Working in China is an isolating experience sometimes and that’s why I love conferences!
Last month, there was a sea of both familiar and new faces at NACAC and SSATB. Funny enough, it sometimes feels like I never left China as China is still on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Case in point, the Chronicle picked up one attendee’s answer when asked to name the conference’s hottest topic: ‘China, China, China.’
So we know the admissions process is really difficult for Chinese kids, but assimilating into US culture, the US education system, and US campuses can be even harder as we learned with first hand accounts from 1,000 Chinese freshmen at Michigan State University (paywall) .
To address shifting student demographics, MSU’s signs now have Mandarin Chinese characters, dining halls’ menus better suit Chinese palates, and several cooks traveled to China last fall to learn how to prepare popular dishes.
Furthermore, MSU has created a documentary following several Chinese international students as they navigate college life at MSU and the United States. At Boston University, a chaplain appointed for international students “desperately [wishes she’d] learned Mandarin.”
Believe it or not, this meeting of cultures is even taking place within China’s borders. The inaugurating class of NYU Shanghai students, both international and Chinese, is learning to adjust to a US-style college experience in the Chinese metropolis. First things first, partner up with a Chinese classmate to figure out how to get your meal on, says one student recently arrived from the US…
As American kids head to Shanghai, small US towns continue to be indecisive about where to house Mainland Chinese students attending their high schools and universities. Who wouldn’t want to stay in a Hilton all through college!
In other news, July’s Asiana Airline crash is making Chinese parents reconsider summer camps acquainting their kids to the US. Some parents are taking matters into their own hands and are chaperoning their own kids for safety reasons and to keep their kids away from “Chinatown restaurants, on Fifth Avenue or outlet malls.”
If safety continues to be a big concern for parents… there is always the U.A.E!
That’s all for this month. Best of luck with your admission travel and recruitment and talk again soon!
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