Studying Abroad in China: A Guide for Parents
Even amongst college graduates, fewer than 2% of American students have studied abroad. While Americans enjoy one of the most diverse cultures in the world, very few truly have a full concept of the wider world around us.
President Barack Obama is known for saying that his experiences in a foreign country (Indonesia) were a large part of what has shaped his worldview. Having lived in a foreign country gave him a larger picture of the world, one which has affected his view on a variety of foreign policy issues.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who had hoped to win the Republican Party’s nomination to face off against Obama in the 2008 elections, has said, “It’s no longer enough to worry about what’s happening in Ohio or California. We must know what’s happening in Chile and Japan. What occurs today in Osaka can affect what happens tomorrow in Forrest City, Arkansas. It’s imperative that we develop a workforce…that has the skills necessary to move from the jobs of the 20th Century to the jobs of the 21st Century.”
Both of these leaders, from polar opposites of political ideology, agree that Americans in the 21st Century are going to need, more than ever, a global perspective. One of the best ways to gain that global perspective is by living and studying abroad.
George Lucas, director of Star Wars, is well known to incorporate aspects of many of the world’s cultures into his fictitious galaxy “far, far away.” When receiving a Global Vision Award, Lucas acknowledged that, “Study abroad is extremely important; just for kids to get outside this country and experience the fact that there is a big world out there.”
Studying abroad is a great idea for almost every student, whether their ambition is to seek the highest political office in the country, create tomorrow’s film masterpieces, or simply to work and prosper in an increasingly global marketplace.
Next Step China has created the following guide to help parents feel comfortable about having their child study abroad in China. Please view the topics below for more guidance.