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How do students straight out of china get into our universities?

  • izzone89

    I lived with a 'native' Korean for a year in McDonel and had a terrible experience with him, So I may Not be the best person to speak on this, but I will anyway. He was without a doubt an excellent student, but in no way would I classify him as smart, or perhaps more importantly, well-rounded. He did one thing very well, but was clueless with pretty much everything else. I Acknowledge there is a learning curve for a foreign student in any country, but my roommate, and quite a few of the other foreign students on my floor, did not progress nearly as quickly as I think should be expected of a student at a top-tier university.

    I'm sorry if that is offensive to people, but I don't think it should be.

    Remind yourself. Nobody built like you, you design yourself.

  • I took a Graduate level Educational Psychology class last year. One of the assignments was doing an article review. We were then randomly paired up with another student to exchange reviews, proofread and give feedback. I was paired up with a PhD Psychology student from China. It was extremely difficult to read the review. I had to find the original article and read it so that I could understand what she was talking about. Even then it was extremely difficult. I ended up rewriting her entire paper to fix the grammatical mistakes.

    The feedback she gave me was worthless.

    My wife had many chemical engineering graduate classes with CHinese students in them. They all had photocopied copies of the text. The Chinese government would provide them with illegally copied texts to save money.

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    Get off my lawn.

  • coming from 4 years of experience, I've seen a ton.

    I understand the negative sentiment, I've experienced the positive ones; at the end of the day, there are lots of people from every culture of the world that, by are standards, are cool/dick-like. As a white guy, I'm not particularly proud of some rednecks, hedge fund managers, etc., but there are plenty of good people. Same thing with foreign exchange students: I've talked to some real dicks that look at me as a lesser human being, while others have been really cool.

    In all but one of the groups I've been in, Asian students had little-to-none creative input, despite the frequent pleas for ideas. In my sales class, one girl tried to use buzzwords and offered to develop a performance analysis graph for a product that we weren't given any information... I tried to be as supportive as possible, but I can't defend fabricated charts that offered no relevant purpose. Her effort was unparalleled, but her communication/understanding was lacking.

    However, I will say that others have been very open and intelligent with me. One guy from freshman year did a statistical analysis of the NBA to find the "most efficient" player in NBA history, and his findings were that it was Magic Johnson. He wanted to come to Michigan State because that's where Magic went... needless to say, we got along quite splendidly.

    I think people should be open to others from other cultures, while the easily offended need to realize that not all people should be defended.

    "This game is an important game... I'm telling them: it's not over... it will never be over here; it's just starting." -Coach Dantonio


  • As a native white American who can "get by" in speaking Mandarin and reading and
    writing the Chinese language, I find this thread quite interesting. One has to realize the Chinese grammar is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT (CAPS Intentional) than the American grammar,
    which can lead to a lot of confusion. Also, in the Chinese culture, education and learning
    are VERY important. I might be generalizing here, but to go to college in the USA is something that both many parents and students want. The USA college/university system is highly thought of in China.
    On a side note, I believe Mandarin Chinese is the worlds most spoken language. It is my
    understanding there are approx 56 different dialects spoken in China, but a number of
    years ago the government came out and said that everybody had to learn Mandarin, it
    would be the "official spoken language." You conduct business, go to the post office, etc. speaking Mandarin, but then you could go home and speak your regional dialect.

    This post was edited by houstom 3 years ago

  • I'm not saying it's easy for them, but at the same time, I wouldn't go to a Chinese University and expect to get a PhD when I couldn't write in Chinese

    I also have associated with many foreign graduate students who have been more than qualified and laughed at the easy standards of some of the graduate programs in the U.S.

