American students lose interest in studying in China

I suspect we’ll see the same issues popping up in language and study abroad programs all over the world soon.  In my experiences, students are studying abroad more for the “tourism” benefit than an actual career or learning interest these days. So naturally, places like France and England would be becoming more attractive.  Sadly, I think China is an amazing place to visit regardless of whether it gets you the job in the future. I wish more people would come here; they would find that a lot of what they think they know is actually wrong and it is significant in expanding your horizons. Sometimes it is good to get a point of view of the world from a non-western place.  You would be surprised at how your approach to life and world politics/business/life changes.  Oh well, more job opportunities for me 🙂 **DB

“American students lose interest in studying in China”

via “South China Morning Post

American students' interest in language studies in China is waning. Photo: Imaginechina

Americans are getting cold feet about studying Chinese in China, with many study abroad programmes experiencing a substantial drop in enrolment.

At the University of California Education Abroad Programme (UCEAP), student enrolment in programmes in China is expected to be less than half the level it was four years ago. Washington-based CET, another study abroad group, says interest in China has been falling since 2013.

The apparent waning of interest worries some China watchers. Given the importance of the US-China relationship, having a group of Americans across various industries who speak Chinese and understand the culture is “a matter of national interest”, says Robert Daly, director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Centre in Washington.

“We can’t respond coherently, effectively and fully to China unless we understand China on its own terms,” he said.

The Institute of International Education says the number of US students studying in China fell 3.2 per cent in 2012-13 to 14,413, even as overall study abroad numbers rose modestly.

American students’ apparent loss of interest contrasts with Chinese students’ clamour for a US education. The number of Chinese studying in the US jumped 16.5 per cent in 2013-14 to more than 274,000.

For US students, China’s notorious pollution is a concern. Job opportunities are another. As multinationals in China hire mostly locals, a growing percentage of whom have studied abroad, they have less need for foreigners who speak Chinese.

“I came to China thinking I could learn Chinese and get a high-paying job. I learned very quickly that was not the case,” said Ian Weissgerber, a 25-year-old American graduate student in China. . . .

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Decisions: Study Abroad vs. Winter Sports

“Decisions: Study Abroad vs. Winter Sports”

by Liz Varoli via “The College Voice

Credit: James Lafortezza

Having the opportunity to study abroad during college is one of the main attractions for students who attend Connecticut College. Studying abroad is known to be one of the most amazing times of a student’s college experience. Over 50% of students at Conn take advantage of this opportunity either through programs offered by Conn or through programs offered by other schools.

Traditionally, students choose the fall or spring semester to spend four months learning, traveling and developing as a student in a different country. At Conn, student athletes who play a fall sport are able to study abroad during the spring semester while student athletes who play a spring sport are able to study abroad during the fall semester. Except this academic split between the fall and the spring leaves the student athletes who play winter sports with a challenging decision as the winter sport season is spread over both semesters. Winter sports usually begin Nov 1 and go through the winter break and often through February. No matter which semester winter athletes study abroad, they will be missing a part of their sports season.

The question is: when an athlete commits to play on a winter sports team does it mean s/he automatically sacrificed his/her opportunity to study abroad? Playing a sport at the collegiate level is a huge commitment. Athletes agree to dedicate a large chunk of their time to practices, games and traveling which can jeopardize their schoolwork and social lives. Many people do not realize is that athletes who play winter sports may be jeopardizing some of their educational opportunities. During a sports season, student athletes make the decision to put their commitment to their team before almost everything else. Coaches get angry when their athletes miss practices because an absent teammate can change team dynamics and missing an entire half of a season can put an athlete and their team, at a disadvantage.

In contrast to these expectations, many athletes at Conn have risked this all in order to travel abroad. Many athletes have found that they are able to study abroad while also playing for their teams and maintaining their commitment.  . . . .

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In Defense Of: Not Studying Abroad

“In Defense Of: Not Studying Abroad”

by Courtney Coulliard via “BWOG”

Where the hell am I?! Prague?! London?!

