Greetings and Happy New Year!
For those of you that didn’t know, January 31st marks the first day of the Year of the Horse. In the Chinese zodiac, horses are best known for striving toward self-improvement, a trait shared among many Chinese students. Take for example, these students’ borderline terrifying methods for staying awake during late-night study sessions.
Chinese New Year also spurs the world’s largest annual human migration. In the education world, perhaps the largest migration took place last weekend when 10,000 Mainland Chinese students traveled to Hong Kong to take the SAT.
It’s always a shame when the study abroad experience doesn’t live up to students’ expectations, especially when their dissatisfaction stems from preventable problems such as, “rampant partying, illicit drugs and racial discrimination.” These types of articles will certainly increase, and should serve as an early wakeup call for any institutions enrolling Chinese students.
After the initial culture shock, it’s not long before students face a major consideration: where to live after graduation: return to China or remain abroad? Language, employment, culture, reintegration, and familial expectations make it a difficult decision.
If US luxury brands could have their say, they would like for Chinese students to stay, if they visit China often. “Last year, Bergdorf Goodman, an upscale department store in New York, sponsored the Chinese New Year celebrations at Columbia and New York University.” One student “recalls having to bring two full suitcases of goods for her friends, relatives, and parents’ colleagues every time she went back to China during her college years.”
That’s it for January. Best wishes for a prosperous Year of the Horse!
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