News / USA

Number of Chinese Students in US Dramatically Expands

Number of Chinese Students in US Dramatically Expandsi
|| 0:00:00
X
Elizabeth Lee
October 12, 2012 10:26 PM
The number of students from China studying at universities across the United States has increased dramatically. According to some statistics, the number of undergraduate students from China in the U.S. has doubled in the last two years. Economists say the trend is due, in large part, to a growing middle class in China. VOA's Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles county, with one of the largest Chinese student populations in the U.S. - totaling more than 4000 students.

Number of Chinese Students in US Dramatically Expands

Elizabeth Lee
The number of students from China studying at universities across the United States has increased dramatically. According to some statistics, the number of undergraduate students from China in the U.S. has doubled in the last two years.  Economists say the trend is due, in large part, to a growing middle class in China. Los Angeles county has one of the largest Chinese student populations in the U.S. - totaling more than 4000 students.

At the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, it is not difficult to spot students from China. They gather regularly for social events, such as this Mid-Autumn festival.

Environmental engineering student Sun Wei said he has not met many Americans because there are so many students from his home country. But he said there is a positive side to this.

“The benefit is when I arrived it doesn't take much adjusting," Wei said. "It's all Chinese.”

Opportunity and challenge

But coming to the United States is not easy for many Chinese students.

An Rupeng, a doctoral student at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, said that being away from family has been difficult him and his wife.

“We are the only child in both families. And when your parents get older, they tend to miss you a lot and miss their grandson a lot,” said An.

But An said he has enjoyed experiencing a different culture.

Ferdinando Guerra, an economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, said Chinese students have helped the local economy by contributing more than $100 million last year.  And he said they contributed more than $4.5 billion to the U.S. economy.

“The number of Chinese students studying in the United States has almost tripled in the past decade, and has almost quadrupled since 1995,” said Guerra.

Chinese wealth grows

The main reason for the dramatic increase is the growth of the Chinese economy, said RAND Corporation economist Jim Hosek.

“There are a lot of Chinese entrepreneurs, businessmen of all sorts business leaders, who are simply wealthier today, and they can afford to send their sons and daughters abroad,” said Hosek.

Chinese native Li Jing  agreed. She received her doctorate in education at the University of Southern California. Li said the way in which  Chinese students pay for their tuition abroad has changed since she studied this topic in 2004.

“The majority of Chinese students received scholarships," Li said. "Now, the majority of Chinese students pay their own way to come here to study.”

Influx of Chinese students

In addition, the number of undergraduate students from China in the United States has doubled during the past two years, said University of Southern California's Dean of Religious Life, Varun Soni. He said that although Chinese students typically study engineering and the hard sciences, a new generation is starting to major in subjects such as business, education, and film.
 
“I think one of the trends we see with this generation is they're really thinking about what they can learn here that will help them when they go back to China. It's not like they want to move here permanently, like previous generations of students wanted to,” said Soni.

It is a trend that worries some Americans, said economist Jim Hosek.

“The number one concern on people's minds has been the outflow of human capital,” he said.

Exchange of culture, ideas, skills

University of Southern California political scientist Stanley Rosen said Chinese are using what they learned here in the United States to set up businesses in China.

“So it's really a more personal usage of what they get here and then use that technology, which may not exist or is at a lower level in China, to establish their own business and be supported by the government in doing so. But that's a problem in other countries as well,” said Rosen.

But experts, like Soni, say much can be gained from having Chinese students in the United States.  

“It's easy to demonize the other when you don't know the other. But as Chinese students become more integrated in American society and make American friends, and as American students increasingly go to China to study and to learn, I think we become more integrated as cultures, as nations, which makes the opportunity for collaboration, cooperation, much more apparent and achievable,” said Soni.

In addition to more integration of the East and the West, economists say Chinese graduates of American universities who return to their homeland also could help foster more Chinese investment in the United States.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ernie from: Beijing
October 15, 2012 9:51 PM
The Chinese are bolstering U.S. uni coffers with exorbitant foreign student tuitions, but it's bad because now they're going back to China with their degrees. Boy, you guys ain't kidding when you call yourselves the voice of America. You forgot to mention that the Chinese hate Murkens for their freedom.


by: johnson naidoo from: south africa
October 15, 2012 1:38 AM
Dr Varun Soni's comments is interesting.
Generally the Chinese thirst for knowledge is incredible.
In every far flung corner of the Globe the Chinese are an
enterprising Community and the knowledge that they learn from Institutions like the University of Southern California and from America in general are put to good use.
The new generation want to make China THE COUNTRY and
therefore would learn from other Countries like the USA and plough it back to their own Country.


by: Mike Smith from: Adelaide, South Australia
October 13, 2012 9:14 AM
To quote from the Australian Federal Government - "data shows this year 22,565 international students have enrolled in South Australian educational institutions in the first six months of this year, which is down from 25,011 at the same time last year and the lowest June figure since 2008."

Swings and roundabouts. Changing fashions in study destinations will impact student numbers and have a significant impact on real estate prices in popular locales.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid