Most American students practice the objective of
What do I want to be when I grow up?
Kids as young as kindergardeners would invite parents to talk about what they do in class. However many Chinese students didn’t have the luxury to choose or develop the idea of what they want except knowing clearly what their parents want for them. When students come to the U.S. to pursue their “dream, many realized that their previous dream were as simple as going to a top school and get good grades. Rarely a Chinese student is sure that what they chose for their college major is what they dream to do for the rest of their life.
In the past years of working closely with international students, especially Chinese student, I found more and more students graduate college with regret on the major they have picked, and they are forced to continue down this path under the same major for their graduate school. A research professor from UCLA expressed his opinion on Chinese students. From his experience, Chinese students are hard worker and very diligent during their PhD program, however, once they complete the program, they have no intention to stay as a professor or researcher. While most American students had the chance to shadow parents or mentors on the job to see what is like to be the person they wanted to be, Chinese students determines their major by the College Entrance Exam scores. The score not only determines which school a student has to enroll, but also the major that is “suitable” for the student. Many students are forced to grow up before turning 18 in order to understand their study and the performance in their test would change the rest of their life.
In recent years, many Chinese parents choose to send their child to study abroad after high school graduation. Skipping the exam and choosing United States to be their child’s next home. However students need to learn to follow their own dream and interest instead of choosing something their parents want. To help students making the right choice, GSE mentor program allows students to work with an mentor who has been through the same difficult experience. Mentors will give suggestions and provide useful methods and tools to help students with dream building and major seeking. Later on we will show you some of the methods students could use to self-exam what they want to do in their life.