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  • houstom said... (original post)

    As a native white American who can "get by" in speaking Mandarin and reading and writing the Chinese language, I find this thread quite interesting. One has to realize the Chinese grammar is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT (CAPS Intentional) than the American grammar, which can lead to a lot of confusion. Also, in the Chinese culture, education and learning are VERY important. I might be generalizing here, but to go to college in the USA is something that both many parents and students want. The USA college/university system is highly thought of in China. On a side note, I believe Mandarin Chinese is the worlds most spoken language. It is my understanding there are approx 56 different dialects spoken in China, but a number of years ago the government came out and said that everybody had to learn Mandarin, it would be the "official spoken language." You conduct business, go to the post office, etc. speaking Mandarin, but then you could go home and speak your regional dialect.

    English is the most widely dispersed language in the world, as well as the language of business. I respect the Chinese, and will work with anybody attempting to speak it, but rarely run into an Asian international student that is willing to even attempt to talk to me.

    "This game is an important game... I'm telling them: it's not over... it will never be over here; it's just starting." -Coach Dantonio

  • charliemarlow said... (original post)

    Some students from overseas are here because they screwed up back home. Their parents sent them here to get them out of the house. Others want the foreign experience. Some are geniuses, some are not, but, on average, they are better than the average student. That is not to say the ones back home are better than US students, but the ones that come here generally are. And they study much more Math than US students. Those international comparison tests, for instance, include calculus for grade levels we don't have calculus in. Not surprisingly, US don't do well, never having studied the subject. When the Asian students get to campus, almost all of them can whiz through the Gen Ed Math requirements - it's stuff they studied back in middle school. That has do with their education curriculum, not their intelligence level.

    That part about studying way more I did find to be very much the case. One of the guys I knew quite well in one of my classes I think OVER-studied. He would study for things so much longer than anyone else yet would not do all that well. Language wasn't really a barrier either, he'd known it for most of his life, and other than an accent was just as good in english as the typical person living here in the states.

  • I believe I heard, read or saw somewhere like PBS, NPR, or some other kind of program that the asian educational system has an entire focus on memorization. Its a constant read it, do it, repeat. Over and over, and then the learning builds on what was previously memorized. and it keeps going, going and going. That is why they excel in the technical/scientific fields where there is always a right and a wrong. However, how to think, (ie the socratic method) is something that is not emphasized.

    I guess that speaks volumes as to why some of these posts say that there is no creative input- and why these students are looking to come to the US to learn "what does it mean". It also explains their difficulty with such topics - everything your learning is completely new to you.

    Its like going to law school. When I finished, I forgot how to be a student. I forgot how I learned back in college, how I went to class, took notes without reading the material and still managed to pass my classes. I daresay I could not pass any of those classes now because all I know how to do is determine the issue, state the rule, apply the facts of the issue to the rule, and come up with a reasonable conclusion-- no way is that going to help me pass victor jews history class about the pilgrims having sex or explain the what the fundamental tenents of a major world religion, and compare those belief to the average economic status of its followers.

    Language in and of itself I believe is one of these type of what does it mean... words are but symbols, its only through intonation and emotion to we actually understand the context of what is being spoken.

    WE {Izzo} ARE {CoachD} ONE {spartan} My spartan is: #23 Draymond Green.

  • A lot of people saying these Chinese are just plain "smarter" or harder-working than American students...yeah, okay, sure. Not at MSU.

    I will restrict my experience to MSU, as it's the only college I'm qualified to talk about, but these kids have M-O-N-E-Y. They drive brand-spanking-new Lexuses(eseses) and are constantly decked out in what is clearly expensive and fashionable (to contemporary Chinese and Korean tastes) clothing. I don't begrudge them anything for coming here and I honestly don't mind them at all, but they are mostly the same as American students, their affluent parents just wanted them to go to school in the U.S.

  • Ok, I'll chime in here too. For physics grad school, the physics GRE is a component for determining if you are accepted. The folks from Asia and Europe generally already have a degree that's about on the master's level. So college seniors in America are competing with people with masters degrees on these tests. After a year of graduate courses, everybody is about even.

    Money isn't much of an issue for physics grad school; you get a modest stipend to live on. This makes it a little more competitive since you're competing with everyone willing to live on ~24+/-5k a year.

