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[留学生活] 最大中国留学生社群艰难融入被玉米地包围的爱荷华大学(之一)

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发表于 4-9-2017 08:56 AM | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

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魔法书院导读:经济学人周刊新推出了它的月刊杂志-《1843》。在杂志的创刊号上,著名专栏作家Brook Larmer撰写了一篇有关中国学生申请美国名校的长篇特写-The Long March From China to the Ivies。实际上,在中国家庭趋之若鹜得追逐名校之外,真正代表留学大军的是在普通美国大学就读的众多中国学生。他们的真实现状到底如同他们的报喜不报忧吗?如同家长的人云亦云吗?Brook Larmer这次又将视角转向有最大中国留学生的大学-University of Iowa来揭示这些问题。在这篇深度报道中,Brook Larmer跟踪采访了多名在爱大的中国学生,将他们各自不同的留学故事一览无余地展现在我们面前,引发关注赴美留学的中国家庭去思考我们的孩子或正在或即将面临的问题 - 要不要融入美国文化?孩子在美国自由了该怎样管好自己?作为刚刚富裕起来的中国人是去美国学习还是炫富等等。魔法书院特别登出英中对照版,请同学们阅读英文部分,学习作者的nonfiction narrative写作技巧。为方便更多家长阅读,杜鹃爸爸特意翻译了这篇长文。因篇幅太长,魔法书院将分两期刊登,敬请关注。
***初来乍到的Sophie***




As the plane descended over Iowa, Fan Yijia could see a quilt of green and yellow cornfields extending to the horizon. It had taken more than 24 hours – and one missed flight – for the first-year University of Iowa student to travel from Jiaxing in eastern China to the American Midwest. To her weary eyes, accustomed to the crowded streets of her home city of 4m people, the cornfields looked not comforting but disorienting. “I had no idea if I could fit in.”


随着飞机在爱荷华州下降,范一佳可以看到一大片绿色和黄色的玉米田延伸到地平线上。这位爱荷华大学一年级的新生已经花了24个多小时的时间和一次错过的航班从中国东部嘉兴辗转到了美国中西部。习惯了她的四百万人口的家乡和拥挤的街道的她强睁开疲惫的双眼看着这片玉米田,既不舒服,又找不到方向。她自言自语道:“我不知道我能不能适应。”

Before the missed flight, Fan – who goes by the English name Sophie – had arranged online to get a lift from the airport to the campus from the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, a student-run group partially funded by the Chinese government. Her delayed arrival forced her to cancel the reservation. So she turned to the only other group offering a helping hand at the airport, Bridges International, an evangelical Christian outreach group. “It might be a little confusing and you’re probably really tired,” the Christian group’s online adsays. “Wouldn’t it be great if there was someone there to greet you? We would love the privilege of getting to welcome you into the US from the moment you arrive.”


在出发之前,范懿佳预订了爱荷华大学中国学生学者联合会的接机。中国学生学者联合会是由中国驻芝加哥总领馆资助和由爱大中国学生运行的学生团体。延迟抵达让她错过了接机,但正巧机场有一个叫桥梁国际的福音派基督教的组织在给到达的学生提供帮助。“您刚到美国,一定有点累,有点慌乱,”福音派基督教在机场的告示牌广告如是说,“如果有人在此时此刻迎接你,会不会很棒?我们很乐意从你到达的这一刻开始欢迎你来到美国。”

At the baggage claim, a young American greeted Sophie enthusiastically and helped load her suitcases into a van. It was only a half-hour ride across the plains to Iowa City, but he filled every minute talking about all the activities Bridges organised and all the ways they could help her settle into her newlife: did she need a ride to local stores? Help moving into her apartment? A companion with whom to practise her English? “He was so friendly”, Sophie says,“that I felt I couldn’t say no.”


在行李提取处,一位美国小孩子热情地迎接了苏菲(范一佳的英文名),然后帮助把行李装入一辆面包车。穿过一大片平原到达爱大所在的爱荷华市只有半小时的路程,但这位美国小伙子每一分钟都在介绍桥梁组织的各种活动,以及他们可以帮助苏菲解决初来乍到的一切方式:”她需要乘车到当地的商店吗?需要搬进她的公寓?要找人一起练习英语口语吗?”“ 他很友善,“苏菲说,“我觉得我不能说不。

Even as relations between America and China become more distant, one strong undercurrent is moving in the opposite direction: Chinese students flooding into American universities. There are now 328,000 of them, five times as many as a decade ago. So intense is the hunger for an American education that Chinese students now make up nearly a third of the more than 1m international students in America. No single front in bilateral relations connects morepeople in both countries, or has the potential to influence a cohort so vital to the future: the sons and daughters of China’s ruling class.


