Majority of Chinese students return to homeland after finishing education abroad

(Source: People’s Daily Online)

An overwhelming majority of Chinese students who have studied abroad return to China after graduation, and the major factors behind the phenomenon include strong attachment to family, attractive career opportunities and prospects at home, People’s Daily Overseas Edition reported on Sept. 29.

A training activity was jointly held in Beijing by LinkedIn China and the British Chamber of Commerce in China for job seekers who have studied in the U.K. (File photo)

Since 2012, more than 80 percent of the Chinese students have returned to China after finishing education abroad, according to data recently released by China’s Ministry of Education (MOE).

In 2020, the number of students who returned to China after completing their studies overseas rose by 33.9 percent year-on-year, said a recent report released by global employment-oriented social networking platform LinkedIn.

The figure continued to rise last year, as Chinese students studying abroad have shown an increasing intention of returning home after graduation, the report suggested on the trend of students studying abroad returning to China for employment.

“I want to be close to my family.”

Family is the primary factor behind students’ decision to return to their motherland, according to the report of LinkedIn.

“I want to be close to my family, which is the main reason why I want to find a job in China. I’m the only child of my parents, and they want me to work somewhere not far from home, so that we can often meet and take care of each other,” said Zhang Qingqing, an education major at the University of Southampton in England, who has decided to return to China to find a job.

In the eyes of Zhao Xu, a Beijing girl who has graduated from the Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands with a degree in Urban Environmental Management, happy family life helps people achieve success at work.

Zhao Xu, a Beijing girl, poses for a photo while studying in the Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands. (Photo/Courtesy of the interviewee)

“My family are in Beijing, and I hope to spend more time with them. I’m more familiar and comfortable with the environment of my hometown, so I prefer job opportunities here,” she said.

Wang Yue, a girl who graduated from the School of Public Administration of Lomonosov Moscow State University in Russia not long ago, has joined a public institution in her hometown Luohe city, central China’s Henan Province.

“I was born in Luohe of Henan Province. Everything here is so familiar to me. My parents are both in the city, so I won’t get homesick if I work here,” Wang said.

“I keep a cat at home and take care of it with my parents. Now I see my family every day. Their company makes me feel so happy,” Wang said, who believes that she has made the right decision.

More career opportunities

According to Zhao, there are quite a lot of job opportunities in China for graduates in environmental management like her.

“I intend to get a job in the field of environmental management, or more specifically, a job related to sustainable development, resource development, and project support. In recent years, China has attached great importance to ecological protection. When I studied abroad, in class my teachers would often talk about the pollution control practices in China, which made me firmer about the decision to return home after graduation,” Zhao said.

The field of environmental protection enjoys great prospects and offers many job positions to graduates, Zhao pointed out, adding that graduates who have studied abroad have knowledge about relevant technologies and concepts of foreign countries, which can be a source of inspiration for work at home.

“Henan has a large population and a huge demand for talents. Luohe city has provided job opportunities under talent introduction policy for college graduates, and has spread information about job opportunities in Luohe in many ways, including sending people to prestigious universities in China, such as Peking University and Tsinghua University, to promote jobs,” said Wang, who learned recruitment information about her job through a WeChat chat group.

Believing that students studying abroad have a better chance of being equipped with knowledge about the latest industry information and frontier technologies, as well as experience of taking part in projects, many companies in China offer attractive platforms and job positions for graduates with an overseas education background, according to Wang.

“When I was hunting for a job, I found that some job positions were specially for graduates who had studied abroad. Some companies also held special online recruitment talks and arranged written tests and interviews for such graduates,” she added.

Experience of studying abroad is a bonus for job application

The students mentioned above all agree that good foreign language and communication skills, and the broad horizons students acquire while studying abroad, make overseas study experience a major bonus on their resumes.

“When we studied abroad, we improved our foreign language skills through daily practice, which makes us stand out among our peers when applying for jobs that require good language skills,” said Zhao.

“With the development of the Belt and Road Initiative, students who study in some non-English speaking countries have become popular with enterprises. Chinese students studying in Russia, for instance, not only major in specific fields, but learn Russian. Such talents are scarce in the job market,” Wang said.

Zhang, who decided to become an English teacher, believes an overseas study experience is a competitive advantage. “Parents attach great importance to teachers’ educational background, and those with an overseas study experience can better earn the trust of students and their parents. More importantly, I studied in Britain and have developed a deeper and comprehensive understanding of the language, history, and culture of the country. I can share what I have seen and learned in the country with my students to help them better learn English,” she said.