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China: students frustrated by lack of support

International students unable to return to their studies in China are putting pressure on their embassies to ask the Chinese government to relax border restrictions, arguing that online courses are not of a high standard.

ChinaStudents are calling to be allowed back into China to continue their studies. Photo: Pixabay

492,185 international students studied in China in 2018

Over the last few weeks, China has been reopening its borders to some foreign nationals but not student visa holders. The country is the third-largest destination for international students globally, with 492,185 studying in there in 2018.

“Universities aren’t contacting us. If we message them, they don’t reply”

“This year for winter holidays I came home and have been waiting for my return for nine or 10 months,” a Pakistani student studying with a university in Wuhan told The PIE News.

“We’ve been getting classes online but the standard is very low. The Chinese teachers always say ‘sorry, my English is not good’,” he continued.

“Universities aren’t contacting us. If we message them, they don’t reply. Chinese students keep going to the UK [and elsewhere] for studies, there are even flights just for them, but they are not doing anything for international students.”

Several students The PIE spoke with noted a lack of communication from their schools and “poor management” of the situation.

“It’s been nine months of [being] stuck here, watching classmates in China… while I sit back, watch online videos and pray to join them soon,” said another student.

MBBS medical courses are a popular option for international students in China.

However, students have said that their courses cannot be done online, pointing to the fact that many campuses around the world have allowed students needing to do lab work to come on campus even while other courses are remote.

“We need labs. We need at most some hospital visits. No one in the world accepts an MBBS done with online classes,” said a student from Qingdao University in eastern China.

Those who remained in China during lockdown found themselves subject to stricter lockdown rules than local residents.

Because the timing of the outbreak coincided with the winter holidays, many students had returned home or were visiting other parts of the country. Those still in China were told not to return to campuses, forcing them to find and finance their own accommodation.

For those that were abroad, there is still no sign of when they will be allowed to return, with some anticipating it will not be before the next semester in 2021.

According to a note obtained by The Hindustan Times, China’s Ministry of Education told the Indian Embassy in Beijing that “it is suggested that students should maintain close contact with relevant Chinese colleges and universities and arrange to study in China in strict accordance with the suggestions and guidance of the colleges [and] universities.”

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58 Responses to China: students frustrated by lack of support

  1. am also an Mbbs student 2015 batch still not able to do my internship..finish 5 yr and wasted these months..Kindley allow international students to return to china colleges..Ready to quarantine as per the rules..vaccine is not ready but can’t predict when it comes so please don’t wait for that..

  2. No one has given time to listen to the challenges international students are facing. But we hope after the holiday of October international students are considered to return to china. We don’t want to study online can’t they just understand it. We are in our final year all our classmates are back to class .

  3. They keep saying we shall send you a notice . For nine months now we are here . It’s not fair we pay rent every month for places we don’t stay . It would be polite if they let us know if we are not coming back than keep us waiting like this.

  4. Many of the students are stuck half way in their internship.every other countries are allowing don’t know why China isn’t allowing us back atleast medical students should be allowed

  5. This is really frustrating why this Chinese people don’t value their international students infact you have to know that when those people go out after studying they also represents China basically why you don’t value your international students make first priority encourage them all …But you stop them for not entry your country because of the covid 19 sure the pandemic it’s real but their are precautions too give the same precautions to some foreigners that you allowed to enter your country those students some of them have payed their tuition fees and accommodations so you mean they are going to lost all that what they have payed for? Stop the selfish treat people equally don’t be biase even the online classes its a big mess ,very poor especially for international students in Africa students are stranding they wanted to go back to China to finish their courses you know i mean.

  6. We Masters MBA students really need to attend classes not online, there’s alot of difficulties studying online, the major ones are poor network, data expenses, time differences, it’s 3.30pm Beijing time and it’s 4am early morning. Those situation gives us hard time to study online, and this is Masters Program, and what about PHD?.. Therefore, I really beg the Chinese Government please do consider and allow international students return back to China..

  7. Online classes can never be compared to the normal classes …first it’s time difference, imagine sometimes i wake up at midnight for class that’s not fair…i will never pay full school fees for online classes…sometimes network is tripping, it’s so hard to understand online. Just get us back to school, I don’t get why allowing business people and others to enter in China but not students 🙄!! Are we the one carrying the virus?? It doesn’t make sense at all

  8. Yessss . we need to go back although i feel like ;in next step they will call students of final year and with research work first and students like me will be called back after this semester.But online study is mess.we cant learn properly…They should atleast give us some notice any kind of notification that explains about specific time period that we have to stay here.So that we should know and plan further about going back.

