对美国本科留学的看法

November 24, 2009 作者:  
类别:美国留学

最近几年中国申请美国大学的学生渐渐多起来了,这部分得益于美国大学对中国学生求才若渴的积极态度,另外也得益于现在有些松动的美国签证政策。 <-more-!>

随着英国留学,新西兰留学等英联邦留学的大潮减退,美国本科留学大有风起云涌之势,家长和学生对赴美念本科的热情极其火热,这一方面反映了国内的人士对于海外优等教育的追求和渴望,也反映了美国这个国家对于中国人的巨大吸引力,毕竟教育只是一个手段而已,而教育以外的很多因素,例如就业机会,语言水平提高,经历增长等方面都使现在很多人把本科留学瞄准了美国。在美国本科留学这个行业里面做了多年,我也来谈谈我关于美国本科留学的一些看法。

首先,我觉得家长和学生对美国本科留学有一个很清楚的认识,就是美国大学和中国的大学很像,良莠不齐,好的学校,例如哈佛,耶鲁确实很好,世界知名,而一般的学校就实在太一般了,值不值得去念是需要考虑的。在和学生和家长交流的时候,我发现很多家庭有一种很错误的意识,就是美国大学比中国的大学好,毕业之后孩子会更有竞争性。其实这种思想是极其错误的。美国的好大学和一般大学在教学和就业上有着天壤之别,这是不争的事实。觉得自己的孩子只要进了一个美国大学,就能毕业后有很好出路的家长最好在进行过广泛调查后做出刚才的判断。实话说,这种思想也是当时英国留学大门开启时,很多家长把孩子送到英国时的想法,结果学生毕业后的情况完全不是自己想象的那样,而到这个时候就抱怨英国教育不好,中国学生去的太多,这完全就没有意义。对学校情况毫不了解,仅凭有限的渠道了解学校的学习情况是很多家长和孩子在考虑外国留学时出现的一个大问题,现在美国本科留学刚刚开始不久,家长和学生的想法和思维远没有成熟,在这个时候,更要仔细考虑去美国念本科是不是能够能给孩子带来一个好的投资回报,这一点是非常重要的。

从我个人角度认为,本科教育是一个基础性的教育,学习的课程内容是比较基本的。从学习的角度来说,是不是所有希望去美国念本科的人都有必要一定要去美国念大学?这个问题是值得商榷的。美国大学教育的成本是比较高的,一年学费两万五千美元,生活费一万五千美元。四年下来,共计要十六万美元。花这么多钱去学习基础的教育值得不值得,我觉得父母应当仔细考虑这一点。如果家庭很富有,那么这十六万美元就无所谓了。如果去念顶尖名校,我觉得也还是值得。但是工薪阶层的家庭,付出如此多的积蓄,去念一个排名几百的学校,是不是真的能给孩子与金钱成正比的知识内容?如果去这样的学校,这么多钱是不是真的值得投资?这都是家境并不很宽裕的家庭一定要慎重决策的。有些父母举债去让孩子到海外留学,但是结果却并不尽人意。本科学习,学的都是比较基本的内容,不太存在知识先进与否的问题,接受本科教育只是一个必要性,而在美国上大学并不绝对是一个优势,我认为家长和学生应当打破对美国本科教育盲目的“先进性”的错误认识,在家庭经济状况允许的情况下和与中国大学进行认真比较之后,再考虑美国本科留学。

美国大学很多,标准也很灵活,有些学校采取双录取的模式,即“英语强化语言班录取”和“本科专业录取”,这给很多国内没有语言成绩的学生提供了申请的便利,在这样的一个背景下,很多学生在国内就放弃了英语学习,天真的认为到了美国后提高英语很快。很多家长也觉得美国说英语,所以小孩去了一定能说好英语,这就大错特错了。英语不是一蹴而就的,不是到了美国,学生的英语水平不学习就会变好,英语需要不断的学习和提高。相当多的孩子到了美国念书后就开始后悔自己英语水平低,在语言班里面念了一期又一期,花了大量不必要的金钱和时间,直到赴美一年后才念上正式的本科课程。而到了大学学习,听力,口语,阅读和写作水平又不尽人意,学习的分数偏低。所有这些都可能是在出国前没有狠抓英语学习的缘故。英语学习是一定要重视的,特别是在出国之前这段时间,学生事情总体较少,更应当强化英语学习。

在美国本科留学中,一些家长有一个很错误的认识,认为“我的孩子在中国学习不好,也不听我话,到了美国自己独立了,接受一种和中国不同的教育方式,那么他就可能会学习好了。”这我只能用一句话来评价,就是“理想美丽,现实残酷。”这种想法在100个学生中,顶多能在5个学生中得到实施,另外95个很难达到父母这样的期望。在加拿大和美国,我看到的中国学生实在太多了,在中国学习成绩好,学习习惯好的孩子,在北美学习依旧出色。而在中国就没有养成良好学习习惯,学习基础薄弱的孩子,在大学里面学习的成绩也不是很出色,而且往往有通不过考试的情况出现。美国大学的学习是非常严格的,教授在判作业考试给分的时候很难讲情面。如果一个学生在国内学习的基础不好,学习习惯不好,而在美国又没法迅速改正的话,那么他在美国大学的日子是很难受的,成绩会很糟糕,这会直接影响到他的自信心和心理状态。家长切不要认为换一个环境就可以全新塑造一个人,这样的想法是极其要不得的,只能自取其害。

另外一个我希望和想去美国留学学生因素我共享的重要因素是,一个学生应当问自己,自己是否是那种能够在跨文化环境生活和学习,能很好适应非中国环境的个人?很多家长和学生其实并没有认真仔细的思考过这个问题,甚至想都没想过。但是从我在北美生活八年的经历来看,这个素质是很重要的。很多中国学生比较害羞,不愿开口表达自己的观点,不愿意主动的和外界进行沟通,这种内向的性格,其实是不适合出国留学的。到了北美,这些孩子如果无法改掉性格上内向的缺陷,加上英语程度再不尽人意,是很难和当地学生融合在一起的,这会直接影响到学生的课堂学习,小组讨论和团队的案例分析。如果更严重点,有些性格内向孤僻的孩子,甚至在做小组作业的时候连小组成员都找不到,这样对孩子的心理健康和发展都会产生很负面的影响。我觉得,适应美国留学的是那些性格外向,喜欢交朋友,对异族文化欣赏接受的孩子,这样的孩子在完全不同的文化背景下,个性会得到良好的发展,心理成长会更加健康。去美国学习,不单单只是要考虑自己的学习动机和目的,更要切身的看看自己的性格,兴趣和适应能力是否能和美国的文化良好的结合,这点其实更重要。

上面写的几点,就是我一个所谓“美国本科留学申请专家”的建议和忠告,抛砖引玉,希望能给希望到美国上本科的孩子和他们的家长在做出这么重要的一个决定前有所参考吧。

  • Winsor Pilates


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