Six Tips For Chinese Students Applying To Business School Abroad

Chinese master’s students are increasingly looking to business schools in the US and the UK

By Fenghua Mo

Europe and North America are increasingly popular destinations for Chinese students. In 2015, well over half a million Chinese students enrolled at Western universities, with the UK, USA, and Canada being the top three destinations.

In the UK, prestigious Russell Group universities like the University of Birmingham and the University of Liverpool attract hundreds of Chinese students each year.

In the US, over 10% of all graduate masters and PhD students at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business come from China.

Of the five most in-demand master’s programs for Chinese students heading overseas, four were business related: Accounting, Finance, Economics and Business itself.

If you are a Chinese student looking to experience everything that a degree in the US, UK or Canada has to offer, how can you choose the right North American or European business school?

After all, the decision depends on more than just your student experience during your course - it is essential that the degree you do receive will reap rewards in terms of your post-graduation employment.

Here are six top tips to get started:

1. Consider the business school rankings

Find rankings for the courses and universities you are considering. For example, if you are considering a global MBA, then look at the Financial Times and Economist MBA rankings on BusinessBecause.

2. Factor in other statistics

When weighing up countries of interest, look at economic indicators such as their employment rate, local salaries and cost of living, the percentage of international students and so forth. Assess the grades that the universities receive and speak to alumnus - both Chinese and international - to get recommendations and feedback. Consider too broader factors such as local safety and crime statistics, environmental record and cultural attractions. These will all be important for your time overseas and will shape your experience.

3. Consider the welcome

Find out if the business school you are interested in has a specific welcome program for Chinese students and international students in general. How do international students feel about their student experience? Are there orientation sessions and buddying systems for example? Does the university maintain a Chinese language website or social media account to provide a warm welcome? What type of pastoral care is available? This is important to consider as part of your broader student experience.

4. Check the qualifications

Make sure that any qualifications you are considering are recognized by the Ministry of Education in China. This is essential for you to impress employers back home. The university may be able to tell you this - in fact, if they can it will give you a good sense of their desire to attract Chinese students specifically.

5. Think long term

If you know that you want to work in the UK eventually, then consider a UK business school, as research suggests that 45% of Chinese students graduating in Britain stayed there for their first job. Know your ultimate goals and look for student destinations to help with your decision.

6. Follow those you wish to emulate

Some business schools are associated heavily with certain professions and business fields. Others have been the choice of big business names and leading lights in the industrial world. If you know which field you want to go into after graduation, follow those who went before you!

Remember, the more time you can put into planning and researching your overseas business school of choice, the more confident you can be in your decision and the better your experience and results will be.

Fenghua Mo (known as Sammi) is director of Market Me China, and specializes in online marketing in China. 

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As a Chinese national with experience working worldwide, she understands China’s internet world and the differences between Chinese and Western culture.

She is enthusiastic to explore opportunities and create effective online marketing solutions to help Western companies have a good presence and generate leads in the digital world in China. 

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