Jiaying Liang

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What is your opinion on the new and bigger wave of international students coming to the US for education? Do you support it or oppose it?

It is obvious that more and more international students are looking for better education in the United States, especially teenagers as young as thirteen years old. Have you ever thought about why do these people come so far to this foreign country, and what exactly that they are looking for? What do you think about this phenomenon of universal movement? Do you think it is beneficial for the future generation? What is the potential problem lies under it?
Please share your thoughts.

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    Mar 28 2012: There was an excellent article in the New York Times not so long ago about the wave of students from China who are coming to study in the US. This is big business for many US universities because foreign students often must pay full tuition and are not eligible for grants and many scholarships. However, the article pointed out that many of the students come to the US very deficient in English skills.

    Some schools cater to this issue by offering summer English courses (which of course must be paid by students) and refuse to allow them to officially enroll until their English improves. Students can spend years in these preparatory courses - at their own personal expense.

    I don't have a problem with the US opening its doors to foreign students - however, there is a tremendous opportunity for unscrupulous actions - accepting students who do not speak English and passing them on, diploma mills that offer no educational value, etc. These things happen without the influx of international students but are regulated somewhat by the fact that students cannot get loans or financial aid if the university is too dodgy. Since foreign students often pay cash, there is even more of an opportunity for crooked operations.
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    Mar 28 2012: In my humble opinion I think that the US has some great educational institutions thay may as well enjoy students who will actually partake in what they have to offer, educationally!

    On a more serious note, i see few problems. Foreign students come for the study of the language, which will generally assist them in many international business fields. As Americans typically do not emphasise the study of foreign cultures to their children, the international student is perhaps the only exposure some Americans will have with foreign cultures. In my experience, those who have studied in a country foreign to their own are, on the whole, more receptive to new ideas, and less resistant to change.
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      Mar 28 2012: Generally speaking, 80% of people that I am friend with don't regret their decision about study overseas. No matter what their intention is, the life experience and school communities here in the US offer us a wider view of the world. Many people are still unsure about whether they should choose this path or not, I would say that only after you come here, live here and connect to people here, you will be able to see what effects does it have on you.
      I agree with your opinion that these foreign students tend to be more receptive to new ideas and less resistant to change, I guess it's because of their courage to create new lives for themselves in the first place, and also their eager for innovative info., methods, and of course ways of thinking.
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    Mar 27 2012: Some obvious issues:
    Will it lower standards as institutions chase foreign students
    Will it reduce opportunities for domestic students
    Will it strain resources - accommodation, parking, public transport, education etc
    Will foreign students be adequately assisted

    A balanced approach seems reasonable and beneficial for everyone

    My wife studied overseas and it was a fantastic experience.
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      Mar 27 2012: I think the expanding body of foreign students creates a more competitive atmosphere for education within the US. Credit to all the foreign students, different cultures and life styles are exchanged. Domestic students have their own strength in english language and a more suitable social chain; but foreign students particularly Asians tends to do better in fields of maths, etc in the general trend. I think too that a balanced approach is crucial in such circumstance. Since the existence of such great number of foreign student body, I believe universities and institutions are more reasonably likely to develope a tighter connection with this group of people, more resources will be devoted into service regarding them.
      I enjoy very much indeed the experience of study oversea, I think it helps me to see more and understand more.
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        Mar 27 2012: very balanced thought!
      • Mar 27 2012: Ahh!! true especially Chinese are awesome in Math.
        Being a student studying abroad(Sg) I feel this experience helps as to perceive broader, globally.. To balance domestic students turnover to Int Student ratio, Gov already have more conditions for NRI students.. What ever the case is, It encourages healthy competition n increases frndship amomg ppl. Standing not just for my country, but for entire human race =)
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          Mar 28 2012: Yes I think it is a great platform for young people from all acound the world to share knowledge and exchange ideas. Actually I think a committee should be established that gather representatives of both international students and American Students from US high schools regarding the communication of culture and tech.
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        Mar 28 2012: I agree with much of what you say.
        I've spent years on international assignments for work - best times of my life.
        Work/Study - Personal growth, exploring, learning, great friendships.

        Suggest at some point the numbers or proportion of foreign students start to reach a level that the educational and local community (if not a big city) has problems conflicts etc.

        When I studied my masters there were many foreign students. Many worked hard. Also a lot of slackers, and others who struggled to keep up because of the English. Many relied heavily on the locals for group assignments. Sometimes they took up a lot of teacher time - an unfair amount etc. Sometimes there is pressure to pass people paying thousands each year.

        Suggest about 20% to 40% may be an optimal mix.

        On the other hand you need to watch out for money hungry colleges that cater mainly for foreign students and provide rubbish education.
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          Mar 28 2012: It is true that not all of them are positive input for the US educational field. Many international students try their best and accomplish relatively high achievements, while some others still have trouble using proper English language and earning satisfactory grades. I think many US high schools are rising their standards or requirements for international applicants, maybe that would help ameliorating current issues.

          No offense but I heard lots of news suggesting that the state of California is in a sort of financial crisis, which lowers their requirements for international students of the entire Unverisity of California system. I'm hoping that this is going to be fixed soon.
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    Mar 28 2012: i garee with you robin