China travel

Published on February 23rd, 2012 | by Paz


Study in China: As White House Pushes Study Abroad in China

Everyday I work with adults and students interested in moving, studying, and living in America. They are eager to learn and educate themselves on how to assimilate into American society and do business. I also work as a Cross Cultural Consultant helping Americans move to China, however these jobs are not as frequent and ironically sometimes don’t pay as much. 

What I find most interesting is that the type of person/family that wants their child to learn English and study in America crosses all socioeconomic levels. My clients are all very different, from their jobs, homes, lifestyle, and beliefs. When I work with my Americans who want to come to China they are all much much more similar. They are all around the same income bracket, have similar beliefs and share a more international background. My conclusion is that many people in America don’t think or even know about the possibilities in China because they have not been exposed to the idea or lifestyle of traveling abroad.

I believe that this needs to change. Here is a great article about how the White House is planning on doing to increase exchange programs with China. Interesting fact 10 times more Chinese students come to study in China every year than Americans going to China. That is a huge gap….

As White House Pushes Study Abroad in China, Educators Question the Logistics

 An Obama administration goal to double the number of Americans studying in China by 2014 got a high-profile endorsement on Wednesday from Michelle Obama, who called such student exchanges “a key component of this administration’s foreign-policy agenda” in a speech at Howard University.

International educators’ excitement at this national spotlight on study abroad, however, is tempered by serious concerns about the achievability of such an ambitious target.

For one, the administration is putting forward a challenge but no cash, saying that financial support for the effort will come from the private sector. And getting large numbers of students to study in China—particularly those from groups that infrequently go overseas, like minority and community-college students, as the president has called for—will require the expansion of foreign-study programs in China and of curricular offerings in Chinese language, culture, and politics on American campuses.

Those changes can’t happen overnight, experts say.

“That’s a big ask,” Mitch Leventhal, vice chancellor for global affairs at the State University of New York, said of the president’s plan.

Mr. Obama originally announced the drive to increase study in China during a trip to that country a year ago. But while Carola McGiffert, director of what is now called the 100,000 Strong Initiative, said the administration was having conversations during that time with international-education groups, there was little public discussion about the plan.

This newly vigorous public push to raise study-abroad rates coincides with a visit here by Chinese President Hu Jintao, whose government will offer 10,000 scholarships to American high-school and college students.

About 13,000 American students now study annually in China, according to statistics from the Institute of International Education, making it the fifth most popular destination for overseas study and one of the fastest growing. But 10 times more Chinese students come to the United States for educational programs than Americans study in China.

Prior to Ms. Obama’s speech, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sent a letter to major higher-education organizations, calling on colleges and study-abroad providers to double the number of students they send to China by 2014. More than 400 colleges have so far promised to do so, Ms. McGiffert said.

Need for Better Preparation

Brian J. Whalen, president of the Forum on Education Abroad, a membership association of American and overseas colleges and independent education-abroad providers, said he wonders whether presidents and chancellors making the pledge understand the changes that will have to happen on their campuses to meet the goal.

Although a number of Chinese universities and study-abroad programs are holding classes in English, many American colleges will need to increase their Chinese-language offerings if more students are to be proficient enough to function in Chinese-only classrooms, Mr. Whalen said. About 61,000 American students are enrolled in Chinese-language courses, according to the Modern Language Association. read more...


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About the Author

Paz is an avid adventurer in life and food. Traveling across the globe with her family they enjoy cultural immersion and checking out the local eateries.

5 Responses to Study in China: As White House Pushes Study Abroad in China

  1. Joanna says:

    Hi Paz,
    I live near a university here in Canada and there are many, many Chinese nationals (and those from other countries) studying here (that’s how I met my Mandarin tutor!). I’m hoping my kids will want to study or at least travel abroad when they are older. With studying though, the main obstacle is foreign student fees. I know the foreign students here pay many times more for tuition than residents. Do you find that the same in China?

    • Paz says:

      Joanna, This is a great question and the answer is yes and no. If you go through your normal channels of applying for overseas study you always pay through the nose…even in China. However, there are a lot of people here that came on their own and then you pay the normal Chinese prices…which are tons cheaper than what you would pay for the same school through your exchange program. I did this my freshman year of college and probably saved 20K. I did have to have all of my transcripts translated and had to do the leg work myself…but worth 20K. 🙂 I know your kids will get the adventure bug after being in China for a while!

  2. Angela White says:

    I totally agree that Americans are not exposed to the idea of traveling abroad to many countries, especially China. Really kind of sad. I think it would be fabulous if colleges or high schools made it a requirement to travel to another country. It not only makes you appreciate some aspects of American life (we are really spoiled in many ways that we take for granted), but also helps you realize we’re really all the same regardless of income, race, geography, religion, etc. Abe and Lupita will grow up with such a different view of the world – in a good way! Which is totally awesome.

    • Paz says:

      I TOTALLY agree. We don’t realize how much we have until we see how many are truly out there with so much less than us. It is amazing….and sad. We think they will either love and appreciate the world or live in a box. lol

  3. Annie Andre says:

    i grew up in a very international house i’m half Thai and French Canadian and my step mother who raised me is from Taiwan.

    Growing up i was very sad to be the only person who had grand plans to live abroad and see the world. To be honest i kept my ideas to myself because my wishes didn’t resonate with the other little kids.
    I wanted to go to Taiwan but ended up living in Japan for 3 years after high school which at the time was like wanting to go to Mars.
    So I’m so glad that awareness is being raised about places abroad but especially about China. I absolutely adore the chinese culture. My Mandarin is very rusty these days but if i could i would live there in a second. One country at a time for the moment though.
    Annie Andre recently posted..Adventures In France Video #3: Who Moved My Cheddar Cheese?My Profile

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