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What you may not know about studying abroad

(People's Daily Online)

08:48, January 17, 2013

Please watch the video:

"The Visit" premiered at Columbia University on Oct. 5, 2012, and attracted a large audience.

The 16-mintue video was directed by Shen Hua, a third-year graduate student majoring in film at Columbia University, and had been viewed as many as 320,000 times as of Dec. 25, 2012 since its release on a week earlier. It is the story of a Chinese mother visiting her child who is studying at Columbia University, and shows their experiences of cultural and value conflicts in the United States.

Foreign country is no paradise

The overseas experiences of the video's hero, Tian Tian, have struck a chord with many Chinese students studying abroad. "You just do not know until you have studied abroad. It is a big dream to study in the United States, but also very hard," said an Internet user.

Job hunting is a much bigger headache for international students than living and studying. "Looking for a job in the United States is complicated and troublesome, and U.S. companies are becoming less willing to hire foreigners given the weak domestic economy in recent years. This has made it even more difficult for us to find a good job," Shen said.

Xiao Xi, who is also studying in the United States, believes it is not easy to integrate into a foreign culture. "Daily conversation is not a problem for me, but I am still unable to chat easily about topics about the American life and culture because I do not have enough vocabulary or know enough about the culture. Furthermore, it is difficult to adapt to their way of thinking."

Industry insiders said that neither the cross-cultural guidelines that overseas education agencies have provided to would-be international students nor the experience shared by international students are panaceas. The key to adapting to a foreign culture lies in one's own hands.

Read the Chinese version: 留学生活看起来很美?; Source: People's Daily Overseas Edition; Author:Zhao Xiaoxia

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