I need some advice:Study in China or Study Abroad?

EricChan711

New Member
Hi,guys.I am a student from China. I am interested in the whole process of filmmaking, but I mainly want to learn cinematography. I'm now torn between whether I should study abroad for an MFA (US, UK) or stay in China to prepare for my postgraduate exams. (Beijing Film Academy) I hope you can provide me with some advice, thank you very much!
Background: When I was going from high school to undergraduate school, I tried to take the art exam for the photography department of the Beijing Film Academy, and unfortunately I failed twice because of my bad drawing. (I got an offer from Communication University of China in my first year but I refused.) Now I'm helplessly studying in a comprehensive university, in my first year of college, the courses don't help me, the school can't provide me with any resources or equipment, and my classmates around me are just mucking around. I will try to make time to read relevant books and watch instructional videos related to filmmaking online. I am good at photo photography and post-production, and cinematography is still relatively new to me. A lot of people have warned me that it's not easy for a girl to be a cinematographer, but I do love and want to work in cinematography. I have had the opportunity to work with several student short film crews as a camera assistant. But overall my practical experience is still on the low side.
My family is just a middle class family, universities like USC, NYU, AFI, Chapman, etc. have high tuition and living expenses, my family may need to sell an unused set of house for me to go to school, my parents are willing but I always feel guilty in my heart, and I don't know if I will be able to achieve success. To be honest, the only thing my family can offer me is money, and my family has no movie-related networking resources. But my parents are very supportive. I'm looking forward to the film industry in the U.S., but I'm also worried about a lot of things, such as having to reorganize my contacts in the film industry when I return home, the financial burden, and the language problem (even if I pass the language test, I'll still have problems communicating creatively in a foreign language). The acceptance rate of graduate school in China is much lower than that of studying abroad, but I still have some hope that I can start preparing now. I can only choose one school for the exam (but only Beijing Film Academy is suitable for it), while I can apply to many schools for studying abroad. If I can't get into a domestic graduate school I might take the exam again, or I could spend a little more money on a year-long refresher course at the Beijing Film Academy.
Due to limited time and energy, I have to choose between these two, but I don't have enough experience, so I hope you can give me advice, thank you.
 
Beijing Film Academy is just as good if not better than the top tier US schools you mentioned plus it’s far cheaper and will build your domestic network. From the sounds of it that’s a better fit for you in terms of maintaining a network and being domestically viable. However, if it’s an option for you why not apply to both BFA, and a few of the top US/UK/AU schools like AFI, NFTS, NYU, USC, LFS, AFTRS, and Victorian College of the Arts? As an American I’d personally love to study at BFA and in China.
 
I mainly feel that the acceptance rate for BFA programs is too low now. If you fail to get accepted, it's like wasting a year because you need to spend a lot of time studying for the English and political exams for the postgraduate entrance exam, as well as professional courses. The advantage of applying to foreign film schools is that you can apply to many of them, and there will always be one that can accept you. You can consider applying to relatively cheaper schools, such as LMU and Emerson, or applying to FAMU and Lodz in Europe, where the cost is much lower. If you want to make movies in China, then BFA is the best choice, as you can have the best connections.
Hi,guys.I am a student from China. I am interested in the whole process of filmmaking, but I mainly want to learn cinematography. I'm now torn between whether I should study abroad for an MFA (US, UK) or stay in China to prepare for my postgraduate exams. (Beijing Film Academy) I hope you can provide me with some advice, thank you very much!
Background: When I was going from high school to undergraduate school, I tried to take the art exam for the photography department of the Beijing Film Academy, and unfortunately I failed twice because of my bad drawing. (I got an offer from Communication University of China in my first year but I refused.) Now I'm helplessly studying in a comprehensive university, in my first year of college, the courses don't help me, the school can't provide me with any resources or equipment, and my classmates around me are just mucking around. I will try to make time to read relevant books and watch instructional videos related to filmmaking online. I am good at photo photography and post-production, and cinematography is still relatively new to me. A lot of people have warned me that it's not easy for a girl to be a cinematographer, but I do love and want to work in cinematography. I have had the opportunity to work with several student short film crews as a camera assistant. But overall my practical experience is still on the low side.
My family is just a middle class family, universities like USC, NYU, AFI, Chapman, etc. have high tuition and living expenses, my family may need to sell an unused set of house for me to go to school, my parents are willing but I always feel guilty in my heart, and I don't know if I will be able to achieve success. To be honest, the only thing my family can offer me is money, and my family has no movie-related networking resources. But my parents are very supportive. I'm looking forward to the film industry in the U.S., but I'm also worried about a lot of things, such as having to reorganize my contacts in the film industry when I return home, the financial burden, and the language problem (even if I pass the language test, I'll still have problems communicating creatively in a foreign language). The acceptance rate of graduate school in China is much lower than that of studying abroad, but I still have some hope that I can start preparing now. I can only choose one school for the exam (but only Beijing Film Academy is suitable for it), while I can apply to many schools for studying abroad. If I can't get into a domestic graduate school I might take the exam again, or I could spend a little more money on a year-long refresher course at the Beijing Film Academy.
Due to limited time and energy, I have to choose between these two, but I don't have enough experience, so I hope you can give me advice, thank you.
 
US film programs are also very competitive with applicants some times applying many years in a row. My suggestion apply to them and if you get accepted you can make the decisions that you are pondering. If your application is really great perhaps you land some scholarship funds to help.
 
I mainly feel that the acceptance rate for BFA programs is too low now. If you fail to get accepted, it's like wasting a year because you need to spend a lot of time studying for the English and political exams for the postgraduate entrance exam, as well as professional courses. The advantage of applying to foreign film schools is that you can apply to many of them, and there will always be one that can accept you. You can consider applying to relatively cheaper schools, such as LMU and Emerson, or applying to FAMU and Lodz in Europe, where the cost is much lower. If you want to make movies in China, then BFA is the best choice, as you can have the best connections.
Thank you for your honest advice, I have considered the Rhodes Film School in Europe, a little worried about the language issue there is also the fact that admission is harder. As for graduate school, if I start learning English from my freshman year, I should be able to pass it, even if I prepare to study abroad, I still need to learn English well. Originally, my English and political science is not bad, although I think the political science is very boring. But if I prepare for graduate school and study abroad at the same time, it will be a bit of a rush, so I'll think about it. I'll think about it!
 
Beijing Film Academy is just as good if not better than the top tier US schools you mentioned plus it’s far cheaper and will build your domestic network. From the sounds of it that’s a better fit for you in terms of maintaining a network and being domestically viable. However, if it’s an option for you why not apply to both BFA, and a few of the top US/UK/AU schools like AFI, NFTS, NYU, USC, LFS, AFTRS, and Victorian College of the Arts? As an American I’d personally love to study at BFA and in China.
Thanks for the advice, studying at the Beijing Film Academy will really help me build relevant contacts in China. Would love to try them both too, but it might not be good to try both together because of time issues? I'll give it some more thought on my own, thanks.
 
US film programs are also very competitive with applicants some times applying many years in a row. My suggestion apply to them and if you get accepted you can make the decisions that you are pondering. If your application is really great perhaps you land some scholarship funds to help.
Thanks for the advice. Studying abroad is an application system. In China, there is a theoretical exam, political and English and two specialized exams, plus an interview and a practical exam, which is only once a year and only at one institution.I will refine my personal practice experience in these two years, but probably the level is still a bit far from getting a scholarship.
 
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