Why So Many Chinese Students Come to America
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Why So Many Chinese Students Come to America


This video is sponsored by Skillshare. Use the link in the description to watch my
course or thousands of others with a free two-month trial. In 2018, the U.S. imported $540 billion worth
of goods from China, but exported only 120. In response, President Trump imposed tariffs,
immediately shaking the Chinese, American, and, therefore, world, economies. But while the trade war defines today’s
economy, another deficit will decide tomorrow’s. In the 2017-18 school year, 363,000 Chinese
students came to study in the U.S., while only 24,000 Americans went to China. This, on the surface, isn’t all that surprising. What’s weird – really weird – is how fast
it happened. All of a sudden, starting in 2007, Chinese
students in the U.S. absolutely exploded, accounting for 93% of all international student
growth in the last decade. More students come from China to America than
the next six countries combined, including India, despite having almost the same size
population. So, why so many? Why so sudden? And is the U.S. right to worry about incoming
spies? The answer has less to do with academics and
more with economics, complex social dynamics, and, above all, politics. On June 7th, Chinese cities become… eerily
quiet. Traffic is as busy as ever but no horns are
honking, stress is collectively unusually high, free water bottles are handed out, and
drones watch overhead. Today, tomorrow, and sometimes, on a third
day, 10 million students across China take the National Higher Education Entrance Exam,
aka the Gaokao, aka, the most important nine hours of a Chinese person’s life. The test covers Chinese language and literature,
math, foreign language (usually English), and a choice of social or natural science. The top roughly 7-million scorers are admitted
to college, and a select few are offered places in the C9 – mainland China’s equivalent
to the Ivy-League. But unlike the SAT, AP, or IB, Gaokao scores
are really the only factor in Chinese college admissions. The first 18 years of your life, therefore,
are dedicated to preparation. Leading up to the big test, parents burn incense,
pray, and book hotels near the exam to avoid traffic. Students sometimes study with IV drips. Some, known as “Gaokao migrants”, travel
to other provinces with higher admissions quotas in hopes of having a slight advantage. When the day finally comes, provincial governments
order quiet streets for concentration and fly drones to catch cheaters. Supporters of the Gaokao say it levels the
playing field – creating a meritocracy wherein any student, from any geographic or socioeconomic
part of China has the same opportunity for social mobility. Critics, in turn, argue a level playing field
is only ever an illusion – that success is handed to those with families wealthy enough
to afford private tutors. Like continued middle-class growth, the national
exam is both a practical and political tool for maintaining stability – shifting questions
of who has power and who is entitled to riches onto the individual. The extreme, sometimes insurmountable stress,
they say, doesn’t even produce good citizens or employees. While Chinese students rank very highly in
math and science, they’re often seen as lacking in other skills like creative and
critical thinking, a side effect of their rigid education system. Classrooms are dominated by the teacher, who
lectures behind a podium to a sea of totally-silent students expected to memorize as much as possible. To ask questions is both to disrespect your
teacher and admit to your peers that you don’t understand the material. Finally, discipline is placed above all else,
with low performers at one high school not being allowed air conditioning. For any number of these reasons, some, disenchanted
parents seek a way out. If their child performs poorly on his or her
high school entrance exam, rather than lose face, families may place them in international
schools, designed to prepare them for exams like the SAT, instead. Others pursue an education abroad with the
intent of eventually migrating the whole family, or, simply, for more opportunity. The perception is that, while school in China
is more intense up until the Gaokao, afterward, students feel they’ve satisfied their family’s
expectations and can relax at university, whereas American college is when students
start getting serious. In other words, students leave China on their
parents’ suggestion, who usually pay their tuition. And pay, do they! There are English lessons, extracurriculars
for admissions, exam fees, and travel costs. On top of that, families pay agencies about
$10,000 per child for help in the process. In other words, this is only possible thanks
to China’s rising, newly-wealthy middle-class, and the demographics which leave parents with
only one child to pay for – and, more importantly, only one chance to get it right. The truly wealthy get started even earlier
– sending their child to an elite American feeder middle school, which can charge up
to 60, $70,000 a year. And when old fashion studying doesn’t work,
upper-class families resort to “gifts” – usually about $250,000, and as much as $6.5
million. There’s one more, unexpected reason Chinese
students come to America… When Deng Xiaoping began opening up the country
in the ’80s and ‘90s, creating thousands of newly rich families, he also, for the first
time, allowed students to study overseas. For this reason, the first international students
who returned to China were its most well-off, launching high-paying, high-profile careers. This association of studying in America and
success in life has never faded. So, while the American Dream may not be alive
and well in America, it certainly is in Beijing. Americans have Louis Vuitton, McMansions,
and Porsche’s. Chinese people have Harvard and Yale. One hospital in central China even named its
maternity wards after Ivy-League schools for good luck. All of these factors help explain this, but
they don’t justify this. Why did it all happen so fast? To answer that, we need to understand how
schools really make money. Broadly speaking, in the U.S., there are two
university business models. The first way a school can make money is simple:
charging students. Private schools are the Apple of education
– they forgo massive market share in exchange for a smaller number of higher-paying students. And, because they attract high-income families,
