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LOCAL VOICES • CHINA’S OVERSEAS STUDENTS


management last year. It wasn’t fruitful, so after three months I returned to Shanghai. It was largely due to my lack of working experience in the UK. Substantial work- ing experience is always more valuable than a sheet of paper. I wouldn’t say I am completely satisfied with my current sal- ary, but I understand an overseas degree doesn’t guarantee higher pay. Most of my learning in the UK came from interact- ing with people from different countries. In our college, Chinese were a minority. I graduated as a more confident person in general, and I was more aware of how to work to benefit a team.


Mr Xu Xiaoming, 55, president of Shanghai University of Science and Engineering


Mr Liu Sen, 26, social media execu- tive at Razorfish in Shanghai


I worked hard searching for a job after graduating from Warwick University (in the UK) with a master’s degree in media


Compared with the traditional Chi- nese system, higher education in west- ern countries is more rigorous and the academic atmosphere is more open. Tese advantages are the key reason that many Chinese students choose to go abroad. Tis trend also benefits our country: Returnees will bring good aca- demic ideas, diverse cultural values and advanced technologies back to China.


When I was one of the few overseas students about 30 years ago in Ger- many, it was more difficult to integrate ourselves. Nowadays, Chinese students already have access to information about the whole world through the internet. I think they should take more advantage


Returnees bring good academic ideas, diverse cultural values and advanced technologies back to China


of this. Overseas returnees offer some advantages to employers, including lan- guage ability and cultural understanding. However, this often means they ask for better wages and benefits. In fact, in the early stages of their careers, the salary differences between those who studied in China and those who studied over- seas are not that big. But as time goes on, employers often recognize the strengths of the overseas returnees.


China Economic Review • November 2012


17


Imaginechina


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