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Student safety is goal of consulate competition

By Lia Zhu in San Francisco | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-03-20 10:51

A competition on safety knowledge will be held by the Chinese consulate general in San Francisco to raise the safety awareness among overseas Chinese students in the San Francisco consular district.

In cooperation with Today Focus, a New York-based Chinese media company, the competition organizers will introduce two of 29 safety cases involving Chinese students every day from March 16 on the Today Focus app.

Through studying real-life cases as well as experts' comments, the Chinese students in the San Francisco consular district, which covers Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Northern California and Nevada, can participate in the competition online from March 27. Winners will be awarded return air tickets between the US and China.

An on-site competition will be held on April 30 for Chinese students in the San Francisco Bay Area. Further details about the competition are yet to be revealed.

"The US has been a top choice for Chinese students who wish to study aboard," said Luo Linquan, Chinese consul general in San Francisco. "China has been the country sending the largest number of students to the US for seven consecutive years."

According to the Open Doors report, more than 328,000 Chinese students were registered in the US universities for the 2015-16 year, up 8 percent from the previous year. The number of Chinese students represents 31.5 percent of all the total amount of international students in the US.

In the San Francisco consular district, the number of Chinese students exceeded 43,000 during the last school year, up 13 percent year on year, according to Luo.

"As more and more Chinese students are coming to the US, their ages tend to be younger and younger," Luo said. "These young students who live alone in a foreign country have a hard time adapting themselves to the strange environment. They also fall victim to crimes sometimes," he said.

In recent years, Chinese students have been reported to get involved in traffic accidents, campus violence, public security incidents, or tuition fraud.

The consulate has dealt with about 50 safety cases involving Chinese students in the past three years, according to Luo.

Collaborating with local Chinese-American groups is part of the consulate's efforts to educate Chinese students about safety knowledge, such as issuing safety alerts on the consulate's website and launching a hotline to offer assistance and rescue service, said Luo.

"But most importantly, the Chinese students need to raise their own awareness, learn the basic safety knowledge and know how to respond to emergencies," Luo said.

Zhang Xiao, a Chinese student in the Bay Area, was invited to tell his own experience at the Chinese consulate on Thursday. He said he witnessed several accidents happen to his friends and classmates.

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