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Foto: Sanne Mariani

Chinese students at the UvA: ‘You have to be a genius to do a master’s degree in China’

Sanne Mariani,
27 september 2019 - 10:23

Folia is following four Chinese students during their first year. Today we ask: why did they choose the UvA?

Yigong Zhang (23)

Studies: master Film Preservation

‘I did my bachelor in America and wanted to continue studying in an English-speaking environment. China is too familiar to me; I wanted more of a challenge. I would have liked to study in England, but Brexit makes things difficult... And it’s expensive. Same for the US. In Europe, Dutch universities are better known for their English programs than Spanish or French universities, and I find Amsterdam dynamic which is important. It’s important to like where you live and not just look at world rankings’.

Zhihui Shuang

Zhihui Shuang (22)

Studies: premaster Business Administration

‘I paid 20,000 Chinese yuan (about 2,500 euros) to an agency that helped me with my application to study abroad. Businesses like this are quite normal in China, and help with things like making sure you don’t miss deadlines for your chosen course or visa application. Generally speaking, it’s easier to get into a good university abroad than at home. In China, everyone takes a major test after high school and you can apply to universities according to your ranking. You have to be a genius to be accepted to Tsinghua University in Beijing, for example. I was in the top three of my study, but I wanted to go abroad to improve my English.’

‘I paid 20,000 Chinese yuan (about 2,500 euros) to an agency that helped me with my application’
Zhu Yi

Zhu Yi (22)

Studies: bachelor Business & Economics

‘Whether you can study abroad depends a lot on the financial situation of your parents. Studying in England or America would have been nice, but my parents can't afford it. Also, I’ve heard from friends that the English are not so nice to the Chinese. In the Netherlands I find people very warm and welcoming; everyone says hello and good morning. The Chinese could learn something from that. My parents don’t speak English so they’re very proud that I’m studying English at a foreign university.’

Pei Wang (22)

Studies: premaster Business Administration

‘I’m very lucky that my parents are so open-minded. Many are more traditional. They want to protect their children from the pressure and stress of big cities and prefer their children work and live where they were born. Staying in China would have been cheaper, but I wanted to go abroad. My parents sometimes even joke about it: "You should have been born in the West”.’