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Recommendations for program type for just pure Chinese language


cliveface96
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I called the Australian embassy today and found that I still have time to submit an application which I'm super happy about. 

 

Now I'm extremely rushed as I have to pick a program/university and finish my application by the 20th of April. 

 

I only want to study Chinese language and I would prefer something from 2-4 years in length. 

In terms of universities has anyone got any recommendations? I've read people speaking highly of the North on here for learning Mandarin but I'm still undecided. 

 

Other issue is that I'm still at university and don't finish my degree until November this year. 

 

Advice? Suggestions? Anything appreciated as I'm currently just sifting through hundreds of old forum posts.

 

Cheers,

Clive 

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Hey, I actually don't have any experience with Chinese language learning in China (I'm currently applying for CSC myself) but since nobody replied to your question I'll just throw in what I know -

I don't think there's a "pure Chinese learning" programme that goes on for that long. The usual offer is your choice of degree plus one year Chinese preparatory course (depending on your current level of Chinese/HSK). The closes I guess are some Chinese Language and Literature or Chinese Language and Culture degrees you could take after your preparatory Chinese course.

It seems like you are really keen on learning Chinese really well but don't worry - you will, even if you don't do a degree that's specifically a "pure Chinese language course". I studied in France for a year as part of my degree and had to take all my classes in French, sit exams in French, the whole lot. When I arrived my French was very mediocre, when I left I was able to discuss French history and law fluently. I also did a Few language course (mandatory) while I was there and compared to what I had to do for my degree, it was not very helpful.

So I'd recommend: ask for the preparatory language course and then choose a degree that you're interested in. If you have to study for exams and tests, your language skills will improve automatically. What's more, you'll come out with knowledge of whatever subject you choose and a much broader vocabulary than you could get in a "pure" language courses.

 

So that's just what I figured from my (only very remotely similar) experience of studying in France haha. Maybe someone who's actually been to China on a CSC scholarship can help.

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  • 5 weeks later...

There are some Bachelor programs that last 3-4 years that seem to stress language more, I believe 厦门大学 has one. However, I agree with @Jellyfish. I'm in a Chinese language program right now at Zhejiang Daxue and find it rather boring and slow - my friend in the normal BA program struggles far more than I do, and learns far more than I do as a result. Another negative is that the language-heavy programs attract mostly a foreign crowd. This makes it hard to meet Chinese people - most of my classmates don't have a single Chinese friend even after having been here for 9 months. This is not due to not wanting it - they just honestly have no idea where to meet locals or students.  

 

Instead, consider applying for either an MA or a BA and add on a year of Chinese. The year of Chinese will do its best to get you to where you will not totally drown (you will still drown!) in the program, and then the program will be your real Chinese lesson. An MA will thus give you three years - one of Chinese lessons (with 老外) and two in an immersion environment (assuming you manage to find a program with Chinese students. There are also plenty of programs full of foreigners - which might be easier for you and still be in Chinese).

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If you really are thinking of going one year language course plus degree, I'd recommend a BA degree. As you can see from the current discussion in the 2017 CSC thread, it seems like CSC are seriously cutting back on the one year language plus MA degree options. I suppose they have enough qualified candidates who could take MA degrees without preparatory language courses. But I know a girl who got a one year language plus BA scholarship last year and this year, the BA applicants seem to be less stressed out than us MA applicants (I've basically been told already that my application is likely to get rejected for that reason, i.e. my HSK not being high enough to start straight out).

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That's strange, Jellyfish! Big change from last year, I guess. I'm doing the 1+MA and I've met tons of people here who weren't HSK 5 yet and thus had to take the one year. While most of us have studied the language back home, I even know one person who is in ZheDa's level 2 class - roughly equivalent to HSK 1. Rather doubtful she'll get to HSK 5 in that amount of time

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@Alex_Hart Ha, from HSK1 to 5 in a year! Gotta admire her chuzpah though! Yeah, it really is strange and pretty frustrating for me. Someone in the forum pointed out that they've even taken the "Need one year preparatory language course" box off the application form, at least for MA students (it might still be there for BA students). I did mention in my study plan that I'll need one year preparatory language course but my teacher at Fudan university (who has been incredibly helpful throughout the application process) says I'll probably get rejected for the MA programme if I do want to do it in Chinese. He even offered to change it to an English taught course but I said I'd take my chances...

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I wouldn't lose faith - I haven't met anybody here in the Chinese language MA programs who didn't first do a year-long language course, and my entire dorm is Government scholarship graduate students. The only exception is a few Korean students, but even most of them first did a prep year.

 

But sorry for derailing your topic @cliveface96. (Our) recommendation still stands: find an interesting program and apply for it! You will be well rewarded for your efforts. 

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