Foreign students in China

China Travel Blog

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decadent street painting

The foreign students in Chinese universities are mostly Asian. The largest group where I was studying (south China) were the Koreans. The Koreans are mainly exchange students. South Korea seems to have an eye for a massive shift to China and hordes of students flock over to study. From what they have told me it seems that Korea it a worse rat race than even Japan. There is a rigid military Service for men and the culture is obsessively Confucius influenced. Graduate study is virtually required (and they think North Korea is repressive)the youth is overburdened. All I remember of Seoul In the mid 80s were the riot police and teargas in the street, it was a police state. I had a lot of contact with the large Korean community in China. There were ethnic Korean Chinese, expats, and foreign students as usual with Asians they stick together like rice balls…

Then there were the “Overseas Chinese” this was a hardly united group of different nationalities SEA (Thailand, Indonesia) had the most, the others were from Europe and Latin America. They all vigorously maintain their “nationalities” yet most were second/third generation Chinese immigrants.The ones from “western” adopted nations tended to make more of a show of “superiority” this pretentiousness seemed rather frivolous to me…

The Japanese were a odd mix of lone individuals, some came for work some for study, some for adventure. Japan has the luxury of being a developed nation where people are not desperate for survival. This has given a little a chance to Japanese (rarely taken) to try alternative lifestyles compared to other Asians. Many of the Japanese abroad when in groups maintain a herd-like mentality but alone they are usually somewhat interesting characters…

There was also some people from the Islamic world, Africa, Central Asia and Soviet states all these folks were very welcome in communist China. They were generally a desperate lot  (happy to be in China)it goes without saying they were coming from dark corners of the world…

Last there was the odd westerner that was surrounded by all us Asians, feeling quite lost no doubt.   

I made friends with most groups and mainly hung out with alot the SEA crowd (I was interested in the region) and the loners from all  nationalities( I don't like flocks). Of course I spent most of my time with locals.     

postaltiburon says:
Once again, very insightful. I feel so uninformed when it comes to Asia...
Posted on: Dec 18, 2007
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decadent street painting
decadent street painting