The Greatest Life Treasure:

Why Should Chinese high-school Students Study Abroad?

In the late 19th century, the Chinese government promoted the modernization through the open door policy lead by the paramount leader Xiaoping Deng. The policy not only increase the international trade between the U.S and China, but also increase the educational exchange. After the U.S and China agree with the policy, it inspired the Chinese students come to the U.S for education, and the number of international student rocketed up significantly.
According to the records from Institute of International Education, “ the number of mainland Chinese students in the U.S increased from nearly zero at the beginning of 1978 to a total of approximately 20,030 in 1988. This figure doubled by 1993, and tripled by 2003.” Moving towards, in 2015–2016 school year, there are over one million international students studied in the U.S Universities, and nearly 330,000 of these students are from China.
In my opinion, the originally purpose for the parents is that students can have a chance to study in the top global universities and can have a better life experience. As such, the essay will analyze the strides and potential concern towards the oversea study program.
Although it helps students gain new perspectives on this world and achieve academic excellence in a highly prestigious university, students still need to be aware of the cultural differences between East and West country and the language problem. If students can overcome these issues, studying abroad is definitely beneficial for students personally and professionally in their future.

First, the limitation of choices that is available for students study at highly esteemed institution in their home country.

Students can have a chance to study in the top global universities and they will have a chance to see a side of the major that they may not have been touched to at their home country. When we are looking into those Chinese applicants who applied for Ivy League schools, we can easily find some outstanding academic performance students. They achieved unusual accomplishments in subjects and excellent performances in the unique division. For those excellent Chinese high-school students, the major concern is that there are limited highly esteemed institution in their home country; specialize in an area which is not professional as well as the university in the foreign country.

Chiang-nan Chao who earned an International Business PhD from Arizona State University is a professor of Management, and three other professors report in their article, “Chinese Students’ Motivations for Studying in the United States,” states that, “ China’s best students who are probably aware that if they attend universities in China, they may not able to go to the best universities in the world. For example, among top 100 universities around the world, only two Chinese universities are in 39th and 67th places by the U.S. News and World Report (U.S. News and World Report, 2014)”.

For those parents, going to Ivy League schools is a symbol that raise their children successfully. As long as they can afford, their first choice is to let their children study overseas. The professor also took a special research to interview with the parents who have their children in the U.S now, or have a plan to send their children to study abroad, indicate that they believe that higher education in overseas is much better.

Then, studying abroad can help students gain new perspectives on this world. Students can absorb the idea that school brings to them, and have an ambitious blueprint about their future plan.

For example, Jiang He, the first Chinese citizen who delivered a graduation speech at Harvard University in 2016, spoke about the time that after a poisonous spider bit him and his mother set his hand on fire to cure his hand when he was a boy. As a biology major student, Jiang knows the science theory: heat deactivates proteins. But the pain made him want to scream at that time. The incident inspired him to bring scientific knowledge to where it’s needed the most. Jiang hopes people will no longer have to burn their hand to cure the bite, but will know to seek advanced medical therapy instead.

Jiang He mentioned in his speech, “ We have learned to edit the human genome and unlock many secrets of how cancer progresses ……. Yet, despite the knowledge we have amassed, we haven’t been so successful in deploying it to where it’s needed most. ”

Jiang explained while he was studying in the Harvard University, he can help the modern society with the advanced technology that he learned in the university. Like he said “Harvard dares us to dream big, to aspire to change the world.” If Jiang has no chance to attend the college, he will be farming in his village for whole life. If Jiang attend a normal medical school, he might become the only one doctor in his village. But Jiang has the chance to study abroad at Harvard University, and the school help their students to gain a different perspective to inspire them change the world. Jiang can find an effective way to deliver the knowledge to those people in rural village and local community. As for Jiang He, working to bring this into reality is much more meaningful than become a rural doctor.

Students still need to be aware of the cultural differences between East and West after school time. Learning and respect a new culture, observe disciplines and obey laws could help you become a good manner and well-educated people, but break the rule will eventually brings you the punishment.

