by Tianbin Chen
This fall, 326 Illini enrolled in a Chinese university associated with UIUC. With the ongoing situation of COVID-19, freshmen international students have another option, attend school in their home countries. Especially with the partnership between Zhejiang university and University of Illinois, Chinese students could continue their education while staying in a relatively safer place.
Founded in 1897, Zhejiang university is one of China’s oldest institutions of higher education. Zhejiang University has its international campus in Haining, China, about 74 miles from Shanghai. The partnership of these two renowned schools (ZJU-UIUC) began in Fall 2016. There were only computer engineering and electrical engineering majors offered by that time. Starting Fall 2017, civil engineering and mechanical engineering were added.
Starting this fall, with the push of the pandemic, University of Illinois felt the urge of expanding this international campus. Freshmen who couldn’t come to the United States could attend the same quality education in Zhejiang university. Various majors are available to the international students. Besides in a foreign place, everything else is the same, students study in the same system and earn University of Illinois’s degree.
Long Lin, a freshman studies in gender and women study enrolled in the ZJU-UIUC said the partnership was a great help to her when she couldn’t come to the university of Illinois campus. The only throwback is that Chinese students have to study in the U.S. time zone, they have to attend online classes at the midnight of the Chinese time.
In the beginning of the pandemic, China was the first to hit by the Coronavirus. U.S. Embassies in China suspended their VISA process due to the nationwide shutdown. While the pandemic was under control in China, Embassies resumed some of their VISA interviews on June 15th. There is still a long waitlist currently, and some VISA interviews are cancelled. According to Lin, this is the only problem that stops her from coming to the states, not even the pandemic.
Lin said the most possible situation is flying to the U.S. next fall. Other than that, the bridge program that Lin and other international students enrolled, costs four thousand more in tuition, per semester. This would bring their tuition to forty thousand a year.