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The different Chinese university degrees and study requirements for foreigners
Foreign students, as well as Chinese Students, can choose between three different university degrees in which they visit certain courses that are relevant for their subjects and pass exams to collect credits. After having collected a sufficient amount of credits, they will receive their degree. It is important to mention that only foreign students that have been rated at least grade 6 in the Chinese Proficiency Test (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi; HSK) that determines the studentsâ€™ skills in Chinese language are allowed to start a Chinese study program as lectures are still usually held in Chinese. Foreign students who donâ€™t speak Chinese will have to take Chinese language courses during their whole stay and will not be able to visit university lectures. The three different university degrees are:
Undergraduate Program: Students are required to complete the curriculum between 4 to 6 years and fulfill the designated number of credits. Upon graduation, students will receive a graduation certificate along with the bachelor's degree.
Master's Program: As a non-obliged improvement to the Bachelorâ€™s degree, Students are required to complete the curriculum between 2-3 years, fulfill the designated number of credits, complete the master's thesis and defend of it in front of a panel of experts. After completion, graduates will receive a graduation certificate along with the Master's degree.
Doctorate Program: After having received their Masterâ€™s degree, students have the choice to habilitate. Then students are required to complete the curriculum between 4-6 years (in normal circumstances), fulfill the designated number of credits, conduct research, complete the doctoral thesis and defend it in front of a panel of experts. Graduates will receive a graduation certificate with the doctoral degree.
Students, who want to apply at a Chinese university by them and not via a student exchange program, usually find all the necessary information and forms on the homepage of the university they chose. After downloading and filling out the necessary forms, the application can be sent via mail. After a while, the university will reply and tell the students if they were picked or not.
General information about the academic schedule at Chinese universities
In China, university schedule is divided into two semesters, the autumn semester from September to January and the spring semester from February to June. Summer vacation usually lasts two months, winter vacation 4 weeks.
Students who apply for two or more semesters need a so called X-Visa, which will be changed into a residence permit after arrival. The application requires a valid passport, the admission notice of the Chinese university and a health certificate. Students, who only plan to stay one semester, should apply for a FF-Visa, which requires the admission notice of the university and a valid passport. Commonly, the Chinese universities take care of these formalities for the foreign students.
Most Chinese universities require the students to have a health insurance for foreign countries. Some offer health insurances as an extra service in their price package, but mostly students have to look after it for themselves. There are two possibilities to get a health insurance for foreign countries: Either students can book the insurance as an additional option to their existing health insurance at their insurance company, or they subscribe to a short-termed health insurance at another insurance agency for the length of their stay.