The eastern culture is so strange for Chinese students, when they just join the different and unfamiliar community, most of the students may feel anxiety, frustration and high pressure. They are unable to control their behavior, and they might do some unpredictable things such as violent activities. On March 2015, there was an incident of bullying and assaults shocked chinese international students social circles.

According to the KTLA News, “ Three 19-year-old Chinese international students tripped one of their classmate naked, kicked her with high-heeled shoes, slapped her and burned her with cigarettes. The victim was beaten and made to eat her own hair during the attack which lasted more than five hours.”

It is widespread in China, the criminal might get just one oral warning from school, but it is an illegal behavior in the United States. These three students was punished to go to jail for years. Therefore, as an outsider, we should pay more attention on the culture difference. Learn to respect the different culture can be a restriction, but it will make you become a mannered people, which will benefit you when you join the career.

The language barrier is still a common issue that exist in every international student. In some studies, researchers points out that “language barriers and communication problems were identified as the greatest pressure for international student.” Living and studying in a foreign country that you have never been to, where everybody speaks a language that is not your mother language can be a big challenge. But once the students overcome the challenge, this experience will be the treasure for their future time.

Before students can get to America, the non-native students need to take the “Test of English as a foreign language”, also known as the TOEFL test, to be legally study in America. It evaluates international students’ reading, listening and writing skills in a short period time. However, Joan Chamberlin, the director of intensive English and orientation program, IEOP said that “ the mandatory nature of the test lead to an unhealthy obsession among international students with TOEFL, TOEFL is of limited ability. It tests how fast you can read, some grammar or some vocabulary, but it doesn’t help you with the real problems you have to face once you’ve passed it.”

Take me as an example, the first language barrier occurred was when I order a subway meal. Even though Subways provides for customers varieties of vegetable which I can all recognized in Chinese, I couldn’t name them in English, such as Jalapenos, Black Olives, Pickles and Avocado. The only way to tell server that I don’t want these ingredients is to say “ no this, no this , and no that one.” Afterward, to avoid this embarrassing experience happen again, I checked all the ingredients in dictionary and practice the pronunciation repeatedly. TOEFL is a standardized test, although many student received a outstanding score in their speaking section, they could still face the language barrier in the real life. The skills that you learned to pass the exam is not enough to handle the problems in the real life. Therefore, international students can learn more from their daily life though overcoming the language barrier.

Even though students may feel anxiety when they step first foot on foreign soil because of language barrier, culture difference and the new environment that is unfamiliar to them, getting into a new place by yourself still can be an unforgettable experience, and this is a significant progress in their learning age. Studying abroad is an opportunity to enrich yourself which could learn a new language and understand a different culture, it helps a little boy become a mature, independent, responsible man, its helps a young age student gain new perspectives about this world, it helps students pursuit academic success at highly prestigious universities. Thus, studying abroad is definitely beneficial for students personally and professionally in their future.


Works Cite

Yan, Kun and David C. Berliner. “Chinese International Students in the United States: Demographic Trends, Motivations, Acculturation Features and Adjustment Challenges.” Asia Pacific Education Review, no. 2, 2011. EBSCOhost, 0-search.ebscohost.com.ignacio.usfca.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.263295106&site=eds-live&scope=site.

Chiang-nan Chao1, chaoc@stjohns.edu, et al. “Chinese Students’ Motivations for Studying in the United States.” Journal of International Students, vol. 7, no. 2, Mar/Apr2017, pp. 257–269. EBSCOhost, 0-search.ebscohost.com.ignacio.usfca.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eue&AN=121135265&site=eds-live&scope=site.

Harvard University. “Graduate Speaker Jiang He | Harvard Commencement 2016.” YouTube, 26 May 2016.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM2HMoK5aIU

Melissa, Pamer. “Trio Accused of Torturing Fellow Student From China in Rowland Heights Are Sentenced ”

http://ktla.com/2016/02/17/trio-accused-of-torturing-fellow-student-from-china-in-rowland-heights-are-sentenced/

David,Gerhold. “English language can be a barrier for international students”

http://www.iowastatedaily.com/news/article_cbe6123c-5303-11e3-914c-0019bb2963f4.html

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