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Myths About Study in China
Beijing Chiwest

So many misconceptions and myths exist about China that it's hard for prospective students to tell what it's like to study there. In reality, life in China is getting easier and easier, so take some time to find fact from fiction and make an informeddecision.
Myth: I don’t speak any Chinese! I can’t study in China.

Reality: While many programs require advanced Chinese language skills, others do not. You can learn art, music, business, martial arts and more, or start learning Chinese from scratch, all without any previous language training.

Myth: I’m not interesting in learning to be fluent in Chinese and I don’t want a career in China – it would be a waste of time for me to study there.

Reality: Plenty of people come to study in China with goals other than Chinese fluency and a China-related career. Personal development, networking and cultivating other skills besides Chinese are all valid and common reasons for studying in China.
Myth: China is dangerous. I could get robbed or attacked there.

Reality: Though precautions should be taken anywhere in the world, China is a very safe country. Even the urban areas are relatively crime-free compared to many American and European cities.
Myth: Everywhere in China is the same, there’s no diversity.

Reality: China is one of the most culturally and geographically diverse places in the world. China possesses mountains, forests, grasslands, deserts and more, and there are huge regional variations in customs, food, ethnicity and religion.

Myth: If I don’t study Chinese in Beijing, I won’t be able to learn standard Chinese.

Reality: Though China’s national language, a standardized form of Mandarin known as putonghua, is based on the Beijing dialect, many people throughout China can speak standard Chinese. Unless you’re specific aim is to study a non-standard dialect (such as Cantonese or Hakka), all your teachers will speak standard putonghua.

Myth: I have to study in China through my home university. If I don’t like my school’s program or it doesn’t have one, I can’t go.

Reality: It’s possible to independently enroll in a Chinese university without going through your university at all, and some universities will give you college credit if you can prove you learned something afterward. In fact, you don’t necessarily have to be enrolled in any university back home to study in China.

Myth: Studying somewhere else in Asia is the same as studying in China.

Reality: China is distinct from its neighbors. Other Asian countries like Japan and South Korea do share some similarities with China, but the differences are much bigger. Studying in China is a unique experience that no other country can create.

This list was compiled by Chris Hearne, chief web editor for Chiwest. He is an American that has been studying and working in Beijing for two years. He currently runs Chiwest’s Study in China Forum, where he helps prospective students learn more about living and going to school in China.Readers can visit the forum here.

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  • How to Study in China
  • Get an Introduction to China
  • Plan Your Studies
  • Useful Numbers
  • Apply Online with Chiwest
  • Why Study in China (VI)
  • Why Study in China (Ⅴ)
  • Why Study in China (IV)
  • Why Study in China(III)

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