  9. We really wants to go back to china , can you help is to deliver our message to any chinese media or chinese that they can take a step towards foreign students.

  10. Now USA & Canada both announced foreign students can return, but students are still left hanging with no news from China. I am a worried parent waiting patiently for answers. Medical & research grad students can’t study online. They need labs, practicals & ward rotations. Our children’s futures are at risk. They are losing 2 semesters, which is depressing. Don’t waste the next generation of doctors and scientists!!!

  11. Some time i feel to chose China for studies was the worst decision of my life, because if you accept foreign students then its your duty to facilitate them in required manner, Second china thinks that students are the carriers of Virus. third can china stop investment, investors for a single day? No because Investors are the Virus Vaccine for China.

  12. They are so mean , they don’t have any concern about our future and degree they just care about there economy, they also care about there own chinese students not us , its so hurting and disappointing behavior. They are not giving any specific answer or date of return.

  13. It’s really frustration the way internationals students are being treated. It has been 9 months since international student are out of China. Isn’t it the responsibility of Chinese government, university to give proper education to students? Why this country is being so irresponsible to international students?

  14. Maybe you should have thought about that before you guys went to China XD
    International students aren’t exactly a priority for them.

  15. One thing I would like the authorities to inform us is some of us graduating soon have hopes of coming back.
    It’s not fair to keep people waiting yet they would be doing other things .
    We want to know are we coming back or not so that we get solutions. You people don’t be mean.
    We also have dreams why act this way.

  16. What about those students that apply for the setember intake for 2020, will there be any visa for then this year?

  17. im supposed to be enrolled this year, but i havent got the good news since march. i just want to go to college, its really frustrated for me, university in china is rejecting me everywhere…..

  18. Its really really frustrating….idek what Chinese government is thinking rn…. are we not you only care about business and economy.. fucking disgusting place…its real unfortunate of me to chose a fucking asshole country for studies …… bullshit….i m death mad that motherfuckers who care only about their students and fuck international students over and over again……

  19. China is almost free from coronavirus. Some Nepali Medical students have completed their 5 years course, but only the final year examination is left. This final examination is delayed due to coronavirus. This examination must be taken as soon as possible. The Guangzhou Medical University should take action immediately. The students’s visa has expired and also the residence visa has expire. They are at present not in China. They must be called back at once to complete the last final examination. The Chinese Government must look into this case seriously and reopen the College, call the students back for November class./examination.Please kindly send notification to my email address soon. Thank you.

  20. It’s getting frustrating hearing criticism from China about it being a little difficult for Chinese students to enter other countries, while it’s literally impossible for foreign students to enter china!!

  21. Its the harsh reality being faced by all the international students . The level off online classes have been the worst and being a medical student I do know the value of labs , practicals , clinical rotations and all other stuff . But this is the worst I could have imagined yet . don’t thet have any responsibility towards international students?? They just want to be paid the fee on time , nothing else . I don’t have more words to say about these peoples.

  22. I am part of wechat groups where us intl students have been discussing ways to alert the chinese and our local authorities about our situations and how our studies, physical and mental well-being have been affected by this drawn out waiting game between us and china. It’s honestly disheartening and i’ll be one of many to say that i’m starting to regret ever applying to study in China. i love China, i love studying there, but the lack of communication is too much to overlook. i hope we get some answers soon regarding our next semester in Jan-Feb.. i personally cannot stand this much longer my mental health has been the worst it’s ever been in my life. we’ve been patient long enough.

  23. China has some of the most effective and comprehensive quarantine procedures in place…it seems contrary to reason why foreigns students can’t return to China should they abide by all relevant guidelines and procedures in place. As a student at Tsinghua University, I am very frustrated having to complete my master’s online.

  24. Honestly all we’re asking is that you allow us return. I’m a medical student and I’ve been away for 10 months and I can tell you for a fact that I feel like I haven’t attended school throughout this year and this will show in my result. I’m really not following up with this online class plus the data expenses. I’ve paid my fees; same with people studying in class physically now and I’m buying data every now and then. It’s really really frustrating. There are no benefits for us.

