Most recently I’ve noticed an apparent trend on prospective Bangladeshi students seeking the middle kingdom for their further education. Contrary to popular belief, more and more Bangladeshi parents see their children undertaking higher education in China not as unlikely choice rather a practical one. This line of thought is not ‘unusual’ since education in U.S or Europe entails both tremendous expense and social burden on parents supporting the costs of overseas education. Having China, as the next educational destination is not only inexpensive, in addition, could benefit their children with insights on a rising economic superpower with global stretch and influence.
Before you set off searching on the internet for suitable uni, keep in mind like all other overseas education you have to plan, do some research and consult with ex-senior vais about their experiences, perspectives and opinions first hand. I am sure they would leave behind in their trail lots of valuable advises. This Q&A tries to answer some general questions about student life, part-time jobs and lastly trying to tackle the question on life after you graduate. I hope you would find this both interesting and useful.
1) From where shall I begin to apply for Chinese university?
After you’ve decided your choice of studies and program, next try to come up with a list of uni names from google. For application you can go about two ways: self-financed or scholarship students- apply to your uni of choice directly via email or wait for the official Bangladesh ministry of education announcements via newspapers respectively. For all two routes, the best time of year to begin applying is April. Most Chinese uni begin their school term from July (fall term) and there is no second intake for winter terms but there maybe exceptions to this. So be on the lookout for APRIL and have all your papers, transcripts and official certs ready by that time. For self-financed, who have initiated applying to Chinese uni try consulting with Chinese Embassy cultural attaché in Bangladesh for uni stats and reputations.
2) Which university is good for me for higher education?
“It all depends on you”, most ex-china grad senior vais would put it nonchalantly and at first may come to you as a bit of discouragement. To tell the truth, when I first heard I was already lost in comprehending, it took me well after 5 years in China to really understand the statement. To put this plainly, what happens when you try to learn something in a new language? Yes, that was actually a question I asked, you should spend a little while to ponder. You see education in China is conducted in Chinese, particularly undergrad programs. And have to admit now that receiving higher education in a new language could be very challenging but not at all impossible. Bangladeshi students all around the globe are known to survive any harshest educational conditions like the one in Russian Siberia and I am sure with this kind of persistence we will come out to see a bright day. So hang in there. One last word to end this question is uni doesn’t matter as long as you know what you are exactly going to become (your skills and expertise on your particular field).
3) Which major is good for me?
This is just my personal opinion and I am basing this on present job market in Bangladesh gathered from report on reputable predominant local sites like bdjob.com, Bangladesh daily star. According to them, there is a dearth of specialized human resource skills in the market compounded by private, local universities not churning out qualified graduates demanded by the market. In other words we have the people sitting idle but not the “right” worker to do the job. I can assure you, higher education in China is a worthwhile investment on your future. As soon as you graduate you are guaranteed with various options thereof.
So here are the areas you could go for as a major:
a) Textile engineering- Fashion Design and the gamut of Textile and apparel
b) ICT- Telecommunications, Software, networking and system
c) Architecture and Civil Engineering
d) Chinese Language
e) Industrial Design and Engineering
g) Chemical Engineering
h) IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
The reason for this choice is once again based on considerable empirical evidence from china grad students returning back to Bangladesh. Engineering is a demanding discipline and right now Bangladesh is lacking in quantity on qualified engineers. Most of the majors maybe directed towards infrastructure and labor intensive countries, and Bangladesh is no exception. ICT is a growing field and your education could play a good part into turning a digital Bangladesh. Chinese language, alone, could fetch any interpreter jobs in Bangladesh. Chinese language specialist student commands a base starting salary of Taka 50,000 and perks that is more than any average fresh grad students.
4) Which major could be potentially not a good idea?
This may be biased, totally based, again on my experiences.
a) Medical Science
b) Bachelor of Business Arts
c) International Trade
d) Economics and Commerce
f) Development and Social Studies
Explaining how and why I’ve come up with this list would defeat the whole purpose of writing this helpful article. To stay clear, I definitely do not bore any prejudices against those studying the aforementioned majors at the same time I would like to restrain myself from expanding further arguments on it. My unsolicited advice on this, it would be a smart decision if you could pursue these in ENGLISH speaking countries like U.S or Europe.
5) Part-time jobs in China? Is it true that in China like all Western countries education and part-time jobs goes hand in hand?
The answer is it’s illegal to take up part-time jobs during your program. However, recently I’ve noticed there is a new development among Chinese students in tier-1 cities to pick up odd jobs like working at fast-food chains. Employers like McDonalds, KFC limit the scope to local Chinese students, who work to spend on their daily expense not as a way to pay off their tuition. Over time foreign students here especially undergraduate program rarely come across part-time opportunities.
6) What’s next after graduation? Should I continue further studies?
After graduation, you are required to return back to Bangladesh unless a certain company sponsors your work permit visa. Right after 2008 Beijing Olympics labor bureau in metropolis cities like Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai are asking for evidence of two-year work experiences as prerequisites. A fresh grad right out from college, usually has no work experience, that puts a prospective job seeker ineligible for a work status and he/she may have to return back to Bangladesh. Other options like moving to a second-tier city for employment are a common scenario. Most often than not, students’ just before graduation apply for Master’s degree in order to secure their future stay in China. My advise again on this matter is you should first try exploring other options in countries like Japan, Korea or U.S and if all does not work out then fall back to continuing Master’s degree in China.
7) In the end do I learn anything from here?
Well this question depends whom you ask. My thought on this agenda is how hard you work to learn and the effort you put into learning new skill and knowledge. To make a point here I’d like to share one of my personal accounts. In the year 2007, I was in the middle of my graduation from Computer Science and Engineering degree. The irony is I still knew nothing about software engineering and hated to the bone of the thought- a stable profession on computers. During the same time I took the IELTS test and secured a decent score. With my transcripts and IELTS results I applied various unis in Japan. Couple months afterwards, I got accepted in a Japanese uni and a year and half later successfully graduated with a Master’s degree in my hand. Things took an ugly turn again- Japan was in the midst of a major economic crisis, everywhere people became redundant and company downsizing was normal news. Even after graduation I struggled to find a job and 3 months passing, in 2009 I decided to return. Feeling defeated and dejected, I immediately bought a ticket to Beijing. Took up a teaching career as an IT instructor at the same time invested a hefty portion of my paycheck on training schools where they offer specialized Cisco networking certifications. Very quickly, I became competent in networking and system technologies. Now it turns out I love my field and with each passing day gaining confidence with what I do now. The skinny of this story is: “know your skills very well and get specialized in your particular field”.
Something about the writer:
Larry Wang, 28, is a Bangladeshi born Chinese. His hometown Chittagong is a small, beautiful, quiet port city, and off of its north-east lies the famous coastal town Cox's bazaar. He completed his Bachelor's degree from University of Science and technology, Beijing on Computer Science and Engineering, and a Master's degree in Japan on Electronic Business. At present he is a high school I CT teacher on weekdays and on weekend trains undergraduate student on Cisco networking technologies and solutions. Under his belt he attained various random technological certifications among them are CCNA, CCNP, and MCITP. He is an avid IT reader and keen on sharing thoughts on new technologies. Currently he has invested a lot of time on VOIP and Wireless technologies from two technology giants primarily Cisco and Huawei.
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