they can expect good, lifelong customers – aka endowments! On the other hand, the way public schools
pay the bills is a little less obvious. Lower tuition is made up for by state and
federal funding – aka, everyone’s favorite, taxes! Government subsidizing is great – when it’s
great. Low prices grant low-income families access
to a great education. The problem is that state and federal governments
have other priorities and are subject to economic downturns. During the 2008 recession, Americans spent
and made less money, governments collected less revenue, and colleges received less funding. From 2008 to 13, states alone lost out on
$283 billion. Now, ten years later, most of us have long
forgotten the recession – but not universities. Still in 2018, state funding for higher education
was down 13% from before the crisis. So, as government subsidies fell, schools
immediately turned to a new subsidy – international tuition. The current model is one where colleges can
segment prices without appearing to discriminate. In other words, tuition is set very high,
but aid is handed out very generously. The average full-time undergraduate in 2017-18
received nearly $15,000 in total aid. But while something like 85% of students receive
some amount of financial aid, international students almost always pay full price. At Michigan State University, for example,
in-state freshmen pay $25,064 a year for tuition, fees, room, and board. Out-of-state residents pay just over double,
and international students pay $9,133 on top of that. Across America, an international student generates
about twice as much revenue as an in-state resident. Students also complain about a so-called “International
Tax”, where schools place a greater emphasis on English courses to prolong their studies. Increasingly, Chinese students find themselves
caught between two worlds… As more and more students return home, 30%
in 2007, but 80% today, they’re often disappointed by what they find. While English is still very valuable and many
find high-paying jobs in America, the rest, “Haigui”, as they’re known in Chinese,
have a disadvantage. One study found U.S. diploma-holders were
18% less likely to receive a call back from potential employers than Chinese ones. On the other hand, they may also feel isolated
and unwelcome in America. Because schools tend only to keep one or two
dorms open during breaks, during which international students tend to stay on campus, they get
placed in the same dorms, have less opportunity to perfect their language skills, and a harder
time socializing outside their bubble. At the same time, some Chinese students are
experiencing delayed or rejected visas and accusations of espionage. The fear stems from Confucius Institutes or
Chinese Student and Scholars Associations, groups set-up by or associated with China’s
Communist Party on American campuses. Officially, their goal is to help Chinese
students acclimate abroad – like, by organizing parties around Chinese New Year. Chinese embassies also create WeChat groups
to organize students, even paying them to welcome Xi Jinping during his 2015 visit to
Washington. Several Chinese students and faculty have
been arrested or fired in recent years for alleged spying or failing to disclose connections
to China. According to sources, President Trump seriously
considered banning all Chinese students completely, only narrowly deciding against it after an
ambassador pointed out how it would harm American schools. Students in STEM fields, in other words, most
Chinese students, are already subject to additional scrutiny. The truth is, visa issues are not yet widespread,
and the U.S. government has, at times, even encouraged Chinese arrivals, with Trump declaring
“We want to have Chinese students (go) to our great schools and great universities. They are great students and tremendous assets”. Regardless, issues are common enough to create
a perception of risk, leading to an 8% drop of international students in 2018, who increasingly
choose other countries like Canada or affordable Thailand. The University of Illinois went so far as
to take out a $424,000 insurance policy in case of a significant drop in Chinese students. The U.S. can and should be worried about Chinese
influence on campuses. Their free, open-minded approach has the potentially
dangerous side-effect of also creating a vulnerable hole easily filled by nationalist propaganda. There has never been a better time in history
to be wary of China’s influence abroad. But there has also never been a more important
moment to be cautious about conflating a government and its ideology with 1.4 billion individuals. Suspecting everyone of espionage leaves America
economically and culturally weaker, not stronger. Every year, Chinese students contribute $15
billion to the U.S. economy. Education is now Australia’s third-largest
export, more than tourism, and behind only iron and coal. But whether economically useful or not, cultural
exchanges act as a countervailing force to propaganda – both exposing Chinese nationals
to a wider intellectual world and American citizens to foreign cultures. The fact that America has so many high-ranking,
sought-after institutions – where even Xi Jinping sends his daughter – is a massive
diplomatic advantage that risks being wasted if foreigners aren’t welcome. When students return to China, these schools
often constitute their entire conception of America, the one that spreads to friends,
family, and, eventually, decision-makers. Cutting off Chinese students may help win
today’s trade war, but welcoming them is the only way to stop tomorrow’s conflicts
before they even begin. While not everyone can leave their country
and study abroad, we all have access to some of the most interesting classes online with
Skillshare! For example, maybe after watching “The Magic
of In-N-Out”, you want to start your own business – this course can help you create
an amazing logo for it. Perhaps you want to avoid a marketing disaster
like Huawei, in which case, you should watch these brand strategy courses from the experts. Whatever you want to learn – like design,
business, or investing – Skillshare has thousands of classes to teach you. You can try Skillshare today with a 2-month
free trial using the link in the description. After that, an annual subscription is less
than $10 bucks a month. Thanks to Skillshare, and to you for watching!

