English Course in Hong Kong – Cross Cultural Difference

English Course in Hong Kong - Cross Cultural Difference

Melanie: Well, I was born and raised in Lindsay, Ontario a few hours north of

Toronto.

Maura: So how did you end up in Montreal then?

Melanie: Well after finishing high school in Lindsay, I moved out west to Kelowna,

British Columbia where I did a college diploma in aviation and I taught

flying around British Columbia for a few years before heading back to Ontario

to Ottawa to do a degree in language, and English literature. That

took me to France on an exchange with the University of Ottawa, where I

met my partner Christophe. Living in France was an excellent experience, a

great way learn about the culture and practice the language but tough to get

visas sometimes so I had to come back to Canada. Christophe and I decided

to both come to Montreal where we can both work and live in our first

languages.

Maura: OK, cool. So what were you doing in France?

Melanie: I went originally on an exchange with the university. So I took classes at one

of the universities in Lyon, France. There I studied with native speakers in

the literature classes there and I also at the same time taught English in a

high school.

Maura: Oh, that’s pretty cool. So how did you learn French? Just at university?

Melanie: No, in Lindsay, where I’m from. It’s funny, it’s a small town, no native French

speakers, and yet there’s a French immersion program. It started the year

before I went into school, luckily, so when I started kindergarten at the age of

5, I started in French immersion, where I spoke only French from the first day

of school. So we were all native English speakers but learning French

together.

Maura: That’s pretty cool. I’m always jealous of people who have that experience

because for me growing up, I was surrounding by people speaking English

and I went to English school and I took some French classes because no

matter, really, where you are in English-speaking Canada you have to take

French classes but it’s not an immersion program so I didn’t really learn as

much.

Melanie: Yeah, it was a really great program. We learn French from native French

speakers that came to the town to teach. We learned a lot about the

language and the French culture as well, which is really great ‘cause the

small town wasn’t very diverse. We spoke only French from kindergarten all

the way up until grade 4, was the first time we are learning English. We had

about 45 minutes a day in English and then it progressed. Every year we

added a little bit more English until high school we had about 3 classes in

French, 3 classes in English.

“Passage to China” to Introduce Dynamic Chinese Culture to the World

Learn English in Hong Kong – Different Vocations

Learn English in Hong Kong - Different Vocations

Ricardo: How was your Mandarin lesson in Hong Kong?

Maura: It was great, I am learning how to say holidays in the course.

Ricardo: Did you take a lot of vacations when you were younger?

Maura: Yeah, every summer, at least, we went away somewhere, I think.

Ricardo: Really?

Maura: But you’ll have to wait. I’ll talk about it later.

Ricardo: Alright.

Maura: So the first thing we’re going to talk about is different types of vacations.

Ricardo: Different types of vacations.

Maura: Yeah, so the first kind of vacation – and this is a really new term – is called a staycation.

Ricardo: A staycation. I’ve never heard of that before. What is that… a staycation?

Maura: It’s a vacation where the people stay at home. So they take time off from work, but they don’t travel anywhere, they just stay at home and relax and take care of things.

Ricardo: That could be fun and it’s also a good way to save money too.?

Learning English – Please do not work during holidays

Learning English Hong Kong – Buying a house is a big issue

Maura: Yes, say hi. So, today we’re going to do a Chatterbox episode, and that’s where Harp and I chat about all kinds of different stuff. And today we’re going to be chatting about buying a home. Now, if you’ve been a Culips listener for a while, you may remember that Harp talked about looking to buy because she was looking to buy a condo and she has purchased a condo. So, Harp, you’re gonna tell us a little bit about the whole process you’ve gone through, right?

Harp: Yes, exactly. We’ll break it down into sections and I’ll talk about looking for the condo, the actual buying process, and finally renovating and moving in.

Maura: Right. And even if you’re not learning English as a second language, this could be an educational podcast if you’ve never bought a home.

Harp: Yeah, because it is quite a stressful process and there’s lots you need to know.

Maura: And I’m sure you’re learning as you go.

Have you ever bought any house in Hong Kong?

Harp: Definitely.

Maura: OK, so first, let’s talk about buying a home. So, I know that you were interested in looking for condos. So how did you go about looking for a place to buy?

