Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Chinese International Students are Returning to China after Phd: Is it personal or patriotism?
Author(s):Villagrana, Sasha
Contributor(s):Chae, Seun Ju; Romero, Jason C.; Kim, Sarah
Subject(s):brain drain
International students
ANTH499 S08
Abstract:For this project we aimed to discover what was mobilizing Chinese International graduate students to return to China after obtaining their PhD at UIUC. We decided to focus on students studying in the science and engineering with the sense that advancement in science and technology was helpful in building a nation. In total, we interviewed 12 people, 10 male, 2 female Chinese graduate students who were studying in the field of science and engineering. In the end, we concluded that students did not make their decisions based on what we originally perceived as an underlying patriotism, but rather made their decisions based on their personal preferences.
Issue Date:2008
Course / Semester:Anth 499, East Asian Youth and Global Futures, Prof. Nancy Abelmann and Prof. Karen Kelsky: East Asian youth have experienced perhaps the world’s most compressed development as well as the world’s most aggressive globalization policies. This course examines how youth in East Asia (China/s, Japan, and the Koreas) are making their way in our globalizing world, focusing in particular on the transformations in work, education, recreation, gender, and sexuality brought about by neoliberal economic restructuring in the region. Topics studied include the insecure job market for young people, consumerism, globalized pop culture phenomena such as Pokemon, the Korean wave, and Internet gaming, emergent LGBT communities, etc. Students are encouraged to focus their research projects on aspects of the U. of I. student life that reflect the experiences of East Asian youth in a global market. The U of I offers a fascinating window on East Asian youth because of the many college (and pre-college) students who make their way here – as well as the movement of “Amercian” youth to East Asia. Through participation in the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI), students will conduct local field research that reveals the global processes at issue. The course syllabus is available at:
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-06-05

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Globalization and the University
    This collection examines the influence of globalization on the university and the university's place in a burgeoning world market for higher education.
  • Student Communities and Culture
    The university offers an extraordinary opportunity to study and document student communities, life, and culture. This collection includes research on the activities, clubs, and durable social networks that comprise sometimes the greater portion of the university experience for students.

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