About James Carlton

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100 thoughts on “Why So Many Chinese Students Come to America

  1. For thousands of years, Chinese poor people get offical by education. That is why Chinese are so major in education. This is a way to cross the class.

  2. They come to spy on the USA and spy on Chinese students here. The commies fully expect to take over the world and enslave the USA just like they do in African mines and Chinese factories.
    Fuck China. I repeat. Fuck China.

  3. What a shame to the US educational system. Because the people each state tightens the budget for All American schools so they have to rely on the international students instead.

  4. Students coming here to spy, hack, infiltrate gov't, to share secrets, start protests to disrupt politics, convert people to communism.

  5. France has historically used it's education system as a source of soft power. It has welcomed the children of foreign elites and gone to great pains to infuse them with French culture and values. This was not done for economic gains as in the US or Australia, but for political gains. It has been a great success as France, a small nation, has historically pulled more than its weight in international diplomacy. The US should take special care of Chinese students and make them as American as possible instead of leaving them in their ghetto. They will return home and cause change in China. As for spying, it is a weapon that can point both ways.

  6. Why? To steal our advances in science and technology. Chinese students should not be allowed int our engineering, computer technology programs. These are the places where research abounds in out educational institutions. It only takes one spy to

    put us decades behind technology developments. Do you really believe a trade deal will stop them tfrom doing this? CCP will bribe, steal, and do anything because they just cannot be trusted.

  7. At least Chinese students come back, unlike some Indians. Which adds to the brain drain. But then I can't blame them, given that our govt prefers lower caste than merit. to compensate for the differences, even whites wouldn't prefer just blacks with no merit to right the wrong of slavery at their own expense, so no wonder lots of High caste people move to the US, and other countries never to return.

  8. 5:50 American Dream is over? What? we can make a living at home sitting on your ass these days. 3% unemployment? Hello? Chinese students do better for that very reason…..attitude.

  9. 11:20 I used to worry about other countries propaganda but have you seen our news? If a foreign student watched CNN for an hour they would hate me cause I'm white and think Trump wants them exterminated. Is this wrong? Its wrong yes, but no one says anything, they believe it; completely. I lived over yeas most my life, our news is dangerous, and dishonest, designed to manipulate the truth. Smart folks think everyone knows it's fake….here to tell you they look at it as FACT. No questions ask…I go to an international's church, the things Asians see on TV and the options they here is all they know of our world. This is why they stick to themselves, our media is criminal

  10. Act before its too late you know. Chinese government has conquered most of the country like Viet, Ugyurs, Tibet and so on.. By approaching them first with economic and plant spies.

