General

Why does SFU offer a Dual Degree Program with a university in China?

  • Developing global citizens through higher education requires real global experience.
  • In today's increasingly integrated environment, enriched cross-cultural learning often requires immersion in another language, culture, society and its academic institutions.
  • Graduates of this program will be familiar with language, culture and society in both Canada and China and will be in great demand in the years to come.

What’s in it for me, a student in Canada?

Through this unique Dual Degree Program, you will:

  • acquire solid academic knowledge from two institutions with reputations of excellence, while gaining life-enriching international experience.
  • develop excellent problem-solving, interpersonal, and intercultural skills.
  • become proficient in English AND Chinese, two of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
  • build a strong network for your career success both in Canada and in China.
  • stand out from your peers in the increasingly competitive global job market. International experience will be the highlight of your resume.
  • contribute to an internationalized world.

I am already enrolled in a university/college/SFU. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes, you are! For current SFU students, admission via internal transfer is on a rolling basis. Please consult with the DDP office at cschina@sfu.ca
For students enrolled at other institutions, send your questions, your year(s) of post-secondary education, name(s) of your program(s), department(s), and institution(s) to cschina@sfu.ca

There are many people of Chinese origin here in Canada. Why do I need to go to China to learn about Chinese culture?

  • To gain a deep understanding of another culture, immersion is the best method.
  • You will mature at a much faster pace when you live and study in another country, especially one whose language, culture and society are different from your own.
  • You will acquire crucial skills to succeed in the coming years and decades, when China's significance in the world will continue to increase.

Is five years too long to complete my undergraduate studies?

Absolutely not! Only 10% of SFU students complete their undergraduate degree program in less than 12 semesters from admission to graduation, while the average number of semesters for an undergraduate degree is 16. You will be graduating with two Bachelor’s degrees in only slightly longer than the time it takes to complete a single Bachelor’s degree, but your life experience will be enriched.
In these five years of the Dual Degree Program, you will:

  • complete your undergraduate studies and receive two degrees.
  • become fluent in Chinese, the must-learn language of the future.
  • gain invaluable international experience, a sure asset in the increasingly integrated global environment.
  • have the opportunity to work in China and Canada by choosing the Co-op option.
  • build a strong network, make life-long friends, and travel to distant lands.

Two years in China is too long. Will I have the time to come home each year?

  • Definitely! Each year, you will have a winter break (mid January – mid February), a summer break (mid July – end of August), plus two short breaks during early May and October.
  • You will be responsible for your own travel costs.
  • Those who choose the Co-op option could be working in China during May – August of their second year away, prior to returning to SFU.

Learning Chinese

I have no prior knowledge of Mandarin. Will I be well prepared for studying in China?

  • SFU will offer several customized, intensive Chinese language courses for non-Chinese speaking students during the first two semesters in Canada (September – April).
  • Students will then enrol in Chinese language immersion at ZJU during May – August, prior to the start of the ZJU academic term. Mandarin courses are also required during the first academic term at ZJU, along with other academic courses. Students have the option to attempt the HSK 4 exam at the end of the first term.
  • One of the best ways to learn a language is through immersion. Students are encouraged to visit the local museums, temples, tea terraces to improve their language skills and knowledge of the local culture. Of course, structured and informal interaction with the Chinese Dual Degree Program students at ZJU will greatly enhance your Chinese language skills and help you adjust to your life in China.

What is the language of instruction and of the textbooks used at Zhejiang University in China?

  • Most of the textbooks used for Computing Science courses at ZJU are in English.
  • Currently, Computing Science courses at ZJU are taught 80% in Chinese and 20% bilingually. Students have the option to choose a course taught bilingually. If a course is taught bilingually, its assignments and exams will be written in English. Each year, ZJU will offer some computing courses solely in English for Dual Degree Program students, including a course taught by an SFU exchange faculty.
  • The language of instruction and of the textbooks for the elective courses in other disciplines, especially those on Chinese history and culture, will be Chinese.

What if I can't keep up with my studies in China?

  • Every effort will be made to help you succeed while you study in China.
  • If you choose to leave the SFU-ZJU Dual Degree Program, you have the option to transfer into the normal Computing Science major program or other programs at SFU. You may receive individual transfer credits for the computing science courses you have completed over in China and use them towards your total graduation credits at SFU.

Living in China

What can you tell me about life at Zhejiang University, e.g. safety, the residences, and the quality of meals?

  • University campuses in China are very safe.
  • Hangzhou has been recognized as one of the safest cities in China.
  • During their studies in China, all Dual Degree Program students have the option to stay in either single or shared room accommodation along with the other foreign students in the international student residences on campus.
  • With a good selection of quality and low-cost meals right on campus throughout the day, there is no need for you to cook! ZJU’s dining halls feature cuisine from different regions of China.

How easy is it to commute from campus to the rest of the city?

  • It's easy! There are many buses connecting the campus and the rest of the city, and bus fares are very low.
  • Many students also choose to get a bicycle to use on and off campus.
  • Taxis are not expensive. You will probably take taxis more often than you would in Canada.

What if I get sick while I am in China?

  • Prior to your departure for China, you will receive information from SFU regarding medical insurance and related matters.
  • There is a health clinic right on campus at ZJU.
  • ZJU has a College of Medicine with 6 affiliated hospitals in Hangzhou.
  • Both Yuquan and Zhijin’gang campuses have on-campus hospitals.
  • Here you will find more information on hospitals and healthcare in Hangzhou.

If I experience difficulty adjusting to my life in China, will there be anyone English-speaking to talk to?

Many of the faculty and staff at ZJU are English-speaking.
The staff of the ZJU International Programs Office will be there to help you.
SFU faculty from the School of Computing Science will be teaching at least two courses at ZJU each year.
You will also meet English-speaking students from the other countries at ZJU. Some are already fluent in Chinese and they understand what it is like to be a foreign student!
There will be SFU alumni or other Canadians in China eager to help you. They have successfully adjusted to their lives in China and will be more than happy to share their experiences with you.

What kinds of extra-curricular activities will be available when I study in China?

There is a wide-range of student clubs and activities at ZJU. You will certainly find a few that will interest you! Below is a list of popular ZJU student clubs.

  • Model UN club
  • Entrepreneurship Club
  • Students in Free Enterprise Club
  • SIFE club
  • AIESEC club
  • Debate club
  • Magic club
  • Rollerblading club
  • Dance club
  • Martial arts club
  • The cohort-based environment will offer you many opportunities to get to know Chinese students and perhaps to even visit their families.
  • You will have many chances to tour the famous West Lake and the surrounding tourist attractions and enjoy the numerous restaurants, teahouses and cafes in Hangzhou at a reasonable cost.
  • You can easily take weekend trips to other prime tourist destinations such as Nanjing, Suzhou and Shanghai.
  • If you'd like, you can also cycle through small towns and villages of China with a few friends, maybe even parts of Vietnam and Cambodia.