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Mature Student, Study/Work


MattBaines85
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Hi, 

 

I'm 28 and have recently got a job in London in advertising. I'm pretty sure that this is just a stop gap to save money with a view to studying Geology (my passion) for 4 years in China. I have no ties and lived in Suzhou/Shanghai for a year and a half. I was wondering if anyone could tell me what it's like for mature students in China and also whether I'd be able to teach to subsidize my studies?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

All the best, Matt.

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I've written somewhat extensively on my experience as a graduate student in China here. I haven't updated it in a while, but will wrap it up this summer after I finish my thesis defense.

 

I was 28 when I started my degree, and I've also been teaching to supplement my scholarship stipend.

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It's hard to imagine a scenario where a native English speaker can't find some kind of teaching work. It'd be wise to get private tutoring work through word-of-mouth to avoid getting caught up in a visa raid on a dodgy school, but if you're low-key and smart about it the chances of a problem are minimal.

 

Geology's an interesting one. Let's see, Beijing has a petroleum university (also has a campus in Qingdao), the university of geosciences (also in Wuhan), there's a China University of Mining and Technology in Xuzhou, 

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A former colleague of mine works at a university here in Harbin. About 2/3 of his current income is derived from non-contractual teaching provided to employees of the university (i.e. he teaches their children).

 

If you decide to study at a university in an area which is not populated by many foreigners, you'll likely have plenty of opportunities on campus.

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Hi everyone, sorry for the late response. 

 

Thanks for all the replies, they answered a lot of my questions. Sorry if this isn't formatted correctly.

 

Sinodragon - would that be illegal work? Is it frowned upon in China or strictly illegal? Is there a way to do it above board?

 

kdavid - I read your posts with some interest. Are there many courses in China that are purely in the English language? 

 

roddy - That's a very interesting post. I wonder if they do English spoken courses at those unis...

 

Thanks again for all your replies. it's so very helpful.

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kdavid - I read your posts with some interest. Are there many courses in China that are purely in the English language?

 

 

I'm sure there are, but I wouldn't recommend them.

 

Twenty-eight is still young. Unless you're going to do a degree in the humanities focused on China (e.g. Chinese history, literature, language) don't do a degree here. A degree from a western university will be much more useful to you long-term.

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Thanks for your reply, kdavid, it's more of a life choice, really. I've done a degree in England and to do another one would cost a shed load of cash, which I'd have to stump up myself whilst working in a rubbish job. If I went to China I'd be able to work as a teacher...I'll have to look at all the options before September. I'm really keen though.

 

I really appreciate your help, kdavid.

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Consider what kind of qualifications one would need to teach a proper university course in English and how much you would need to pay such a person to be competive, and then consider how much the tuition would be if a program were taught by such a staff.

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Hi Gato, I imagine the qualifications would be English/English speaking country/learnt English from an early age. I don't really understand your point? Are you saying it'll be more expensive than the 'normal' Chinese courses? I've no real idea how much any of that stuff you said would cost. 

 

Thanks for your help.

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Wait, are you looking for courses taught in English, in China, on geology? That's a bit of a stretch, and there's going to be a hefty tuition fees premium. 

 

What are you looking to do after graduation? Work in the UK? Post graduate study? You'd be well advised to look into how your degree will be regarded. 

 

The most sensible way I can think of doing this is a teaching job in China and the Open University - either a complete degree, or amass enough credits that you can skip a year or two of a UK degree, if that's possible. 

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Hi Roddy, Yeah, that was the 'plan'. I'm now looking at Birbeck Uni which offer a distance learning course and is considered one of the top 5 in the uk. I have a few Geology friends who say that it's essential to do fieldwork in order to get a geology job afterwards. I was hoping to do a year here in England and then go over to China to continue my studies. I'd like to talk to someone at the unis but can't find anyone.

 

Thanks so much for your help though, Roddy. I think doing an open uni could be a really good option, a great way to go...I'd like to do it as quickly as possible then get a job...somewhere. I love China though and would like to live there indefinitely. Are you living in China at the moment?

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I don't really understand your point? Are you saying it'll be more expensive than the 'normal' Chinese courses?

Yes, proper English-speaking professors would be very expensive, even more expensive than it costs in the UK. You have to bring them over from UK, US, Australia, or Canada, pay them the home country's pay, plus an expat premium. For example, doctors working in expat hospitals in China cost even more than doctors in the US (which are very expensive already).

Because it would be so expensive and impractical, there are no such programs taught by a full staff of proper English-speaking professors in China. There are a number of programs taught by local professors whose English are not good enough to teach at the university level or have a mix of expat professors and such local professors.

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