  11. Can you just imagine how horrible this is for the kids? Imagine your entire life, your future, what job you can get, where you can live, etc—-is ALL decided by the result of ONE test? That is absolutely ridiculous and an abuse of the people subjected to it.

  12. No kidding, Chinese students excel in math amd sciences? then why do they love to study abroad to ínstead of staying home? because new technologies always, read my lips "always" start from the "ìnferior in math and science" US and the West.

  13. Well, let me correct one thing
    There is nothing called wealthy Chinese. The money is loan from the gov that this latter gives to Chinese students to go spy steal from the US then come back to China to serve the country

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  15. Now do a video why many Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Indians come to England. It's literally many of them here, everywhere you go you seen one. (Not that it's a problem)

  16. Why do they all speak loudly in the library? A few years ago a girl at UCLA made a video about how the Chinese students act but it made such a scandal she was forced to apologize even though she said the truth.

  17. The cultural influence's role in avoiding future conflicts is so important, I can attest to that from my personal experience.

  18. When the video comes to part "lacking in creative and critical thinking… Classrooms are dominated by teacher… To ask questions is both to disrespect teacher bla bla bla" I stopped watching it. Because that's not in reality.
    Maybe we can find in some countryside schools, but based on my Chinese friend (who is teacher) show me… her students are always have the rights to propose any questions during class, and that's not only in 1 school.
    .
    And please note, there are more n more Chinese students study to overseas countries is not because the "freedom" or bad education matter. It's all because the families can afford it. There are more wealthy Chinese families in recent years compare in 60s – 80s, and China's massive development is the fastest one compare to similar big countries.
    .
    If we say lack of creativity…. don't u see now China has tons of innovations in tech stuff?
    There are still many home works for us to learn more about what China has done, and we cannot takes off of eyes to the rising of east. Like it or not, it's an undeniable truth.

  19. Recently leaked documents have shown that china have spies in most governments, and top universities around the world, and they are changing these organisations, by not bringing the fight to China's doorsteps, we are basically accepting chinese colonisation.

  20. This video is sooooo GENUINE, and the ending is sooooo GOOD. As a Chinese and Canadian who is educated in both countries, I approved this message lol 😂

  21. Its not just the US that loads of the Chinese go to. They go to plenty other country’s universities en masse! In my hometown, Liverpool, if you go anywhere near Liverpool University, there are literally hundreds of Chinese students. A lot of this is down to Liverpool and Shanghai being twinned cities and each university in both cities having campuses and exchange programmes with each other.

  22. It is important to remember many of these Chinese students have extreme pressure from the Communist Party to remain loyal as it is fully capable of punishing the student’s family if betrayed. Some instances of Chinese officials traveling to America to ‘check in’ on said exchange students have been reported. It wouldn’t be very far fetched to imagine that the American colleges welcoming Chinese students keep them separated from native Americans for a back room deal with the CCP. Money talks

  23. Chinese communist government send student for purpose. Look how thet are doing in other countries ib tge world. They are more than a spy. If they don't listen to Chinese government, they will even lose their life. A majority Chinese people can't afford to pay all tuition and living expenses and even airline tickets. China wants take over the world and control.

  24. There is no such thing as individualism in china..they have a hive mindset.They are all brainwashed to be loyal to the ccp.

  25. GOOD NEWS FOR STUDENTS..
    HIRE A HACKER TO CHANGE THAT POOR UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE GRADE ON ANY SCHOOL WEBSITE. BEING AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT CAN BE VERY DIFFICULT. SOMETIMES, SOME COURSES ARE HARD TO PASS. HIRE [email protected] AND THEY CAN CHANGE YOUR POOR GRADE TO YOUR DESIRED GRADE WITHOUT A TRACE. THEY CAN ALSO HELP YOU SPY ON A CHEATING SPOUSE BY ALLOWING YOU READ THEIR MESSAGES IN YOUR DEVICE WITHOUT TOUCHING THEIR PHONE.