即便当下美国政府与中国政府的关系变得越来越疏远,一个强大的暗流正在反其道而行之:中国学生正在大量涌入美国大学。现在在美国的中国留学生已经达到328,000人,是十年前的五倍。中国家庭追逐美本教育的热潮让中国学生现在占在美国的一百万国际学生中三分之一强。中美双边关系中没有哪个方面能象赴美留学连接两国更多的人,或有潜力影响对未来至关重要的人群:中国执政阶层的儿女。

The offspring of China’s economic boom are not the first to study in “the beautiful country”, as the US is known in Chinese. A century and a half ago, when the first 120 Chinese students came to America wearing the braided queues of the Qing Dynasty, they were told by their imperial masters to “learn from the barbarians” to help modernise China after its defeat in the opium wars. American officials saw a chance to instil in the next generation of Chinese elites so-called American values: democracy and Christianity. The experiment ended in 1881,after less than a decade, when Qing officials worried that the church-going,baseball-playing boys were becoming too Westernised. The fear ran both ways: a year later, America instituted the Chinese Exclusion Act, a ban on Chinese immigration that would last 60 years.


美国这两个字在中文代表着”美丽的国家”的意思。中国当下经济繁荣的后代并不是第一批追逐美国教育的中国人。早在1872年的清朝,120名留着大辫子的留美幼童就被清廷送到美国新英格兰地段的多所名校留学。他们被清廷反复训诫“从蛮夷学习技术”,以帮助中国在鸦片战争失败后实现现代化。美国的学校和接待家庭看到有机会向这些下一代的中国精英们灌输美国价值观:民主与基督教。清廷当心这些幼童被教会和运动等西化,不到十年,1881年留美幼童悉数奉诏回国。恶果总有两面:一年以后,美国制定了”排华法案”,之后禁止中国移民长达60年。

The current influx of Chinese students is driven not by the state but by individual ambitions. They come because a good foreign degree is respected in China, and some also act as forward scouts for their families, to score a green card that may eventually allow their relations to secure American residency. In a survey in 2016 by Hurun, a Shanghai research firm, five out of six wealthy Chinese families said they planned to send their children abroad for university. Their fees are helping cash-strapped American universities stay afloat. Last year Chinese students contributed $11.4bn to America’s economy in tuition and other expenses. “Politicians always talk about China stealing American jobs,” says Wenfang Tang, a University of Iowa political-science professor who arrived in the us as a graduate student in 1982. “But the money is coming back through the Chinese students.”

目前这一轮中国学生的涌入不是由国家驱动,而是源于富裕起来的中国家庭对优质教育的向往。中国孩子蜂拥而至,主要原因是镀了金的美国文凭在中国更受欢迎,也有一部分家庭把孩子送到美国为全家移民美国打前站,寄希望孩子先拿到一张绿卡,最终可以让全家获得得美国的居留权。在著名的胡润调查报告中,中国每六个富裕家庭中就有五家表示计划将子女送往海外读大学。这些留学生的全额学费正在帮助缺钱的美国大学维持办学。去年,中国学生为美国大学付的学费和其他费用高达114亿美元。爱大政治学教授唐文方早在1982就来美国读研究生。他说:“政治家总是在谈论中国偷美国的工作机会;其实,钱又通过中国留学生回到了美国。”

A disproportionate number of these Chinese kids are landing in the American Midwest, one of the nation’s least ethnically diverse areas. Few have wooed China more assiduously than the University of Iowa, whose courtship of Chinese students coincided with a devastating flood and state budget cuts. The number of Chinese undergraduates there has jumped from just 47 a decade ago to 2,012 this year, accounting for 80% of all international undergraduates and injecting more than $100m a year into Iowa’s coffers in tuition fees, and room and board alone.

与其他大学数量不成比例的中国孩子正在涌入爱大。爱大所在的美国中西部是全美最少多族裔的地区之一。在2016年遭受了毁灭性洪水和州教育预算削减的爱大对中国学生青睐有加,在爱大的中国本科生数量从十年前的47人猛增到2016年的2,012人,占全部国际本科生的80%。这批学生给爱大注入了超过1亿美元的爱荷华州的学费及住宿费用。

At Iowa, as at many other American universities, the influx happened so fast that students, both Chinese and American, have had little time to adjust. As a consequence, what could have been a meaningful cultural encounter can feel instead like a lost opportunity. The Chinese population is so large that it forms a separate world. Many Chinese speak only Mandarin, study only with other Chinese, attend only Chinese-organised events – and show off luxury cars in Chinese-only auto clubs. The Chinese government and Christian groups may vie for their hearts and minds. But few others show much interest, and most Chinese students end up floating in a bubble disconnected from the very educational realms they had hoped to inhabit. “It takes a lot of courage to go out of your comfort zone,” Sophie says. “And a lot of students on both sides never even try.”

