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sujeto

One year of Chinese enough for Engineering Masters?

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sujeto

Hi, i have this big problem, because i want to study at China Master in Micro Electronic Engineering but options are wide in Chinese Taugh and very short in Enlgish Taugth.

 

My question is, 1 year of Chinese Course would it be enough to achieve a Engineering Master?? I mean this is already a hard Degree i'm not sure if i could attend to Chinese Classes, read scientific books, do tests, homework and project presentations in Chinese???? Don't missunderstand me i would love to learn Chinese that's one of the reason im goin there, BUT, the risk of fail my master wouldn't exponential increase with this??

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etm001

Hi,

 

Have you confirmed that these classes are taught in Chinese? Depending on the school/program, some or all of the instruction could be in English. 

 

Is one year of Chinese class sufficient to prepare you to attend master's level engineering classes taught in Chinese (assuming that you don't know any Chinese now)? For a person of average ability, learning at an normal-to-moderate pace, one year is very unlikely to be sufficient. Your best chance for success would be to:

  • Move to a Chinese speaking country.
  • Enroll in full-time, intensive Chinese program.
  • Spend every minute of the day listening, speaking, or reading Chinese.

By "intensive Chinese program", I mean really, really intensive. For example in Taiwan, this would mean attending the ICLP or a similar program. (This program is incredibly expensive, though).

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Lu

Would 1 year of Chinese courses be enough to achieve an engineering Master's?

I'd say no. It's not impossible, but highly unlikely. I'd estimate two years at least, if you study hard and are reasonably good at learning languages. I don't know what your situation is, but why not just get your degree back home, in your own language? You can always take a year (or any other amount of time) in addition to that to learn Chinese.

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sujeto

I'm being sponsored by the CSC scholarship, i was being offered to study  Master in Chinese Language + 1 year course of mandarín.  or just in English Language. I have to decide and apply by my own at the universities. So i have this big Dilemma, The course of Chinese would be done in China of course, 100% of time focused in the language several hours daily, during a whole year. Seems fair. But i don't want to do this without consulting. 

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Lu

You're not a native speaker of English though, are you? Would you consider your English good enough to get a Master's degree in? And how good are you at learning languages? To learn as much Chinese as possible, you would have to not just go to class, but also study outside of class, spend time with Chinese people rather than with your classmates, read Chinese books, watch Chinese tv, etc etc. Do you think you're up for that, all while being far from home in a completely strange country? Those are all things to consider.

That program of one year of Chinese and then a university course has existed for quite some time now, at least 10-15 years. Perhaps you can find someone who has done it to get some insight?

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sujeto

Lu, thanks for your response. Yes, English not my first language, plus i'm typing like shit cause i'm falling sleep (too late here). I'd consider my english good enough and i hope to increase this once i start the classes in English. If i choose to learn chinese i think i migth get a good level in few time, proof of this is that i have never done an English course before but i listen and speak quite fluent, beside to proficient read and write. No neighbors, no relatives, no friends speak english in any sense i have achieve this by myself. That's why i suppose i could learn another language at least like anyother person.

 

My main fear is to not achieve a level enough for the time when i start the Master Program. Micro Electronic is already hard on my native language (spanish). But hey no gain no pain. My country does't teach this subject and i'm very interested on it.  

 

Maybe i should just do this in  English and make a Chinese course in my freetime  paid by myself. What do you think.

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gato

What country do you live in that you've never taken a class in English?

What subject is your undergrad degree in?

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sujeto

I have taken class in English, the normal educational system is simple not good at this part, most of the people can't speak english and won't. But back my question... I'm Systems Engineer specialized on embedded algorithms and microachitecture.

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gato

So your background is more on the CS side and less on the EE side? Have you taken advanced EE classes?

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sujeto

Actually i'm more in the EE, but focused on embedded systems and microprocessors programming, my research proposal was about a viable hardware for quantum computing. I debated longtime wether go for CS or EE. but they are different worlds. Although, Computer Science is amazing fun, with all the things of computer vision artificial intelligence, graphical computing still considering but "Shoes to Shoemakers" as they say. longstory

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gato

Why China and not Silicon Valley? Or university in the US?

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sujeto

Cause was Chinese who offered me scholarship, USA is too bussy making the war to pay attention to southamerica. China instead would be the next super world power, we have to be there when that happen. dont ya think? 

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gato

Not really. You'd be better off trying to improve your GRE scores so you can get a scholarship to A graduate program in EE in the US. China is still in the copycat stage at the moment. Most Chinese EE students knows this and try everything they could to go to the US. If not Berkeley or Stanford, then maybe Rice or Purdue. If you are willing to put in the effort, it shouldn't be too hard to get a scholarship-worthy GRE score.

