chinese students in usA recent CCTV news report revealed that on  July 17th, “a 19 year old Chinese student in Italy unexpectedly died.” The news caused a surge of public commentary. Most internet users felt sorry for this young girl, but there were those who took delight in the tragedy.

One internet user commented, “I’ve been very safe growing up at home. I don’t have money to go abroad, so being poor is kind of good luck. I have no sympathy for this kind of stuff. She deserved to die, anyway, they’re all second-generation rich!” Reading such words, one really can’t help but gasp. Such cold blood? Such hate for the rich? Or is some deeper psychological issue at play? Is study abroad really the exclusive right of second-generation rich?


Study abroad is not just for second-generation now

Many people think that only “rich people” with “wealthy family background” choose to study abroad. So how much does it cost to study abroad after all? Can someone “scrape together” enough money? Let’s look at what it costs to study abroad in various countries.

The United States has the world’s largest collection of higher education establishments, and many students hope to study there. There is a large range of tuitions for schools in the United States, with yearly tuition at public schools ranging from 70,000 to 150,000 RMB per year. Private schools are comparatively somewhat higher, from about 150,000 to 200,000 RMB per year. Living expenses are according to personal need and city of location. Generally, second-tier US cities are about 70,000 RMB per year for an individual, while in New York and other larger cities, living expenses can be kept under 120,000 RMB. Overall, if a student chooses to go to a public school in a second-tier city, expenses can be kept within about 200,000 RMB a year. If you’re an MA student on a two-year program, 400,000 RMB can cover all your study abroad expenses. Students who have the chance to work or apply for scholarships can lighten the burden of their expenses, sometimes even by half.

Canada and Australia are superior to the United States in terms of immigration. In recent years, Australia and Canada have also become hotspots for study abroad. Australia, for example, has undergraduate tuitions of between 120,000 and 150,000 RMB per year, with graduate tuitions about 20,000 to 30,000 higher. In terms of living expenses, about 80,000 to 100,000 RMB is enough for a student. Although it’s not as easy to apply for Australian scholarships as it is to apply for US scholarships, there’s not much difference in terms of the time required. An MA student on a one-year program, 200,000 RMB should be enough. If you want to save a bit more, work-study programs are’t a bad choice. Don’t be shocked if you’ve heard some people spend 100,000 RMB on an Australian MA. Work-study programs allow students from less wealthy families go abroad to continue their studies.

With the development of China’s economy and the increase of the RMB’s exchange rate, study abroad is no longer only for the rich. Many people are relying on their own hard work to fulfill their study abroad dream. Also, as the funds necessary to live in some big cities in China are rising rapidly, the difference between the cost of studying in China and studying abroad is getting steadily decreasing.


Respect life & reject “hatred of the wealthy”

As for those who die abroad, we should mourn and express sympathy. This is respect for life. The cold-blooded and sneering crowd that delights in tragedy either suffers from “sour grapes” mentality or is dissatisfied with real life. No matter what, she has died, and we hope respect for life can be maintained, and those who hold a “rich hating” mentality can refrain from being heartless spectators.


Original publication date: 7/18/2013


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Original publication date: 2/21/13

chinese students in usZhejiang Online-Qianjiang Evening News: Zoe, a teacher of English language and literature at the University of California, recently told reporters about an old colleague who loved teaching. The teacher was very old, but still unwilling to retire (in the United States, professors are employed for life, and decide themselves when to retire). Recently, the professor started to consider retiring.

What made him decide to retire was foreign students from China. The number of students from China has been growing and growing, and they are too quiet while in class. Teaching is no longer fun. What’s more, when individual Chinese students feel their grades aren’t good, they try giving bribes and requesting grade changes, which the old American professor finds very off-putting.

From his perspective, American students are picky about grades too, but they generally make arguments with him. If they argue well, he’s happy, and if not, it’s no problem. But a small portion of the Chinese students plainly asked for falsification, sometimes for changing grades, other times for changing class attendance records.

Zoe feels the same. He found that Chinese students stay with one another on campus. They aren’t good at getting together with non-Chinese students, and often have their own parties and activities. Some Chinese students don’t take part in class discussions because their English language level is low, even to the point that they can’t regularly attend class. Some of his American students aren’t willing to take elective classes in which many Chinese students have enrolled.

The past three years has seen a surge of Chinese students, especially the number of Chinese completing undergraduate studies in the United States, which has increased threefold to become the largest group of foreign students in the country. For example, in 2011, Ohio State University received nearly 29 thousand undergraduate applications; Mount Holyoke College could fill an entire large lecture hall with its Chinese students… but are there really so many well-off families whose children have great English here in China?

In order to satisfy the study abroad requirements of many students, study abroad agencies in China have been committing fraud, and especially when it comes to English language test scores and the oral language abilities of students, there is a mismatch. This has caused some students serious problems for Chinese students with lower abilities in understanding the lectures of professors when attending universities abroad, not to mention active participation in class discussion. “Some professors say they have no choice but to change their teaching methods,” Zoe told reporters.

So, how do students at foreign universities see the Chinese students around them?

Recently, a group of students from Canada’s University of Regina at Jiliang University of China’s Foreign Languages Institute completed a month-long Chinese language and culture exchange program. Before leaving, several Canadian students told reporters, “It’s fun over here in China, we made a lot of friends. We like our life here, studying Chinese, paper cutting, calligraphy, reading The Analects, making dumplings, and learning local folk dances. It’s a bit busier here, no wonder the Chinese students in Canada are also always so busy.”

Canadian student David used to be a policeman, and was also previously an engineer. He taught English in Seoul as well. He came to China to study Chinese purely out of personal interest, and wants to experience different cultures.

From David’s perspective, the Chinese students at University of Regina seem very busy, and very directed. David said, “Every day I can see Chinese students actively taking part in all sorts of activities, going to work, and practicing English. They’re always busy with all sorts of things, whether it’s in order to adjust to the environment as quickly as possible, improve their English level, pay their year’s study abroad expenses, or find a good job when they return home. They’re a little different from us local Canadian students, we have a lot of leisure time.”

During this study abroad craze, shouldn’t students on the verge of setting off think twice about how they plan to embark on their educational journey?



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