  26. GOOD NEWS FOR STUDENTS..
    HIRE A HACKER TO CHANGE THAT POOR UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE GRADE ON ANY SCHOOL WEBSITE. BEING AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT CAN BE VERY DIFFICULT. SOMETIMES, SOME COURSES ARE HARD TO PASS. HIRE [email protected] AND THEY CAN CHANGE YOUR POOR GRADE TO YOUR DESIRED GRADE WITHOUT A TRACE. THEY CAN ALSO HELP YOU SPY ON A CHEATING SPOUSE BY ALLOWING YOU READ THEIR MESSAGES IN YOUR DEVICE WITHOUT TOUCHING THEIR PHONE.

  27. GOOD NEWS FOR STUDENTS..
    HIRE A HACKER TO CHANGE THAT POOR UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE GRADE ON ANY SCHOOL WEBSITE. BEING AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT CAN BE VERY DIFFICULT. SOMETIMES, SOME COURSES ARE HARD TO PASS. HIRE [email protected] AND THEY CAN CHANGE YOUR POOR GRADE TO YOUR DESIRED GRADE WITHOUT A TRACE. THEY CAN ALSO HELP YOU SPY ON A CHEATING SPOUSE BY ALLOWING YOU READ THEIR MESSAGES IN YOUR DEVICE WITHOUT TOUCHING THEIR PHONE.

  28. GOOD NEWS FOR STUDENTS..
    HIRE A HACKER TO CHANGE THAT POOR UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE GRADE ON ANY SCHOOL WEBSITE. BEING AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT CAN BE VERY DIFFICULT. SOMETIMES, SOME COURSES ARE HARD TO PASS. HIRE [email protected] AND THEY CAN CHANGE YOUR POOR GRADE TO YOUR DESIRED GRADE WITHOUT A TRACE. THEY CAN ALSO HELP YOU SPY ON A CHEATING SPOUSE BY ALLOWING YOU READ THEIR MESSAGES IN YOUR DEVICE WITHOUT TOUCHING THEIR PHONE.

  29. As an international student, you have no fear passing a course in the university or college. you can hire a hacker to change your poor university grade to your desired grade of any university. they did a grade change for me last session and it has remained permanent on my schools website. contact [email protected] their job is with no trace. they can also help you spy on your partner by allowing you have access to all their messages without touching their phone. contact them and they will help you.

  30. As an international student, you have no fear passing a course in the university or college. you can hire a hacker to change your poor university grade to your desired grade of any university. they did a grade change for me last session and it has remained permanent on my schools website. contact [email protected] their job is with no trace. they can also help you spy on your partner by allowing you have access to all their messages without touching their phone. contact them and they will help you.

  31. As an international student, you have no fear passing a course in the university or college. you can hire a hacker to change your poor university grade to your desired grade of any university. they did a grade change for me last session and it has remained permanent on my schools website. contact [email protected] their job is with no trace. they can also help you spy on your partner by allowing you have access to all their messages without touching their phone. contact them and they will help you.

  32. 12:30 If we all smile at Chinese students and say Ni Hao and bow and eat Kung Pao chicken with them then the Chinese students will go back to China and they will become important political figures and say "American good man, Chinee no fight American. American, Chinee friendly friendly" and there will be no war with China! Yay! Smiles, friendliness, cultural understanding will always triumph over economic, political and military realities because the world is made of cotton candy and it rests on top of a pink unicorn!

  33. Well it isn't just the USA, its all over the world. There are students going to Russia, Germany, UK, France, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, Canada for Schooling. Maybe you think that because of the increase in volume of Chinese coming over, but every other top schools in the world is experiencing that as well. They wanted to study abroad to experience and see what other countries are like.

  34. 3:30 China is ranked 5, you look at the top 4 nations, 3 of them have chinese ppl in those regions as a significant or majority of their population

  35. 哈哈,没人告诉你高考是全世界对穷人最公平的制度,别听狗屁素质教育,都搞素质教育穷人怎么可能竞争过富人。
    先行高考制度下,有钱人家补课,没钱人家补课,都不能决定结果,你去看看能靠上985双一流大学的学生里有多少是靠补课考上的,反正在我们那个年代,只有学习后劲生菜疯狂补课,高考题目考的是基础知识,上课都听不明白,补课有屁用。

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