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Graduate Studies - Shanghai Jiao Tong - Acceptance Letter


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Hello All,


I am in the progress of applying at the SEIEE department in Shanghai Jiao Tong University. One of the requirements is a signed Acceptance Letter from a professor willing to supervise a student progress through their course of study. 


I have tried and emailed many professors but they’ve never replied, have you guys gotten yourselves into similar positions? I am applying for Masters in Computer Science. 


The professors aren’t also accepting phone calls, when I successfully tried to reach a professor on the phone he told me he doesn’t want to recruit international students !!! Any Ideas why Jiao Tong is becoming like this towards us?


Any help would be appreciated.

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Then these degrees shouldn’t be advertised as such with English as the primary teaching language. Also they know that a western European won’t have trouble acquiring a student visa so I highly doubt that’s the main reason. 

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Even though English is the primary teaching language of the program, that might not be the language used exclusively by the participants. For example, students working on a project together would likely be native speakers, and they might choose to use Mandarin to communicate with each other. Even the professor might use a lot of Mandarin to communicate with students outside of class. Even if they claim they don’t do that, I would not completely trust the marketing. Do you trust your foreign language skills in this type of environment?


Also, I don’t know the particulars of your program, but post-graduate students are often “recruited” by professors to help with teaching duties, edit papers, write academic software, volunteer at conferences, and many other odd jobs (to be fair, sometimes they are paid to do these tasks). I’ve heard that in Chinese universities, the number of roles is even greater. If you have some talents in a desirable area, perhaps you could emphasize that in your email?


But personally, I’m not sure that you’ll get far if you’ve already been rejected multiple times. It would be best to find a foreign student who’s already attended the school and ask them how they got in. You can contact the department and ask them to give you a contact.

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I had a conversation with a professor once while I was studying, and he told me he doesn't like foreign students much. Here's why:


- Communication. As a graduate student, you'll probably have to present your research, presumably in Mandarin, since there will be very few foreigners in your group, and it's really for everyone's convenience. Most graduate students do not have, nor will they acquire within the short time they are in China, the proficiency needed to have an engaging discussion with others regarding their area of study. If you can do that, that's great, but from experience most professors find it a burden, so it's understandable why they would reject international students


- Ineptitude. Again, this has nothing to do with you, but due to the unattractiveness of China as a study destination, the entry standards for Chinese students to good universities does not apply at all to foreign students, who usually get in with minimal vetting. Many of these students, unsurprisingly, are of low quality and submit shoddy work, if they even show up at all. Imagine having to write a thesis for an international student who couldn't care less - what a burden!


In my case (I didn't study in Shanghai, but I did study in China), it was probably because the professor guessed I could help with translation and editing of draft articles before submission - I wasn't a TA or anything like that, though I did everything else a Chinese graduate student would do - and that I could speak, read and write technical Chinese, so he was okay with it. Just some food for thought.

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