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Chinese parents expect too much from their children studying in US


The number of Chinese students studying in the US has been increasing in recent years. Parents are spending large amounts of money with high expectations for their children. However, the reality is much different from what they imagine.

Limited seats at top universities

Almost all Chinese parents want their children to study in a first-class university in the US, but about 90% of these students cannot get into such universities, statistics show.

According to the 2013 Open Doors Report, the number of Chinese students in the US has reached 235,597 in 2013. However, most of the top 50 universities only recruit 1,000-2,000 students every year and Asian students account for less than 5% of their student populations.

Although US colleges and universities are open to students from all over the world, experts suggest Chinese parents should evaluate their children on an objective basis. In fact, some colleges and universities may not be so well-known, but they have good majors and professors. Even local students feel proud if they can attend these schools.

Studying without pressure?

Many Chinese people think that the students have less pressure of study in the US than in China. But the fact is that almost every overseas student suffers from great mental pressure. On the one hand, they need to think about their economic situation; on the other hand, they have to solve problems by themselves. 

Quite a few Chinese students who have got high marks in the TOFEL test still need at least 1-2 years to adjust themselves to the new language environment. They can make fast progress in oral English in the local environment, but it takes much longer to improve writing skills.

In addition, Chinese students are expected to find a good job after graduation because their parents have spent large amounts of money. Some students are forced by their parents to study abroad against their will.  

Difficult job market

Many Chinese parents and students think it’s easy to find a satisfactory job in the US after graduation. But, as the Wall Street Journal reported, nearly 70% of the Chinese students choose to come back to China upon graduation or after working for a short period of time.

In fact, the unemployment rate in the US has been at a high level in recent years. It is not easy to find a satisfactory job today. In addition, Indian students are the main rival of Chinese students in the job competition because the former’s diligence and sense of belonging are deeply admired by US employers.

Receiving an excellent education only plays a role in personal development, but it doesn’t guarantee a good job. It depends on the comprehensive ability of a student.

Prospects of getting Green Card

Many parents think the upcoming immigration reform will make it easier for science and engineering students to obtain Green Card. However, the reform is under discussion in the US Congress. The Senate has passed its own reform, but the House of Representatives doesn’t agree to give legal status to immigrants before ensuring border security. Therefore, the immigration reform is still up in the air. 

Even if the immigration reform is passed in the Congress, overseas students will need to find a job and apply for a H1B visa before they can get the Green Card. Now only 65,000 H1B visas are issued every year. Even if the immigration reform raises the number to 120,000, it will still not be enough for all students from across the world.

Because a huge number of overseas students apply for the H1B visa every year, the US Immigration and Naturalization Service needs to draw lots. Thus, getting a Green Card depends not only on academic performance, but also on luck.

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