Harp: Well, for me, in the beginning I was looking at condos all around Montreal. I was so open to the areas, but really, it’s just exhausting. So I had to narrow my search down and I decided where I wanted to live. And in Canada, there are a lot of really good websites where you can search houses that are on sale, or condos that are on sale. So I was working with a real estate agent for a little bit and then on my own a little bit as well. And I would find listings and then they would have pictures and they would have the dimensions of the condo and the price and all that information and we would schedule a visit and I would go see them.

Maura: One little thing I wanna point out is that, often, we call a place where someone lives a house. It might be a house, but it might be an apartment or a condo. I don’t know why we do this, but any place, any home that someone has, sometimes we just call it a house. So, if we start calling Harp’s condo a house, it’s not because it turned into a house, but it’s just because it’s the place where Harp lives and it’s just a habit to naturally call it a house.

Harp: Good point.

Maura: So, Harp, when you were looking around, what kind of things were you looking for in a home?

Harp: Well, I had my basics. I wanted two bedrooms. I was really hoping for an open concept. I really, really wanted something that had the Montreal charm, you know, the stained glass windows, the old moldings, nice wood floors. But in end, I didn’t get it.

Mandarin class HK – Excuse me, are you renting your house?

全球生活成本排行榜出爐 第一名你知道是哪個地方?

近年生活成本的攀升,讓不少人感嘆收入永遠追不上消費,逃離大城市的話題不斷。但是全球真正的「最貴」的日子到底是怎樣的?近日有外國研讨機構公佈了2018年全球城市日子本钱最貴的城市排行,快啲睇下前十名啦!

其實很多人一看這個名單都嚇了一跳,因為最貴的城市並不是熱門旅遊點,例如紐約、倫敦、香港等等,而是名不轉經傳的百慕達首都漢密爾頓。

漢密爾頓的常住人口有1010人,是百慕達第二大城 。

該研讨更指出漢密爾頓的日子本钱,無論是在交通,食物還是日常用品,價格都是最高的,漢密爾頓的餐廳也有被評為世界上最昂貴的。緊接其後的是瑞士的五個城市以及一些北歐城市,它們各霸佔了排行榜的前十名。

名單上的第一個出現的美國城市是紐約,排在第十二名,緊接其後的是三藩市(第14位),檀香山(第15位)。

即使紐約是一個非常現代化的城市,它的生活指數也沒有很高

令人驚訝的是在名單上的頭20位,一個英國和澳洲的城市都沒有,而英國倫敦和澳洲悉尼分別排名第34位及第40位。

而從全球生活成本最低的排行榜中來看,基本上前十名都被印度的各大城市所壟斷。雖然生活成本低,但由於治安、環境等因素,印度人絕大部分的城市日子質素都處於包尾,我们去游览都要当心一點。

Business Mandarin – The cost of new housing in China rose

Learn English Hong Kong – Coffee or Tea?

Learn English Hong Kong - Coffee or Tea

Today’s English lesson, we report on caffeine and two popular drinks: tea and coffee. We tell about a study that found black tea is better for your health than coffee. We also tell about a separate finding that coffee drinkers may have a lower risk of oral cancer than other people. And we examine how climate change may affect one of the most popular kinds of coffee.

For years, caffeine has been the “drug” of choice in many cultures. Caffeine has been considered socially acceptable because it is found in drinks like tea or coffee. People who consume a lot of caffeine-based drinks may think they are addicted — depending heavily on the substance. But if they stop using such drinks, they will experience only mild symptoms of withdrawal for a few days.

The real addiction may be emotional. Many people claim they cannot start their day unless they get their “fix,” which is, in many cases, a cup or two of coffee. Some people drink coffee throughout the day. Even young people who may not touch tea or coffee are still putting caffeine into their bodies when they have energy drinks, which have high amounts of caffeine.

Caffeine is a bitter substance found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, kola nuts, and some medicines. It has many effects on the body, including helping to activate the central nervous system. This can make you more awake and give you increased energy.

America’s National Institutes of Health says drinking two to four cups of coffee a day is not harmful for most people. But it warns that too much caffeine can make you restless, irritable and worried. It may also cause headaches, abnormal heartbeats and other problems. The NIH says women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should limit their consumption of caffeine. And it says caffeine may affect how the body reacts to some drugs and vitamins. It suggests talking with a doctor if you have questions.

Would you like a drink of coffee or tea? A mathematical study showed that tea — especially black tea — might be the best choice. The study showed that few people have Type 2 diabetes in countries where people drink a lot of tea.

