How to Transfer Out of a Chinese or Russian University

China has remained closed to most international students since March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Very few international students have been allowed into China, and there has been no formal update from the Chinese Ministry of Education. Check our most recent update on whether international students can go back to China here

Because of travel restrictions, some students may decide to try attending university elsewhere. If you are a student in a Chinese university, and want to transfer out of a Chinese university and into a new university in another country, here is our guide to help you transfer out. 

If you are interested in transferring into a Chinese university, check out our article on the subject here

How Do I Begin the Transfer Process?

If you want to transfer out of a Chinese university, you will need to re-apply for admissions to another university in a different country. 

Thus, you should begin the research and application process to another university early. 

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Most universities accept applications in the fall or winter. Thus, if you want to transfer out of a university by your third year, you will need to make preparations and begin the application process in your second year. Each country and university has different timelines. 

Should I Transfer Out of My Chinese University?

Transferring is a big decision, especially if you have already paid a lot of money and made friends in your university. But everyone’s educational path is different. Transferring may be the best option for you.

What Documents Do I Need to Transfer Out of a Chinese University?

You will need to prepare all of the documents required by the university you are applying to. 

If you want your courses from the Chinese university to count towards your placement at a new university, you may need to prove that the Chinese university course is equivalent to a course at the new university. 

To prove this, you may need to provide an official academic transcript, course syllabus, or other detailed record of the curriculum you have studied so far. You may also need to provide more detailed information such as: total class or lab hours, textbooks used, etc.

Additionally, you need to check well ahead of time if you need an English test certification (IELTS, TOEFL) or another exam (GRE, GMAT).

We strongly recommend you start the transfer process as early as possible. Even if you are not 100% decided on transferring today, if you think you will transfer in the future, start preparing now. 

🇺🇸Transferring to a US American University

You can transfer from a Chinese to an American university, but experts recommend starting the process as early as possible because you will need to get your courses evaluated to see if they will count for credit in the US. The best time to transfer is if you have already taken one semester-two years of coursework already. Any later, and you might not get accepted. Any earlier, and you will likely just start from Year 1. 

The best practice is to contact the admissions department of the university you want to apply to and ask for their transfer policy. 

🇬🇧Transferring to a UK University

To transfer from a Chinese university to a UK university, you should contact the UK university you want via email and share with them your name, details of your current university course, the course you’re looking to transfer to, your academic history, and details of the coursework you have already completed. The university will then let you know if they will accept your transfer based on the academic information provided. 

Then you must formally apply through UCAS, the UK university application system. 

🇩🇪Transferring to a German University

German universities accept transfer students in some cases. You will have to apply for a university and then once accepted, apply for the exemption of subjects that you have already studied in another university. You will likely need to provide course outlines, syllabi, and transcripts for this process. 

However, if your credits do not transfer or your previous experience is not comparable to the German higher education system, you will need to start from the beginning. 

You also have the option to study the Studienkolleg, a foundation course/pre-university program for international students to improve their German and prepare for German university life. From one description: “If the education qualifications (i.e. your school degree) does not meet the criteria as an equivalent to the German education system, then you will be required to attend a Studienkolleg.” 

Here are more resources: 

🇨🇦Transferring to a Canadian University

To transfer from a Chinese to Canadian university, you will first need to apply directly to the Canadian school. They will ask you to submit other documents to verify your academic standing, such as official transcripts from secondary and post-secondary institutions, course descriptions of all courses you have taken, as well as translations into English if required. You also generally need to have a GPA above 2.3 to 2.8 to be accepted (this varies by university).

Each university in Canada has their own slightly different guidelines for how transfer students should begin the transfer process. You should check the websites of the Canadian universities where you want to study, and email the admissions departments for clarification. 

Here are more resources:

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