Resources for Educators who are recruiting and enrolling students from China in the USA.

101 Mistakes Made by Chinese Students

Posted By irenetieh On Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 With 0 Comments

We should not generalize a particular cultural group or race.  These mistakes do not apply to all students from China. The purpose for this list is to give educators a heads up of what to watch out for if they are a particularly large group of students on campus from China.  Each week, I will be adding to this list- stay tuned.

101. Use Agents. No understanding of the college application process. Entire application is filled out by agent and email listed is agent’s email created for student.
100. Not know why their parents want them to study in US college.
99. Not visit US campuses, or when they do, it is like a tour (ie Disneyland vs figuring out fit).  Rely only on the internet but sometimes blocked.
98. Only studying for exams in China (7 days a week at school)
97. Not having knowledge of US History
96. Not understanding differences between US education system from China’s
95. Grades and GPA (how is that calculated)? Lack of standardization or explanation.
94. Playing violin or piano (solo instruments)
93. Playing tennis or swimming (again less team oriented sports).
92. Attend cram classes instead of community service
91. What is community service? Waste of time!
90. Only pay attention to rankings (may not qualify for top ranked schools)
89. Standardized exams are the way in to a good university so must get high scores on exams.
88. Must have straight A’s to get into good university.
87. Start activities during junior year for the sake of college application.
86. No time to attend college information sessions.
85. Depend on high school to arrange the proper English classes.
84. Rely on high school to bring in college information sessions.
83. Not take initiative to find out other ways to find information about colleges.
82. Do not know what questions to ask.
81. Only considers California- LA and SF
80. Only considers Massachusetts- Boston
79. Only considers New York
78. Only considers universities vs smaller colleges
77. Told by parents what to major.
76. Considers majors such as engineering
75. Considers majors such as business
74. Considers majors such as computer science
73. Considers pre-med or science
72. Lack of understanding for Liberal Arts.
71. Lack of understanding for time zones (there is no time zone in China)
70. Under utilize student support services and classes (fear of losing face)
69. Nod in agreement but in really does not understand.
68. Afraid to make mistakes
67. Afraid to speak up or say something wrong in English
66. Prefers to memorize everything
65. What’s critical thinking?
64. How many golf balls are in Brazil? Chinese student will respond- I DON’T KNOW
63. Learn English for SAT and TOEFL-may not feel comfortable having a conversation in English.
62. Use English outside of class is foreign especially when speaking to native English speaker.
61. Use English to order food is intimidating
60. Pronunciation between R’s, L’s and N’s are all mixed up. Engrish?
59. Asks questions like grades, age or how much someone makes
58. Shows off by shopping for designer brands and attracts unwanted attention
57. Most likely target to get mugged because not paying attention when out and about, only pay attention to cell phone.
56. Texting during class
55. Uses chat apps on cell phone to socialize during class
54. Records the lecture but may not be paying attention (distracted by WeChat)
53. Uses electronic dictionary to translate
52. Does not turn ringer off during class
51. Does not manage time well.
50. Only aspiration is to get into ivy league like Harvard or Princeton or Wharton but might not be well-rounded enough to get in
49. If teacher asks too many questions, thinks that teacher is not doing their job or knows the answer.
48. Attends grammar and writing classes on campus but feel that they are the same boring classes that they took in Chinese High School. Does not understand the difference between college level writing and analysis.
47. Think that they can come to the U.S. early, before the date on I-20.
46. Once they get visa, they can do whatever they want. Change of status is non-issue since they have the actual visa in their passport.
45. Not understand OPT and the 3 month timeframe to find an internship. Leaves U.S. without finding internship but still wants to return to U.S.
44. Has OPT internship but visa expired. Wants to leave U.S. for vacation but cannot return because date on visa is expired.
43. Thinks that USA is like China with public transportation. Never learn about campus so completely lost when they arrive and not know how to get around since limited modes of transportation. Does not contact international student office to ask in advance but expects that someone will be at airport to pick them up and take them to campus.
42. Miss a connecting flight in airport because of timezones and time difference.
41. Does not understand credit and credit cards.
40. Wants to live off campus but does not prepare enough deposit for housing and rent. Does not understand the lease for the apartment. Does not know the neighborhoods around campus.
39. Thinks it is ok to lie if it does not hurt anyone. Not understand the consequence or regulations for INS, plagiarism etc.
38. Does not want parents to worry so will lie to parents about grades.
37. Thinks anything below 100 is a bad grade.
36. Thinks it is ok to copy someone else’s work and make it their own. Does not understand plagiarism.
35. Does not know how to cite or quote someone else’s work
34. Does not know how to research
33. Does not know how to work in a group for projects
32. Scared to speak to students because their English pronunciation is not good. Not know how to socialize with non-Chinese students.
31. Will give an inch and take a mile depending on relationship with others and favors. Ok to ask for favors in China but does not know if is inappropriate in USA.
30. Most do not have enough work experience to qualify for jobs with Google, Facebook, etc but all want to work for big brand.    
29. Can afford to buy expensive cars but may not know how to drive them.
28. Used to densely populated areas so may not understand space and get too close (in person or while driving).                                    
27. Does not know how to let someone go first (rush through doors without opening them for others, cut people off).                        
26. Does not queue or line up, cut in front of people instead of asking them if they are in line.
25. Does not know how to make their bed (nanny or grandparents do it for them in China). Leaves room messy.
24. Does not know how to do laundry or fold clothes (someone else did that for them in China).  Runs out of clothes and buy new clothing.
23. Not had to cook anything before since family took care of that for them in China.  May not know how to use kitchen appliances and will burn food or make a huge mess.
22. Not realize that most Americans eat cold foods like salads and sandwiches. Since Chinese food is mostly cooked (also because of food safety in China), students may not be able to eat a lot first few months and lose a lot of weight.
21. Get sick from eating dairy.  Not realize how much dairy in American diet and eat something that will make them sick because most Chinese are lactose intolerant.
20. Not able to handle alcohol and may be allergic to alcohol since lack the enzyme to process alcohol.
Not much to get drunk.







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