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- This topic has 10 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 10 years ago by AlexArc.
November 9, 2012 at 7:17 pm #9654
Hello! Long time reader here since I’ve been flirting with moving to China, (Chengdu) for awhile now.
So in a few months, I will make the leap, if possible.
So why I’m making this thread is that I have some issues really understanding how visas work and how people apply to universities.
So I’m at a point in my life when I simply want to travel and experience a new country. I also love languages. My intention is simply to enroll into one the language courses offered by numerous universities. From what I gather from different universities websites, the semesters start fall and around Feb / March, which is when I would like to arrive.
Now, I’ve been looking online for tips and info on how to go on about applying. It seems quite straightforward. You send in application, with health certificate, pay up, and your in. The issue I have here is that I’ve been having major issues contacting any of the schools, and from what I read, many people simply arrive in Chengdu (or China) and then just take care of everything on-site. Does that mean that people arrive on tourist visas and then change them to student visas? Is this how I should do it?
My main fear with that is coming here on a tourist visa and then having it expire and having to leave. (But from what I hear, this being China, there are ways around this. Any tips?)
So I would really appreciate any advice. 🙂November 9, 2012 at 11:32 pm #23368shuParticipant
they are tons od different types of universities in China
where do u plan to go?November 9, 2012 at 11:32 pm #23420shuParticipant
they are tons od different types of universities in China
where do u plan to go?November 10, 2012 at 12:05 am #23369
Yeah, there sure are. Though considering the forum I’m posting this in, the idea is that I will enroll to one in Chengdu. I’ve looked at Sichuan Uni, UESTC, SWUFE, and Uni for Nationatilies. Emailed a few places, haven’t gotten any responses sadly. Frankly, my foremost concern isn’t really which school to go to – rather how to make sure I get into one and that how I can do so before I get kicked out of the country. 😉November 10, 2012 at 12:05 am #23421
Yeah, there sure are. Though considering the forum I’m posting this in, the idea is that I will enroll to one in Chengdu. I’ve looked at Sichuan Uni, UESTC, SWUFE, and Uni for Nationatilies. Emailed a few places, haven’t gotten any responses sadly. Frankly, my foremost concern isn’t really which school to go to – rather how to make sure I get into one and that how I can do so before I get kicked out of the country. 😉November 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm #23449CharlieKeymaster
You enroll once you’re here, I think that’s what the majority of university students do. You can enroll locally, they will get you set up with a student visa if you’re on a tourist visa. The process is very straight forward and simple, it seems like you’re already familiar with most of the major points. No worries about getting kicked out of anything because of visa problems, as long as you don’t overstay your visa you’ll be fine. And make sure you register when you arrive or this could happen to you, hahaha.November 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm #23455SaschaParticipant
Yeah arrive with the longest possible tourist visa you can get and then start going to each school and hitting the pavement. All of the websites, numbers, emails etc that every single university in China provides – perhaps with the exception of Fudan and Tsinghua – lead usually to the dank, dreary, office of an underpaid, sleepy person. You have to be here to handle it. Same with teaching and everything else. Strange to think that this still holds true in 2012, but it does, as you can testify to. When you get here drop another line on the forum and we can meet up, help you get situated.November 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm #23457MelinaParticipant
Have you seen this?
I don’t have any personal experience dealing with this organization, but I’ve had a good look around the site and they seem to be promoting themselves as a portal for international students wanting to apply to Chinese universities from abroad. Seems like they help with all stages of the application process, including getting visas, etc. So if you do want to apply before you come, this might be the answer. I think it’s a government agency rather than a private sector firm, but don’t quote me on that.
I initially thought I could use this site as a springboard to find out about the programs and then get more information from the schools directly, but as far as I can tell now, the information on this website is about as high-quality as it gets. Like you, I’ve also had close to zero luck getting anything useful out the schools themselves when I’ve tried to contact them, either by phone or email. Even finding the right person/department to talk to takes at least 4 or 5 phone calls.
By the way, the only (very slow) email response I got was from Chengdu University, which, among other things, told me that all first year students have to live on campus(!?!) Still waiting to hear back if that includes non-degree Chinese language students or not…November 12, 2012 at 2:26 am #23467baoluoParticipant
Find out when the semester starts and just come to Chengdu a couple weeks before that. Generally the shortest visa you’ll get is a 90 day tourist, and that should be more than ample time to get set up and enrolled. Chengdu has a lot of really nice and affordable hostels so you can live very cheaply while you get settled.
People have already said it, you just need to hand over your tuition money and they will absolutely accept you into their language program and get you set up with a visa, if you need one. The language programs are not actual degree programs, so there is a whole lot less red-tape involved in and around them. When I lived in Hangzhou I know of people who showed up to Zhejiang University (One of the more prestigious unis in China, think Stanford or something to Tsinghua/Beida’s Harvard and Yale) a couple weeks into a semester and as long as they paid up, everything was fine.
I’ve heard mixed things about ChuanDa’s Chinese program and generally good things about the Southwest School for Nationalities. Really though, their programs won’t differ all that much so I’d just see who is cheaper (probably not ChuanDa) and go with that. You absolutely do not have to live on campus, as far as I know. I know ChuanDa makes you fill out a whole thing saying where you are living off campus, but that’s pretty standard if your visa is under their name.
http://www.google88.cn/web/scu/ here’s an incredibly sketchy looking site, but I promise it’s legit. It’s a bit hard to navigate, but it should have all the info surrounding Sichuan Daxue’s Chinese program.November 12, 2012 at 2:50 am #23471MelinaParticipantQuote:You absolutely do not have to live on campus, as far as I know.
That’s a relief, @baoluo!
@AlexArc, sorry this is probably a better link for the CUCAS page I sent you to before:November 12, 2012 at 6:01 am #23475Vincent NLParticipant
Chuan Da’s new semester starts at March 4th. Other universities are probably similar.
Regarding a student visa. Universities will close during Spring festival, so either come beginning of January to arrange your student visa or the end of February, in between will not be possible.November 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm #23491
Hey guys! Thanks to all of you for the buttload of useful information. Really cleared up some of my concerns that I had. I will probably arrive sometime in January or February. I’ll try to arrange my tourist visa to be as long as possible.
Can’t wait for the language barriers and bureaucracy! 😉 Part of the adventure.
Again, thank you.January 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm #25617
Hey again! Decided to bump this thread instead of creating a new one.
I’m arriving in Chengdu 24th January. I had some “issues” with getting my visa. I could only apply for 30 days and had to book a ticket out from China. I was even called to the backroom when I arrived finally to pick my visa to clearly explain what I was going to do in China. (Note I’m applying from Japan, aka not my home country.) The guy I spoke to was nice though and he explained that they are tough on visas at the moment due to the elections and powershift.
So, now I have a ticket to HongKong which I’m hoping I won’t need to use. 😉
Anyways, I came up with some other questions regarding China:
1. Insurance, I currently have an travel insurance from my country, but it will expire soon. Should I get a Chinese insurance? If I manage to become a student on a student visa, can I get some type of a student insurance?
2. Phones and providers. I currently have an iPhone 4 with no provider, the problem is that the phones battery has gone to shit basically so I was thinking about buying a new one with a Chinese provider. How are the deals in China? In my country, you can get the latest phones like iPhone 5 SGS III and Lumia 920 for 300 or so RMB / month with internet and certain amount of free calls. The contracts usually last 1-3 years depending on the price. Is there anything similar here in China?
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