  25. It’s been 9 month they are keeping us waiting, at least they could tell me when we are able to get a visa because i have a segery going on soon and i have no idea whether it’s the right time to do it or not, what if they suddenly tell me come back to China! I should know at least when we are able to go back.

  26. Ironically, student visas are the easiest to “track”. Among the variety of internationals that want to go back, we’re the ones that offer the least threat. It’s simple, we get tested before we leave, quarantine in Cinna for 2 weeks, and then continue with our lives. But paying full tuition for online classes…

  27. I am so tired of this , there is no information if any kind. Plz let us know when we will return to China. I learn nothing from online class yet I send a lot on data ,the time difference of my country and China is 7hours. I literally don’t sleep at night anymore. I can’t keep with this , it’s frustrating . My visa is also expired. I hope this get to China , plz and plz let us go back to school other countries with more covid case are taking international student back , plz let us go back to school.

  28. Few day before i call ministry of education china , straightforward i put our issue that mbbs cant be taught online ,they said please wait patiently we’ll inform soon , i said when ? After i complete my graduation online? Just tell me single reason why we can’t go back to our respected University , they said because of epidemic situation . I replied then people holding work visa are allowed ? Are they resistant to virus ,this is a stupid reason . We are young educated student know how to protect ourself , although we are ready to fullfill your requirements like test prior to leaving and after arriving plus 14 days Quarantine, what eles? They said please wait patiently we can’t do anything then who is responsible to call us back ? They said concentrate on studies and dont wasted time calling MOE . The thing is they don’t have a single acceptable reason why we can’t go back .
    If anyone else want to call moe china please dail +861066096495
    Well i don’t know whether they speak English or not , I used Chinese to communicate

  29. This is very uncompromisable act of china they have always ignored international students and they are doing it once again. They are proving by not giving us any reason or date and time for reopening that they don’t respect us. Its very unfair that they are going to take full fees even when its online and not up to the mark. If universities don’t open even after 2021 first semester I would not recommend anyone to take admission in china anymore.

  30. I wish China cared about students more. Even before the pandemic they dont really show that they care about us. Its been a year they should consider us going back. Come on , Education is important!!!

  31. The same exact thing is happening in russia. They locked the country and didn’t open up in September even though they then decided that they will offer face to face classes. The rest of us are stuck outside with expiring visas and no news about returning yet working permit holders cab return.

    No airline will allow you to fly without a test, so that part would be dealt with, then we would get tested upon arrival at our own cost and then slot into quarantine for 14 days. All we want is to be allowed to apply for visas and return to our studies.
    The online system is not as effective and we are paying for schools and accomodation in full even though we are not in the country.

    Why are these countries not at all trying to see it from our side too. It is both frustrating and difficult being out of school for so long and not because we don’t have the means to get back but because the system is failing us.

    I do hope something can change for us all in the month of November

  32. China is open for who are doing bossiness and who hold work visa and relationship visa ..student still not allowed to back china ..i hope that chines government understand international student are the important because we are a supporter to china economic and culture in over the world

  33. Students are waiting for the positive responce. at every stage , Students are neglected. kindly support us in this resumption matter. so that we can join our respective universities.

  34. Please please please allow us to come back to China before next semester. We are well educated we know how to protect our self please stop us giving stupid reasons.

  35. I hope China do the right move here, honestly I understand and respect China’s decision on being strict about this pandemic, but it’s time to allow foreign students to return. If we take the tests, do the quarantine and follow up every requisite they raise, we would be more than happy to follow them, but so far haven’t heard news about it. Stay strong international students, don’t give up your dreams because of this pandemic.

  36. Please the owner of this article there’s a problem when international students went to talk about themselves on weibo. They were abused all sorts of words. We are vulnerable today but corona has taught us one thing that no one is superior.
    All students are asking is to give them a chance to come back finish their studies and leave in peace. We have not asked to work. Has someone ever chased you abruptly moreover in a foreign land. All we ask for is consideration

  37. I am tired of waiting and feels like China doesn’t care about international students education , ONLINE CLASSES ARE NOT HELPING US

  38. Does China really care about us international students? It’s depressing and I wish they knew what they are doing to us students.

  39. Some of us are in our final year we just want to know If we are coming back or not. I don’t know why they are messing with our future. We are paying rent for sometime 11 months for places we don’t stay . It’s really unfair.

