Safety first

Per­sonal se­cu­rity prime con­cern for Chi­nese stu­dents eye­ing study­ing in the US

Global Times – Metro Beijing - - FRONT PAGE - By Yin Lu

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.

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