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Chinese University Students in the US

The good folks at the Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University recently published the results of a survey they conducted among Chinese university students. Here is part of their introductory description:

In this general report, we profile the social characteristics of Chinese students, summarize the key findings of their social, cultural, and spiritual life, and provide the methodological information and detailed tables of this survey. We recognize that there are many types of universities in different locations in this vast land. This study is only the first systematic data collection on Chinese students studying in one of the Big Ten universities. A more representative study would require surveying Chinese students in other types of universities selected from different regions of the country, such as Chinese students in Ivy League universities or in community colleges.

The survey was conducted among Chinese students on a Big Ten campus in the spring of 2016. There were 960 participants. Some key results of the survey include:

  1. Most of the students are from well-off families; more than 80% have at least one college-educated parent.
  2. Twenty-six percent indicated that their view of the United States became more positive, while 44% indicated their view of China had become more positive.
  3. They drank less but smoked more than other students.
  4. Fifteen percent responded that they have been treated unfairly due to their race.
  5. The number of students who have believed in Protestant Christianity since coming to the US quadrupled.
  6. A majority of the students believe in some supernatural power or being, even those who are members of the Chinese Communist Party or the Chinese Youth League.
  7. Only 2.4% are here on a Chinese government sponsorship. 72.5% reported that their families are the major financial source for tuition and living expenses.
  8. Eighty-two percent said they have been proselytized by Protestant Christians.

You can go here to download a PDF version of the entire report.

If you or your ministry work with Chinese students in the United States, it is a must-read.

Image credit: Wikimedia
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Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio

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