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Mandarin come to Us

Date:2013-10-29 11:15 From:Jack 【Print】 【Closed】 【Collection

Mandarin come to Us 

A Shanghainese friend of mine, who had won a very high physics prize in high school, majored in physics at Yale. In his senior year, he rejected a job offer from Microsoft and opted for the physics graduate program at Harvard. Others jump at the opportunity to enter fields like engineering and finance. Working for a major financial firm on Wall Street is the dream of many pragmatic Chinese undergraduates.

What are these Chinese undergrads like? Most come from middle-class families in the big urban centers of China. The geographical distribution is highly skewed, with Shanghai and Beijing heavily over-represented. Certain magnet schools, such as the Shanghai Foreign Language Middle School and Middle School 4 in Beijing, have supplied many students to American college campuses. Outside the main pool, a number of Yale students come from Changsha and Ningbo,swhereseach year American Yale graduates are sent to teach English.

Unfortunately, only students from the coastal metropolises seem to have any idea of the existence of such scholarships.

In my freshman year at Yale, there were seven undergraduates from mainland China, and now two of them are employed by big-name Wall Street investment banks. Many Chinese students also study biology in college and then go on to medical school.

The overwhelming majority of Chinese undergraduates in the US major in science, engineering or economics. Many were academic superstars in their high schools - gold medallists in international academic Olympiads or prize winners in national academic contests. Once on US campuses, many of them decide to make research a lifelong commitment.

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