A reflection on the paradox of teaching in an officially atheistic state and yet having the opportunity to teach Christian and religious material.
Chinese parents often assume that their children attending international schools have the same attitudes, values, and language skills as those attending Chinese schools, but the instruction on how to think—and behave in society—follows different cultural norms.
Shortly after we moved back to the States after living in Asia for many years, a Chinese researcher from a major university in China approached us asking if he could spend his last month in the US living with us. It wasn’t that his lease had expired or his stipend was running low. Rather, he realized that although he had lived in the American Midwest for a year doing research at a well-respected American university—he had experienced very little of American life and had very few non-Chinese friends.
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. If you are working with Chinese students in the United States, it is a must-read.
Education is a major issue for cross-cultural workers who serve overseas with their families. Most families choose to put their kids in an international school, a local school, or to homeschool full-time at home. All of these have their pros and cons.