Stateside: International students continue to attend Michigan universities

Nov 20, 2012

An increasing amount of Chinese students are enrolling in American universities.

Because more Chinese students are now graduating from high school than ever before, there exists the demand for collegiate opportunities.

“It’s a strong reflection of the Chinese middle class. There is also a liberalization of U.S. visas to allow Chinese students to come here,” said Peter Briggs.

Briggs directs Michigan State University’s Office of International Students and Scholars.

Sharing her story was study abroad was Jing Cui. An undergrad student at MSU, Jing Cui considered America upon attending a Chinese university for a year.

“I took the college entrance exam in China and went to a university in China; meanwhile I was preparing for coming to the U.S. I applied for six universities and Michigan State was the first to accept me,” said Jing Cui.

According to Briggs, Cui’s decision was not uncommon. With a growing amount of Chinese students graduating from high school comes the demand for more Chinese universities.

“There are only about 40 top-tier universities in China. 18% of high schools graduates in China can go to one of these universities,” said Briggs.

Upon attending MSU, Jing Cui found many disparities between American and Chinese campuses.

“The students cannot challenge the authority of the professors. When you go to the class, it is one professor addressing hundreds of students. In China, we only have one exam per class per semester. I feel like I learn more here than if I was in China taking the same classes,” said Jing Cui.

For Briggs, the benefits of international run both ways; attending American universities, Chinese students spread the culture of their homeland and form positive memories that will endure throughout their future.

“The ideas of international exchange are that you hope they have lifelong memories here,” said Briggs.

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