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If the mainland borders remain closed to students...


realmayo
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It's only a "could", but it seems two US universities in China think that things will start moving early next year.
 

Quote

 

Universities tell stranded international students to prepare for return to campus in China


Duke Kunshan University and New York University Shanghai have both sent out emails saying they could be allowed back in time for next semester

 

 

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3155587/universities-tell-stranded-overseas-students-prepare-return?module=lead_hero_story&pgtype=homepage 

 

Edit: This WeChat post includes copies of the notices from the universities:

 

https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/gt7LKOqx4Uu7efALq9hmXw

 

 

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On 11/10/2021 at 3:19 PM, 889 said:

The parallel I am afraid lies in all those Westerners who spent the '30s and '40s in China then found themselves locked out for decades. You often encountered them at universities. Wistfully talking about their China past.

 

How old are you? I'd always imagined you as in your 30s lol

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  • 1 month later...

@realmayosorry for replying late, I havent had time to check here for a while, now with the holidays, back online.

Yes, Singapore is the obvious alternative at the moment to study Mandarin. Its the only country that is open to most visitors quarantine free (they stopped ticket sales for the next three weeks due to Omnicron, but it looks like that will not be extended). We have had several students arrive in Singapore and have more coming in January and February.

We actually have pretty cool native Mandarin speaking mainland homestay families there because a lot of mainlanders are living in Singapore. We have eight schools in total and this is the only one that actually can receive students at the moment, so also everyone who was looking to go to mainland China/Taiwan is looking now at Singapore. It actually works pretty well and Singapore is a cool city to live in.

The disadvantage is that Singapore is expensive....

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When I realized I wasn't going to live in China anymore, I felt a bit of an existential crisis regarding my Chinese as well. What's the point of studying a language of a place you don't plan to live in? I don't know. What's the point of learning anything that isn't immediately practical? I study Chinese because I enjoy it. After over a decade I'm still very curious about the place, its history and culture. Learning about other people and their language and culture is humanizing even if you don't need it to get through your daily life.

 

Many Asians have been fascinated with western language and culture despite living most of their lives in Asia. Studying a foreign language when you might not get to live in the place is not "sad", it's very special to be able to have a hobby that compliment's man's natural feelings of curiosity about the world beyond your doorstep. Why buy a telescope if you'll never be an astronaut, etc....

 

At least, I really hope to travel extensively there again one day. 

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@PerpetualChange  @alantin oh yes of course one can study Mandarin without living in a Chinese speaking country. We mainly teach Chinese online now and most of our students dont live in Chinese speaking countries. I didnt mean to say studying in a non Chinese speaking country is not a good thing. Its just very different.

 

 

However, of course also plenty of people want to study the language in an immersive environment and would like to travel to China, which at the moment simply is not possible. So Singapore is the only "Chinese" country that is possible to go to, which makes it quite an attractive alternative.

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On 11/10/2021 at 7:01 PM, realmayo said:

China not currently issuing student visas. To be honest I've just realised this topic title is a little misleading, I meant borders remaining closed over the next 12 to 24 months rather than forever. But I also think in general over the past few years China seems like a less welcoming or less fun place to be?

 

This thread reads as if China is self-isolating from the world forever. As long as they are running a zero-COVID game, they will obviously not let foreign students in. Other countries do the same. But, long-term, China would be very wise to let business people, tourists and students back in. And, I do not see why they would not do so. 

 

Realistically, I can imagine going back to China for holidays or holding seminars in 2023. Obviously my friends in China will assume I must be fluent by then ("you had so much time during the pandemic..."). Well, sadly, there is a major anti-climax waiting for them...

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On 1/5/2022 at 1:48 PM, Jan Finster said:

This thread reads as if China is self-isolating from the world forever.

In these last two years China has achieved more in terms of isolating and decoupling itself from the world, than what Trump, the trade war, the cold war, and Western propaganda have achieved in half a decade.

 

Zero COVID was a great strategy at the beginning of the pandemic; it allowed China to research, establish protocols, vaccinate their population, and prepare. But now it's just overkill, and probably one of the biggest strategical mistakes they could have made.

 

Take me as an example, I was in absolute love with the country; I got a Chinese government scholarship, passed HSK5, always defended/supported China (even quarreled with loved ones because of it), and all for what? Two years have passed since I got the scholarship, and not only did I never got to see my university, but I was treated like shit by it. I have to take online classes from 1:00 AM to 14:00 PM, there is no way to communicate with teachers, the international student department ignores us and treat us coldly, and I could go on and on. The amount of people from my country that studies in China probably doesn't even reach the triple digits, is it really so hard to allow us into the country? At least in batches? Why are students from Korea, businessman, workers, athletes and winners of Chinese language competitions being allowed to go to China, but not the students who were granted a scholarship? It makes no sense. This has absolutely destroyed my image of China. And like me, a generation of international students feels the same; a generation that has learned the hard way that China is as big of an hypocrite as the US. Cooperation and shared future, my ass. In a time when the West is doing all it can to harm China, and China is doing all it can to improve its international image, they have decided to shit on the people that supported them the most. 

