Personal security prime concern for Chinese students eyeing studying in the US
On May 18, school shootings in Texas and Georgia in the US left 11 people dead and 12 injured.
As the number of school shootings
continues to rise, safety concerns seem to have become more important than ever when it comes to studying overseas for Chinese students looking to study abroad.
According to the Ministry of Education in China, 608,400 Chinese students were studying overseas in 2017, an 11.74 percent increase compared with 2016, which makes China the country with the most students studying abroad.
With the current safety concerns, will Chinese high school students and parents think twice about going to the US for further studies? Metropolitan went out into to the streets to talk to Chinese high school students and parents regarding this matter.
Li Qinzheng: 12, first-grade junior high school student
Anybody can carry a gun in the US, and their management of arms is not very by the book. It feels like one’s life can be in danger.
There is a lot to worry about. There’s also the border issue. They are talking about the US-Mexico border wall.
Zhou Han: 13, secondgrade junior high school student
I saw the news about Chinese students killed in the US, so I am unwilling to go to the US for further education. Safety matters the most. You only have one life. Rankings are nothing when [students lose their lives].
My other concern is about racial discrimination. Discrimination is supposed to be very serious there. It’s impossible to integrate.
Also, I believe the American culture is too open, and I will feel more comfortable in a more conservative environment.
For now, I am leaning toward going to the UK because I like the culture there, including Shakespeare, Big Ben and the music bands.
My parents respect my decisions. When the time comes, I suppose they will ask me whether I want to enter a prestigious university in China or go overseas, and if so, which country I want to go to.
Zhang Taiyang: 16, firstgrade high school student
I plan to go to Germany. When my parents and I were deciding where I should pursue further education, there were three major factors to consider.
The first thing to consider was the language, whether you can speak it. I have been taking German language classes for a while now, and I hope to reach a high level of fluency so that I will be able to major in technology in Germany. The second thing is how safe the place is, and then, how good the school is.
Safety is important, and it’s the reason I chose Germany. After all, school shootings happen a lot in the US. It’s time for them to control guns.
Wang: 15, third-grade junior high school student
My parents and I talked about where I should go to school overseas in the future. Regarding going to the US, I think there are safety issues there at the moment. Safety issues include shootings on campus. If the situation improves, then I may consider going there to study.
Deng: the mother of a kindergarten-aged boy
The US is my first choice in terms of countries for him to study in. Regarding which country to choose, the first thing to consider is the language. I have been taking my son to English classes. Second, in the US, there are more opportunities to participate in non-academic activities.
Safety is certainly an important factor to consider. I have been following the news about the safety of overseas students. But I feel if you choose a good school in a safe city, some of the issues can be avoided.
If my son does want to study abroad when he is older, I will go with him. I do worry about the security in foreign countries. For instance, it’s legal to own guns in the US.
Deng: the mother of a female high school student
We would want her to stay in China for further education. For one, like many kids in this generation, my daughter is an only child. In the future, her parents and grandparents will need her to be here.
There’s also the safety concern. China is a lot safer than many countries in terms of gun control and other areas. I follow the news, and from what I have seen, it’s not safe in some foreign countries. Shootings happen in bars and even on the street.
Furthermore, China is becoming stronger. When she finishes higher education, there’s a high possibility that there will be a lot of job opportunities in China. If she is coming back from abroad, she might have to readjust to things here, and things change so fast these days.
I still consider China to be the best and Beijing the best place to be. School shootings and other tragedies have made some Chinese students and parents less open to studying in the US. Photo: IC
Chinese high school students nowadays consider safety, language, culture, school rankings and other factors when it comes to studying overseas.