Many students are off on their glorious study abroad trips for this Spring semester, and the feeling of being left in New York may bring some students down about. While studying abroad may feel like the latest trend, it is not necessarily the best decision for everyone. New York Lover Courtney Couillard defends deciding not to study abroad while at Columbia.

Your instagram is flooded with pictures of old buildings in Europe. People won’t stop tweeting about how their experience is the most “life changing experience they’ve ever had.” And here you are: sitting in your small dorm room and staring out the window at dreary New York weather. The beginning of Spring semester can be rough given the time of the year and post-holiday apathy towards school, but seeing pictures and hearing stories about your friends studying abroad doesn’t help. You shouldn’t feel down about not being abroad! Missing that info session about studying in London to instead drink boxed wine was one of the best decisions you’ve made. Just because all of your friends have decided to study abroad doesn’t mean that you are obligated to in your four years at Columbia; perhaps, deciding to not study abroad is the most “life changing experience” you will make.

My biggest critique is the fact that we live in New York City. For most, including my New Hampshire soul, attending college in this city is like studying abroad every semester. New York provides endless opportunities to have fun, learn outside the classroom, and escape your comfort zone. While it may be bold or scary living abroad for a semester, it is also those things deciding to create a life in New York. Your friends may be bragging about their great weekend trips to every country in Europe, but you can do just the same exploring the different boroughs and neighborhoods outside of Morningside Heights. Just like your abroad friends, it is up to you to take advantage of the new territory you are staying in and get as much as you can out of it during your time here.

New York may not be the cheapest city in the world, but the decision to study abroad could be a costly decision that not all students are able to afford. Your bank account could dry up quickly while abroad with all of the restaurants you will visit and souvenirs you will want to buy. You may also pay more than you would at Columbia to attend a program or college abroad, potentially not receiving sufficient financial aid. Your work study job won’t follow you to another country either. Ultimately, studying abroad is very much so a fiscal privilege and not all students can afford such a luxurious decision. But that’s ok! Use your student ID and go to The Met for free. You’ll be just as cultured as your friend in France. And richer.

Finally, most people brag that the greatest perk to studying abroad is the “experience” and how that can be so valuable to their future as both a student and person. Never diminish how brave you are for deciding to live in New York, especially if you are not originally from the city. Just as scary as it is for your friend to immerse themselves in a foreign language or visit small villages in distant countries, simply walking the streets of New York is an example of you putting yourself out there into a different world and learning.

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4 signs you should NOT study abroad

“4 signs you should NOT study abroad”

by Varsity Tutors via “USA Today College”

ParisStudyAbroad

As you likely realize, studying abroad is a popular educational experience. Many colleges and universities offer an array of interesting overseas programs, and they encourage their students to take advantage at least once during the course of their academic careers.

Study abroad programs range in duration from several days to a year — or, in rare instances, longer. They take place in virtually every country and on every continent (including Antarctica!).

You may wonder if you should study abroad, but before you begin packing your bags, check for the following four signs that may indicate an overseas experience is not for you.

1. You easily become homesick

Certain individuals simply do not enjoy being far from home for long periods of time. It can be difficult to leave your family members, friends—and pets!—for months or weeks. Prolonged feelings of homesickness can cause anxiety and emotional distress, which can sometimes lead to physical illness. None of this is pleasant to experience, especially if you are living abroad. These negative feelings can often be overcome with stress management techniques like deep breathing. It is also likely that you will have an instructor or classmates present on your trip who can help you cope with these feelings. However, you may wish to rethink an overseas experience if you have had persistent trouble with homesickness in the past.

2. You dislike change and uncertainty

Studying abroad will force you out of your comfort zone. Your day-to-day experiences, no matter how well planned, will be at least somewhat unpredictable as you attempt to navigate life in a foreign country. While overseas, you will likely encounter customs, food and languages far different from those to which you are accustomed. A dislike of change and uncertainty can contribute to stress, just like homesickness. If you are easily upset by unpredictable and unfamiliar situations, studying abroad is perhaps not the best idea. . . . .

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