International students from China need extra support, say experts

Chinese students face added challenges due to cultural attitudes. Universities can support them. Source: Shutterstock

Chinese students need extra support to succeed at universities in the US, due to being used to having everything they’ve done for them at home, ‘only-child’ syndrome and temptation to cheat on their entrance exams.

Education agents who are often enlisted by wealthy international students sometimes oversell the US as a perfect study abroad destination without explaining the level of academic rigor needed to succeed, according to student agency WholeRen’s Chief Learning Officer, Andrew Cheng.

Chinese students can then find it difficult to adjust to the workload and cultural challenges, causing them to fall behind their peers, Cheng told The Pie News.

“This generation of Chinese students are typically a single child and they come from a totally different education system to this country. There is language and culture shock.

“Also they are rich. They have the resources so a lot of the time they don’t think about their future,” said Cheng.

Chinese students are by far the biggest international student market to the US, according to Statistica, and contributed US$11.4 billion to US universities in 2016. If universities do not support Chinese students in succeeding academically, they risk seeing these numbers decline.

While China continues to send tens of thousands of international students to the US, reports suggest the growth rate of international students is beginning to slow. This may be due to more international opportunities being made available to students, visa concerns under Trump or worries about graduate outcomes.

“If schools don’t actively support them it will hurt the level of success of the Chinese students in the school.

“We have been trying to advocate that many Chinese students and their families are willing to pay extra for an add-on service, such as tutoring, activity arrangements, job advising and graduate school counselling.”

“International education does not end at recruitment. It should really be benchmarked by how successful the students and alumni are,” Cheng added.

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