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Influx of Chinese students emerges as a big business in U.S.

Chinese students in U.S., Chinese international studentsec

In 1981, when Erhfei Liu entered Brandeis University as an undergraduate, he was only the second student from mainland China in the school's history. "I was a rare animal from Red China," Liu said in an interview, "an alien from the moon."

1981年,当刘二飞作为一名本科生进入美国布兰代斯大学时,他是该校史上第二个来自中国大陆的学生。刘二飞在接受采访时说:"我是来自红色中国的珍稀动物,是从月球来的外星人。"

Now, Chinese students are by far the most visible international presence at many universities across the United States, and their numbers continue to grow. This year, the number of Chinese students studying stateside was 304,040, a 10.8 percent increase over the 2013-2014 academic year, according to a just released report by the nonprofit Institute of International Education. This is the sixth year in a row that China has been the leading place of origin for international students in the United States. Out of the more than 974,000 international students currently in the United States, almost one in three is now Chinese.

现在,中国学生成了全美许多大学中最引人注目的国际群体,而且他们的人数还在不断增长。根据美国国际教育学会刚刚发布的报告,今年在美国本土中国留学生人数为30.404万,比2013-2014学年多了10.8%。这是中国连续第六年成为在美国际学生的最大生源国。目前在美求学的97.4万多名国际学生中,几乎三分之一来自中国。

The number of Chinese international students has increased nearly fivefold since the 2004-2005 academic year. Evan Ryan, U.S. assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, attributed the huge increase to rising incomes in China, as well as the excellence of American education. "There's a growing Chinese middle class interested in their children's education," Ryan said. "The Chinese want to be competitive in the 21st century."

自2004-2005学年以来,中国留学生的数量增加了近4倍。美国助理国务卿埃文·瑞安认为,人数的大幅增加要归因于中国收入的增加以及美国卓越的教育水平。瑞安说:"越来越多的中国中产阶级关心子女的教育。中国人希望在21世纪具有竞争力。"

Particularly remarkable is the fast rate of growth in the undergraduate student population. Chinese graduate students once far outnumbered their undergraduate counterparts at U.S. schools, but by 2015, 41 percent of Chinese students in the United States were undergraduates, compared with 39.6 percent for graduate students. Peggy Blumenthal, senior counselor to the president at IIE, attributes the increase in Chinese undergraduates to the expansion of international high schools in China, where students improve their English and prepare for U.S. tests. "Rather than spending all their time preparing for Chinese tests," Blumenthal said in an interview, "they learn how to present themselves in ways which are much more helpful" for acceptance to U.S. universities.

特别引人注目的是,本科生的人数快速增长。在美国高校,中国研究生的人数曾远超本科生,但到2015年,在美的中国学生中有41%是本科生,39.6%是研究生。国际教育学会总裁高级助理佩吉·布卢门撒尔将中国本科生人数的增加归因于国际中学在中国的发展。在国际中学,学生可以提高英语水平,准备参加大学入学考试等美国考试。布卢门撒尔说:"与其花所有的时间备战中国的考试,他们学会了如何以更有助于得到美国大学承认的方式展示自己。"

The dramatic rise in the number of Chinese students in the United States has led in some cases to concerns about the students' ability to integrate into U.S. campus and social life, which often centers on sports, social clubs, and community organizations that may be unfamiliar to Chinese students. College administrators and Chinese students themselves have noted their tendency to socialize primarily with each other rather than engaging with the broader student community. In response, many campuses are being proactive about helping Chinese students engage in campus and community life. The University of Illinois now broadcasts football games in Chinese. Purdue University in Indiana has hired Chinese-speaking counselors to staff campus mental health centers. University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business, where one in five students is Chinese, has provided instruction to professors on how to correctly pronounce Chinese names.

在美中国留学生人数的急剧增加在某些情况下已导致有人对这些学生能否融入美国校园和社交生活产生了担心。美国的校园和社交生活往往围绕体育、社交俱乐部和社区组织展开,这些可能是中国学生所不熟悉的。大学管理人员和中国学生自己已注意到,他们更倾向于和自己人交往,而不是参与更广泛的学生群体。对此,许多学校正在积极主动地帮助中国学生参与校园和社交生活。伊利诺伊大学现在用汉语播放足球比赛。印第安纳州的普渡大学已聘请讲汉语的顾问参与校园精神卫生中心的工作。艾奥瓦大学蒂皮商学院五分之一的学生是中国人,他们教导教授如何正确读出中国人的名字。

Even with the challenges, Blumenthal views the influx of Chinese students not just as a net positive for the Chinese students themselves, but also for their American classmates. "America is going to be dealing with China as a partner and as a competitor for years to come," she said. "By having the opportunity to engage with undergraduates as peers, it will provide Americans students with the skills they need to be effective in the workforce." U.S. authorities echo the sentiment, saying student exchanges form an important part of public diplomacy. "Having these Chinese students on U.S. campuses helps to build a bridge between China and the United States," said Ryan.

布卢门撒尔认为,中国学生的到来不仅对于他们自己来说是好事,对美国的同窗来说也是好事。她说:"未来,美国将与中国打交道,既是一个合作伙伴,也是竞争对手。有了这个打交道的机会,美国学生就能掌握在工作中行之有效的技巧。"美国政府也持这种看法,称学生交流是公共外交的重要组成部分。瑞安说:"让中国学生来美国校园读书有助于建立中美之间的桥梁。"

It's not just about bilateral bonhomie; the influx of Chinese students into the United States is also big business. In the 2014-2015 academic year, Chinese students pumped $9.8 billion into the U.S. economy through tuition and fees, according to the IIE report.

这不只是双方示好的姿态;中国学生大量涌入美国也是大生意。根据国际教育学会的统计,在2014-2015学年,中国学生以学杂费的形式为美国经济贡献了98亿美元。

2016-06-23

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