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#98 Studying Overseas

Posted October 29th, 2008 by Shaun · 20 Comments

It’s been well documented (here on SAPL and elsewhere) that Asians are moderately intelligent, and as so, they’ve figured that the standard of higher education back in Asia is dreadfully mediocre. That’s why so many Asians pack their bags and leave their homelands in search of some good old-fashioned Western education. After all, what would you prefer, a medical degree from the Ho Chi Minh City School of Medicine or an equivalent from, I dunno, Stanford University? *wink* I rest my case.

Asians have figured out due to factors such as globalization and whatnot, that English-speaking countries are the preferable exchange destinations. Often targeted nations include Australia (close proximity to Asia), the United Kingdom (birthplace of Western education), and the mighty United States (well, simply because it’s America, people… AMERICA!!!). Asians feel that increased job opportunities back in their homeland will eventuate with a swanky degree from a prestigious Western institution. This “privileged education” will help them stand out from that regular Joe Blow back home who graduated from Ho Chi Minh (nothing against education in Ho Chi Minh – it’s just that many an inept TV doctor has “graduated” from that institution). =D

There are two methods in which Asian adolescents can realize their dreams of studying abroad. Either:

1) Said Asian is so especially gifted and prodigiously intelligent that they virtually force their way into such education out of sheer brilliance, or

2) Said Asian’s parents are loaded.

Method 1 is self-explanatory. Method 2 is admittedly a more common pathway to the goldmine of Western education for Asian international students. Asian parents value education, almost as much food, clothing and shelter. Amongst many Asians, a strong education is a sign of a strong upbringing, and Asians parents, being as pragmatic as they are, realize that their children’s successes (or lack thereof perhaps) will reflect upon them. Thus, many Asian parents are more than happy to invest in their beloved children’s well-being by sending them to the finest schooling they can afford – which apparently lies here in the Western world.

When Asian international students do make the trek West for further education, they tend to be concentrated in specific faculty areas. Anything related to science, engineering, medicine or information technology is prime– whereby logic, numbers and reasoning is valued over forming even the slightest coherent sentence in English. No wonder Asian international students think a Bachelor of Arts is a degree in painting! However, the biggest haven of study for Asian international students is the field of Accounting. After all, Asians love numbers. It’s a perfect fit!

Maybe it is from personal experience, but for some reason Asians truly strive to become accountants (don’t know why though – accountants, along with dentists have exorbitantly high suicide rates). Actually, a fun thing to do when entering an Accounting lecture is to count how many white people there are in the class. In one of my lectures, in a class of more than 100, there were only 3 white people in attendance, almost everyone else was Asian! Sometimes gives you doubts as to whether you’re studying in an Asian or a Western institution!

There are other situations. If an Asian’s parents haven’t already migrated to the Western world (inevitably for their children’s sake), many Asians take it upon themselves to make the journey themselves. It is seen as the first positive step amongst many, after all: Good Education-> Good Job-> Good Life. So what are you waiting for, my fellow Asians? If you’re not looking towards Western education as a viable option – then you really should! Don’t get left back in Ho Chi Minh City School of Medicine, when there are far more prestigious options out there waiting for you!

On a side note, in keeping with the “Studying Overseas” theme, this writer is conforming to this notion somewhat – by going on a study program overseas in Shanghai International Studies University over the November 08 – January 09 period. So basically, what I’m saying is, if you don’t hear from me during that period, it means they’ve gotten to me… *wink*


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20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 #98 Studying Overseas | Schools online // Oct 29, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    [...] School of Medicine or an equivalent from, I dunno, Stanford University? *wink* I rest my case. Asi Source Education – [...]

  • 2 » #98 Studying Overseas // Oct 29, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    [...] It’s been well documented (here on SAPL and elsewhere) that Asians are moderately intelligent, and as so, they’ve figured that the standard of higher education back in Asia is dreadfully mediocre. That’s why so many Asians pack their … #98 Studying Overseas [...]

  • 3 #98 Studying Overseas // Oct 29, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    [...] Read more here:  #98 Studying Overseas [...]

  • 4 blissfulting // Oct 29, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Shanghai International Studies University?? Awesome. I’m really thinking about majoring in international relations/studies/affairs, whatever you want to call it. At Stanford though, if I even get in, that is. Who here goes to Stanford??

    But anyway, in agreement with the validity of this article, I’d just like to share with everyone that I would LOVE to study abroad in college. Even though I’m already being given an education here in the western world. In my case, I want to go BACK to asia to study….haha irony.

  • 5 Shaun // Oct 30, 2008 at 6:48 am

    “Who here goes to Stanford??”

    bliss – the question should be: who involved in Asian Central and SAPL doesn’t go to Stanford?

    Yeah I’m going to SISU as it is known, over the summer. I’m gonna be so lost over there… but that’s another story. If you haven’t already figured out, by summer I mean your winter because down here in Australia, everything’s the other way round =)

    Good luck with your future plans though!

