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Chinese Parents: Change your view about top universities in America.

Popularity 12Viewed 8373 times 2014-3-13 01:49 |System category:Life| University, procedure, knowledge, education, families

When I ask my Chinese friends about what cities they know in America, most say the east coast big cities like New York, Chicago, Boston, etc. Because of the limited knowledge on America, talking to parents of students can be a frustrating procedure. They typically think that their child is the top of the high school class, they should attend schools like Harvard, Yale, New York University or other top schools. I really consider this a huge problem for Chinese education, and more Chinese families and companies should change their views on this subject.

Chinese students can thrive in smaller universities for several reasons:

1. Your child won't be just a number.
I went to a very large and reputable university for my bachelors. It was a great experience, but none of the professors knew my name and some of my classes had 200+ students in them. It will be easy for your child to be unmotivated and not even go to class.
2. Your child will focus more on education.        
Big cities have big distractions. Chinese students want to have fun, and without pressures from their families whose going to stop them from doing whatever they want all the time?
3. Your child won't be able to make their own Chinese community making it difficult to be exposed to a new culture.
Big cities have many Chinese people, which you might think is good, but it's actual very bad. Your child will likely not meet many foreigners which means his or her English and school will be greatly effected. I've met many Chinese who went abroad for studying who have terrible English skills. This is why.
4. Your child will have modern peace.      
Small cities in America are not like the ones in China. They will have everything you child needs to live and have plenty of fun. Besides, many of the small towns are the prettiest places. A small town university may be your child's only opportunity to experience this in their life since China's population is through the roof.
5. You will keep more of your money and the rewards will be almost the same.
It's cheaper. Everything will be cheaper. Your child will still find a wonderful job. Maybe even a better job since they could focus on school and learn a lot.

China is based a lot on the idea that you should do what other people want to do, but if your a parent reading this, I challenge you to be different.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-3-13 04:43
The ultimate saving which I know takes a lot of convincing Chinese parents of, is to go to the USA for a 4 year degree, doing first two years in the academic transfer side at a caring community college, then transfer for upper division ( last 2 years) to a good university. Massive tuition fee savings first two years and the students are taught by well qualified teachers, not teaching assistants (professors' graduate students), for the lower division courses.
Reply Report voice_cd 2014-3-13 17:46
Thanks for sharing your story here! We have highlighted your story to the homepage.
Reply Report olivia-88116 2014-3-13 18:09
your story here is really something; really  useful
Reply Report Maierwei 2014-3-14 00:13
Very informative. But unfortunately not only in China but in many developing countries, sending your child abroad to study is for the name. Especially for the rich. So if the school has to be famous. In China here are many Korean students doing 4 year undergrad degrees not because they couldn't pass the entrance exam in Korea, but because they couldn't get enough points to go to a reputable school in Korea. Sad fact...
Reply Report KIyer 2014-3-14 01:16
very, very good points! I can testify to this from personal experience. I went to one of the small universities in the USA and had some of the best learning experience!  The USA is a mature country in education - they know the best can come from ANY university there.
Reply Report 3021.info 2014-3-14 08:08
In my opinion, If have chance to the top schools, that's great. if not, the small universities is another choice. It depends on what you want.
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-3-14 15:38
3021.info: In my opinion, If have chance to the top schools, that's great. if not, the small universities is another choice. It depends on what you want.
And on what you can afford! The tuition fees at some of the top universities .. Especially Ivy League in USA - are staggering over 4 years. It is not obvious that there is a return on that investment financially at present since employers are not keen to pay returning Chinese a big premium on salary. Of course there is the status symbol of going to an Ivy League place but how do people know that all the time given traditional Chinese modesty?
Reply Report Dr.Bill.Shen 2014-3-16 03:01
ColinSpeakman: And on what you can afford! The tuition fees at some of the top universities .. Especially Ivy League in USA - are staggering over 4 years. It is not  ...
All private schools including Ivys are close in terms of tuition. Most expensive is actually NYU, believe or not.
Reply Report i'love'YOU 2014-3-19 04:50
China is a most populous country and the gap between rich and poor ,that large educational disparities disvantage urban-rural development.
Reply Report mattwritenow 2014-3-19 14:55
ColinSpeakman: The ultimate saving which I know takes a lot of convincing Chinese parents of, is to go to the USA for a 4 year degree, doing first two years in the a ...
I know community colleges can sometimes be especially accepting for foreign students. Although I mostly agree with you, I'm not sure it'll happen. I can only dream what I'm recommending in the blog will come to fruition.
Reply Report mattwritenow 2014-3-19 14:56
olivia-88116: your story here is really something; really  useful
Thank you!
Reply Report mattwritenow 2014-3-19 15:00
Maierwei: Very informative. But unfortunately not only in China but in many developing countries, sending your child abroad to study is for the name. Especially ...
I think it's true too because in America employers care more about experience than the school (perhaps too much). Chinese and Korean students leave school with usually no work experience while Americans are expected to have been working in their fields for 1-2+ years.
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-3-19 15:57
mattwritenow: I think it's true too because in America employers care more about experience than the school (perhaps too much). Chinese and Korean students leave sc ...
Yes in USA, surveys of universities tend to rank by field: best Business degrees, best in Engineering, best MBAs. Go to a famous school overall but not highly ranked in the field you studied and you do not gain much in America. Yet in China parents only care
about the name of the school, not its reputation in the field the student is in. If you think about it a university cannot be the best in every area - that would require intense gathering of top academics and research projects to the same few places.
Reply Report remitrom 2014-3-25 10:27
University education can be over-rated.  So many USA graduates cannot find a job using their education.
People who know how to use tools and their hands become more in demand. So few make product.
and would have difficulty finding a shop to sell even if they did. there is little "market Economy" in USA.
  So people find a desk job. But what value is created?
The job market is much different where there is growth.
Reply Report remitrom 2014-3-25 11:53
Job !!! someone say JOB !  the real intention of getting a good Education is to get the best "job" at the end?
Assuming the now educated young adult is coming back to China; What are his prospects?  What did he learn
that can give him advantage?   The individuals experience is the education. The school may look good on paper,
and can document fields of study, and statistical achievements, however falls short on measuring in-tangibles.
A young person thrust into a new culture, with a different language and customs has many choices to make.
Will they explore the culture, do what the natives do? or just go to a boarding school and associate with other
students and study continuously from the course material.  The total experience is the education, not the certificate.
From what I have seen of the ones coming back,, the most successful are the ones that speak fluent American English.  
and have gained a much wider perspective from having lived in at least two cultures.
They are confident and good communicators.
Travel and exploration is educating and should not be overlooked.
IMHO

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