Back to School 30+
Studying Abroad Provides Unforgettable Experiences to Professionals Aged
Among the one-million-plus Chinese who are studying in other countries, there is a group of people known as the "older" overseas Chinese students. "Older" refers to those Chinese students who have quit their jobs to return to their studies despite being aged 30 or better. Their precious experiences while studying abroad have made them believe that studying overseas offers people a way to pursue their dreams — regardless of how old they are.
Many Chinese learned about and became somewhat familiar with Fan Haitao in 2009. That year, Fan and Kai-fu Lee wrote a book, Making a World of Difference: The Kai-fu Lee Story. Lee had been a vice-president of Google until he resigned in September 2009. At that time, Fan was a journalist with Beijing Youth Daily.
Over the next two years, an increasing number of journalists in China — especially those who worked for financial media outlets — learned about Fan.
Despite her relative celebrity, however, Fan quit her job in 2011 so she could resume her studies. She chose to study oral history at Columbia University, in New York, the United States. Oral history involved the study of memories, stories and songs, which were told by people as a way of unveiling information about the past. Fan decided to study overseas after she had turned 30, and she became the first Chinese student to study oral history at Columbia University.
Studying abroad had been one of Fan's dreams after she graduated from college in China. She began working as a journalist for Beijing Youth Daily in 2001, after she graduated from Southwest University of Political Science and Law. That job was stable, and it guaranteed Fan a decent income. It also gave her the opportunity to meet Lee, which gave her the opportunity to work with him in 2009, which in turn gave her opportunities to meet young, energetic people with broad horizons.
"The majority of those young people had been in the US for studies. They often talked about the