For decades, American college students have spent a few months during college studying in a foreign country, often in Europe or South America. Some students have gone further than the semester abroad though and choose to complete the entirety of their college education outside of the U.S., enrolling in a foreign university.
It was only in 1950 that China began allowing non-Chinese students to enroll in its universities, and today, American students are heading to Asia in droves. With a growing economy, a lower cost of living and significantly lower tuitions, as well as the chance to gain valuable international experience that is appealing to employers here in the U.S., China has become a powerhouse on the international education scene. In fact, China’s Ministry of Education is hoping to attract more than half a million international students to its competitive MBA programs by 2020.
The most common course of study in China is business. Many American students are heading overseas to study business in one of the leading economic centers of the world – but the focus isn’t only on Chinese business. Instead of focusing specifically on how to do business in China, most Chinese business programs focus on managing business on a global level. Other common programs of study in China include international relations, economics and law.
Many Chinese programs are offered in conjunction with major universities, and even those Chinese universities not associated with other schools offer an education on par with Harvard or Oxford. For example, the MIT Sloan School of Management is associated with several universities in China, including Fudan, Tsinghua, Yunnan, and Sun-Yat Sen universities. The Washington University of St. Louis is affiliated with Fudan University.
Even those programs not associated with top-notch American schools are among the best in the world. The China Europe International Business School, based in Shanghai, for example, is one of the top business programs in the world; in fact, Bloomberg China named its MBA program the number one program in China and Forbes rated it as the number five program in the world.
Most of the Chinese universities also offer internship or immersion programs for foreign students to get firsthand experience working in Chinese businesses. American students build their experience in international business and the Chinese business culture, in these positions. Then, they can bring that valuable experience back to the U.S. Many students who choose to study in China do so specifically for the advantages that this firsthand experience gives them.
So, You’re Considering China
Most students hesitate to consider educational programs in China because of the language barrier – most Americans do not speak Chinese. However, most programs do not require students to speak Chinese and offer courses in English as well as introductory courses in Chinese language and culture. In fact, the CEIBS program conducts all of its courses in English and requires all students to demonstrate proficiency in English before enrolling.
Applying to Chinese education programs is generally similar to seeking admission to a U.S. program. Graduate level programs usually require you to hold a bachelor’s degree, and have passing scores on the GMAT or program specific examinations. Some schools offer Executive MBA or certificate programs that may have slightly less stringent admission requirements.
Most programs offer some form of financial aid and either offer student housing or will help you find housing for your stay in China. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of heading to China is handling the visa requirements, though. You’ll need a student visa that’s appropriate for the length of your program of study and you have to be admitted before you can apply. Most universities are well-versed in the travel and visa requirements and will thus help you get the right paperwork.
As the job market becomes ever more competitive and China continues to dominate the international business environment, professionals with experience working in Asia have an advantage over other applicants with only domestic experience. Whether you’re a new grad considering post-graduate education, a college student seeking opportunities to improve your portfolio or a professional seeking a competitive advantage, look to China for opportunities to build your knowledge and experience.
This guest post article was written and provided by Marissa Krause who finished her online marketing courses this last fall and has just begun her own online marketing company.