Diabetes is a life-threatening condition that reduces the ability of the body to turn glucose — or sugar — into energy. It is a growing problem around the world. The number of people with diabetes is expected to rise sharply, to 438 million, over the next 20 years.

A team of researchers studied the amount of black tea sold in 50 countries. It compared the sales records with information from the World Health Organization about diseases in those nations. People in Ireland were the top tea-drinkers. On average, each person there drank more than two kilograms of black tea a year. People in China, Morocco and Mexico drank the least tea.

The study showed a link between black tea sales and rates of diabetes, but not with any other health condition. Organizers of the study say the link does not necessarily prove that black tea prevents diabetes. But they say earlier research had suggested that some parts of black tea have a possible link to good health.

People have been drinking tea for many centuries. It is one of the world’s most widely-consumed hot drinks.

Coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks — perhaps the most popular. Results of a large American study may help to make it even more popular. The study showed that drinking coffee might help reduce the risk of oral or pharyngeal cancer, a deadly form of cancer.

A course said that 970,000 American men and women who took part in the 30-year-long Cancer Prevention Study. One of the questions was about their use of coffee.

The researchers were with the American Cancer Society. They found that people who drank about four cups of coffee a day reduced their risk of oral/pharyngeal cancer by 49 percent compared to those who had little or no coffee.

Oral cancer and cancer of the pharynx, or upper part of the throat, are aggressive forms of cancer. And they are difficult to treat. Oral and pharyngeal cancers are rare in the United States. But they are among the top 10 forms of cancer worldwide.

Janet Hildebrand is an epidemiologist and population expert with the American Cancer Society. She led the study. She says the less coffee someone drank, the higher their risk of cancer. And the more coffee someone drank, the lower their risk of cancer.

“So it went down a little bit with each cup. And the lowest risk found was found for…four, five, six cups per day.”

The researchers found only a small health benefit in drinking two decaffeinated cups of coffee per day. And they found that tea drinkers did not have a reduced risk of cancer even though tea — especially green tea — is known to help human health in other ways.

Janet Hildebrand says coffee is thought to have substances that benefit the human body.

“Two compounds for example have been studied for their anti-cancer properties, and they have been found to possibly help regulate cell replication and to, sort of, prevent proliferation.”

Ms. Hildebrand says she and other researchers would like to know whether coffee drinking helps people who already have oral and pharyngeal cancers.

The study describing how coffee consumption can reduce the risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Scientists in England and Ethiopia are warning that coffee could be a victim of rising temperatures in Earth’s atmosphere.

About 70 percent of all commercially-grown coffee is Arabica coffee. Although Arabica coffee is grown on plantations around the world, it only grows naturally in the highlands of southern Ethiopia. It is very sensitive to climate changes. But the wild plants have a genetic diversity that growers use to improve the cultivated crop — which does not react well to climate change.

The scientists work at London’s Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and the Environment and Coffee Forest Forum in Ethiopia. They have finished the first computer model of the influence of climate change on wild Arabica. The model shows problems for coffee plants for the rest of this century. The scientists predict Arabica could disappear in at least one area within ten years because of climate change, deforestation, habitat loss or agriculture pressure.

Because Arabica is the only coffee grown in Ethiopia, the local industry could be badly hurt by climate change. It could lead to a loss of farm land, require stronger government action, and even cause crop failure.

The findings were published in the journal PLoS ONE. The scientists say they hope the study will lead to new ways to help Arabica survive in the wild.

Finally, a company in Thailand is producing some of the world’s most costly coffee with help from elephants. The coffee is called Black Ivory. It is grown in an area called the Golden Triangle. It is made from coffee beans that are fed to elephants. The partially-eaten beans are then gathered from the elephant’s solid waste and roasted.

The Canadian man who developed the Black Ivory coffee says enzymes in the elephant’s stomach break down proteins that make coffee taste bitter. The result, he says, is coffee with what he calls a unique, earthy taste.

Using elephants — and people to search through elephant waste for the beans — is a costly process, so the coffee can be pricey. It costs about $1,100 per kilogram. That is almost $50 per cup!

The Black Ivory Coffee company says it takes 33 kilograms of raw beans to produce one kilogram of usable beans.

The company says eight percent of its sales go to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, which watches and helps improve the health of elephants in the area.

