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Is studying abroad really a good choice for Chinese children?

(People's Daily Online)    11:00, July 04, 2016
Is studying abroad really a good choice for Chinese children?
An advertisement from a study abroad agency. (Photo/Youth.cn)

After scores for the gaokao, China’s university entrance exam, were released, many study abroad agencies began recruiting students who are interested in attending college abroad. Although many parents and students are tempted by the study abroad experience, some are worried by the frequent, disturbing news of Chinese students struggling to get used to life abroad.

On June 6, Chinese student Robert Liu hanged himself in a dormitory of New York University; on June 11, a Chinese junior at the University of Pennsylvania killed herself by jumping in front of a train. Sadly, these tragedies are only the tip of the iceberg. With more and more Chinese students studying abroad at increasingly earlier ages, the students’ psychological conditions must be given more attention.

According to Cui Hong, a psychological consultant specializing in the mental condition of Chinese students overseas, there are three gaps that parents and children need to bridge if they hope to have a successful study abroad experience: generational, cultural and time-space. These students often find it difficult to fit in while studying in foreign countries; at the same time, when they come back to China for vacations, they also find it hard to get along with their old classmates.

Cui suggests that parents pay more attention to their children’s development from an early age. Parents can also learn to use social media to communicate with their children abroad. Instead of focusing solely on academic performance, Cui advises parents to learn more about their children’s daily lives. It is helpful if parents learn about the culture in which their children are living, and even seek out recent news from the country in which their children are studying.

Cui believes that children from harmonious, stable families are the best candidates to study abroad since they are most likely to feel a strong sense of security. In addition, children with independent characters who like to socialize and participate in many activities also tend to thrive in their lives abroad. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yao Xinyu,Bianji)

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