to be the best option. (I know this because I find myself checking the CUCAS application status all the time, and everytime I do, my heart beats a little faster). And even if I do end up with a degree that all unis see as worthless, I think that I still want to give 4 years of my life to learn Chinese. Taking a regular, non-degree language course is not an option (unless it is really short-term, like 3-6 months) because I need financial government support which is only given for degree programs.

I’m just writing out of frustration I think, I don’t really have a question that anybody could answer. But still, please feel free to leave any comments if you know some people who did a BA in China/ cool things about Dalian/ experiences of Dalian University of Foreign Languages/ anything!

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Veeti

Wow Eliaso.. And here I was thinking that nobody would ever get to know where I’m from ;) . Good detective job! However, unlike my username suggests, I am a girl.

Thank you for taking the time to write such long reply. Yes, it seems like we’re in a similar situation. I spent 3 months in Beijing and I’m currently in Helsinki. Harbin was one of the places where I would have applied if the application deadline hadn’t passed already. I’ve also heard that Harbin is a great choice because of the accent (or should I say lack of it), but from what I’ve understood, Dalian is not that bad either. There are some areas where I absolutely don’t want to study, like Sichuan, because of the thick accent. It’s a shame because if it wasn’t for the dialect, I’d love to explore that area.

Like you already guessed, I was referring to KELA in my previous post. I’m glad to hear they recognized HIT because first of all, that’s 500e /month free money for you, and second of all, that means that they will most likely recognize DUFL as well.

A few words on University of Helsinki and their East Asian studies… Trust me, I know it all. The entrance exam is based on Finnish grammar knowledge and a book written by William H. McNeill & JR.McNeill – The Human Web – A bird’s-eye view of World History (this book is brilliant by the way, I know it by heart). So yes, it’s true that your skills or lack of them in Chinese Language, or anything related to China, play no role in the application process. I know all about studying 8 hours a day for an entrance exam, taking an expensive preparation course to support it, covering your walls and bathroom with notes, eating tons of salmon and avocado which are rich in fatty acids that may be beneficial for your studying process, saying no to all parties for 6 months etc. And then finally getting that thin envelope that says you are not admitted. East Asian studies in University of Helsinki is one of those popular courses that accept 16 students annually. I personally don’t want to waste another year (6 months for studying for the exam, another 6 months for getting over the disappointment) for the application process. (Sorry for the rant, it isn't aimed to attack you)

I was thinking of doing my master degree in University of Turku (but this is just a thought, anything can happen in 4 years!!!). They offer East Asian Studies but not a BA, only master. This information could be useful to somebody else as well because the studies are in English and Chinese (or Japanese and Korean if you are specialized in those countries). And Turku is a lovely city too! Here is something I copied from their website http://www.utu.fi/en/units/soc/units/ceas/studying/mpas/applying/Pages/home.aspx .

Qualifications

A student applying to enter the programme must have the following qualifications. These qualifications must be adequately documented and documents certified authentic.

•A Bachelor's degree of at least 3 years in length from an institution that also provides doctoral degrees

•Minor or equivalent in East Asian studies (on China, Japan, Korea or the region)

•Studies or skills in an East Asian language (mainly Chinese, Japanese and Korean)

•Sufficient skills in the English language

-----

I guess if I do my 4 years in DUFL, I will qualify. And if I don’t… atleast my Chinese will be pretty good and that is my biggest aim. By the way, what's in Scotland?

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eliaso

Any heads up on this? Did you receive all the paperwork needed for applying a visa? Was everything smooth with CUCAS? Going to Dalian or not? :)

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Veeti

Yeah, I got my visa a few days ago. So I'm GOING to Dalian soon! Everything went surprisingly smoothly with CUCAS, basically I haven't had any direct contact with the University but I still got accommodation booked, a student card, JW202, pick up from the airport etc. I had all my emails and questions replied within a few days too. I would recommend CUCAS to other people.

I'll try my best to update any kind of information to this site a bit later this year... Because right now I personally have many questions to which I can't seem to find answers. So if my experiences can help somebody in the future that'd be great.

@Eliaso, one thing I'm not looking forward to is the paperwork with KELA. Right now there isn't anything I could do since I don't have the rent contracts, I'm not registered in the school etc. I'll just have to wait and see. Are you in Harbin already? Have you already started the paper hassle with KELA? I mean all documents must be in English. It's not going to be nice. I know this because I used to study abroad and I've already been through it once, heh.