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Learn English in Hong Kong – Going out to eat

Learn English in Hong Kong - Going out to eat
Maura: Because Harp and I love to eat and we love going to restaurants, so this episode is a pleasure for us.

Harp: Definitely. So today we’re going to be talking about eating out. We’re going to start with talking about the restaurant experience.

Maura: And then we’re going to talk about making choices and deciding what to order at a Chinese restaurant.

Harp: And then we’re gonna talk about types of Mandarin Oriental restaurants and our favourites.

Maura: Mmm. You know, I’m sure by the end of this episode, I’m gonna be really hungry.

Harp: I’m sure as well. Maura: Even though I just ate dinner, but I’ll be hungry again. Harp: That’s what happens when we talk about food.

Maura: That’s it. So, let’s get started with the restaurant experience.

Harp: All right. Well, I guess it starts when you walk in and you’re waiting to be seated.

Maura: Right. Now sometimes when you walk in, it’s not even clear if you should wait to be seated or you should seat yourself. Sometimes there’s a sign that says “Wait to be seated” or “Seat yourself,” but sometimes you’re kind of standing there and you’re not sure what to do.

Harp: Yeah. Usually if I don’t know, I wait for someone to tell me what to do.

Maura: Right. And usually if you’re standing around, someone will tell you to have a seat. So, it’s your best bet to just hang out at the entrance for a few minutes if you’re not sure.

Harp: Yes, exactly.

Maura: And if it is a place where you should wait to be seated, then someone will come over and ask you how many people are in your party, so how many people are going to be sitting with you for your meal.

Harp: Yeah, and sometimes if it’s really busy, you have to wait and they’ll tell you how long it’s going to be.

Maura: Right. And sometimes, if it’s really not busy, they’ll give you an option of where to sit. So you could sit at a table near the window or maybe there’s a booth that’s available, and people like booths.

Harp: I definitely like sitting in a booth. It’s more comfortable and relaxing.

Maura: And it feels a little bit more private because you’re kind of closed off a little bit and you have your own space.

Harp: Exactly. Sometimes those restaurant chairs are not comfortable.

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Mandarin Course for Beginner – Buying a house

mandarin course for Beginner - buying a house

Todd: Michael, this is a beautiful home, do you want to buy a house in Hong Kong?

托德:迈克尔,这房子真漂亮。

Mike: Yeah, we’ve lived here for about twelve years and it’s too big for us now.

迈克:是啊,我们已经在这里住了12年了,现在对我们来说这座房子太大了。

Todd: Really. It’s pretty big.

托德:是啊,真的很大。

Mike: Well, yeah, I mean, it’s got four bedrooms and it’s got this big living room area and dining room area, and I’ve got two kids and both of them are in college now, so they don’t live here anymore. (Oh) So my wife and I are thinking about, you know, moving to a smaller house in Hong Kong.

迈克:嗯,这房子有四间卧室、还有客厅和餐厅,我们有两个孩子,现在都在上大学,他们已经不住在这里了。(哦)所以我妻子和我想搬去小一点的房子住。

Todd: Oh, that makes sense. Well, so where are you going to move?

托德:哦,这可以理解。你们要搬到哪里去?

Mike: Well, this area is called Walnut Creek, it’s in the East Bay of San Francisco, and we want to move into an area that’s in the Berkeley Hills. It’s called Orinda. 迈克:这里是旧金山东湾的核桃溪,我们想搬到伯克利山的奥林达去。

Todd: Oh, yeah. That’s nice.

托德:哦,那很好。

Mike: Oh, it’s very nice. I mean it’s a little more inconvenient, and it’s not as convenient as here (Yeah) but it’s a little more, there’s more privacy, and there’s more nature, you know more like old established trees and hills, and a little quieter, and so all those things appeal to us, so we’re looking. It’s not easy to find a right place but we’re, actually today we’re gonna meet a realtor, and we’re going to be looking at some houses that are available and see if you like any of them.

迈克:对,非常好。我是说虽然那里不太便利,没有这里便利,但是那里有更多的私人空间,而且也更接近自然,那边有很多古老的树木和山脉,比这边安静,这都是吸引我们的地方,所以我们正在那边找房子。不过要找到合适的房子并不容易,其实我们今天约了房屋中介见面,我们要看一些房子,看看有没有我们喜欢的。

Todd: You know, actually, I’ve been thinking about getting a house. I’m kind of getting up there in age. What is the process of buying a house? Like how do you go about it?

