Resources for Educators who are recruiting and enrolling students from China in the USA.
Published On: Wed, Feb 24th, 2016

For the Chinese, studying abroad is a huge commitment and investment. Is it worth investing in an American education?

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“The number of Chinese students in the US rose from 81,127 in 2007/08 to 304,040 in 2014/15, an increase of 275 per cent in seven years, according to the Institute of International Education.” However, with the slowdown in China’s economic growth, recent stock market crashing and poor job prospects (OPT) for these students here in USA, more Chinese families are starting to ask if it is worth investing in a U.S. Education? In a recent article from the South China Morning Post “this year, nearly 100,000 Chinese will graduate from U.S. universities. Most want to work in the U.S. at least for a few years before returning home. However, given the job search challenges, many are forced to return before they can gain any work experience. On return, many “sea turtles” question the value of the investment in studying abroad.” http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1909350/poor-job-prospects-chinese-students-it-still-worth-investing

With this unprecedented rise of international students came the challenges of integrating them not just academically but socially and professionally (in career development). While institutions require international students to pay double the tuition, many have failed to adapt and provide the services these students need to find CPT and OPT. Most of the Career Services departments on college campuses are inundated with domestic student requests that they rarely have enough time allocated to international students. UC Berkeley given it’s numbers of international students was one of the first campuses to develop a career services program catering to their growing international students. Since so many domestic students are not attracted by STEM majors, these departments are predominantly filled by international students. However, the validity of the STEM extension programme is now facing legal and political uncertainty, potentially affecting the nearly 40% of Chinese students in STEM programmes.

I think that over the course of the next 3 years, institutions need to expand career services to cater to more international students if we want them to keep coming and paying double the tuition. That means, there has to be real efforts made to create apprenticeship programs with companies who have business in China and would appreciate a student who is bilingual for CPT or OPT. Educators should sit down with the Chinese Consulate to figure out how Chinese companies based in U.S. can also create internship programs within the restrictions of the F-1 visa.

Given that for every 5 international student who comes here to study and only 1 of our student going abroad, we really do need to keep our international students happy on campus so that our students can learn from them and Tuition costsstay competitive in today’s global economy.

Irene Tieh
USA College Connection

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