Officially known as People’s Republic of China, this country is situated in East Asia. It is the world’s most populous country and borders 14 countries. Beijing is the national capital of China and Shanghai being its largest city. Beijing is known as the centre for country’s economy, culture and communication while Shanghai is the leading industrial base. Hong Kong is an important commercial centre and port. China is among the world’s countries with deep rooted history and oldest civilizations. Over the years, China has technologically and scientifically established itself and has made its place in the whole wide world. China has shown notable growth in all the sectors within a short span of time. There has been a remarkable advancement in regards to healthcare, education, resources and facilities over the same development years.
Courses offered in China for International students
Since China has one of the most advanced economy and outstanding infrastructure, it attracts Indian students who want to study abroad. With the advancement in the field of medicine, engineering and many other sectors students willing to travel abroad for higher studies choose China as their preferred destination. In the last decade students have travelled to study MBBS in China, Engineering specializations, language programs, forms of art, culture, tourism and many more.
With so many reasons to pursue studies in China, students often ignore the points that may create hurdles during the study years. No country is perfect and like any other country, China also has some advantages of its own alongwith the disadvantages.
Advantages versus disadvantages of studying MBBS in China
- Cultural differences: India and China are neighbouring countries. These two countries have different cultures. China is said to follow one of the oldest cultures in the world. Students may initially face a little issue with the country’s culture but with the time they can easily adjust with this new culture. Also, while studying in another country, this is an opportunity for students to get to learn new things and a new culture, know more people across the country. It is not only with this country. The students need to adapt and learn new culture in any country they wish to travel for higher studies.
- Language: Chinese is known to be one of the most spoken languages around the globe. Also, Chinese is the only language having the pictographic writing system which is still alive. This is the reason; students often choose to visit China to learn this popular language. Though Chinese is not an easy language to study and this may sound as a hurdle to students planning to take up any course in China. Like any other country, students pursuing MBBS in China or any other course are also required to gain good knowledge and command over the language as they need to interact with the locals for their daily needs during the stay period. Especially for medical students, learning the language is the part of the program since it helps them in the years of clinical practice to understand the patient better. Learning a language opens the door for many opportunities and helps in easy stay during the study period. Rather than a disadvantage of studying MBBS in China, it becomes an advantage if taken with a positive state of mind.
- Top ranked universities: There is no doubt that China is in the line of developed nations of the globe. Many other countries may envy China’s growth over the years but at the back of mind every country wants development. The basis of advancement in any country is it education structure. China has some of the top ranked universities of the world that attract students. Since they offer quality education under world class infrastructure, expenses for some universities may go high, like fee for MBBS in Fudan University in China is 75,000 RMB per year. This fee is equivalent to the private medical institution in India. Students plan to study MBBS abroad where the fee is less and suits their budget. Apart from Fudan University, there are many other good universities with high rankings on global scale as well as in China to offer MBBS at a lesser fee. The average tuition fee for MBBS in China is 30,000 RMB per year. Students can choose to study in the university with pocket friendly overall expenses.
- Minimum set Eligibility Criteria: Universities in China have their set eligibility criteria to accept applications from international students. Unlike other countries, most universities have minimum eligibility criteria to accept application from students for MBBS in China. To maintain its quality of education, the minimum eligibility criteria defined by most universities is 65% in 10+2 and 200 in NEET. For universities with good country and international ranking, this criteria goes even higher. This does not mean that students with a percentage lower than this will not get options to study in China. This only means that such students will have limited options to choose from to study MBBS in China. As the education standard is high in the country, the student can stay optimistic to get good education even with the limited options and a little low marks.
- Selected universities for international students: China has 180+ universities listed with World Directory of Medical Schools but only 45 medical universities are approved by Ministry of Education, People’s Republic of China to accept international students. Compared to India where we have so more than 500 medical institutions to study MBBS, 45 may seem a small number. Honestly, 45 is not a small number where students get quality education in budget price. Despite of Chinese as the most spoken language in the country, these 45 medical universities have an English medium curriculum. The medium of instruction is English which makes it easier for the students to learn in any of these universities. Ofcourse, learning the local language is very important to interact with the patients during study years but learning in English language keeps the student connected with the Indian education pattern too.