  40. May you please get this to this to Chinese universities ,at least they should give us a clue as to when we we are going back to school,just a clue,if we are not going back then better say it,online lessons are not effective some of us are part 1.1 we need face to face orientation not online,please they should hear our plea or just give us a clue

  41. We can’t study online classes! There’s a foreign students study in Chinese their bachelor like’s very difficult to understanding in online classes! I couldn’t study last semester because of miss understanding and all my classes are practical I’m studying environment design. I’m disappointed about this shit online classes! Please please please allow us to come back in China as soon as possible. We want back!!!

  42. For Phd and Masters students we don’t have such thing online.. Our study plan and time period is waisted and I am worried if our university is entertaining us properly if we don’t go back to china by next two months.

    They leave us and they leave the students in the middle of nowhere.

    In Frustrating and Devastating condition!

  43. As a student at Tsinghua University, I expected them to have international students’ backs during this time. They pride themselves on being worldly but are completely turning their backs on us. It is the responsibility of the schools to encourage the government to help us. It is apparent that they do nothing since I haven’t received even ONE notice on the situation. Students are the future and by shutting us out, it doesn’t help them to broaden their international relationships in the future.

  44. Is it that the Chinese government is punishing us for leaving China during the lockdown? Why won’t they allow us to go back even when life is almost back to normal in China?

  45. i think in FEB 2021 most of the students start new smester . so chiense embassy might be opn their boundry for international students othwise we all are stay here till sep 2020.

  46. I start regretting the choice of studying in China, I just understand that those people are so selfish.
    They’ve never cared about international students they just care about the dollars we are bringing with us from our countries

  47. I’m a 4tg year medical student in China , now I have classes online which to be honest is a complete utter waste of time and data . Data is expensive I don’t even understand half of what the laoshi is saying it’s so hard to focusing being at home . I never signed up for online classes chinese embassy should think of us even alittle we pay fees similar to people who are still in China and receive nothing. This semester I’m supposed to have classes at the hospital how will that happen plus I have lab classes . We are willling to quarantine as long as they provide places for us the universities we go too . Things are back to normal in china what is the problem why can’t we go back 😫 it’s to frustrating and sad 😞 how do I become a medical doctor from studying online my country wil not all that 💯 please help us please!!!!!!!

  48. Only a 5 months of internship is left for us atleast internship students let them come back complete theirs so that they can move ahead

  49. We respect china, we respect people’s lives like we do for ourselves. We’will take 2 prior tests before flying and we pay for 2 weeks (quarantine). All we ask is to give us a chance to come back , we will try to behave accordingly in line with covid-19 measures.

    The pandemic is for real, but its not only in international students. Please do something for us we want to come to China. Online classes are a mess, different hours,
    Poor connections in our country, difficulties in assignments, mathematics courses need teamwork etc….

  50. We need to come back for our studies. We don’t like online classes because its of gaining zero knowledges and diminishing of our mindsets to catch up the concepts being taught. Plese, we knindly ask the government of PRC to make our ways possible to return to our schools in China to resume our studies. We swear, we will seriously follow the regulations being set up inline with covid-19 safety measures being placed.

  51. On December 2019 I went back home for holidays and to attend the wedding of my Brother. I left my room in China with just one small suitcase, a few clothes on what was supposed to be a one month visit to my hometown became a one year nightmare. It is now more than one year that I cannot go back to China, to my things, and to my life and people I knew there. All my things and belongings are in china and I am having to wear borrowed clothes from my father and brothers for the change of seasons…In addition it is been one year and we do not had any news from the University or Chinese government, just messages asking us to wait for further notice. In this meantime, my university forced us to leave our dorm (I used to live in an university dorm) so I had to hire a company and a stranger went in my room and took my things, naturally I cannot be sure if all my belongings are okay. Our scholarship was suspended, and this lack of news combined with uncertain outlook is causing considerable distress and affecting my mental health. I no longer feel motivated and I believe this will certainly impact my degree, possibly causing it not to be completed. We were residents in China! We had a life, relationships, social structures, memories, routines, friends and all this was taken away from us…while resident businessmen and workers were allowed back into the country…we, international students, are treated as we if we do not exist. Please help us get back to China. I love China…is the country I choose to focus my professional and academic life, learn the language, I love the people and the culture and miss it profoundly

  52. China is for only Chinese country,who don’t cares about international students,all Chinese students can go to university but overseas can’t go

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