 

International students like me just a mere drop in the ocean, of course, but if you sum to it crackdowns in certain sectors, the toll the economy is taking from lockdowns, the foreign businesses and businessmen that have left or are planing to leave the country, you get a clearer picture of how a brilliant strategy (at the beginning) is turning into a big mistake.

 

China is isolating itself from the world and it seems that in the next few years things will only get worse and worse.

 

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I think in order to decide if it's a strategical mistake or not requires us to know that the current leaders are aiming at. It seems that international cooperation and opening up are not in the agenda and strengthening the internal nationalistic identity is. My own experience has been that if you ask almost any Chinese person, they seem to be happy with the current restrictions and quickly point out that it is safe for them to live their lives in China without much fear of catching Covid. So all we know it may be a strategical success. As far as I can see, the whole thing actually seems to have worked in favor of these national identity goals in the last two years.

I don't think foreign businesses are pulling out of China and if anything, they're as hungrily as ever waiting for the borders to open more to business travel. And actually business travel is currently allowed and it is possible to get business visas to China. You just need to jump through more hoops and quarantine upon arrival for three weeks. Sure it adds hassle and actually makes life a lot more difficult for many businesses, but I guess most have learned to tolerate this kind of ambiguity as a risk of operating in China. In any case, China is by no means isolated or closed.

 

So I personally think that the whole situation is a self inflicted conundrum without a way out (though the decision makers actually don't seem to see this degree of isolation as a problem in the first place) as long as the pandemic is on. Also the current status quo doesn't harm the Chinese economy/politics/whatever as bad as they perceive opening up and having any kind of outbreak inside their borders would. If I remember right, their economic figures went past pre-covid times some time ago already. Foreign students are probably just collateral and a curiosity anyway on the list of priorities of the extremely small and aged minority making the ultimate decisions regarding the restrictions and there is really nothing the schools can do about the restrictions.

 

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On 1/6/2022 at 11:38 PM, Serg said:

Take me as an example, I was in absolute love with the country; I got a Chinese government scholarship, passed HSK5, always defended/supported China (even quarreled with loved ones because of it), and all for what? Two years have passed since I got the scholarship, and not only did I never got to see my university, but I was treated like shit by it. I have to take online classes from 1:00 AM to 14:00 PM, there is no way to communicate with teachers, the international student department ignores us and treat us coldly, and I could go on and on.

 

I am sorry for your experience. Still, your "China, you just lost a customer/fan..." feeling is not going to matter in the long run. They are playing it safe and I cannot blame them. Before the pandemic China did not have a few hundred, but close to 0.5 million foreign students. Those are 0.5 million potential COVID carriers. Most students are not from the US or Europe, but from Asia (http://en.moe.gov.cn/documents/reports/201904/t20190418_378692.html). Since China plays an even larger role in Asia, after COVID, students will surely return. I can imagine Asian students (e.g. from Laos, Thailand, Pakistan, Indonesia) largely study in China, because they get a better education than at home or because they know this will boost their career/business. I wonder how many US or European students study in China for that reason (?) Based on this forum and myself it sounds as if emotional reasons ("I love kung fu movies", "I love Chinese kalligraphy") play a more important role (?!).

 

As you will read in this article, China is making an effort to increase student numbers and COVID just got in the way: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20210521085934537 I am optimistic the post-COVID generation of students will be eager to go and will be welcomed just as before.

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  • 4 months later...
On 12/28/2021 at 1:20 AM, zhouhaochen said:

The disadvantage is that Singapore is expensive....

 And Singapore is a "fine" city... 🙂

(Fines for everything, for those of you who haven't been there.)

I do agree that Singapore is a nice place, though it's crowded.

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I don't know if my great uncle Bobby, as referenced in another post, has ever been to Singapore, but his son was a US Marine guard at the American embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia...

 

And as to those fines, well, if you've never had a restaurant customer attempt to spit chicken bones onto the floor, and hit your shoes instead, you'll prolly have a different perspective...

 

I dunno why I'm so cranky this morning. Sorry...

 

TBZ

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@Jan Finster @alantin How is that successful strategy going? I hope you guys live in Shanghai. It seems like your comments have aged rather poorly, while mine remains pretty accurate. How much more does pursuing 0 COVID have fuck up the country for you tankies to take back your word? I'm curious 

 

Edit: @abcdefg @Jellyfish @vellocet you guys gave likes to those comments, have your opinions changed?

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