As an Iranian student studying Master at Beijing Language and Culture University I would like to share my own experience of applying China university with anybody who plans to study in China.

How to Find the University

In the last year of my BA in Chinese language and literature I started looking for a university to pursue my studies.  There are many universities in China and I was confused by searching through the internet and finding little information to help me to find the suitable program.  It was very difficult to read about each university’s admission and application information. After all this confusion it was a great experience to search the programs through CUCAS. It is very convenient.Type your interested field of study and then it will give you the list of the universities offering that program, application dead line, requirements and so many other details.

During the four years studying Chinese at university in Iran I have heard a lot about Beijing Language and Culture University. Some of my teachers and friends have studied at BLCU before and they all agreed that BLCU is the best place to learn Chinese and meet people from all around the world. So I decided to study Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at BLCU which takes three years to complete. Most of the Master programs in China take three years. However, there are also two years programs which usually are taught in English.

Application Materials

As I started applying for that program I found that I need to gather some application materials such academic diploma and record, recommendation letters, copy of passport, photo and CV. But the most frustrating problem was that HSK certificate is a necessary material for the application which was impossible for me to arrange it in a short time. Even if I had enough time I had to expend a lot of money to travel to China for taking the HSK test.

My Problems in the application

I referred to some applying abroad agencies in Iran and they told me that they only can apply for English taught programs in China and after one semester I could take the HSK test and then change my program to a Chinese taught program. But I was not optimistic about that, Furthermore I had to pay a lot of money to the agency. In addition English taught program’s tuition fee is higher than Chinese taught programs.

Thus I tried sending Emails to the BLCU and explaining my situation but the only answer was that I have to take the test first and then apply for the next year program. In the end I called to BLCU admission office and explained my problem in Chinese and as they seen that I can speak Chinese fluently they finally agreed to consider my application and allowed me to send the material for them.

Since the risk of my application was so high, I decided to apply through CUCAS. That was more reliable and they could check my material before sending it to the university, Help me through accommodation process and help me whenever I had a problem in China.

So if you have any difficulties with your application don’t loose hope. Call the university directly. Explain your situation and difficulties for them. They will understand. If you are afraid of calling to the university you can call CUCAS team or send Email to them, remember that they are always there to help you.

Apply the X Visa

After I submitted my application through CUCAS, It was very exciting to see the congratulation Email from CUCAS two months later. I received my admission notice in less than one week by express delivery. I had two months time to apply for the visa and prepare my luggage. For studying in china, you need to apply for a X visa for the long term programs and X2 or F visa for the short term ones. For the Visa you should fill in two forms (A and B) and physical examination form which can be downloaded from your own country’s China embassy website. However for the short term programs or F visa, B form is not necessary. Other application materials including your admission notice and visa form provided by university, photo, passport and so on. Duration and application fee may differ from country to country, for me it was 100$ and took 4 days to be done.

You should know that the visa you have been issued in your own country is only eligible for 1 month and you need to apply for a temporary residence permit within this time limit. For that you should go to the Visa office in your university if there is any and if not you should apply it from local Public Security Bureau. It takes about eighteen days and you also have to pay 500 Yuan for X and 250 for X2 or F visa.

Packing the Luggage

Start preparing your luggage one month before by making a list of things you need to take with yourself. When you make a perfect list you will be able to gather everything in a few days and you can make sure that you haven’t forgotten anything. Do not buy everything before your departure, so you can enjoy your next shopping in China. Search about the weather of the city you are traveling to. If you are coming to Beijing you should bring some warm clothes with yourself and a rain coat since it is very rainy and windy in Beijing.

If you are planning to live in the student dormitory you can straightly take taxi from the airport to the university. But if not you should search some hotels near your university to live temporarily before finding an apartment. You can search hotels through search engines like Google or Baidu and they will show you the list of the hotels in the map. However it would be cheaper to reserve a room online before coming to china. Take taxi from the airport to the hotel and then go for registration at university, because for registering you need to have a residence certificate. You can ask the hotel to provide it for you. (I will never forget how frustrated when I got off the taxi in the university with my heavy luggage in hand walking around to find a hotel!)

Studying in China

Living and studying in China have been very exciting for me so far. Although I have some difficulties understanding the lectures and reading the textbooks in Chinese but I have managed to find so many Chinese friends who help me through my assignments. Chinese people are very welcome to the foreigners and you will never feel lonely among them.

It was my experience of applying to the university. I hope it would help you through your application process. I will write about living in China, Chinese culture, food, BLCU, CUCAS and many other topics soon. Hope to see you in China.