1. Where on earth is Jiangsu Province?
Jiangsu province is located on the central-eastern coast of China, adjacent to Shanghai. The capital of Jiangsu is Nanjing, an ancient city that was once the capital of China. For more information you can visit http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/jiangsu/
2. Where can I study?
There are twelve participating universities in Jiangsu province that offer a wide range of courses and specializations. We are currently developing an outline for each of the universities that will provide key information regarding programs, accommodation etc. We hope that each university will post this information on their websites. However, hard copy of the information will be provided as soon as possible.
3. Are courses available in English?
The availability of English language courses may be limited. However, it may be possible to arrange reading, project-based or lab-based courses with instructors that can speak English to ensure that you obtain program credits in your discipline. We will work with you through the application process to identify a host university that can provide some such courses in your program of study. In your application, you will be asked to identify any specific course credits that you might require. The Jiangsu program office is very helpful in arranging for the availability of specific course credits.
4. What Do I Gain From Participating?
You gain credit toward your Ontario degree, enhance your marketability with international experience and skills, make lifelong friends, broaden your personal horizons by living in a different part of the world, and have a memorable and incredibly enjoyable time in the process. And we’re here to help you all along the way.
5. How Long Will I Be Away?
The Exchange Year runs from September to July of the following year. This includes two semesters of university (September to mid-January, and mid-February to July), with a reading, working, or traveling period from mid-January to mid-February (the period of Spring Festival or Chinese New Year). We strongly suggest that Ontario participants spend a full academic year in China, although students may apply to participate for one semester only. Feedback from students currently on exchange in Jiangsu clearly supports the notion that a two semester exchange is more realistic if you want to receive full academic and cultural value from your exchange. Because most courses do not end until July, you will probably not be able to work in Canada the summer you return.
6. Is financial aid available?
Yes. The OJS program administers scholarships (no special application needed) for all Ontario participants, using funds provided by the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities ($2500 for one semester; $3000 for full-year participation; $3000 for the Summer Research Program; and, $2000 for the Summer Language, History and Culture Program and Summer Language and Food Culture Program). OSAP, OSG, or SSHRC support, as well as many university-based scholarships, may be applied to your exchange year. Feel free to discuss this with us. Also, all Ontario universities offer scholarships and/or bursaries for study abroad: check with your home university’s International Office and with your academic advisor. It is important to note thet International Visa students can apply and be accepted to the OJS but OJS Scholarships are not available to International Visa students.
7. How much will it cost?
Here are some factors to consider:
- Your tuition in Ontario (some Ontario universities will grant you a partial or even full bursary if you participate in the Program) — remember, you can get credit for the courses you take in Jiangsu
- Your travel costs to China and back (probably around $1500-$1800 for the flight although cheaper flights can be found).
- Your living expenses in China: It is much cheaper to live in China. Accommodation and food will likely cost you less than $300-$400/month for approximately 11 months
- Don’t forget any travel you might want to do in China—there is lots to see and China is a big country!! However, Jiangsu offers a tremendous amount of cultural, historical and tourism opportunities that are close and easy to visit. Train is a good and fairly cheap option and there are overnight buses with sleeping accommodation.
- The exchange rate (Canadian dollar to RMB) fluctuates and can make it either more or less advantageous.
8. How Much Chinese Do I Need?
Within the university community you will find that the majority of students and many faculty members speak English as a second language. All participating universities will offer Chinese language courses that you can take for credit. Although Chinese is a fairly difficult language to learn you will be surprised at how you will pick it up through classes to a level where you can survive.
9. How friendly are the Chinese people?
The Chinese are a very friendly people and do have a special affinity for Canadians due to the contributions to China by Dr. Norman Bethune during the Second Sino-Japanese War in the 1930s, resulting in his death. All Chinese learn about Dr Bethune and Chinese visitors to Canada will often visit his birthplace in Gravenhurst, Ontario.