托德:你知道,我在考虑买房。我不太懂这方面,买房的手续是怎样的?都要经历什么过程?

Mike: Well the first step to find a place is you, generally you have to work with a realtor, somebody who has access to homes that are for sale, and then you sort of look through the listings and you find ones that you like, that you can afford, and then you visit with the realtor, and say you find a house that you like, like there is one that we’re going to visit today that we think we like and we’re going to check it out again. After we visit we make an offer sheet, we draw an offer sheet, that says how much we’re willing to pay for the house, and the owner looks over the offer sheet. They never meet us directly, they meet only through their (the realtor) the realtors talk to each other. The buyer and the seller never actually talk to each other directly, and in this case, the house is going to have multiple offers. Many people will want this house.

迈克:首先你要找到一个地方,然后和房屋中介联系,房屋中介知道房屋销售信息,你浏览这些房屋信息确定你喜欢的房屋和你负担得起的房屋,然后你要和房屋中介一起去看房,如果你看上一个喜欢的房子,就比如我们今天要去看房,如果我们喜欢那个房子,我们会仔细核对。我们看过房之后会填一份报价单,写明我们愿意为这座房子支付的价格,然后这份报价单会交给房主。房主从来不和买房者直接见面,他们只通过房屋中介沟通,房屋中介会向各方说明情况。买房者和卖房者从来不直接对话,这样一来这座房子就可能有多个出价者。有可能许多人都想要这座房子。

Todd: OK.

托德:嗯。

Mike: So they’re not going to look at the offers until next week, and say five or ten people bid on it, they’re probably going to take the one, the person who offers the most money for it, so it’s competitive.

迈克:所以他们可能要到下周,或者说在大概出现了五个至十个出价的买主后他们才会看那些报价单,然后他们会选择那个出价最多的买主,将房子卖给他,所以极具竞争性。

Todd: That is a tough situation.

托德:这真是一个艰难的局面。

Mike: Yeah, so sometimes you’ll find a house that you love, and you can afford, but somebody outbids you. Somebody bids more for the house than you do and you lose it, and you have to keep looking so it can take weeks of months.

迈克:对,所以有时你找到一个你喜欢也能负担得起的房子,可是会被其他出价高的人抢走。有的人比你出价高,所以你就买不到这座房子了,你不得不继续找其他的房子,这个过程可能要花费几周甚至是几个月的时间。

Todd: Wow, well.

托德:哇,天哪。

Mike: To find the house you want.

迈克:才能找到你想要的房子。

Todd: Sounds tough. Good luck.

托德:听起来太难了。祝你好运。

Mike: Thanks a lot.

迈克:非常谢谢你。

Mandarin class HK – Excuse me, are you renting your house?

What kind of life do you want to live on?

English: If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.

Chinese: 假如你的寿命是100年,那我希望自己活到100岁的前一天,因为那样我的生命中每天都有你。

If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.

如果有一天我们不能在一起了,那么请把我放在你心里,我将永驻于此。

Promise me you’ll never forget me because if I thought you would I’d never leave.

答应我你永远不会忘记我,因为我一想到你会忘了我,我就不想离开你了。

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together…there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…I’ll always be with you.

假如明天我们不能在一起,那我希望你能记得这些:你比自己所相信的更勇敢,比所展现的更坚强,比所认为的更聪慧。另外最重要的是,即使我们不得不分离,我依然与你同在。

You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.

你不能躲在林中的角落里等着别人来找你,有时你必须自己去找他们。

If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.

如果你诉说的对象看上去没在听你讲话,别着急,也许他只是要清理一下耳朵。

A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.

多给别人一些体谅,多为别人考虑一点,那将让一切截然不同。

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.

河流懂得一个道理:无需匆忙。该到的地方终有一天会到达。

Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.

有时倘若你站在桥最下面一根栏杆上,弯腰看河水从你身下缓缓流过,你会突然顿悟一切。

Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.

不要低估了“无所事事”的价值——就这么走走,聆听耳朵无法听到的声音,无忧无虑的,这些就很有价值。

To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks.

对于一个没文化的人,A这个字母不过是三根棒子罢了。

You can’t help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn’t spell it right; but spelling isn’t everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn’t count.

