Note from Shlomo: This is a guest post by Richard Coward who was a guest at China Business Cast on episode #30. We then spoke about education programs in China as a way to have a soft landing. Richard runs China Admissions which helps foreign students find programs in universities in China which are the right fit for them. Take it from here Richard!
With the development of China’s economy to the second largest in the world, and its relatively small population of foreigners (less than 1% in Beijing) there are huge opportunities for foreigners, to play a part in the development of China, and benefit from the expansion. As a reader of this article you are no doubt familiar with this and perhaps can see some opportunities yourself.
As China’s economy develops into a service economy, they need foreigners with skills and talents and are looking at ways to attract talented people who can contribute and add value to the country.
But there are many challenges for foreigners when coming to China. The culture is so different to any other country in the world, and the language, the food, the environment. Even after you have overcome these issues, how do you find the opportunities? and what if you can’t find any? It is a big leap, and it is difficult to go straight from your country into China and launch a business or find a job.
If it is your first time, you need a lot of courage, you have to make yourself comfortable being uncomfortable.
I suggest a good way to find opportunities in China is to come to China to study on a short term or long term business program. This can help solve a lot of problems because it takes time to adjust, and feel comfortable with the food, the people, and to making new friends. If you have some time you can also learn some Chinese which can be a very valuable investment if you have long term plans.
But is Chinese education actually any good? Don’t they just learn everything by rote? And is there actually any creativity? There are a lot of misconceptions by foreigners about Chinese education and Universities that along these lines. These stereotypes are becoming out of date as China moves into a totally new era in education.
In fact, China’s Universities are catching up, fast. China’s development has come a long way, and China has gone from one of the poorest countries in the world to the No.2 economy.
China has historically been a rich center of education, and Chinese culture increasingly puts a huge value on education, and in some ways much more than other countries. Do you see how many Chinese students study abroad and how much they will spend on education?
Chinese Universities are rising rapidly up the league tables, matched by investing huge amounts in new campuses, and new facilities, and for good reason is now the third most popular destination for foreign students in the world (after US and UK).
Not only does China now have the most Universities out of any country in the world (2000), it also has some of the leading Universities in the world. And there are some very high-quality programs in China, a prime example of which is the MBA at Shanghai Jiaotong Antai college here.
Also, it’s not just about the quality of education, its the whole experience, including the ambitious people you meet (foreigners and Chinese), I studied at Peking University in 2007, and met some of the smartest people in China. There are so many opportunities on campus, we recently interviewed students at Tsinghua University LLM program who would attend talks by Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk.