No matter which of our programs you choose, you will get to know a country with its history, culture and language more or less foreign to you. Despite the increasing openness of China today, studying China can be challenging. To overcome the challenges requires a great deal of curiosity, patience and effort.
From instructors point of view
We expect all of our students to have achieved good or very good results in school subjects that are relevant to Modern Sinology, e.g. German, English, History, Philosophy, Religion, Political Science etc. The classes in the BA-programs in Göttingen are generally held in German and Chinese (language classes), but there might be classes in English from time to time and the majority (about 95%) of the relevant literature is written in English. Excellent English-reading skills are therefore obligatory.There are a lot of different reasons to choose a China-related study program. Whether you want to concentrate on the Chinese language, or study China from a social or economic science perspective and focus on subjects like Chinese history, economy, society, law and politics, highly depends on your personal interests and your career aspirations.
From students point of view
The most important part of studying sinology is not falling behind in your language classes. It is highly recommended that you devote a certain amount of time everyday to your studies. Correct pronunciation is equally as important as learning characters and practicing grammar. This sounds more difficult than it actually is, as your language skills, as well as your feeling for the language, will improve very fast with daily effort. There will be no grades given formid-term tests, but at the end of every semester you will have to take both written and oral examinations.
Otherwise the education attained in the study program is quite similar to that of other subjects: You will attend lectures and seminars and read the relevant literature. If you prepare yourself well enough, you will have no difficulties passing your examinations. In some classes, you will write an essay instead of taking a written examination. You will learn how best to do this during seminars and in classes dedicated to academic writing and methods. If you encounter any problems, the university lecturers are available to help you.
The basic requirement for success in studying sinology is your interest in China and the Chinese language. If you are willing to invest enough time in doing course work and practicing your Chinese, you will benefit strongly from this course of studies in short time.