爱大和许多其他美国大学一样,对源源不断涌入的中国留学生现象,校方和中国学生方都还没有时间能调整适应。因此,一个有可能成为有意义文化碰撞的机会正在消失,中国留学生数量庞大到足以形成了他们自己的一个独立的环境。在这个环境里,许多中国学生只说中文,只和中国同学一起学习,只参加中国学生组织的活动,甚至在中国学生自己组织的汽车俱乐部炫耀豪车。中国总领馆和美国基督教团体都希望争取到这批中国学生的心和归属感,但很少有学生表现出很大的兴趣。大多数中国学生最终象浮出水面的水泡一样在他们本应融入的教育环境中消失。“走出我们的舒适区需要很大的勇气。” 苏菲说,“而且很多美国学生和中国学生一样也都没有尝试过走进对方的世界。”

***开奔驰跑车的Jonathan***



It is a crisp autumn day, and Jonathan Hou, a 21-year-old Chinese student with a shock of bleached-blond hair, is cruising through the campus in his newest toy: a sparkling white $86,000 Mercedes Benz C63S. “It’s the only one in Iowa City,”he says, apologising for the licence plate sliding around the floor beneath the passenger seat. He hasn’t affixed the plate to the front grill yet for aesthetic reasons. “I don’t want to hurt the bumper,” he says.

这是一个秋高气爽的日子。一位二十一岁的中国留学生乔纳森·侯,头发染成了炫目的金色,在爱大校园里开着一辆他全额付款八万六千美元买的大玩具:一辆闪闪发光的白色梅赛德斯奔驰C63S。“这是爱荷华市唯一的一辆,”他指着还放在乘客座位下面的车牌如是说,”把车牌安在那么炫酷的保险杠栅格前面实在是可惜了这么漂亮的保险杠。”

The Mercedes C63S can accelerate from zero to 60mph (97kph) in just 3.8 seconds,but today Jonathan is barely creeping along past the old store fronts on Clinton Street, the main campus artery. He wants to show off his car – but not, it seems, to the baseball-capped American students crossing the street in front of us. As the young men walk past, they stare at the car and its Chinese driver, and snigger.

梅赛德斯C63S只需3.8秒就可以从零加速至每小时60英里(97公里),但是现在这辆跑车几乎是在校区的主干道克林顿大街上爬行。乔纳森想炫车速,但无奈跑车前后不断有带着棒球帽的美国同学走前走后。经过时,他们都盯着车子和里面的中国学生,露出丝丝窃笑的神情。

Jonathan doesn’t seem to notice. He is more interested in the Chinese students who gather at the food court of the Old Capitol Mall, locally known as the “Chinese ghetto”. He soaks in their admiring glances and scans the street for other high-end cars. His special-edition Merc is not the only fancy ride in town. A parade of Audis, BMWs and Mercedes, accompanied by a Maserati and a beige Bentley, streams past. All are driven by young Chinese students. Jonathan assures me it isn’t a special show. “This is just a normal day in Iowa City.”

乔纳森似乎本不在意。他言辞之中对马上中国同学要一起去Old Capitol购物中心的美食广场聚餐更感兴趣。这个美食广场,在当地被戏称为”中国人的聚居地”。对周围美国学生投来的关注目光他颇为得意。扫过街上的其它好车,他告诉我他的特别版C63S并不是城里唯一的好车。这里,奥迪、宝马、梅赛德斯和甚至玛莎拉蒂和米色的宾利都是中国同学在开。乔纳森向我保证到:”这在爱荷华市已经很正常。”

A lot has changed in a generation. When Tang, the political-science professor, arrived for graduate school in 1982, he had just $40 in his pocket. He washed dishes to pay for his tuition. American classmates with colour cameras seemed impossibly rich. “Today, the roles are completely reversed,” Tang says. “Now it’s the local American students shaking their heads, looking at Chinese kids driving expensive cars that they could never afford in their life times.”

