Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
Recruiting Conference. More details on Overseas Overwhelmed 2010.
Not happy at home, Chinese look to leave.
English requirement to learn English?
Avoiding Offense [Part II]
Overseas, Overwhelmed Summer Publication Schedule
1) LET’S GO CANADA – Recruiting Conference. More details on Overseas Overwhelmed 2010.
Interest is already building for this ‘don’t miss’ recruiting event this September. “Overseas Overwhelmed 2010, Going Global for Grad Students”, takes places on Monday, September 20, 2010 in Toronto.
Universities are already signing up to get guidance and assistance from these sessions:
• Admissions Architecture
• Program Development
• Overseas Marketing
• Government perspectives
• Institutional best practices
….and plenary workshops on:
• India and South Asia
• Gulf/Middle East
• South America
Plenary session will canvass:
• Cross-cultural challenges including recruitment of women
• Logistical hurdles
• Contending with variance in institutional academic calibre
• Vetting for documentary and other misrepresentation
• Study permit procedures
• Assessing safety hazards for recruitment trips
Canada’s most insightful recruiting event of the season will take place at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School’s Professional Development campus in downtown Toronto.
To book your attendance contact Cheryl Ramage at Higher-Edge by email or phone: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 416.461.1570
Early-bird registration cost is $395, with those registering after July 31 paying a fee of $475.
2) ABROAD PERSPECTIVE – Not happy at home, Chinese look to leave.
It used to be the case that foreign study was a last ditch option for Chinese students, reserved mostly for those who failed their national college entrance exams. In stark contrast, therefore, is the newly reported trend of rapidly increasing numbers of final year high school students choosing to pursue further studies abroad – many so determined to do so that they’re not even bothering to sit the national entrance exams at all. And with an ever-growing presence of foreign university recruiters and welcoming attitudes of visa officials from the likes of Canada, the U.S., France and Australia all throughout the application season, the process is getting more and more straightforward – and consequently, more and more attractive.
So why the major shift away from home?
Although the Chinese government has invested hugely in the basic education of its citizens, there remain widespread concerns over its quality of higher education.
According to a recent report on China’s Xinhuanet news site, the fact that more Chinese students are choosing to study abroad can be directly attributed to growing problems within their country’s own higher education industry. The article, which cites issues such as outdated curriculums, lax management, widespread cheating and instances of plagiarism, suggests that the credibility of Chinese institutes of higher learning is rapidly decreasing.
Therefore, in comparison, for those parents and students who can afford it, foreign universities seem a far more attractive investment – both education and career-wise.
By 2008, 1.4 million Chinese students had studied abroad – with only 390,000 of these students choosing to return to China after they graduated. And with more students choosing to study abroad each year, China seems poised to continue losing much of their talent to overseas markets.
Source: “Colleges must look within to stem tide of students moving abroad”. Xinhuanet, June 17, 2010.
3) OVER THE COUNTER – English requirement to learn English?
After the British government ordered a review of student visas last year, the UK announced new rules aimed at curbing the number of bogus international students entering the country and protecting domestic workers’ jobs.
The new visa rules, which came into effect this Spring, particularly affect those wishing to travel to the UK to study English before pursuing higher studies. Before, the minimum English language requirement in order to apply for a long-term study visa was set at a beginner level. But now, with a lower-intermediate level in English mandatory, students are required to submit recognized exam results along with their visa applications in order to qualify.
It was previously estimated that 600,000 people travel to the UK to learn English per year – bringing $2.4 billion in to the economy. Approximately half of these individuals go on to pursue higher studies, which used to be possible using the same student visa. However, under the new rules, students who do not meet the minimum English language requirement before travelling to the UK are only able to obtain a six-month student visitor visa – then must leave the country again if they want to apply for a general study visa once their English skills are up to standard.
Tony Millns, chief executive of English UK – an organization which represents accredited English language training providers – says the move may devastate schools which prepare foreign students for college or university studies. Particularly for less-wealthy students traveling long distances, he says that the additional cost of a second roundtrip airfare between study visas – let alone the hassle of putting in two rounds of visa applications – will likely be enough to deter them from studying in the UK.
“Frankly,” he says, “they are not going to bother, they’ll apply instead to go to Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the US.”
“Such a move would potentially lose the UK income from English language students in the order of $1.2bn a year, and it would lead to the loss of thousands of jobs at a time when the economy most needs them,” he added. “It is deeply ironic that the government is saying that you have to be fluent in English before you are allowed to come and learn in the UK.”
No doubt that Millns speaks for his constituency. Fact is, going to the UK for ESL has been an easy visa for years and a pathway into the country for illegal immigration and thousands going into the underground economy. The UK seeks to find a balance between growing its education export economy and shrinking its problems of visa abuse.
Source: “Tough visa rules chill UK schools”. Guardian Weekly, February 11, 2010.
4) GLOBE TIPPING – Avoiding Offense [Part II]
Different countries, different cultures, different rules of etiquette… and dis-etiquette. Read on for our second instalment of top travel ‘faux pas’ – in other words, a collection of offensive actions to avoid:
4. Dressing as a gaucho in Argentina
5. Although in some countries, wearing local dress is absolutely acceptable (and often even excitedly welcomed, in such regions as West Africa), beware certain exceptions – in Argentina, for example, dressing as a gaucho (especially when going to local parties or barbeques) is a serious faux pas.
6. Keeping your shoes on in a Japanese temple
7. Simply put – don’t do it. In much of Asia, shoes and hats must be removed to enter places of worship, and in Japan, you may even be required to remove your shoes (in replace for slippers provided) to enter local homes. In either of these scenarios, if you’re wearing socks, make sure they’re clean!
8. Bringing 12 wrapped carnations to a German dinner party
9. On the surface, flowers seem the perfect “simple gift” for any hostess. But in many countries, beware the hidden meanings: carnations are for funerals in Germany, Poland, and Sweden, while chrysanthemums are used for the same in Belgium, Italy, France, Spain and Turkey. Red means romance in France and Austria, yellow for grief in Mexico and Chile. Never wrap your bouquets in Germany, Sweden or Poland, and you might also want to count the stems – even numbers are unlucky in India, Turkey, Russia, and Germany, while odd are unlucky in China and Indonesia.
10. Saying your Chinese host’s name the wrong way around
With name reversal common in the Far East, it’s often easy to get muddled over a new person’s title. In China, for example, normal order is as follows: surname, then middle generational name, then given name. So calling Mr Li Wong Chee of Beijing “Mr Chee” would be like calling Mr John William Smith of London “Mr John”. However, some considerate Chinese switch the names specifically to avoid confusing foreigners – an attempt which often backfires.
…Want to learn more things not to do on your travels? Keep an eye out for a final instalment in next week’s NSF!
Sources: “Top 10 travel faux pas”. The Guardian, October 15, 2007.
“Top Faux Pas Travelers Should Be Aware of”. Tourism-Review.com, August 10, 2009.
5) NOTICE – Overseas, Overwhelmed Summer Publication Schedule
Please note that Overseas, Overwhelmed moves to its summer publication schedule for the next two months. Publications will be twice a month, instead of weekly, with publication dates slated for July 7, July 21, August 4 and August 18, before resuming regular weekly issues again on Wednesday, September 1.