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LinYue

Advice regarding bachelor's degree in China

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LinYue

Hello friends, I have come to you looking for advice about what I can do. Next year, I want to apply for a Chinese Government Scholarship, to get a bachelor's degree in a Chinese university. My motivation for doing so is not very common (I think), so I really want to explain that first so you understand where I'm coming from. 

 

I've seen some common objections and advice people have given in this forum to others, so I'll try to address some of them first:

 

1) The degree isn't worth very much internationally

I come from a "third world" country, so I'm pretty sure the same could be said about getting a degree in the best university in the country (where I'm currently enrolled in). I've seen that, in my country, the language knowledge alone is very valuable. Most of the jobs I've gotten have come from being bilingual. 

 

2) The education level isn't very high

Again, I've been through 3 semesters in two very different majors in the best university in my country, and my biggest take away has been that if you want to get real knowledge, you're the one that's going to put in the leg work; I've had some really good professors, but for the most part they leave a lot to be desired. The same goes for the people studying with me, most of whom start university at 15/16 and, in the case of the latest major I'm enrolled in, just get in to change majors. Out of 40 people in a class, only two (myself included) actually liked the major! (anthropology). Some didn't even know what it was. 

 

And I think it's important to explain why, if I'm enrolled at the best university in the country at a major that I like, I am looking to study elsewhere. Currently my country is undergoing a crisis. All sectors have been affected, including education. Not only are many of the best professors (and other professionals) leaving the country, but there are frequent riots that means the university closes down, sometimes for months at the time. I started my third semester this year in March/April, and though it's July, I've only had around 4 or 5 classes. combined. And there is one mandatory course that I am not able to take because there are no professors who are giving it. This same thing happened three years ago, and it meant a full year of college was lost. 

 

Now, I'm 24 years old and though my country has different ideas than the US regarding when kids should leave they're parent's house, I still feel like an economical burden on my family. I have a job that pays well, but not well enough, and not stable enough to help them in the face of this crisis. I want to help them and my country, but I need a bachelor's degree, and the I feel deep uncertainty over the ability to even get that in the current situation. 

 

And I love China and the Chinese language! I went to China two years ago, and stayed there for three weeks. I also got the chance to meet a lot of Chinese people working as an English teacher, and they were so warm and wonderful. Cultures and languages fascinate me, so I am really excited to explore an entirely different one. 

 

Here is the part that I need advice in: 

I love my current major, anthropology, but anticipate it might be really difficult to study it after 2 years of Chinese language study (1 year self-studying, and 1 year in the CSC language program). I'm fully confident of my language abilities, but it's hard to know what to expect. So yesterday I thought about perhaps doing a Bachelors on something language-oriented instead, Chinese Language, or a Chinese Language and Culture degree. I'd like to ask your opinions! Should I just jump in the deep end with the Anthropology degree? Would a Chinese Language/Language and Culture degree be relatively easier? 

 

Thank you! I delight in lurking on this forum and reading through the archives. It's helped me a lot! 

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edelweis

I think you need to do serious research about current and future job opportunities in your country.

 

1) Regarding anthropology:

Does your university have statistics of what kind of jobs alumni have got?

Maybe you can ask your teachers what kind of job their former students have found with their anthropology undergraduate degree?

Are there job listings in your country in newspapers or online, that require an undergraduate degree in Anthropology?

 

My feeling is that this is a field where most jobs are with universities, in that case, a bachelor's degree may not be enough.

Will an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from a Chinese university allow you to pursue a master's degree or a PhD in your own country? Or do you intend to get an undergraduate and a Phd degree in China?

What kind of qualifications do your teachers have, and what kind of qualifications are required to be employed by your university?

How many teacher/researcher job openings are available now?

Are many of your teachers nearing retirement age, or are they all younger?
 

2) regarding Chinese language:

do the same kind of research.

For instance, what Chinese companies are investing in your country?

