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Studying abroad means a 'major' decision

By Huang Ying ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-05-01 12:13:55

Studying abroad means a 'major' decision

A representative introduces Australian universities to visitors to an international education exhibition held in March in Beijing. According to educational consulting firms, more Chinese students who decide to go abroad for further education are avoiding the stampede into finance and business studies and instead thinking about what interests them. Feng Yongbin / China Daily

"I'm more interested in majors like design and architectural engineering, but since I've not made up my mind yet, I put 'undecided' as my major on the application forms. I'll decide sometime during my college years, when I can make a better decision based on my real interests and opportunities," said Zhang. Her choice is her own.

"My parents preferred that I choose finance- or business-related majors because they think these have better career prospects. I just don't agree. I have no interest in these subjects and besides, they're what everyone else studies," said Zhang.

According to educational consulting firms, a growing number of Chinese students who decide to go abroad for further education are avoiding the stampede into finance and business studies and instead thinking about what interests them.

"In the past, the students who applied to study art or design were few, maybe less than 10 in one year, but now we could see dozens of students doing this every year," said Yi Yan, deputy director of the American Section at Chivast Education International, an agency that helps Chinese students put together applications for overseas universities.

The "new group" of majors includes film direction, graphic design, photography, art management and jewelry design, said Yi. "Basically, these students chose their majors based on their own interests, over anything else," she added.

"Although my parents had a different opinion, they finally agreed to respect my choice," said Zhang.

According to Zhang, many students in her class will go abroad for further education, and most of them have independent and clear thoughts on their futures. "As far as I know, none of the people I know who've decided to study abroad have chosen business-related majors," she said.

"The latest change in recent years among Chinese students seeking overseas education is that they have clear plans for their future, which include more professions than before," said Chao Meng, senior manager of consulting at Naturelaw International Education LLC, a consulting and training agency in the overseas education industry.

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