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etm001

Hi,

 

The consensus is that it would be very, very challenging to start as a beginner and learn Chinese in one year such that you can study electrical engineering at a master's level. 

 

The fact that you can get a scholarship to pay for your studies is awesome. But, I would also give this advice to anyone interested in learning Chinese (or any language for that matter):

 

  • Is learning Chinese just a means to an end? Do you have a real interest in the Chinese language, history, and culture? 
  • Outside of mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore, etc., Chinese is of little practical use to you. 
  • As a native Spanish speaker, you will have to invest significantly more time to reach basic proficiency in Chinese than if you studied Italian, French, or even German.
  • What is the value of a master's degree from a Chinese university as compared to a degree from a mid- or top-tier American/European school in the global marketplace? (Or even within China for that matter?)

To be clear, I'm not saying that you shouldn't learn Chinese. I just want you to have a clear picture before you undertake what would be a huge commitment of time and effort.

 

Lastly, I have to say that I agree 100% with gato. A degree from a mid- or top-tier American university will be much more valuable on the international marketplace than one from virtually any Chinese university. (Or go to a good European school if you don't want to go to America). If you are willing to spend a year intensively learning Chinese, then you should consider spending a year intensively improving your English and seeing where in America/Europe you can get a scholarship.

 

Good luck!

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stoney

Spanish and English are similar languages. I think Chinese will be much harder for you to learn than English. Definitely do it in USA if you can.

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Lu

I suspect that the financial aspect is a factor here. On the one hand is spending a year, without any income, on improving one's English, in the hope (but not certainty) that this will result in entrance to a good school. On the other hand is the certainty of entrance to a less-good school, and being paid to study a language for a year, if one wishes.

OP, in what country would you like to work eventually, and how well-regarded are Chinese qualifications in that country? If your own country has a shortage of people with your expertise, a Chinese Master's might well be worthwhile even if it's not the best university out there.

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gato

Scholarships and research assistantships are widely available for graduate engineering students in the US. It's nothing like the struggle for humanity graduate students.

The crux of the issue is what he wants to achieve with the studies. If it's for career advancement, he'd certainly be better off going to the US. Engineers from all over the world flock to the US because it gives them the best opportunities to use their skills.

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Nathan Mao

I'm not you, of course, and I have no idea of your goals or interests.

However, I'd recommend you take it.

Learning a language is difficult, and Chinese is extremely difficult, true.

However, learning a 3rd language is much easier than learning a 2nd.  One guy in my class at DLI became fully fluent within a year...he may have had a talent for languages, but I think what really helped him is he was the one guy in class who had learned to be fully fluent in another language (German).  The others with the best grades (still far below his) had all studied languages extensively, but none were fully fluent.

Moreover, repetition is the key, right?  You will struggle at first in your engineering classes, of course, as you encounter all sorts of new terms.  But engineering is a specialized jargon.  Once you learn the vocabulary and the most common grammar patterns, you will be using them over and over and over and over and over.  You will go very in-depth in a very narrow topic.  In many ways, that is much easier than trying to gain an all-around mastery.

 

You won't need to learn how to discuss the Great Leap Forward and the impact of the OJ Simpson trial on American racial relations or the relative strengths and weaknesses between the Chicago and Vienna Schools of Economic Philosophy, you will be discussing math.

The numbers still calculate the same, no matter what language you are using.  The total vocabulary set for microelectric engineering really isn't overwhelming, I bet.

 

Plus, you will be immersing yourself in another culture, adding a new skill (Chinese language), meeting new people with new ways of thinking.

 

And someone else is paying for it.

 

It seems like this is a rare, hard to obtain opportunity. The likely benefits are immeasurable.

I'd grab it with both hands and not let go.  I'd make it work.

 

Then, of course, I'd bookmark this website for as much help as I can get.

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sujeto

Gato i don't know how the things works for us in Southamerica, but i doubth USA is willing to accept aliens rigthnow, problem with USA is that everybody and his dog wants to go there, beside i don't want to be in a country with risk of be treated like "inmigrant" for a racist redneck. China is a great country and has laboratories, space exploration projects, and many US-EU companies established there, not sure why would you say Chinese Universities are bad,they are good represented on world ranking Tsinghua and Peking for expample are among the first 100, that's something. 

 

The problem is that US Market is so egocentric that can't thing in other Universities but their. neither Japanese or British scape to this, Well it's my limited point of view i have never being in USA, i migth be completly wrong about them. 

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山东朱

My chinese colleagues (one even working in Tsinghua) all discured me choosing a chinese university for PhD level studies. You won't hear it in any official statement, but even in China a degree from Peking University or Tsinghua is  only regarded as equivalent to a mid-level western university in terms of employment opportunies.

 

I still consider studying in China a viable option, but only if you have goals apart from getting a degree, because that is better done elsewhere.

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