As there are an increasing number of Chinese students studying at Webster each year, the acculturation of Chinese students should be an issue on the agenda of the school administration. Based on my own experience and suggestions of some Chinese students studying at Webster, I think Webster should find language partners for new students from China.
First, it will improve Chinese students’ language skills and help them fit into the environment as quickly as possible. As we all know, the hardest part of living in a foreign country is to make friends, and because of culture differences, Chinese students are more introverted than American students. Rather than leave it to luck, it’s better for Webster to be the match-maker and help Chinese students find a friend by calling for the participation of interested American students beforehand. So when the Chinese students arrive at Webster, they will immediately feel the warmth of the campus.
Second, it will be beneficial for the American students interested in Chinese or Chinese culture. As China’s economic status grows, more and more Webster students have either interest in or questions about China and Chinese culture. Once they had the chance, a Chinese friend will not only teach them the language and culture, but also answer their questions related to contemporary China. So it will be a win-win situation.
Third, it will enhance Webster’s reputation and attract more Chinese students to study here. Last year, China surpassed India and became the first country of origin for international students in the U.S. Among a wide selection of American universities, Chinese students will find this as a unique advantage, thus helping Webster stand out from its competitors. Besides, if Webster does well on this program, it can also expand the program to other international students.
Therefore, I think Webster should find language partners for Chinese students for the benefit of its own and its students.
Alexandra Mao, Staff