- Higher currency exchange rates: The local currency in China is Chinese Yuan or Renminbi (RMB). The current exchange rate fluctuates between Rs 11.50-Rs 12. A higher currency rate may seem to bring high expenses of study as well as stay. Needless to worry, the average tuition and accommodation fee is still lower than the exorbitant fee charged by the Indian private medical institutions. There is no capitation fee as well. As the medical universities in China accepting international students are all government universities, the fee is reasonably low and so are the accommodation charges. These universities provide accommodation within the university campus thus helping the students save a lot of overhead costs. The average annual tuition fee for MBBS in China is 30,000 RMB and accommodation is approx 4500-5000 RMB per year. The food expenses and expenses like mobile recharge and some pocket money would cost around 1000-1100 RMB per month. Overall, the higher currency exchange rates will not be a burden to students’ or parents’ pocket as the university’s fee is low and so are the living expenses in China.
- Dissimilar weather conditions: As China is located above India, the weather is colder in the country compared to India. The students may find it difficult to adjust to the climatic conditions of China but eventually they settle down. Some northern regions of China experience extreme cold winters and students prone to winter diseases must avoid choosing the universities located in such provincial areas. Students can choose to study in universities near Shanghai region where the climatic conditions are stable and adaptable for Indian students. Some good universities in Jiangsu province near Shanghai offering MBBS in China to international students include names like Nanjing Medical University, Southeast University, Soochow University, Jiangsu University, Yangzhou University, Xuzhou University, Nantong University. It is a known fact that China is technologically and methodically advanced. Known to this fact, China has developed infrastructure to meet the extreme requirements under these climatic conditions. The accommodations are well equipped with proper heating systems to ensure warm and cozy conditions in the rooms for students. While the students need to cover themselves properly incase of moving outdoors.
- Different disease pattern: The weather conditions, the temperature in China and India are dissimilar. Owing to different weather conditions, there are dissimilarities in the diseases that the population of both the countries witness. Students are often misguided on this point and forced to choose another country to study MBBS abroad despite of their choice to study MBBS in China. The fact can be controversial. The human anatomy is same around the globe. The basic diseases and their treatments are the same. The diseases, their symptoms their treatments are governed my many factors and do change over the period of time. Study of medicine is an ongoing process which starts with the study in the 1st year and continues during the lifetime till the Doctor practices his profession. It is an always learning process. Different disease pattern may not be counted as disadvantages of studying MBBS in China but an additional learning in the process of becoming a Doctor.
- Contrasting food habits: The food preferences and the eating habits of people in both the countries are different. Not to forget, China is a different country with different culture, different weather conditions, different people and different language. Food preferences are different for people in each state of India. A family may find different food habits for its own family members. At the end of the day, they stay together and eat on the same table. If a student wants to continue studies in a different state, his/ her food habits will change. China is overall a separate country serving a different cuisine. It is not difficult to adjust to the new food habits while staying in that country for a long period of time. Food and language cannot be considered as barriers as one knows this has to be different in any country you travel. These are the common factors one has to accommodate with. Students who travel to other countries for MBBS abroad are already prepared to accept this change.
- Frauds and cheating by unauthorized agents: This is the most common threat to all students planning to study MBBS abroad or any other course. A student who has just passed out his school which was selected by his parents faces this major challenge to choose the right agent for his guidance. In today’s world, most academic counselors are more of marketing counselors just working to achieve their targets. Only few professional and authorized agents practice work ethics where guidance and counseling is more important for them rather than making money. To study MBBS in China, one has to go through an authorized university representative for the successful submission of his/her application. Choosing a right guide can be made possible by collecting as much details as one can, about the agent. This can be done by checking the market value of the agent, his experience in the field, his knowledge about the industry, his exposure to the field of guidance and counseling and connecting with the students taken his services.
In the end
To conclude, China is a nation which is in much demand among the students considering its quality education, advancement in the field of medical, engineering, communication, trade etc. For MBBS students, China offers an internationally recognized degree in low budget, countless scholarships opportunities to meritorious students to encourage them, the admission process is simple with least documentation, the connectivity between the two countries is easily available, access to international exposure, high quality education in top ranked universities with world class infrastructure, excellent clinical exposure and a stay in the country of rising power. All the points that are overseen as disadvantages of studying MBBS in China have an advantage hidden in them. Defaming any country would not be right as the student may miss out opportunities to pursue their studies in the university or country of choice. No country can be said as perfect to meet the students’ needs. It should be the choice of student to choose a destination to study after his/her research about the country, its programs, merits and demerits is complete and one should take a wise choice before reaching any decision.