爱思英语编者按:出国留学不再是富人们的特权啦。随着办理签证条件的放宽以及人民生活水平的普遍提高,出国留学已经逐渐的平民化。WORLD-CLASS professors, legendary alumni, sophisticated lab facilities, scholarships – until recently, these perks of American higher education have mostly been enjoyed only by top Chinese applicants. Now, however, the gates of US universities are opening to an increasingly wide array of Chinese students.This development can be attributed both to the higher rate of visa approvals (40-60 percent in 2004, and over 80 percent since 2005) and to a new US commitment to facilitate educational exchanges.Last week in Beijing, President Hu Jintao and US President Barack Obama signed a joint statement that “noted the importance of people-to-people and cultural exchanges in fostering closer China-US bilateral relations”.According to the agreement, “The US will receive more Chinese students and facilitate visa issuance for them.”Even before Obama's China visit, the number of Chinese students in the US had been on the rise. According to the 2009 Open Doors Report released by the US Embassy last Thursday, 98,200 Chinese mainlanders studied in the US during the 2008-09 academic year. That's a 21 percent increase over the previous year. About 58 percent of those students were in graduate programs.“In the past, only top students who got scholarships, or students from rich families could study in the US, but now more students from middle-class families can take this path,” said Xiao Lian, head of the US economic research center of the Institute of World Economics and Politics, China Academy of Social Sciences. “Growing incomes allow more families to afford the expenses.”Beyond the Ivy LeagueThese students from middle-class families need not attend Ivy League schools to get a good education. “Based on the applicant's conditions, we might suggest liberal arts colleges and community colleges (for undergrads). Their teaching quality is also good,” said Zhou Chenggang, a senior consultant at EduGlobal China. Many of these schools, adds Zhou, charge $5,000-40,000 per year, which is affordable for many families with savings.Tu Pan, deputy director of the Shenzhen EIC Group's US education center, expects the new joint statement will ensure that even more students from ordinary families get to study in the US. When other recent agreements are added, the possibilities look better than ever before.For example, in 2008, the US Congress extended the Optional Practical Training time frame that gives international science students a chance to work as temporary employees after graduation for as much as 12 to 29 months.There are, of course, potential hazards that await Chinese students who venture abroad – the biggest being, currently, the gloomy economy.Just ask Xu Junkai, a 21-year-old senior at Tsinghua University. “I applied to the biochemistry course at Buffalo University,” said Xu. “Yet in a recent e-mail, my potential professor said that he's still struggling to secure research funds for next year, so they would not be able to offer me any scholarship or assistantship.”The economic situation has also caused potential overseas students to worry about their chances of finding work after they graduate.According to the 2010 Job Outlook report released earlier this month by the National Association of Colleges and Employers in the US, employers appear to be “very cautious” in their early plans for spring 2010 on-campus hiring. Less than one-third of employers say they have firm plans. That's down 22 percent from last year.Think before you apply更多信息请访问:http://www.24en.com/As a result, Tu suggests applicants think clearly about what they want to get from an American study experience. “If you just want to broaden your mind and experience American culture and lifestyle, this is a good time to study in the US,” Tu said. “If you want to find a springboard for your future career, you must carefully choose a promising university, major and city.”Tu suggests students obtain as much information as they can, and take into consideration their family's financial situation, their personal interests and their future goals before making a decision.
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