Thesis statement: Although the emergence of international students stands for the globalization education, because of young age, juniors’ studying abroad has many adverse effects on adaptability, culture and ideology, for instance, on both individuals and the whole society.
School of Foreign Languages, CWNU, Nanchong, China, 637002
Abstract: With globalization of education having providing many students with appropriate opportunities to study abroad, the topic on whether juniors should finish their high school study in our mother land is hit in some forums. The thesis mainly discusses the advantages of juniors’ study abroad for both individuals as well as the society. To make the thesis more believable, the author make some questionnaires for the personal factors, and some statistics on some institutions.
Key worlds: juniors’ study abroad, disadvantages, individual, society
“Let there be a small country with few peopleâ€¦Neighboring communities overlook one another and the crowing of cocks and barking of dogs can be heardâ€¦” described by Lao Tze, the famous ancient Chinese philosopher. From Lao Tze, the wheel of human history has moved forward into a totally new era in which globalization has become the prominent characteristic, permeating in nearly every field of all our social life. In the environment of globalization, communication technology and transportation technology have achieved rapid and explosive progress, which has facilitated people from different cultural background increasingly and inevitably coming into contact with each other for various reasons. The massive power of globalization has overwhelmed the field of education, so globalization of education gradually becomes a kind of necessity and possibility. It has developed to be a crucial phenomenon affecting everyone related to education including juniors from the worldwide sharing of higher educational approaches to the international exchange of educational resources. Recent years, studying abroad, has been one of the popular choices for the students to further their education in China. As the largest developing country in the world, China has achieved great progress and improvement in the past few years. As the data released by Chinese Ministry of Education and China Scholarship Council show, more and more juniors choose to study abroad annually since 2005. Besides, it is said as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, that according to the statistics, China has the largest number of international students in foreign countries with accounted for 14% of the global total. The statistics is published by UNESCO in Montreal, Canada, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, which released the 2006 Global Education Digest.
It is obvious that the annual total of Chinese juniors studying abroad has increased much in the past few years, from 1 million to about 1.5 million in 2007. It is predicted that the number will increase. Many students choose to study in more than 100 countries all over the world to pursue their foreign study. Among them, the U.K., the U.S., Australia, Canada, Germany, France, New Zealand, Japan etc for various reasons. All the data have been represented in our daily life. Some of our friends, classmates and relatives choosing study abroad have not been a dream, however, a reality occurring upon us very often. They have their own ideas for studying abroad, some for seeing the world, broadening their views, some for gaining new insights and outlook through new relationships, some for learning new languages or to improve the knowledge of the language you already speak, and others for shaping their own future. Does the hot phenomena only contain those positive and beneficial aspects?
Among them, they choose to study abroad just because of the social trend. As mentioned before, the number of students studying abroad becomes larger and larger. When some students couldn’t make decisions by themselves or they did not have a goal or motivation, they try to intimate what others do and choose to go abroad to follow the social trend. Besides, many students are afraid of the entrance examinations for key high school. According to the statistics released by Chinese National Radio (CNR), nearly 20 million candidates for study abroad and chose to leave the college entrance examination in 2010, in the same year, all the students studying abroad in the following high school education students accounted for 19.75%. The proportion is supposed to grow in few years. With the increasing number of studying abroad, those international students make this kind of decision for different reasons. Leaving behind the glory in the eyes of folks at home, those Chinese international students begin a completely new sojourning journey in another alien and unfamiliar culture.
So what is their new life in foreign countries? Are there any difficulties in their daily contacting with natives and locals? Have they experienced any emotional upheavals and psychological confusions? How do they deal with the influence of both cultures now? What is their ultimate motivation for choosing study abroad? All of the ordinary and superficial questions frequently appear and are often discussed during the communication with the author’s acquaintances studying abroad. It is hoped that the study can provide a platform fro all Chinese international students to share their common or different experiences. On the one hand, these valuable experiences can help those who are studying abroad learn from others’ strong points and offset ones’ own weakness to finally achieve the uttermost outcome of proper success and accomplishment. On the other hand the precedent experiences can help those who are now planning abroad study at home make a full and sound preparation for their future sojourning from both behavioral and psychological perspectives.