你不得不佩服那些能够拼写TUESDAY这个单词的人,即使他根本没有拼对。但是拼写并非一切,有些时候它完全没有价值。

Before beginning a hunt, it is wise to ask someone what you are looking for before you begin looking for it.

当你要开始搜寻东西时,明智的做法是先问清你应该找什么。

I used to believe in forever, but “forever” is too good to be true.

我过去一直相信有永远,但是“永远”只是个美好而不真实的东西。

真正有意义的生活 A meaningful life

Japanese People Should Stop Working Immediately!

Japanese People working hours

Japan’s Parliament tightened limits on overtime hours, responding to concerns about karoshi, or death by overwork, and seeking to improve productivity in a country where long hours are often more a custom than the business necessity.

日本国会加大了对加班时间的限制力度,以回应对过劳死的担忧,并争取提高该国的生产效率。在日本,加班更多地是一种惯例,而不是出于工作需要。

The legislation, a priority of Prime Minister ShinzoAbe, won final approval last Friday in Parliament.

这项得到首相安倍晋三重视的法案,于上周五在国会获得最终通过。

It limits Japanese people overtime work to less than 100 hours a month and less than 720 hours a year, and it sets penalties for companies that violate the limits.

该法案规定,员工每月加班时间不得超过100小时,每年不得超过720小时,并对违规公司制定了惩处措施。

Until now, employers could effectively ask employees to work without limit if workers’ unions and management agreed to it, which they often did without much scrutiny.

一直以来,在日本,只要工会和管理层同意,雇主其实可以要求员工进行无限制的加班,而工会和管理层通常都会同意,不会详细查问。

“Work-style reforms are the best means to improve labor productivity,” Mr. Abe said in Parliament June 4. “We will correct long working hours and improve people’s balance between work and life.”

6月4日,安倍晋三在国会声称:“改革工作作风是提高劳动生产效率的最佳途径。政府会纠正长时间工作的现象,让人们的工作和生活更加平衡。”

The new law also seeks to improve the lot of Japan’s growing pool of “nonregular” workers in temporary or part-time jobs who don’t have the job security of full-time regular employees.

新法案还试图改善日本人数日益增加的“非正式员工”的处境,这些人由于从事临时或兼职工作,因此没有全职员工的就业保障。

It says employers must pay equally for the same work, regardless of workers’ status. In a 2016 interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Abe said he wanted to “eliminate the word ‘nonregular’ from the lexicon.”

法案规定,无论员工是什么身份,雇主都必须做到同工同酬。安倍晋三在2016年接受《华尔街日报》采访时曾表示,他希望将“非正式员工”一词从词典里除去。

Japanese People Save So Much Money!

Do you still want to study in the U.S? Read this!

凭借丰富的院校资源以及开放多元的学习环境等优势,美国曾连续多年稳居中国学生海外留学首选目的国“宝座”。但是,近日美国机构发布的数据显示,中国赴美留学人数增幅已经连续7年下降。实际上,美国高校的国际学生入学总人数也在下降。赴美留学热在降温吗?这背后究竟有何缘由?

Competition for international college students is growing globally, and many US colleges want to bolster their numbers — to boost both diversity and their bottom line.

在全球范围内,争夺国际学生的角逐越来越激烈,许多美国高校希望增加学生的数量,以扩大生源多样性,并增加收入。

But admissions staff have been hearing rumblings from students and parents abroad — some alarmed by news headlines about violence and bias incidents at US schools, others worried about real or potential visa restrictions.

但是,招生人员一直在听到来自海外学生和家长的抱怨——有些人对美国学校的暴力和偏见事件的新闻感到震惊,还有一些人担心实际或潜在的签证限制。

Because of the political climate here, interest in coming to the US decreased for one-third of 2,104 prospective international students surveyed in February 2017.

2017年2月对2104名意向国际学生进行的调查表明,由于美国的政治环境,有三分之一的人赴美意愿下降。

But that’s not the only factor fueling a recent decline in new international enrollments. After at least 12 years of steady growth, those numbers actually dipped before the election of Mr. Trump — by about 10,000 students in the fall of 2016, a 3 percent decline from the previous year.

然而,这并非导致最近美国国际学生入学人数下降的唯一因素。经过至少12年的稳步增长后,入学人数实际上在特朗普当选总统之前就已经下降了——2016年秋季,入学人数减少了大约1万名,比前一年下降了3%。

Many American colleges have been working double time to allay worries — and to provide opportunities for international and domestic students to interact.

