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Chinese students in US need greater support

A co-founder of international student organisation and agency WholeRen Group has called for greater support systems to be offered to Chinese students studying in the US to help them succeed in the country’s academic system.

Cheng explained that many Chinese students find the culture shock of moving to the US difficult to overcome.Photo: Flickr/ D J Clark

The culture and language shock Chinese students experience when moving to a US academic system can be difficult to overcome

According to WholeRen chief learning officer Andrew Cheng, the current generation of Chinese students are typically an only child and the culture and language shock they experience when moving to the US academic can be difficult for them to overcome.

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

“There are families that have a lot of money but the kids are not well guided… The students get overpolished, overpackaged by their agent in China,”  Cheng told The PIE News.

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

Cheng explained that many Chinese students find it impossible fit into the rigorous academic level at their new school “because everything was done for them” at home in China.

He said that some students even hire test takers to take their TOEFL and SAT.

“Once they come [to the US] they cannot stay in that level,” he explained.

“It’s a very big shock for the student… schools tell them we have this and that, and by the way, you cannot plagiarise – it just doesn’t click.”

Cheng said he believes US universities need to do more to support international students.

He said his company has been advocating that many Chinese students and their families are willing to pay extra for add-on services such as tutoring, activity arrangements, job advising and graduate school counselling.

“Chinese students are a very special group in the international students, many schools have over 50% of the international student population from China.

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

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

Read the full interview with Andrew Cheng here

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3 Responses to Chinese students in US need greater support

  1. If students cheated their way into a university anywhere in the world by having others take their SAT and TOEFL/IELTS, then of course they cannot manage the academic work. They need remedial classes to bring them up to the level of first year university student. Many universities do not have remedial classes but many do not.
    Perhaps all UK, US, Canadian universities need to test the students in English when they arrive and then determine if they need to take a math and science class with them and two remedial English classes with a local Community College. Or in the case of the UK, move them down to a Foundation year.
    Each student I am sure is different and some may have a range of preparation which would allow them to take the minimum number of classes to maintain their student visa and find other students who can be paid to tutor them intensely. The students must spend a difficult first 2 semesters only seeing their Chinese friends at meals so they are immersed in the English language and be ready at the end of Year 1 whether that’s a Foundation year in the UK or a reduced course load, first year at a US university.
    Encouraging English testing when they arrive gives the university a clear idea of just how weak the student’s preparation in English is. Then deciding how to handle them in remediation and likely an additional year of study is likely the outcome.

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