Monday, May 21, 2012

Study Abroad: For Losers or Winners?

A few weeks back, I was assigned a VIP class with a grade 11 student to prep him for the TOEFL test. After two attempts at the test, the student decided to spend his summer holiday and may be the next school year studying for the test as this is his priority at the moment.

I immediately interrupted him to clarify if he meant he was going to drop out of high school just to study for the TOEFL test or he meant he would study after school during his own time. He replied he would drop out of school to focus on something more important rather than wasting his time in the private international school he goes to.

I then asked him how he would get into university without a high school diploma which is even more important than the TOEFL scores. He smiled and said to me "oh, don't you know you can  pay some people for the diploma? it's not a big deal, it's very common here in China"
Lazying about

In a land of fake designer bags and tainted food products, it's no surprise to hear and read about business executives and professionals with fake degrees as well as Chinese students enrolled in foreign universities with fake high school diplomas.

Students who plan to go study abroad will often flunk their way through high school because they know there is no need for them to spend countless hours buried in their books all for the sake of Gao Kao (university entrance exam). Some on the other hand will choose to go study abroad after an undesirable result.  So these cohorts of students are considered to be losers who don't put in the effort required to achieve best results and to be academically successful in their native country. Statistics of Chinese students studying abroad with fake credentials are unknown. With hundreds of thousands of Chinese going abroad to go study every year, it's easy for their credentials to go uncheck. I mean who has the time to verify a high school diploma and TOEFL scores when there's so much money involved. Many schools are mainly after overseas students deep pockets and cares very little about the authenticity of every student's information package. In the end, you can't blame them, especially when a university has a large number of students coming from countries with foreign languages and foreign school systems, which can make background checks nearly impossible. 

So do I think study abroad programs are mainly for students who can't handle the competition in their home countries that they have to take the nearest exit? NO! But I think students who don't put in the required effort to achieve authentic credentials because they know mummy and daddy can pay their way out of high school and into an American/English or Canadian schools are losers. 


JenJen said...

Interesting post. I agree with you completely.

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said...

I agree as well. A fake degree, how sad.

'Lara said...

For Africans, study abroad is the best option because of the crap called higher institutions in our homeland

In India, I met a lot of Arabs and Chinese and from conversations, I got to know most of them consider studying abroad only because they do not make the marks to studying in their own countries.

But the whole fake degree ish, even Nigerians no too get that kin liver...interesting post I must say.

Arnold Haskins said...

Thank you, thats very interesting information. I need to share with my friends. study in china

Curious Kinks said...

Thank you for the referral Arnold!