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For young people interested in studying abroad, they are concerned about how to be admitted to foreign universities and how to get a visa smoothly.

As for what problems they will encounter after going abroad and whether they can quickly adapt to foreign life, few people care.

In fact, many students have been in a strange environment abroad. Because of their lack of psychological preparation, they spend a lot of time in cultural adaptation, which not only affects learning but also causes unnecessary trouble. So in the case of “everything is ready” in your study, you may need to spend a little more time preparing yourself mentally. Here, follow me to understand the differences between Chinese students and international students, hoping to help your international students’ lives better.

1. Differences between Chinese students and international students


According to the previous survey data, there are significant differences between Chinese students and international students in language level, mathematics level, learning style, listening habits, and cultural customs.


(1) Differences in English proficiency

Compared with the English level of Chinese students, the English level of foreign students is significantly different. Foreign students from developed countries and regions such as Europe and the United States, regardless of whether their mother tongue is English, their English listening, speaking, reading, and writing level is generally high; Students from developing countries and regions such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America generally have lower English proficiency than those from European and American countries, but their English writing ability and public speaking ability are generally higher than those of Chinese students, which is consistent with the findings of similar studies. There are also some foreign students whose English listening, speaking, reading and writing level is very low. They are not competent for English or Chinese English bilingual professional study, and often can not complete their studies. Finally, they have to choose to drop out of school or choose to give up the study of international economy and trade to study the Chinese language and Chinese culture.


(2) Differences in the mathematical basis

Compared with Chinese students’ solid mathematical foundation and strong mathematical operation ability, the mathematics level of foreign students is generally low. For example, when studying the welfare effects of import tariff and import quota in international trade theories and policies, individual international students do not know how to calculate the area of triangle and trapezoid, so they can not understand how to import tariff and import quota affect the importing countries

This paper makes a quantitative comparative analysis of consumer surplus, producer surplus, and net national welfare. For another example, when learning the Stolper Samuelson (S-S) theorem in the neoclassical trade theory of international trade theory and policy, we need to solve the binary linear equations. Some foreign students have no idea about it and require teachers to gradually explain the elementary mathematical knowledge from equations elimination to contract terms.


(3) Differences in learning styles

Comparatively speaking, Chinese students pay more attention to the systematicness of knowledge and are good at summarizing, understanding, and memorizing abstract theoretical knowledge, while foreign students pay more attention to the understanding of image knowledge and are good at demonstrating principles through examples and learning how to solve problems and get conclusions through repeated practice. In the process of learning, Chinese students and foreign students from some Asian countries and regions like to be based on interpersonal communication

Students from European and African countries prefer individual research-based learning and tend to complete learning tasks independently. In terms of learning effect, Chinese students are good at completing calculation questions, short answer questions, and other questions with standard answers. Foreign students are better at group discussion and oral presentation. Some foreign students will choose to give up solving calculation questions in the final exam.


(4) Differences in listening habits

Compared with the traditional teaching method, Chinese students are used to listening quietly and taking notes in class. Foreign students prefer interactive teaching methods and are willing to interact with teachers and even classmates. For example, when understanding what the teacher said, foreign students will nod their heads and even clap spontaneously; When faced with unclear or uncertain problems, international students will interrupt the teacher’s teaching, or ask the teacher to explain, or discuss with students in a low voice, or even argue with students in a high voice occasionally; For the content of the cross parts between the courses, the international students will directly tell the teacher that some content has been learned in other courses, so the teacher does not have to talk about it. Generally speaking, the classroom atmosphere with foreign students will be more active.


(5) Cultural differences

Compared with Chinese students, when they encounter problems, they will not hesitate to ask their teachers and classmates for advice. For example, they may make an appointment in advance or even ask for financial compensation because they take up the time of teachers or classmates. Compared with Chinese students, foreign students have more sense of ceremony for thesis defense and graduation ceremony. When participating in the graduation thesis defense, the international students were dressed in formal clothes, looked solemn, presented their thesis freely, and answered questions quite well. The performance of individual students was quite different from that of ordinary students. Compared with Chinese students, foreign students usually have higher cultural confidence. Taking the annual “World Culture Festival” held by Beijing Language and Culture University in recent ten years as an example, international students from all over the world enthusiastically display their colorful national costumes, play their own traditional musical instruments, share their distinctive national music, and dance, and share representative traditional food.


(6) Differences in religious beliefs

Chinese students are a very small number of people in our country who have the opportunity to receive higher education. They have been indoctrinated with atheism in their long-term school education. International students have different religious beliefs. Religious students come from different countries and regions and have a variety of religious beliefs, such as Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. According to previous surveys, 11.1% of the international students who participated in the survey clearly indicated that they did not believe in religion, and 88.9% believed in religion. As a part of religious belief groups, international students can still master the necessary qualities of scientific world outlook, outlook on life, and values while believing in religion. There may be very little recognition that religion may be related to feudalism and ignorance, but it is indisputable to seek spiritual comfort. Most of the foreign students believe in Christianity. From the perspective of belief motivation, most international students pursue spiritual beliefs rather than focus on some practical needs. Most religious believers are unfortunate because of their real-life environment. But for most foreign students, for religious belief, but more out of the pursuit of the value and significance of life, out of the pursuit of spiritual comfort, out of the confusion of real life, there are also their own country’s cultural background, religious belief, family religious belief in many aspects.


2. Suggestions to solve the differences


(1) On the differences in English proficiency

Given the differences in English proficiency, international students can find language learning partners after class to help each other.


(2) On the differences of the mathematical basis

According to the difference of mathematics foundation between Chinese and foreign students, international students can preview before class when teachers upload courseware; International students can also study in pairs or form study groups with Chinese students to help each other.


(3) On the differences in learning styles

Given the differences between Chinese and foreign students’ learning styles, everyone has his own learning style. As long as you think a certain learning style is suitable for you, that is correct.


(4) On the differences in listening habits

Given the differences in listening habits between Chinese and foreign students, foreign students have the learning habit of asking questions at any time. In class, we should try not to interrupt the teacher’s lecture directly because we have problems. When we have problems, we can raise our hands first, and the teacher will help you solve the problems in time when receiving your signal.


(5) On the differences in cultural customs

Given the differences in cultural customs, first of all, we should respect each other’s cultural personalities, tolerate and understand cultural differences, learn excellent and advanced foreign cultures, and carry forward and disseminate excellent Chinese culture.



As an international student in China, there are two misunderstandings to be avoided in intercultural communication with Chinese students. One is xenophobic, the other is kitsch. Both are manifestations of extreme cultural prejudice. In cross-cultural communication, we should put aside our own standards to understand others. But it does not mean that we should give up our own cultural values and westernize them completely. In fact, the difference is not a bad thing. Experience tells us that differences often attract others’ attention and curiosity. If we can turn differences into a driving force for communication and use curiosity to strengthen communication, then we can make a lot of friends. There are only differences between different cultures, no advantages or disadvantages. The correct attitude of cross-cultural communication should be modest and studious, neither humble nor overbearing, treat each other with courtesy, and do not use their own standards to evaluate the behavior of others. We should also learn to protect ourselves and maintain our national self-esteem. Negating one’s own national self-esteem will never gain the respect of others. last. I wish you a pleasant journey to study in China.



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