As a middle school student in Shanghai, Karina Xing is currently enrolled in a curriculum geared toward applying to American universities and colleges. But if she can’t get into a US school, she needs backup options, which takes time.


“It’s not too early,” she told Shanghai Daily. “Schoolmates and relatives even younger than me are weighing similar options. It’s better to be prepared sooner rather than later because you never know what the situation will be four years from now.”


Xing’s situation is not unique. It’s becoming more and more common for Chinese students to consider colleges and universities outside of the United States.


The reasons for this are varied, but they include concerns about the economy, the political climate, and the future of the US education system.


“I want to keep my options open,” Xing said. “The world is changing, and so are the times we live in.”


Indeed, the decision about where to go to college is becoming more complex and difficult as time goes on. But for students like Xing, it’s important to consider all the factors involved before making a final decision.


According to the Institute of International Education, the number of Chinese students enrolled in US colleges and universities has declined for the second year. In the 2017-2018 academic year, there were more than 363,000 Chinese students in the US, down from nearly 370,000 the year before.

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This trend is likely to continue as more and more Chinese students look beyond the US for their higher education needs.


“The US is still the top destination for many Chinese students,” said Xu Hui, director of Shanghai-based Ivy Alliance Consultants. “But we are seeing a growing number of students interested in other countries, such as the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.”


Hui attributes this change to several factors, including the current political climate in the US, the increasing cost of tuition, and the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment.


“Some students are concerned about what will happen to the US economy under President Trump,” she said. “Others worry that they will not be able to find a job after graduation because of the current political situation.”


The cost of tuition is also a major factor in the decision-making process. According to Hui, the average cost of tuition at a private university in the US is now more than $35,000 per year. This is an increase of more than 30 per cent since 2010.


“For many families, this is simply too much money,” she said. “They are looking at other options.”


Finally, the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment in the US is also playing a role in the decisions of Chinese students.


“There have been several high-profile incidents of violence and harassment directed at Chinese students in the US,” Hui said. “This has made many students and their families reconsider whether or not the US is a safe place to study.”


In light of these changing times, it’s important for students like Xing to carefully consider all of their options before deciding where to go to college. The decision is complex, but it could have a major impact on the rest of her life.


What do you think of Karina’s decision to consider colleges outside the United States? Do you feel more Chinese students will follow her lead? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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