Lets face it, no one likes interviews especially if done in a foreign language, but being the only way to give all applicants an equal chance, we all have no option but to go through it. Kenyatta University’s Confucius Institute have announced their Confucius Institute Scholarship Interview to be held on 23rd May and the other Confucius Institutes will do so around the same time. Having gone through the interview (and passed) I would like to share my experience to help those preparing to sit on that chair come next week.
The following tips will work across the Confucius Institutes in Kenya but should there arise a situation that was unexpected, please contact the office of the Confucius Institute where you will be attending the interview for clarification. Chinese are very specific on details so am I, don’t assume…ask [in the comments section below] and I will gladly respond soonest. Lets start…
What Is A Scholarship Interview?
Every year the Confucius Institute selects some students to the Scholarship program in China. To select the students, they have to undergo the interview. The criteria is based on level of language fluency, class attendance, how active the student is in Chinese activities and if the student has met the requirements in HSK and HSKK exam. [see below]. Note: student = interviewee, you don’t have to be a student at the time of interview.
When Is The Scholarship Interview Held?
The interviews are held in May of every year. This is done early enough to give time for processing since in China the university academic year kicks off in September. The Confucius Institute at Kenyatta University will hold its interview on Tuesday, the 23rd of May 2017 at 9:30 am. Successful interviewees will be notified by their Confucius Institutes after 2 weeks of the interview. Normally the acceptance letters will be returned by July from China to give the student 2 months to prepare.
What Are The Requirements For The Interview?
Normally these will vary for the Confucius Institutes, but I will provide a general list for the all to be on the safe side. I must insist again on the details, don’t assume anything.
- Kenyan Passport
- Physical Examination Report (Must Be Signed By Doctor)
- Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate
- HSK and HSKK Certificates
Note: Make sure your passport has 5 years before it expires. The Physical Examination form should be filled in a government hospital and be sure to carry all the laboratory test reports, plus X-ray documents on or before the interview dates. Also make sure the physical examination report has been stamped and signed by the doctor/hospital. The yellow fever vaccination certificate can be obtained from major hospitals or Nairobi County Health Department offices.
You should be vaccinated at least 10 days before you travel, as this will allow enough time for your body to develop protection against the yellow fever infection. Your proof of vaccination certificate will only become valid after this time. For those who take the vaccine, you will be awarded with a yellow fever certificate, which is valid for 10 years starting 10 days after the vaccination. Kshs. 2500 at the City Hall or Kshs. 3000 at the JKIA
What Happens On The Day Of The Interview?
On the day of the interview, each of the interviewees will face the interviewing panel and answer various questions. The panel consists of the management and teachers of Chinese at the Confucius Institute. The following questions may be asked:
- Please introduce yourself in Chinese
- Why should we give you the scholarship?
- What do you know about Chinese culture?
- Why do you want to go and study Chinese in China and not Kenya?
- What do you like most about China?
The skill of answering these questions is very vital and can mean you getting a chance to go the the middle kingdom or not. One of the very important things is avoid using English as possible unless you are a still a beginner. If you have been in a Chinese classroom use the vocabulary that you’ve learnt to show the panel that you can make some effort.
When asked to introduce yourself, stick to easy content. One thing I always tell my students is to use this rule: 很简单的内容 which means “Very Easy content” Unless you are applying for a Masters Program and you have a HSK 5 or 6 under your belt [and the panel is aware] just stick to the easy vocabulary which all can understand. Hard content will raise the expectation level for you which will not be good in the long run when you make mistakes.
Love China and be diplomatic. Leave your issues about China at the waiting room and walk into the interview room like you were born in China. You should know alot about China especially the stuff that the teachers taught you in class. Seasons, Cuisines, Administrative regions and the leadership of China are some of the questions that you might be asked in China. For those who will be preparing for next week’s interview, they might ask questions about 中国一带一路 The One Belt One Road project, the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR is part of that, knowing some basic info about is will help you ace the interview.
With those tips you should be ready to attend the interview, all the best. Walk in there like a boss 🙂
If you have any questions, drop them in the comments section below, I will publish another post on how to register online for the scholarship for successful candidates.