Hi, I'm about to graduate with a bachelors in Chinese Language and Literature. I graduate in May and want to continue my study of Chinese by going back to China (I studied abroad in Chengdu for 1.5 years). I would love to jump right into a career but I want a career that uses Chinese and while my Chinese is decent, it's not near a professional career level. The only way I'm going to do this is by living in China for a few more years and finding a good language program.
With that said, I'm probably around the HSK 5 level (i'm taking the 5 in May but I don't think it'll be a problem). Does Sichuan University have a good program for slightly more advanced learners like myself? I'd love to go with tutors but I have too many student loans and I need to be enrolled in an actual university program to deffer payments (so I can afford to go).
Also, how do I go about applying for this program?
Here's my experience with higher education here in Chengdu: I started as an "extension student" at the undergrad program in 西南民族大学. I did one semester of classroom instruction, then switched to their tutoring program for a year. After that, I went on to the grad school at 川大.
Sichuan University has a language program, but it's rather... well, rigid. It might not quite suit your specific needs because what they offer is a more complete program. I'm not sure you could just jump right into it, and I'm not sure what, if anything, they could do with you. They really seem to want students who will commit to a whole degree-oriented program.
I'm a grad student at Chuan Da, so I'm not 100% sure all this, but it seems to me that they really want people to take a full 2 or 4 year program for the undergrads. I'm not sure, I might be mistaken, but that's the 感觉 I get.
If you're looking for something a little more supplimental, then I'd go with 西南民族大学. They offer something where you can just take six hours of one on one tutoring a week and they'll provide you a visa. The merits of having a tutor are that you can study at your own speed, "hog" the teacher all to yourself and guide him/her in the direction that you want. Six hours of tutoring, I found, was much more effective than fifteen hours of classroom instruction. Also, six hours of class-time a week would leave you plenty of time to pursue other endeveors, like finding a job. The only risk is if you get a crappy tutor, it's a really annoying experience.
As for student loans and stuff, this tutoring option at 民大 is accreditted, so you should be able to get your loans deferred.
That's what I'd recommend, based on my experience.
Oh, and in terms of scholarships, you should really check out the Chinese Government Scholarship. http://en.csc.edu.cn/ I don't know how they'd work it out, but you might be able to get that for your time here.
Let me know how things work out!
I was in a similar situation...and will possibly be again very soon. I did an undergrad in Chinese with one year spent at Sichuan Uni. I had spent a few years in China previous to that and had managed a HSK 6 before I started my undergrad or studies at Sichuan Uni. I took advanced 2 and 3 there. Both teachers were excellent and the course material...well, the books were good in terms of grammar and vocab explanations but pretty static in terms of content (i.e. What is Chinese Culture...cue the usual generic script). I also had a tutor on the side. That was good... we printed out news articles or watched discussions online etc. One tutor charged 50, then the next term I found a Chinese language teacher training school where they give free one-to-one lessons. It worked out pretty well... and I am planning on doing the same again.
Since money seems to be an issue, I suggest you look into the Confucius Institute and Chinese Gov Scholarships, both of which are quite generous. I also had zero problems finding part time teaching work in Chengdu and ended up making 180Yuan per hour. Between that and my scholarship, it was a very cushy year.
Alright, so I'm going for my masters in marketing at sichuan uni with the government scholarship. Can anyone tell me about the masters program? I'm most curious about how classes are run and how difficult the program is, especially for a foreigner who has only passed the new hsk 5.