One part of my position that I got to see first hand was the admission part of the student experience for International Students in China. Obviously this varies in some ways from University to university, but for the most part the Visa process and other things are similar. But the fact of being a student trying to be admitted into an international university can be quite tricky.
In my experience working in the office, I was known as the expert on all things English. So, when it cam down to a certain student who kept calling the office that really couldn’t speak Chinese, I was forced to become the communicator for this young gentleman. However for the most part everyone else was expected to conduct business in Chinese, even the foreign students who would visit the office.
However since they had me on hand this summer I was often their go to guy when it came to English. So throughout the summer I got to be the first contact for this student who was an American living in China, but trying to move to Qingdao University, from his current University.
Me and this mystery man on the other side of the phone continued our conversations throughout the time as I walked him through the process of what he needed and what he needed to know. I could tell that a fellow English speaker made him feel much more comfortable with the answers I gave him.
On of the major questions for admission came down to a few simple things. Payment, Housing, and Student Visa. My phone friend called me on multiple occasions asking about Visa’s and his issues with needing a Visa from when his Visa from his current university ends to when the new Visa starts.
I got to watch as this student ran into barrier after barrier, and issue after issue that kept leading him to one definitive answer that was not necessarily the one he wanted to hear. The answer which cost him more money, and left him frustrated was one that related to his Visa.
Even though it wasn’t me, I felt his frustration a small amount and felt like I was there along the way as he found the trek for admission to the University to be a troubling manner. The truth is, is that admission was not a problem, the fact that he should pay for all of his tuition in cash, and the fact that he can’t have housing until a certain date before school starts are all basic things that International Students would have to deal with if they decided to come to Qingdao University.
However when you are used to one way, or not even sure how exactly it should be you often run into issues like this young student. He was lucky because I was there to help him with all of his issues and at least help him figure out the facts instead assuming like many students do before they arrive at a University.
The one take away that I took away about the Admissions process is not that it’s terribly complicated, because honestly it’s fairly simple at most Universities, but that every student has there own diverse issues that could create issues and that even though we have one clear cut process that is garnered to fit all students; it simply does not.
So what do we do make exceptions?
I don’t have a clear answer, but I know that this student was not the only student that may have had trouble with the admissions process. I just remember trying to find a way to have this internship and how stressful that was. Investment of more time and money for a student means an expectation of better dealings no matter the institution.