How to write a good application?

The Study China application is similar to your UCAS personal statement or job applications: it is your platform from which to sell yourself and convince us you are right for the position. Two tips that, if used well, will help you produce strong applications are:

Put yourself in the assessors’ shoes, and once you have written a statement, say to yourself, “so what?” This is to prompt you to think about how you have explained your point or example. For instance, it is great you volunteered at a local charity, but “so what?”—explain why this is important and relevant here.


Consider using the STAR technique, to help give your answers a logical structure.

  • Situation: set the scene

  • Task: describe the purpose

  • Action: what did you do about it?

  • Result: what was the outcome?


Remember, there is a word limit of 250 words per answer. You are also being assessed on your ability to be succinct and clear, which is just what you will need when in China!

Essential Key Skills and Qualities

Study China is designed to help you acquire a new language, so you do not need to have any existing Chinese Mandarin language proficiency. As you will see, the application is based upon your motivation to learn and participate, and how the Study China experience will help support your degree and future employability.  

We also ask you to demonstrate how you possess the key skills and key qualities essential for the successful completion of this demanding and intensive three week programme. When considering your key skills and key qualities for the Study China application form, you may find it beneficial to spend a few minutes considering what experience, knowledge and skills you have gained in the following environments:

  • Education

  • Work/volunteering

  • Extra-curricular activities

  • Hobbies

Remember, even if your experience is not directly connected to China, it is very likely the skills acquired are transferable. 

Listed below are the essential key skills and qualities required for participation in the Study China Programme. The application form asks you to provide brief, clear examples to demonstrate how you possess each one. Look at the examples that you have collected – choose the strongest example to evidence how you possess each of the essential key skills and qualities.

Essential Key Skills

Team working: You need to demonstrate that you are team player but also have the ability to take on responsibility. This skill is essential when quickly building positive working relationships that help everyone achieve the most from the Study China experience.

Organisation: This is about showing that you can prioritise work efficiently and productively, and manage your time well. If you are offered a place, there are a set of deadlines even before the programme begins. The programme itself will have a busy schedule, so it is important that you can demonstrate strong organisational skills.

Problem solving: You need to display an ability to take a logical and analytical approach to solving problems and resolving issues. Being in a foreign country can be stressful and problematic – it is essential that you are adept at problem solving.

Time management: The Study China schedule is intensive and you will need to manage your time successfully to balance the demanding academic requirements of the programme alongside experiencing and exploring the culture and local environment.

Ability to work under pressure: Study China will require you to work in a new and unfamiliar environment from day one, therefore the ability to keep calm and work effectively under pressure is essential.

Interpersonal Skills: Study China will require you to utilise a range of skills in order to communicate and develop relationships. You will join a new group of students and lecturers – you will require strong interpersonal skills in order to integrate socially and academically.

Essential Key Qualities

Adaptability: Able to adapt quickly to new and unfamiliar environments, people and places.

Initiative: Demonstrate initiative to overcome problems and obstacles.


Common sense: Ability to apply common sense and logic to manage the associated challenges of living in a culture different to your own.


Resilience: Perseverance to not give up or become overwhelmed by challenging or difficult situations.

Maturity: Emotional maturity, behaving in an appropriate, responsible and respectful manner. Consideration of how your actions affect others.

Grading criteria:

Each question carries a maximum for 4 marks.

0 marks: blank answer, or an answer that does not address the question or provide any relevant information.

1 mark: a poor response that briefly addresses the question, and provides some basic information.

2 marks: a satisfactory attempt to answers the question and provides some relevant information.

3 marks: a good attempt that directly answers the questions, providing examples.

4 marks: an exceptional response that fully answers the question, using examples and connects these as to why Study China would benefit their studies and future employability development.


These are only sample questions to help you prepare for your application. To make your application, please go through the Study China application portal, top right of the screen.

1. Briefly outline employment duties and responsibilities:

Any work experience is important. For example, working at KFC can be explained in a way that demonstrates your work ethic, time keeping, and interacting with a range of different people. This would be a better answer than simply listing high profile opportunities without explaining skills or experiences you have gained.


2. Why do you want to participate on the study china programme?

Study China is not a free holiday, and answers suggesting so score lowly. Also, Study China is not just about Chinese culture and heritage, but about developing transferable skills too, which can be used in your future education and careers, whether connected to China or not.


3. Please provide brief, specific examples which demonstrate that you have the essential Key Skills.

Like question 1, making your examples relevant and connected to Study China will score better than simply listing high profile successes.


4. Please provide brief, specific examples which demonstrate that you have the essential Key Qualities.

When answering this question, remember what the information on the Study China website has told you about the programme, and what skills/mentality/approach we might be looking for?


Special Needs or Support Required as a consequence of any disabilities or medical conditions:

Disabilities / medical conditions:

Special needs or support required:

In this section, please do disclose any medical conditions and special requirements you may have. In order to ensure your health and safety, please be honest and accurate. All information is disclosed with the strictest confidentiality.


The University of Manchester

Samuel Alexander Building 

Oxford Road, M13 9PP

T: 0161 306 1725

T: 0161 306 1689


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