Although the emergence of international students stands for the globalization education, because of young age, juniors’ studying abroad has many adverse effects on adaptability, culture and ideology, for instance, on both individuals and the whole society. About studying abroad, there have been a number of reports, documents or novels which recorded the life and study of those international students, of which are the negative feedback. The writing of this thesis is an analysis of disadvantages of study abroad for Chinese junior students who are studying or had studied in different foreign countries.
First and foremost, study abroad for juniors has many disadvantages in each individual. Many students do not have a tangible motivation for studying abroad, just study abroad for the sake of study abroad. In their eyes, study abroad is a glorious road which leads to the land of success. They are wondering when they return from their study abroad experience, they will be considered an authority on the area they visited, and will probably be asked to help the CIE promote your program to others. Further more, they will be one of the elite members of their class who has been adventurous enough to go abroad. They will be able to serve as an ambassador for their school, their town, their state and their country, as they introduce others to a way of life they have never experienced. Some of them even obey their parents’ advice to go abroad or just interested in the target country but know little about the teaching style, lifestyle and culture well in their mind. And they ignore the most important significance of study abroad, to learn some useful and beneficial knowledge to serve our motherland and our parents and even ourselves, not just for the sake of doing that or living in others’ envious eyes.
Second, a number of Chinese international students can not get used to great shock of foreign culture so that they feel themselves like aliens. For those students, we can say they are not good at the intercultural adaptation. Adaptation, originally a biological concept, means an alteration or adjustment in structure or habits, often hereditary, by which a species or individual improves its condition in relationship to its environment. Adaptation enables lining organisms to cope with environmental stresses ad pressures. Adaptation manifests the natural human instinct to struggle for an internal equilibrium in the face of adversarial environmental conditions. All creatures on the earth, including our human beings, have the essential and innate capacity to adapt to the outer environment. The understanding of adaptation beyond the biological sense cannot be separated from culture, so culture adaptation is the extension of biological adaptation.
Apart from the culture difference, the education concept of China and western countries is quite different. Chinese students, even their parents, focus on utilitarian educational goal more than practical one, for example, diplomas of foreign countries are much more popular than domestic ones.
The emphasis of education in China is to struggle for the future, for a brighter future. Study is a kind of struggle of the youth. In ancient China, the so-called poet, “Within books, one can find houses of gold. Within books, one can find ladies as fair as jade”, has been spurring the students studying. While in recent years, China’s advocating Quality Education, it is quite hard for all the school to put quality education into practice. Consequently, Chinese students care more about the scores in exams but not the ability of doing things whenever in elementary school and middle school. Students, teachers and parents, they all use one standard to evaluate or define success and failure. Someone who didn’t enter key university is defined as loser, which shifts the stress of our education. Especially in urban area, most families has only one child and no parent do not expect their children could be elites. It is the pattern of the education in China that decides the way of thoughts of the students. Diploma is everything. On the contrary, when students are in foreign countries, especially in western counties, they have to learn from what they did or what they experienced. Nobody cares about the score as much. Sometimes, they have to work with others to figure out a project. As for those students, they only learn something from what their teachers and parents told them to do. They have no concept of learning something from what they did. From the questionnaire, we can know that about 43% students do not have the ability to do self-study, about 39% students do not have the ability to control their learning time, about 17% students even do not have the concept of self evaluation. However, when they are in another totally different country, they are forced to master all these abilities. Perhaps for some of them, this is a beneficial challenge to chasten themselves, but for most of them, they are still in a young age. How can they focus on their study when confronted with so many unfamiliar and relatively difficult mental problems. Different sense of life and values makes them feel themselves like aliens and can not get along well with the environment. With their frustrating and uneasiness accumulated as time goes by, and can not find a person or place to speak that out, some of them get hypochondria when they get much stress. Therefore, the author supposes that it is better for the juniors