What local companies are trading with China?

Are there Confucius institutes in your country?

Does your country recruit Chinese language teachers?

How many job listings require a command of Chinese and the local language?

and so on.

 

Maybe you could consider getting a degree in China in international commerce or something of the kind.

There's no reason to limit yourself to Chinese language and culture and Anthropology.

 

 

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roddy

It sounds like doing your first degree in China makes sense in this case, and that you've thought it through fully. I'd apply for your preferred major, and then if you're genuinely unsure about the degree when it's time to start, look at changing majors.

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lips
14 hours ago, LinYue said:

I love my current major, anthropology

Don't argue with love.

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LinYue

@edelweis Thank you for your advice! I actually have done this research, before choosing anthropology as a major :) If all goes well, I do plan on getting a graduate/postgraduate degree... my original plan was actually applying for the graduate scholarship, but well... this situation I find myself in is really pressing. As for the research on the Chinese language, I happened to work with a few Chinese people, teaching them English and Spanish. One of them actually offered me a job (which I decided not to take until I had a degree), saying that their (and other) offices were looking for people who knew English and were interested in Chinese culture. There are tons of opportunities, even without a degree, so I'm not especially worried about that. 

 

@roddy thank you roddy, what you wrote was encouraging! I didn't know that I could change majors once in China! Do you know how that has worked out for other people?

 

@lips Yes! I am going to study anthropology anyways, even as a graduate/posgraduate degree. It's just my thing :)

 

I don't want to get too fanciful or make too many plans because of how precarious and uncertain the future is.. in general, but particularly in my country right now... but if I can think of an ideal situation, I would study Chinese Language and Culture and work very hard to see if I can skip ahead as I've read can be done in this program, so I can get the degree quicker and come back. If I can't skip ahead, that's alright, more years in China! If I can, and get to come back earlier, then I plan on (hopefully) finishing my current degree. That way, I'd have two degrees on things that I love! And I plan on getting a masters eventually, maybe in China again, so all of this would really help me achieve that. 

 

One last question, for anyone that knows! I really want to study in Yunnan because of all the different ethnic minorities that live there. Has anyone had some experience with the Bachelors in Chinese Language at any of the universities in Kunming? Particularly Yunnan University and Yunnan Normal University? 

 

Thanks again you guys! 

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roddy

Honestly, I don't know and it might depend a lot on whether you're changing within the same university, what type of scholarship you're on, etc. But I'd say you start with what you really hope to do, and then if that's not possible, adjust. There's obviously a risk it's not easy. It may be easier to apply for the year of language first, and then for the degree once you're sure what you want to do. But this is not something I have a lot of experience with.

 

It has in the past been possible to skip a year or two of the Chinese Language and Culture programs based on your HSK scores.

 

Have a look for your preferred universities here and also do some searching. We have had discussion on the Yunnan universities, but perhaps not recent. @abcdefg knows that part of the world very well. Central University For Nationalities may also be worth a look for your interests.

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abcdefg
14 hours ago, LinYue said:

One last question, for anyone that knows! I really want to study in Yunnan because of all the different ethnic minorities that live there. Has anyone had some experience with the Bachelors in Chinese Language at any of the universities in Kunming? Particularly Yunnan University and Yunnan Normal University? 

 

Kunming is a good place to live, but I know nothing about the university programs here. Sorry.

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LinYue

Thank you @roddy and @abcdefg! Right now, I'm pretty set on the plan of applying for the Chinese Language bachelor degree. 

 

I've been studying Chinese on my own for a few months now. After taking this decision, I don't know if it's worth it to keep at it, or put that on hold and wait for China (if I get the scholarship). It's difficult to decide whether it's a waste of time, or necessary for my motivation.. or if I should be studying/working on something else instead (reading about Chinese culture and history, for instance, or working on the errands and documents I need for the application). Maybe I'm just over complicating everything... it's hard to really know what to do. 

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