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Study abroad? Do your homework first

更新时间:2011-08-30    来源/发布:www.en369.cn    作者/编辑:英语作文网

On The University of Bath's website are case studies for international students. One describes a Chinese student who came to the university to get a management degree. He says that his experience in England set him apart and gave him an international outlook which allowed him to secure an impressive position with Pricewaterhouse Coopers when he returned to Chongqing,a municipality of southwestern China.

This is the type of result most Chinese students coming to the UK and the parents sending them hope to achieve. It doesn't always work out this way though. The Higher Education Statistics Agency reports that over 55,000 Chinese students come to the UK, the largest number from any foreign country. These attend boarding schools, smaller private education institutions, and different Universities. But is their decision to study here worthwhile?

Of course, the different universities and schools will tell you that it is. They have much money to gain from these students. A 2007 survey found that while British undergraduates pay an average of £3,070(RMB32,576 yuan), their foreign counterparts are charged up to £17,000(RMB180,257 yuan). Top boarding schools make £30,000(RMB31,810 yuan) a year per student. Overall Chinese students contribute more than £550 million to the UK economy, so there's a significant financial interest in assuring potential students that the experience is enriching.

The opinion I have formed teaching Chinese students in a language school and observing Chinese fellow students at university is more mixed. Some students I taught appeared lost. They had little understanding of why they were in the UK, except a vague notion that they were learning English or getting A-levels. They were cut off from family and there was nobody to guide them in what they were doing. They had been plunged into a disorientating and very different world.

The result was that they had a weak foundation and motivation for study. They attended classes erratically, shuffling in late to those when they did come. They would find it hard to focus and often lack even pens to write with. Although they were here for many months, they made little progress picking up the language. Some Chinese students attending Universities in England struggle in similar ways and reports suggest they underperform academically as a result.

These Chinese students might also hope to gain skill in relating to people from a different country. But many struggle to connect with local people. British society can be difficult for an outsider to break into and some of these students live with working class families who are especially hard to get on with. My students told me that they hardly spoke to local people at all and after lessons finished they'd go straight home to chat online with friends in China.

Some of the Chinese university students I observed seemed similarly isolated. This is despite the fact that though the opportunity to study alongside foreigners is one of the main reasons they have come to the UK. For local students, University life has become increasingly about going to bars and drinking beer and I sense Chinese students find it hard to share in this culture.

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