  • 6 Quistis // Oct 30, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Comments below are based on personal experience:

    I definitely agree that the majority of Asians I know are either in engineering or accounting. Yes, I respect those professions, but I do not respect the reason why most people I know go into those professions: money. Again with the materialism. Almost every Asian I know hate what they are studying, so if it’s not for the money, then I don’t know what it is for.

    My husband and I are what people could call Asian Anomalies, in that we are both Asian with Bachelors of Arts in English. I completely despise Asians who look down upon the literary and fine arts. Such people tend to be the most shallow people I have ever met. How many Asians can say that they are truly happy with what they are doing with their lives in the context of engineering and accounting? Very few, I wager.

  • 7 Amanda // Oct 31, 2008 at 4:07 am

    Hey Shaun, it’s Amanda from the Monash UMC class. :) You’ll love SISU – I went twice in a row (05/06, and 06/07), and it’s a fantastic experience.

    Make sure to not study too much. ;) Do the bare minimum, and instead, go and have fun! Visit all the clubs and bars for me, it’s been aaaaages since I’ve been back to Shanghai!

    If you know Michael Kelly, he’ll be able to take you to all the good places – I was there with him in 06/07. :)

  • 8 Shaun // Oct 31, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Hi Amanda,

    Thanks for the advice! I hope I won’t need to study so much… but my Chinese is pretty bad, so 7+8 might be a little tough. Oh for sure, we’ll do all that stuff… I’m not really a clubbing person, but I’ll do it on your behalf ;)

    Haha I know Michael Kelly very well. I just sent him a msg on fb like 5 mins ago… I’ve heard about all the stuff he’s been up to anyway… We’ll have to try to get him drunk and make him play flute up on stage again . ;)

    On a totally different note, apparently Naomi (the Japanese girl – as she calls herself) from our UMC class is organising a get together for our class, somewhere around the 13th. I’m not totally sure on the details yet though. Anywhoo, ttyl!

  • 9 blissfulting // Nov 1, 2008 at 8:15 am


    Haha, I take it that means EVERYONE here goes to Stanford? I’m not surprised; you all seem like very intelligent beings. I live in middle-of-nowhere-with-nothing-to-do-Alabama, so I would be psyched to go to Cali for college.

  • 10 Shaun // Nov 1, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Well not me… I live in Australia, so it’d be pretty hard for ME to go to Stanford… although I have to admit that it would be nice…

  • 11 Jose Rizal // Nov 3, 2008 at 6:10 am

    There’s nothing wrong with the liberal arts/humanities, but you can’t ignore the sciences.

    That being said, I believe that there should be no such thing as a B.A. degree, just B.S degrees. So, one would receive a B.S. in English, a B.S. in History, etc. Oh, and to be fair, I think that engineering majors should also take more hours in the liberal arts beyond the freshman level. I think that’s absolutely necessary.

    Is it a little extreme? I don’t think so. If you want to get anywhere in the world, you need to know a lot about one thing, and a little bit of everything, regardless of what you studied.

  • 12 ll // Feb 7, 2009 at 11:54 pm


  • 13 unisex // Sep 12, 2009 at 4:35 pm


  • 14 Combat Pack // Sep 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    I wish I could study overseas but I am too old and poor now

  • 15 best coffee makers // Oct 30, 2010 at 12:19 am

    From my experiences they like to drink water in restaurants and coffee. Thats about it.
    The young ones drink also beer. But i guess with the globalization going on, everything is changing and so do the habits of us asia people.

  • 16 vacuum cleaner // Oct 31, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Asian dish is unique in its own way and is gradually gaining popularity worldwide.One can find spicy food (read unhygienic so far as the looks) at the roadsides of Asia which cannot be produced elsewhere rather anywhere on earth as Asian ambience adds to its taste.
    These foods are largely in craze in Asia.
    But that is the food, the other stuff is becoming more and more westernized and dull in my oppinion.

  • 17 Mohammed // Nov 5, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    This is so true. I studied accounting and the vast majority of my cohort were Asian. The funny thing is, most of them were absolutely awful at it. Many people think accounting is just adding up numbers, making allowances for doubtful debtors, etc but in reality it’s so much more than that. There’s a LOT of theory in the field. You’ll be writing many essays and reports and a lot of it is very subjective. This is where many international students get let down by poor English. I don’t know why they like accounting so much, maybe it’s perceived as working WITH money = rich but in reality, job prospects for accounting and average salary aren’t that flash. Stick with medicine/dentistry if you’re solely interested in money (or if you’re white, you do it because you want to help people).

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  • 19 trulyasian // Apr 22, 2011 at 10:26 am

    true. asians who can afford it or try to afford it send their child abroad to study better quality education, but if not all, most of them come back home right after graduation.

    it’s nothing big really, it not a debate that when it comes to academic resources we’re a bit behind so we go out there to gain it an then come back home :)

  • 20 Indeed // May 8, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Nothing quite like watching someone study in a country s/he hates while praising the country s/he refuses to attain his or her education in.

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