和我们那一代留学生相比,这代留学生的变化太大了。” 唐教授说,”当时,我来美国时口袋里只有40美元,靠洗碗打工来付学费,看到用彩色相机的美国同学我都觉得不可思议和羡慕。现在角色完全颠倒了,看着中国孩子驾驶昂贵的汽车,轮到美国当地的学生们摇头,他们觉得这辈子也许都负担不起。”

Jonathan’s parents – his father is an official at a state-owned enterprise and his mother a business woman – had heard stories of rich kids partying with their parents’ money and losing their way in America. Before they agreed to let him go to the US, he had to show them he could be responsible, so he taught maths to poor kids in China’s eastern Fujian province for a summer. “A lot of Chinese students can’t handle the freedom in America,” he explains. “They just drink orplay mahjong and stop going to class.” Jonathan doesn’t smoke or drink, and he studies hard enough to carry a 3.3 grade-point average at the Tippie School of Business. “My parents relaxed after a semester because they saw I could handle the situation on my own,” he says. “Now nobody tells me what to do, so I’m free.”

乔纳森的父亲是国企高管,母亲经商。在决定送他们的独子去美国留学之前,听到过中国孩子在美国留学时花父母的钱只聚会不学习的例子。为让父母同意他去美国,乔纳森证明自己可以对自己负责任,所以他利用一个暑假去中国福建省东部的山区教那里的贫困孩子数学。“很多中国学生不能面对到美国后突如其来的自由,”他解释说,“他们只是喝酒打麻将,不再上课了。”乔纳森不抽烟也不喝酒,他在Tippie商学院的GPA达到3.3。他说:“我的父母在第一个学期后放心了,因为他们看到我可以自己处理好我在美国的学习。现在没人告诉我该怎么做,我很自由。”

Luxury cars have become the most glaring symbols of Chinese wealth on US campuses, and of the growing chasm between American and Chinese students. In Iowa City, the number of registered luxury vehicles nearly tripled between 2012 and 2014, according to county data. In the two and a half years since, the auto craze has only grown – along with karaoke bars and bubble-tea shops, which now outnumber Starbucks in Iowa City.

豪华车已成为美国校园中中国财富的最耀眼的象征,也成了美国和中国学生日益扩大的鸿沟。根据DMV数据,在爱荷华市2012年至2014年期间,注册的豪华车数量几乎翻了三倍。在两年半的时间里,随着中国学生的涌入,卡拉OK吧和珍珠奶茶店也雨后春笋般的出现,已经超过了星巴克的数量。

Not that the Chinese students are experienced drivers. Jonathan bought his first car, an Infiniti, after taking only four driving lessons. A local car dealer told me he often gives Chinese clients their first driving lesson just before handing them the keys to their luxury cars. Even then, some don’t bother with insurance. Last year, a Chinese student crashed her uninsured Porsche Cayenneinto a parking-lot wall soon after buying it. No big deal: she bought another. Jonathan has been careful to insure his Mercedes, but his profile – wealthy young Chinese student, multiple speeding tickets, high-performance sports car –makes his annual insurance policy more expensive than the in-state tuition fees for local students.

并非中国学生都是有经验的司机。乔纳森在接受四次驾驶课程之后就购买了一辆英菲尼迪车。一名当地的汽车经销商告诉我,他在给这些中国学生他们豪华车的钥匙时才给他们上了他们的第一词驾驶课。即使那样,有些学生也懒得买保险。去年,一名中国学生在购买保时捷卡宴不久之后就将尚未保险的车撞毁在停车场的墙壁上。没什么大不了的:她又买了另一辆。乔纳森已经小心翼翼地给他的梅赛德斯上了保险,但他的个人资料 - 富裕的年轻中国学生、多次超速罚单和高性能跑车 - 使他的年度保险费比当地美国州内学生的学费还要昂贵。

The next time I catch up with Jonathan, in early November, his hair is no longer blond. The top is now dyed steel gray, the sides shaved short. “I got it done in Chicago,” he says. He has just returned from an excursion to the Midwest’s biggest city – a seven-hour round-trip – for the sole purpose of picking up a pair of custom-made hip-hop designer jeans. The haircut was a bonus, as was the chance to let the C63S rip on the open road. Jonathan has had the car for only a few months, but he’s already eyeing his next purchase: a cherry-red Alfa Romeo speedster. Showing me a picture of it on his iPhone, he says: “It would be the only one in Iowa City.”

我第二次见到乔纳森是在11月初。他的头发已经不再是金发,而是顶部被染成了钢灰色,两边剃的很短。“我特地去芝加哥做的这个发型。”他说。他刚刚开了七小时的往返车程就是为了去拿一条他定制的嘻哈名牌牛仔裤。理发也是附带的收获。自买了C63S之后,他终于有了在州际高速公路上飚车的机会。不过,他已经在关注他的下一辆车了:一辆樱桃红的阿尔法罗密欧跑车。从他的iPhone上他给我看了一张照片,他说:“这将是爱荷华市唯一的一辆。”

***冲出预科英语的Haddy***

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发表于 4-9-2017 08:56 AM 来自美国米群网手机版 | 显示全部楼层
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