ISV Ambassador, Lu Sun follows up with four Chinese students and how studying in the United States changed their lives.
It can be seen that more and more Chinese students are studying abroad. From 2006 to 2013, the number of students taking undergraduate courses in the United States has grown from 9,309 to 93,768, and graduate students have grown from 47,617 to 103,505. People choosing to study abroad have different reasons but they have been changed after studying abroad.
Becoming open-minded is the main change for international students.
Rena once studied at State University of New York and when she graduated, she gave up the opportunity of working in China. Instead, she chose to work in the USA. After working for a year, she looks like a confident modern girl wearing leather jacket and short skirt, driving to work by herself.
“I know I will come back to China one day, but it is not now,” she said. “The best thing I loved in America is no one will treat you as a strange ‘monkey.’ Special character is encouraged here. America is a multicultural country, your religion, traditional custom, even special accent would be accepted here,” Rena said with a smile. “It was really different from China. In my 25 years of life, I was taught to be a gentlewoman, to study hard and get full scores as an exemplary girl. But in America, I found I can be who I was. When I had some creative ideas, my American friends would think I was excellent,” Rena said.
For the ones who go back to China immediately after studying abroad, their minds and lives have been changed, too.
Qing Sun graduated from Columbia University and teaches TOEFL writing in New Oriental Education & Technology Group (EDU) in Beijing,
China, now. After studying abroad, she choose the current job with an ideal salary instead of a editor or reporter with a household registration.
“My choice is more realistic because I have responsibility to support my parents,” Qing said. “The experience of studying in the USA changed my attitude about how to live. Once, I was a traditional girl has the single and boring direction about my future, applying a famous university and
finding a decent job. After studying abroad, I found job is not the only way to mark a person and I would like to treat my working as a skill of surviving. It is really helpful to develop my interests by earning money. Hobby is the most important, ” she explained.
As an excellent teacher, Qing was respected by her students who like preparing their surprising gifts and sharing their secrets to this young teacher.
“I should thank the professional training from Columbia University teaching me how to creative and organize writing. All the knowledge I learned from the writing class and the guidance from the writing center can be used to my teaching career currently, ”Qing said.
The experience studying abroad can bring some opportunities for international students to get ideal jobs.
Yuan Ma, the girl graduated from Boston University, works in The Beijing News now. As she said, her education background did help her find the current job, which requires a person excels at both English and Chinese.
“Journalism in China seems a little bit different from that in the United States. What I have learned, however, does have deeply influenced what I am doing right now. It is journalism professionalism that helped me to be punctual, prudent, responsible and objective,” Yuan said.
But Yuan suffered a period of hard time to be used to new environment, because it is not an easy thing to get the master degree in the U.S.A absolutely.
“As a Chinese student who did not share the same cultural root with that of America, I also had culture shock when I first came to the United States. The worse thing was that I studied Journalism in the U.S.A, which compared with other majors required you to know more things about the United States such as politics, laws, economy and so on,” she said. But these difficult elements improved Yuan’s professional skills at the same time. “ I found that the biggest change for me after studying abroad was I have become much more independent than before. As soon as we started the class, our professor right away sent us cover stories, which, were stressful and exciting for international students who was studying Journalism like me,” Yuan said.
Even the ones who have short experience studying abroad have harvest.
“I think the most important thing for me is learning how to survive wherever,” said Xue Hang, who was an exchange student at Mississippi College. “In my first semester, I couldn’t adapt to live in the USA. I couldn’t understand the courses and even saw my progress in English. I thought a fool might learn much faster than me. But after three months I felt everything changing. When I could catch the language, I found life became wonderful.” The chair of the communication department, professor Fortenberry praised Xue too. “She was very smart and very hard working,” he said. “Now I have the confidence to live everywhere,” Xue said.
During Xue’s second semester, she traveled to Mexico by herself because she had enough brave to challenge her life. The first thing she did after coming back to China was to travel to Tibet. “I cannot imagine to do these crazy things before. But the studying abroad experience makes me know more about myself and I like to challenge fresh things instead of changeless life now, ” she said.