  • Bruce Banner Ad said... (original post)

    I'm not an expert on immigration law, but I was under the impression that people who are here with student visas, upon graduation, have to prove that they are providing a talent or service that the employer couldn't fill domestically. Isn't that the way it is with working visas? I may be confusing the two.

    When a student graduates, there is a one-year window for work under what is called Optional Practical Training. The US has tightened that, not made it easier...now, they have to have a job offer in hand in order to get that. The employer doesn't have to file anything for OPT. The job must be in the student's field of study, though. That is the responsibility of the student, to my knowledge. But after one year, the student has to return home unless they can get the H-1, which, as you suggest, requires that they are working for an acceptable wage at a job they can't find an American. But that can be done like internal hires are when they have to post a job - they can narrowly define the job, as long as the definition is reasonable.

  • As for the study-holics...Perhaps the biggest thing that makes the US great is there is life after death. That is, we can screw up and then start over again. And fail and do it over again. In many countries, it's one chance - you fail, the rest of your life is based on that failure. That's not only a lot of pressure, it hurts the society.Meanwhile, many/most Asians put all their work into pre-college. Success depends on the college they get into. Once there, they coast and party (and they do party). It's a well-earned vacation after spending their childhood and adolescence in educational servitude.
    So many want to live here because they can start over again if they have not done well before or been repressed because of religion, politics, social level, and so on. They work like crazy here because there is no ceiling.
    As for the OP, these students usually mpensate for poor speaking ability by studying 5 times hareder than anyone else in the class. Some people just can't get a foreign language pronunciation, or they have not spoken in front of a class before or they are so nervous, it doesn't come out right. Talk to some of them after class and make a friend. It will be a big deal for them and will probably become a big deal for you.

    This post was edited by charliemarlow 3 years ago

  • Drugs Delaney

    izzone89 said... (original post)

    I lived with a 'native' Korean for a year in McDonel and had a terrible experience with him, So I may Not be the best person to speak on this, but I will anyway. He was without a doubt an excellent student, but in no way would I classify him as smart, or perhaps more importantly, well-rounded. He did one thing very well, but was clueless with pretty much everything else. I Acknowledge there is a learning curve for a foreign student in any country, but my roommate, and quite a few of the other foreign students on my floor, did not progress nearly as quickly as I think should be expected of a student at a top-tier university.

    I'm sorry if that is offensive to people, but I don't think it should be.

    Which top-tier university did you attend?

  • Tomp said... (original post)

    Not until you won the karate tournament, anyway.

    Frank Duks had to EARN that respect, baby!

  • izzone89

    Drugs Delaney said... (original post)

    Which top-tier university did you attend?

    Fair enough, top-100 university.

    Remind yourself. Nobody built like you, you design yourself.

  • Enrico Palazzo said... (original post)

    when I went abroad 2nd semester junior year my roommate got an exchange student in my place - from Hong Kong. Nice guy, quiet, always studying. He said failure was not an option, the kid had to get straight A's or he would "feel shame." That's the mindset these kids are raised with and the work ethic they are instilled with - strive to be the best.

    Reason #1 China is taking over the world while we are in serious decline. We have no accountability or pride and tons of built in excuses.

  • JMCSpartan08 said... (original post)

    I don't have much to add here but as for the math and science stuff:

    When I did study abroad at Cambridge there was a huge group of Asians from Hong Kong. They said that their college paid for them to go to the West for a semester to learn "humanities" because they weren't taught in the colleges in China. It was "Doctor, Lawyer or Business."

    Having a bunch of them in Moral Philosophy was a joke. They couldn't think or reason through things like "what is good, etc" in complex way. There was no abstract thought or anything very imaginative/creative. I wish I could have read some of their papers, I think they would have read more like history textbooks than philosophical reasoning trying to answer a complex, big question.

    The ones I talked to were all super nice and basically cool so I have no issue with them going to MSU and stuff. However I think there is certainly something to be gained from a well-rounded education that includes the humanities and social sciences and if Asians are great at Math and Science, in my opinion they are not good at much else (academically speaking).

