Sorry for the hiatus – it’s been a hectic week, between leaving Senegal and arriving in Europe and applying for a Chinese student Visa.
What a “learning experience.”
First of all: It’s possible to apply for and receive a Chinese Visa from a third country as long as you have a long-term Visa (ex. student Visa) or a residence permit for that country.
Here’s what I needed for my Chinese Student Visa application:
1. Form V.2011A with glued/stapled 2″x2″ photo (Instructions)
2. Form V2011.B (Instructions)
3. Physical Examination Form for Foreigner, printed double-sided onto a single sheet of paper, and stamped by a public medical institution (may accept private in other countries), and attached tests*
5. Photocopy of Passport
6. Foreign Student Visa Application Form (JW201 or JW202) issued by relevant Chinese government unit
7. The admission notice from the Chinese school.
8. Bank Statements, to prove I had enough money to travel
9. Flight Itinerary
10. Visa Application Fee (in Senegal 76000 CFA, 4000 more than posted on the website)
Forms V2011.A(1), V2011.B(2), your passport(4), and passport photocopy(5) are straightforward. The worker at the consulate accepted the photocopied JW202(6) and admission notice(7) even though you’re supposed to bring the original, and waived my bank statement(8) and flight itinerary(9), but only because I was a rare young 华侨 alone in a foreign country in which Chinese people make a tightknit community.
What I really had trouble with was completing the Physical Examination Form for Foreigner in two days. I was squeezed for time because my JW202 arrived less than a week before my flight.
*These are the original test results I needed to include with my medical form:
2. HIV test
3. Syphilis test
Bring any other papers that came with your tests, like the doctor’s orders for tests and receipts.
I brought my chest x-ray but it seems consulates don’t check them.
Now as for actually getting these tests done in a Senegalese hospital? It’s not like you can walk into reception and ask for some tests…
I was extremely lucky because my program director had a cardiologist friend who worked at Fann Hospital. He granted me a consultation first thing in the morning and he referred me to his friend, who worked in infectious diseases. If you don’t have connections, go to the infectious diseases doctor, who will be the closest thing to a general physician.
Both doctors were stymied by the form, which is rather vague and includes huge blank sections for tests without explanation for what to write. The infectious diseases doctor asked me about my immunizations, ordered a non-comprehensive set of tests, and told me he would stamp it when I came back the next morning with results.
The actual hospital experience was made possible by a whole cadre of people’s pity for me. In the process of getting tests done, I was clearly lost and had to ask for directions (both location and process) every few hundred meters. I don’t think I could have done it without knowing French, remembering that lines are a very American thing, and arriving at the hospital in the morning while it was still dark.
The public hospital is frightening with its crowdedness – it’s relatively affordable and there aren’t enough doctors in Senegal. My EKG cost 7000CFA ($14), my chest x-ray 8000 ($16), and my HIV test didn’t cost anything.
The healthcare itself was different than what I’ve experienced in America. For my EKG, I laid down on a bench without that special paper that doctors change between patient. After the test, the nurse gave me some ineffective rough paper towel for me to wipe off the EKG gel. According to the infectious diseases doctor, the X-ray was not “bien fait” and he couldn’t actually tell whether I had tuberculosis or not because it was so unclear. The HIV test hurt a lot and the next day, a bruise showed itself in the crook of my elbow.
I found out the night I came home from the hospital that a syphilis test was needed, so I got that done last-minute at a private clinic (BIO 24, 10,000 CFA, $20, for a result in 24-hours) and hoped that the consulate didn’t notice that it wasn’t done by a public institution. That blood test was barely a prick, and the bright, clean office smelled like an American doctor’s office.
Fann Hospital (Google Maps)
Enter from Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop
BIO 24 (Google Maps)
13 bis rue Saint Michel (ex rue Dr Theze)
Tel: 33 889 51 51