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Should you, or should you not study abroad

China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-05 07:43

Should you, or should you not study abroad

Gu Weiqi (third from right) and her schoolmates before the graduation activity of Thames boat cruise in London, UK, July 12, 2016. [Photo provided to]

Look before you leap overseas

Starting salaries of some overseas-returnees in China have reportedly fallen to as low as 40,000 yuan ($5,805) a year. Why?

The expectations of those who study overseas vary. Many students going abroad for studies have dreams of working in a foreign country. After completing their studies, they plan to get a job in the country of their stay. Only when they realize how difficult it is to land a job in that way do they return home.

Since their original plan is to work overseas after graduation, they prepare themselves differently compared with the students in China. The wide gap between the demands of the domestic and overseas job markets shatters the dream of many returnees expecting to get cushy, well-paying jobs at home.

Students who study overseas for many years could lose track of the developments in China. They could also be found wanting in many areas as they cannot keep pace with their peers at home. Some students who return to China are less capable of dealing with different situations or lack comprehensive skills, and hence adapt to the changing environment more slowly than others.

To begin with, students, especially those who are part of international education exchange programs, should be well versed in globalization. Given the uncertainties of the global job market, they cannot focus on just one area. They ought to master communication skills, be familiar with different subjects and be able to adapt to changes.

Second, whether or not a student should be sent overseas for studies should be decided by their aptitude, intellect and level of adaptability.

And third, students going overseas for studies should know that on return employers are more likely to treat them the same as domestic graduater, because they no longer have the advantages they once enjoyed.

Chu Zhaohui, senior researcher at National Institute of Education Sciences.

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