    I'm still friends with several on FB and their english was basically good, very formalized, but understandable. My guess is that in Hong Kong English is still a kinda big deal and I would assume they learn more British English than American English.

    Reason #2 why we are falling behind. We pump out feel good "liberal arts" graduates with zero real world applications except government work, they crank out science and math wiz kids who are kicking ass. (no offense JMC, I'm a JMC grad myself).

  • SD Spartan said... (original post)

    Reason #1 China is taking over the world while we are in serious decline. We have no accountability or pride and tons of built in excuses.

    Since they have 4 times the population we have, it is to their shame they are so far behind us. They should be the leading economy, based on size and numbers, but I am not sure they ever will be. All the projections are based on straight line extrapolation, which never happens. There are serious divisions within the country, for one thing, and their political structure isn't one to take through the 21st century.
    Their cultural tradition does not encourage creativity or, as noted above, abstract thought. The kids are study machines - and part of the deal is that they don't do anything for themselves. Mom takes care of it all. When they go to college there, they don't make any decisions: The curriculum is handed to them, and they are even assigned their roommate for the next 4 years.
    When they come here, they have to learn from scratch how to cook, clean, buy household necessities. US students have to learn a lot, too, but at least they have been doing things like that all their lives. That's the biggest advantage the Chinese take home - self-reliance. This is true for most foreign students, except probably for other Westerners.

  • charliemarlow said... (original post)

    Since they have 4 times the population we have, it is to their shame they are so far behind us. They should be the leading economy, based on size and numbers, but I am not sure they ever will be. All the projections are based on straight line extrapolation, which never happens. There are serious divisions within the country, for one thing, and their political structure isn't one to take through the 21st century. Their cultural tradition does not encourage creativity or, as noted above, abstract thought. The kids are study machines - and part of the deal is that they don't do anything for themselves. Mom takes care of it all. When they go to college there, they don't make any decisions: The curriculum is handed to them, and they are even assigned their roommate for the next 4 years. When they come here, they have to learn from scratch how to cook, clean, buy household necessities. US students have to learn a lot, too, but at least they have been doing things like that all their lives. That's the biggest advantage the Chinese take home - self-reliance. This is true for most foreign students, except probably for other Westerners.

    Well their population is also the reason they are accelerating past us. The reason they were behind in the first place is because they were a communist controlled society in which the government controlled everything, killing growth and innovation...like we are becoming. Now they have embraced the free market and individual success they will be the largest economy soon and will not look back at our sorry asses. To deny this is naive.

  • JMCSpartan08

    SD Spartan said... (original post)

    Reason #2 why we are falling behind. We pump out feel good "liberal arts" graduates with zero real world applications except government work, they crank out science and math wiz kids who are kicking ass. (no offense JMC, I'm a JMC grad myself).

    The fact that the only perceived real world application is working for the government is a failure of 3 things: 1. Society to even consider the important questions 2. Our businesses and industry to make use of a lot of people with a unique set of skills that are more acutely developed by the "liberal arts" than the "hard sciences" 3. A failure to seriously question and reform our government and society.

    Americans are intellectually lazy and basically lazy in general. Being at the top for too long has probably had more of an effect on that than anything else. Although, I suspect most parents of a certain generation wishing they were perpetually 25 and acting like it hasn't helped much either.

    Scientific discoveries and research are great but without "liberal arts" to help find applications and evaluate the potential harms and goods they don't really offer much. The two ought to work hand in hand in a successful society and for a long time here they did. The problem you're talking about is the proliferation of Americans with degrees that have no business getting them and then flooding our job market with dumbasses. Thus, companies and organizations that aren't the very top of the food chain are forced to hire morons of varying degrees of stupidity.

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  • izzone89 said... (original post)

    Fair enough, top-100 university.

    Considering there are over 3,000 colleges and universities in America, I would qualify that as "top-tier".