U.S. is one of the most diverse countries in the world and this diversity is even represented on its academic campuses. It is not uncommon for American universities to boast that over hundred nationalities are represented on their campus. This diverse composition of American universities doesn’t only reflect America’s embrace of diversity but also speaks volume about the quality of its college education. The reputation of American universities is hard-earned and well-deserved. Student in the U.S. have the opportunity to be rich in many different ways; for example, scholarships, par-time jobs, and standard of living.
Students in the U.S. college system have more control over their lives including studying. In China, college students are put in monitored study rooms to do their course assignments and engage in other academic activities but those in the U.S. college system have complete freedom regarding their study patterns. Students in the U.S. college system are free to choose their majors after entering college and may even change a major after completing few semesters. But students in China must choose a major before entering college and cannot change the choice later because the whole process is too cumbersome (Wang). It is obvious students in the American college system have richer experiences than their counterparts in Chinese colleges.
Living arrangements while being a college student also show why students in American universities have richer lifestyle than their Chinese counterparts. For example, car is a commodity in the U.S. and almost every other student has car but the same cannot be said about students in Chinese universities. Very few Chinese students may have cars, even in big cities like Shanghai (Wang). Thus, not only students in America live more comfortably also have a lower probability of being questioned for their respective lifestyles.
Students in China have to live in dorms during the course of their study (Wang). While some American colleges may require at least a month stay in dorms, most leave it up to the students to choose their living. Thus, the concept of personal space or privacy is almost non-existent for students in Chinese colleges. Not only students in American colleges can choose their own accommodation but may also take part-time jobs to earn extra-cash and fund personal lifestyle. Jobs do not only better prepare them for real world but also help them become self-sufficient as soon as possible.
Students in American colleges also have richer learning experiences in the classrooms as compared to their counterparts at Chinese colleges. Unlike Chinese academic system’s focus on rote-learning, American academic system emphasizes ideas discussion and independent thinking. There is a reason Linda Shuo Zhang is extremely satisfied with her academic experiences in the U.S. as compared to China. Linda is a Chinese national whose academic career in the U.S. started at a high school in Manhattan and eventually led her to Barnard College (Vaccarello).
Students at American colleges also have richer academic experiences because they can take a wide variety of courses irrespective of their intended major. This helps them expand their thinking horizon and develop broad perspectives. Unlike the U.S. college education system, students at Chinese colleges have only limited choices of courses they can take and these choices are usually determined by one’s intended major (Hanaway). Once again it is clear students at American colleges have richer learning experiences than their counterparts at Chinese colleges.
America and China are two of the largest economies in the world yet they have quite different academic systems. Students at American colleges have richer experiences than their counterparts at Chinese colleges because American educational system provides more room for personal freedom and individualistic expression.
- Hanaway, Tom. Learning across the world: Chinese vs. US college experience. 2 July 2011. 14 April 2014 http://www.usatodayeducate.com/staging/index.php/study-abroad/learning-across-the-world-chinese-vs-us-college-experience
- Vaccarello, Joe. Chinese student loving life in U.S. college. 19 January 2011. 14 April 2014 http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/01/19/us.chinese.student/index.html
- Wang, Siqi. College life in China vs. America. 26 September 2013. 14 APril 2014 http://international.uiowa.edu/accents/post/college-life-china-vs-america