Frequently Asked Questions

Application Questions

When will I find out if I am accepted?

Once your application is complete, it generally takes 5 business days to be notified of an acceptance decision on your application.

Should I wait to submit all my application documents at the same time?

No. Turn in every form as it is completed in any order. Once all of the forms are completed and recorded on your online application, your file is complete and your application will be considered.

Can I still apply if I missed the application deadline?

Please contact the Experience China Administrative Office at 715-425-3238 to inquire about the possibility of still participating in the program. We are occasionally able to accommodate late applicants, but it requires a commitment on the part of the applicant to complete all application materials on a condensed timeline.

Who should fill out the Recommendation Form?

The Recommendation Form should be filled out by one of your professors, or an academic advisor. In some circumstances, it may also be completed by a current or former employer, coach, or high school teacher.

Is the application fee refundable?

Once you are accepted, the application fee is not refundable.

Is the deposit part of the program fee?

Yes, the deposit is built into the overall program fee and will appear as a credit on your bill for the term you study abroad.

Can I participate in the Experience China program if my GPA does not meet the minimum 2.25 requirement?

The Experience China program is first and foremost an academic program. As such, you are required to display a level of academic preparedness indicative of an ability to be successful as a student abroad. The ExC program is aware that, for a variety of reasons, your GPA may fail to meet the 2.25 requirement while not necessarily indicating an inability to be successful as a student. If you do not meet this minimum and still wish to participate, you will need to display a commitment to, and potential for, academic success by providing the ExC program with the following additional application materials:

Additional recommendation: Submit an additional recommendation form, completed by a University faculty member or academic advisor attesting directly to your low GPA and preparedness for an education abroad experience.

Student explanation: Provide an explanation of why your GPA fails to meet the minimum requirement and how you plan to be successful as a student in China.

Proof of GPA improvement: Demonstrate that you are in good academic standing (2.00 cumulative GPA) by the end of the academic term immediately preceding your experience in China.

Can I participate in the Experience China program more than once?

With advance notice, it is possible for students to participate in back-to-back terms of the Experience China program. Students participating in this type of experience will be required to obtain an X student visa.

If a student wishes to participate in the program a second time, but not back-to-back semesters, priority will be given to applicants who have not had a previous experience with the program. If space is available after all first-time applicants have been accepted, returning applicants will be allowed to participate barring any previous record of disciplinary action while participating in the ExC program

If a student has a previous disciplinary record with the program, their participation will be granted solely at the discretion of the ExC administrative team. Returning participants are highly encouraged to participate in an internship or independent study to deepen their experience and engagement with the local culture.

Financial Questions

How much money can I expect to spend?

As usual, this depends on your lifestyle! Previous participants have spent an average of anywhere from $1,000 to $3,500 on personal spending while abroad. It is important to know your budget and be mindful of this. There are many low-cost options for traveling in China. Students can stay in hostels and take advantage of student concession rates on attractions and entertainment.

Please see the following budgetlink for a general idea of costs.

Is financial aid available for my semester in China?

You should be able to apply financial aid to your semester abroad. If you intend to use financial aid, you must plan ahead! Be sure to speak with your home campus Financial Aid Office to obtain details on how to apply your aid to your study abroad experience. Your program fee, with the exception of any amount covered by financial aid, is due prior to your departure.

What is the best way to obtain money, and make purchases while in China?

The best advice is to bring a debit card (preferably Visa) from an account that will be kept supplied with money. Several banks do not charge an extra fee for withdrawing money from ATM's with a debit card and they give the best exchange rate. Past students agree that the debit card is the easiest, fastest and best money saving form of receiving money in China. 

Credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, and American Express) are increasingly accepted throughout China's bigger cities, but are not widely used in rural areas, or even smaller businesses in China's larger cities. Before your departure, it is important that you notify your bank and credit card company that you will be out of the country, and provide them with specific dates. If you fail to notify your credit card company, they may put a hold on your account.

It can provide peace of mind to bring some funds in travelers checks, or hard currency, in case of an emergency or if your debit/credit cards are lost or stolen. It can be cumbersome, however, to cash travelers checks and students are often charged a cashing fee at a poor exchange rate meaning the amount received is substantially less than expected. All airports have an Exchange Bureau which is a convenient place to make a small exchange of hard currency. You should be aware that Exchange Bureau's also often offer poor exchange rates and charge service fees.

What type of currency is used in China and what is the exchange rate?

The official Chinese currency is Renminbi (RMB or CNY). The basic unit is the yuan. The exchange rate changes almost daily, you can use a site such as the one herelink to calculate the exchange rate on any given day.

Life in China Questions

What will my address be in China?

Mail is delivered daily to the ZISU campus where it is then distributed to the appropriate departments/buildings.  Your mail will be delivered to the International Office on campus where it will then be passed on to you. Mail can be delivered to the following address:  

Experience China Program

(Your Name)

School of International Education 

Zhejiang International Studies University 

140 Wensan Road, Hangzhou, 310012, China 

 

杭州 文三 路140 号 浙江 外国语 学院 国际 学院 , 中国310012

What is the time difference between Hangzhou and Wisconsin?

At most times throughout the year, China is 13 hours ahead of Wisconsin however may be 12 or 14 hours ahead at different points in the year as a result of Daylight Saving Time. To calculate the time difference between Wisconsin and China on any given date, you can use the time zone calculator found herelink.

Is there access to internet?

Yes, there is wired and wireless internet access available in each room. Wireless internet is widely available throughout much of Hangzhou as well.

Is there laundry available on site?

Yes, a laundry is available in the International Student Dorm. Dryers are not widely used in China. The ExC program will provide drying racks for student rooms so that you may dry your clothes. Clotheslines and drying racks are also available in the residence hall courtyard.

Does each room have its own bathroom?

Yes, each room has its own bathroom. You can expect the accommodations to be very similar to a typical U.S. hotel with toilet, shower, and sink.

How should I get prescription medication while in China?

You should plan to bring enough prescription medications with you to last the program duration (program lasts around 90 days, not including travel time or extensions for travel). A copy of any prescriptions you have should also be brought with to China.

Will I be assigned a host family while in China?

Because you are required to live on-site at the ZISU International Student Dorm, and attend classes through the ExC program, a very significant and rewarding component of the ExC program is the host student program. The host student program is non-residential, meaning you do not live with your host student. Students have found that the opportunity to get to know a local student enhances their understanding of the Chinese host culture. While each host student is unique and does different things with their students, participants are often invited for meals, occasional outings to local points of interest or other activities that allow interaction with individuals outside the program.