Behind the boom in Chinese students at U.S. colleges

Almost 200,000 Chinese students joined North American universities in the last academic year, an increase of 23% from the previous year according to the Institute of International Education, a U.S. nonprofit, the National Journal reports. The Chinese call them “sea turtles,” the lucky few who go abroad—the US often being their first choice—for education, and then return home with better English and a broader cultural perspective to get good jobs with Western companies. (The nickname applies because sea turtles return home to lay eggs for the next generation.) China’s education system emphasizes rote learning at the expense of creativity. While Americans are more often taught to think and speak independently from kindergarten, Chinese students do well in math and science at the expense of independent thinking. Many companies value mathematical ability. But focusing on this alone doesn’t prepare young people for winning clients, giving presentations or closing deals…

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