Chinese students in the United States

Since the late 1970s, sending students abroad to learn advanced Western technology has been a central part of the Chinese government’s policy, and the “crazy interest in studying abroad” tendency booms with an exponential growth in China, and still keep moving upward today. Although American society is more diverse now than at any previous time and diversity on college campuses is an intentional goal, research shows that international students, and Asian students specifically, face discrimination or racialization as a result of stereotypes when studying on US campuses. Further, this racialization has adverse effects on students' ability to adapt to the host culture and leads to increased levels of depression.
The Tendency of Chinese Students to Go Abroad
The upsurge of mainland Chinese students studying abroad started in the 1970s, and the number of mainland Chinese students in the US increased from nearly zero at the beginning of 1978 to a total approximately 20,030 in 1988. And this figure doubled by 1993 and tripled by 2003. According to the latest statistics, the United States is the leading destination for Chinese students pursuing overseas studies. In academic year 2007-2008, there were 81,127 students from the enrolled in higher education institutions in the United States. Today, many Chinese students skip local university entrance exams and apply to American colleges which actively recruit them. The factors behind the change have as much to do with shifts in financial power as with the emphasis on globalization and diversity touted by the universities. Typically, stereotypes about cultural groups are varied and contain a combination of both positive and negative attributes. Asians or Chinese are often considered a “model minority” in that they are seen to be hardworking, ambitious, intelligent, mathematical, obedient, self-disciplined, serious, and traditional, traits, which contribute positively to society, but Asians are most often considered to be highly competent but cold. Racialization occurs when students are classified according to racial categories that are “preconceived notions of what each specific racial group looks like.” According to Oberg’s definition, culture shock involves such aspects as train; a sense of loss and feeling of deprivation; being rejected or rejecting others; confusion, surprise, or anxiety; and a feeling of impotence. They have difficulties in their adaptation and adjustment to American culture and campus life, due to their cultural background, traditions, and family influence.
Social Isolation
Cultural shock could further lead to the cultural and social isolation in a new environment. It is the exact portrayal of the international students’ current situation in the US, especially the Chinese students. It is attributed by a main factor that most Chinese undergraduates bring to campus their own culturally specific versions of teenager; they have their own personalities, social behavior. Having experienced being the only child at home, for most Chinese students sharing a dorm room with someone, much less a stranger, is a totally new experience.<ref name="Andrea2012"/> Chinese students rarely talk with their American roommates; they are not really close with each other. The language barrier and culture shock often add to the social isolation that they feel from their roommated. The lack of appropriate language and social skills among Chinese students make them feel social and cultural isolation. So despite the actual numbers of foreign students on the rise, many Chinese international students experience cultural shock and social isolation on American campuses.<ref name="Andrea2012"/>
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