许多美国大学一直在努力让大家打消顾虑,并为国际学生和国内学生提供交流的机会。

Tufts set up a travel hotline for international students and scholars. The University of New Hampshire sent representatives to China and India to encourage students who had been admitted to actually enroll. Temple hosted a week of activities, including a speed-dating style cultural exchange.

塔夫茨大学为国际学生和学者设立了旅游热线。新罕布什尔州大学派出代表前往中国和印度,鼓励被录取的学生入学。坦普尔大学举办了为期一周的活动,其中包括一个速配风格的文化交流活动。

The US State Department continues to promote study here through its EducationUSA offices around the world.

美国国务院继续通过其在世界各地的美国教育办事处来推动赴美留学。

The State Department is issuing new screening guidelines for Chinese students studying in highly sensitive fields such as aviation and robotics, acknowledged Edward Ramotowski, the deputy assistant secretary for visa services in the department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, during a congressional hearing June 6.

国务院领事司负责签证事务的副助理部长爱德华•拉莫托夫斯基6月6日在国会听证会上承认,国务院针对航空和机器人等高度敏感专业的中国学生发布新的筛选规则。

New guidelines would require annual renewal of visas, primarily for Chinese graduate students in these fields. A State Department official would not confirm this, however, stating in an email that the maximum validity for a student visa for Chinese nationals is five years and is unchanged, and that consular officers have always had the right to limit the length of visas on a case-by-case basis.

新的筛选规则将要求每年续签签证,主要是针对在这些领域学习的中国研究生。不过,国务院的一名官员却没有证实这一点,他在一封电子邮件中说,中国公民的学生签证有效期最长为5年,并未改变。领事官员有权针对个人限制签证期限。

While the security concerns are important, the new guidelines, in conjunction with other immigration policies, could end up “contributing to a signal to foreign students that they’re not welcome in the US,” says Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education in Washington.

位于华盛顿的美国教育理事会资深副会长特里•哈特尔说,尽管安全问题是重要的,但新的筛选方针连同其他移民政策可能最终会“向外国学生发出这样的信号:美国不欢迎他们”。

Kang, a Chinese citizen who attended graduate school at Columbia University in New York, recently launched Lighthouse Academy in Beijing, a business that consults with students there about study abroad, primarily in the US.

在纽约哥伦比亚大学就读研究生课程的康先生最近在北京开设海外留学咨询机构灯塔学院,主要提供美国留学咨询服务。

Visa and safety concerns do make a difference for students, he writes in an email interview.

他在邮件采访中说,签证和安全问题确实会对学生产生影响。

Many parents have told him they fear discrimination against their children since Trump’s election, and they’ve also been disturbed by violent crimes against several Chinese students in the US. Add to that the recent media coverage of gun violence and “it conjured up a logic that is solid to parents: US is not safe,” he writes.

许多家长告诉他,自特朗普当选总统以来,他们担心孩子受到歧视,而且他们也被一些针对在美中国学生的暴力犯罪所困扰。他写道,再加之最近媒体对枪支暴力的报道,“让许多家长相信:美国并不安全”。

Half his undergraduate clients ask if they can apply to the US and Canada or other countries at the same time. Still, many Chinese students who can get into top-ranked US universities and afford the tuition will probably attend despite concerns, he says.

有一半咨询本科留学的客户询问是否可以同时申请美国和加拿大等国家的学校。尽管有担忧,许多能够获得美国一流大学录取并负担得起学费的中国学生很可能还是会赴美读书。

Even those who have been negatively affected by violence in the US have urged people to see the bigger picture. After the Santa Fe, Texas, high school shooter killed Pakistani exchange student Sabika Sheikh, her father, Abdul Aziz Sheikh, told the Associated Press: “One should not lose his heart by such kind of incidents…. One should not stop going for education to the US or UK, or China, or anywhere. One must go for education undeterred.”

就连那些在美国受到暴力影响的人也敦促人们着眼全局。德克萨斯州圣达菲高中枪击案导致巴基斯坦交换生萨比卡•谢赫去世。她的父亲阿卜杜勒•阿齐兹•谢赫告诉美联社说:“人们不应该因为这种事件失去勇气。我们不应停止前往美国、英国、中国或任何地方接受教育。一个人必须接受教育,不要被吓住。”