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roddy

Veeti, if you can post the questions you have in here I'll have a poke through the archives and see if I can find anyone to help - and even if I can't you might find some other incoming students, or you can come back in a few months and answer them yourself ;-)

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eliaso

Ok Veeti, good to hear that you're going to Dalian! I'm back in Harbin this weekend.

I'm already thru all the paperwork with KELA (well, almost), took two weeks to get approval after submitting documents. Hope it's not going to take longer for you now that everyone is starting a new semester. Only extra thing needed was a custom certificate stating that I'm going to be "a full time student" (duh...) and exact dates stating the length of one academic year. Got that from international student office at uni by asking and explaining what the paper should say. Didn't need anything proving that I'm going to a uni "supervised by goverment" as like I said before, KELA was already familiar with HIT. Submitted everything by email. It worked like this: got approval, will receive benefits from beginning of September but still have to submit registration papers to keep the benefits running beyond September. And a rental contract of course when I have one (Chinese language one should cut it, or so I was told). All in all rather painless at the end of the day. After submitting your application give them a call to ask if everything is ok or do they need something more. Otherwise it might take weeks just to get a letter from them saying that they need more documents.

If you'd like to exchange contact info in private, let me know. Networking and all that. Anyway, good luck to you! It's going to be a ride :mrgreen:

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roddy

Eliaso, would you like to pop over here to meet the other HIT students?

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fenlanren

Eliaso and Veeti, are you guys still in China? I am also from Finland and I am coming back to Beijing after a couple of years!

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Veeti

fenlanren, I'm in Finland now, I might go to Beijing soon for a while. Are you in Finland at the moment? (laita privaa? :)

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YangGuang*

Hi guys!!

 

Well, I'm looking for someone who could give me a hand with stuff redarding accommodation in Dalian. I'm currently studying in France and I'm going to Dalian next month for one semester, I'll be attending Dalian University of Foreign Languages. The thing is I'm trying to find some info about the accommodation, but it seems there is none on their website. I would like to apply for university residences in the campus, so does anybody know if we can do that online or if we need to find the accomodation once we are in Dalian? I would REALLY appreciate your help!!!!

 

Thanks guys!!

 

 

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Veeti

Hey YangGuang, I try to help you. This knowledge is based on my time in Dawai from August 2013 to January 2014.

 

Dawai currently has 2 dormitory complexes for foreign students. They were building the second one while I was studying in Dalian, but it is ready now. It takes about 5 minutes to walk to the teaching buildings. They also had one dormitory outside the campus, a bit further away (30 min walk to the campus), but to my understanding it is not in use anymore. 

 

When I applied to Dawai, I sent my application through CUCAS, so they booked the accommodation for me. If your application to study in Dawai is OK and they are expecting you, I believe you can just show up to the dormitory office and they will give you a room. Just make sure you go there in advance, let's say 3-4 days before the registration day, then there should be enough space for you. 

 

I don't know how exactly the newer dormitory building is on the inside, but the one I lived in was 6-storey building with 2 apartments on each floor. Each apartment has 3 bedrooms (two bedrooms for 2 persons, one bedroom for 3 persons). In addition to the 3 bedrooms, each apartment has a kitchen (with NO kitchen equipments) and a very spacious living room with sofas and a TV. The apartments are all identical..the furniture etc. You can get new sheets once a month from the dorm office. 

 

Getting a room inside the campus is your best option. If you want to live outside the campus, you will most likely end up in Lvshun, and it will take some time to travel from there to the campus each morning. 

 

I can't remember the prices of the rooms at all...

 

If you got any other questions, please just post here.

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YangGuang*

Hey Veeti!

 

Thanks a lot for your answer, that was very helpful! 

I saw in Google Maps that the Campus is quite far away from the city centre, that is why I wanted to stay in the Campus, so I could be near uni and most of the students. Anyway, my level of Chinese is not good enough to be able to rent an apartment... :P

 

The university in Dalian has alredy sent me the acceptance letter and stuff, so yes, I guess they are expecting me and my classmates. I booked an hotel for the first two days in Dalian and I guess I will do as you say, I will just go and ask for a room once I get there. I hope they will still have some free!! 

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Mist
 

Veeti,

 

I am currently studying Chinese at LNU in Dalian and am considering going to Dawai for a BA either in Translation of Chinese language. However, I want to know how satisfied you are with the college. Do you have any advice?

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Vic

Hi Veeti:

 

I want to spend the year in Dalian beginning September 2016. I am considering Liaoning Normal University. How was your experience ? Did you live on campus? How was the instruction? 

 

Thanks.

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