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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Swiss miss costs family life savings

By Zhou Wenting (China Daily)

15:12, March 19, 2012

Until recently, I had an office job at a State-owned factory in Shanghai and was all set to retire in five years. I never expected our family would be in the crisis we're in now.

My daughter Qiao Qian graduated junior college two years ago. At first she worked at a kindergarten, but after about 12 months she told us she wanted to join some colleagues who had decided to continue their studies in Switzerland.

The total cost was going to be 660,000 yuan ($104,400) how many families have access to that kind of money? We were comfortable, but not rich.

At first, I was reluctant, but after a few days I relented and gave my approval.

I invested 460,000 yuan, which was almost everything we'd saved over the years, and then borrowed the rest from relatives.

I had been under the belief that the money would guarantee my daughter a brilliant future. It's common for young people nowadays to earn a 10,000 yuan a month, so I convinced myself not to worry about the debt.

Who'd have thought it would all have gone to waste?

Three years of study in Switzerland did not create the opportunities we'd hoped for. She has not settled down since returning to China, she has jumped from one job to another. We now have many family arguments.

Life has become for more prosperous for others, but we're in reverse. My wife and I have had to ration our food to gradually wipe off the debt.

In the end, I took a redundancy settlement from the Shanghai factory just before Spring Festival to pay back the money we had borrowed. Now I make a living working as a security guard.

We'd planned to use our savings to move to a larger apartment once I'd retired, but there's no chance of that now. I can only cry at home I don't dare to cry out loud, though, for fear of being heard by our neighbors.

My daughter's overseas study was a failure.

Qiao Bin was talking to Zhou Wenting.

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