Keywords: Study abroad, Study in USA, International student, 美国留学
As per the Hurun report, “the trend of Chinese Students Overseas in 2016 accounted for 30.57% in proportion of the total percentages from 2015 and 2016: The Undergraduate students overseas is 23.14% ranked second and the percentage of overseas middle school students is 13.76%. However, the number of overseas Primary School students has been higher than the number of students pursuing a Masters’ Degree abroad. Therefore, a phenomenon of Chinese Students study abroad has become more and more prevalent and salient.
Furthermore, a growing number of schools and universities of the United States have started to recognize the Chinese Educational System. More importantly requirements such as exam scores have become more officially recognized as collaboration between Chinese organizations and Foreign Language Institutes increase. Consequently, studying abroad at a younger age (from ages 7 to 17 years of age) has gradually grown establishing mainstream values among students and their academic decisions. In addition, China recognizing these international changes in academic trends have opened their own international acclaimed classes such as opening their own Advanced Placement Classes compared to other international academic substructures of curriculum requirements in high schools.
Based on an interview of a student who attended a private middle school in Shanghai in 2014; Alex Zhang, the interviewee studied in the international class. Alex Zhang, who’s education cost more than 20,000 Yuan equivalent to $3,000 for a one semester was four times the amount of tuition at a University in China. Due to his poor academic poor performance; his family decided that the Chinese Education System was not a suitable one for Alex. Thus, in his third year of studies, his parents sent Alex to a middle school in the United States with the assistance of an Educational Consulting Agency. However, when Alex returned to China for his breaks from studies, he only brought back a dozen pairs of limited edition sneakers. When asked about his school performance, Alex never spoke of the truth to his parents.
Throughout Alex’s interview, it became evident that studying abroad at a young age casted doubt on the benefits of a child’s education. Parents who have sent their children abroad have only lived by the experience of other parent’s success stories. They have ignored the real facts behind sending their children at such a young age to study abroad. While not paying attention to the cognitive mindset of their children.
Stephanie Luo, the Chief Executive Officer of Dream Go, Inc (a local Educational Consulting Company), located in the United States has reported statistically that during the past year; students who utilized Dream Go’s- Educational Consulting Services, has risen from 25% during 2015-2016. While most asking for consulting services geared for high school’s others asked for undergraduate school assistance. Out of the 25%, fifty percent requested service information for summer camps. Stephanie noted that it was not recommended for students to study abroad at an early developmental age. Even though most parents believe there is nothing to worry after sending their children abroad to the United State, most of these children have limited ability for proper self-care. Thus, they cannot resolve many issues regarding housing, school transfers, and communication skills. Furthermore, many Educational Consulting Services do not have a capacity to service such needs.
Dream Go, Inc has received many cases regarding these issues. More importantly, many young students who live in Homestays want to change their host family but could not reach the consulting agencies for assistance on such matters. Some of the young students have poor communicative skills thus their language skills with Americans is limited. For these kinds of students, they need to be able to practice about adaptive skills pertaining to the American culture and English language. These factors need to be keyed in before making an important decision to have young children study abroad. However, these factors are overlooked by parents, schools and students during their time of study abroad.
The phenomenon of sending younger children to study abroad is a growing one. It will spread to the future rigorously. It is necessary for the government to properly regulate the operational principle and supervision of these Educational Consulting Agencies. Studying abroad can create a better educational environment and a sophisticated foreign experience for students but whether it plays a positive role for their adaptive growth remains to be seen.