What’s it like studying in China?

What do you imagine when you think of a Chinese classroom? Strict lecturers? Rigid coursework? A heavy study schedule? JailaJaila Cramer, an American student at INTO Nankai University, tells us what it’s really like…

Everyone’s experience of studying in China is different, but here are some of the things I’ve found out since being here:

English is a second language for many professors in China, so you’ll get a chance to develop your communications skills when speaking to them. However, you might find that many of your teachers have studied abroad and can relate to your experiences. As a result, they’re often flexible and willing to make adaptations in the classroom to fit different expectations.

In China, students are expected to stick to their timetable and attend every class. Classroom group - whiteboardGood manners are important and it’s traditional to raise your hand to answer questions – one benefit of this is that teachers never randomly ask you anything! However, professors also promote and avidly participate in class discussions. A lot of teaching is delivered using Power Point presentations.

The international student body is very diverse in China – my classmates come from many different cultures. This means that when it comes to sharing views or having discussions about hot topics, you’ll get to hear a wide range of perspectives. It definitely opens your mind.

‘I like how the professors always include the relevance of the subject to China.’ Tolu, Nigeria 

Dress codeClassroom group - cropped
Students and professors tend to dress casually. However, I’ve never seen students wearing sports gear or tracksuits!

Books and materials
One great thing is that textbooks are incredibly cheap in China, meaning you won’t have to go over your budget to buy them.

In China, a heavy emphasis is put on your performance in final exams, so be prepared to study hard for them. However, in my experience there will also be chances to get a good overall grade through midterms, homework and essays. Classroom group - calligraphyProfessors do try to take account a student’s performance as a whole.

While Chinese classrooms might take a bit of getting used to, they’re also wonderful places to learn. Students share ideas influenced by their different backgrounds and professors offer a unique insight into China as a country. It’s like any experience – the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it!

Read about British student Sarah’s experience of studying with INTO China, or see Jaila’s taste test of 6 classic Chinese street foods and her tips on how to haggle with confidence.

Find out more about studying in China with INTO Higher.


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