Continued from Part I on this subject:
The third reason why I chose an American college over a Chinese one is that American schools give students more time and freedom to explore their interests. In my high school (and it’s the same in most other Chinese high schools), students have to study from 6 a.m. till 10 p.m., and we only have one day off a month.
I chose Wen Ke, which means I took a lot of history, politics, economics and geography courses in high school. Unlike those who choose Li Ke (science courses), I had to remember everything in my textbook. For example, I needed to know the exact date and location for a revolution that only had moderate impact. And besides studying, or in other words, remembering textbooks, I had no time to do anything else.
In China, students are required to read tons of additional books besides their textbooks instead of ones that interest them, and they are required to practice certain kinds of problems over and over again. But here at Hanover, professors give students an assignment with a definite due date. Students can use their own time to focus on whatever interests they have in order to get the assignment done. Besides, the topic of the assignments is always very free, which can really help develop students’ critical thinking.
After studying at Hanover for about two years, I think I have grown up a lot. I think I’m lucky to be able to accept American higher education, because I have learned much more than what my friends learn in China. I cannot say that Chinese education is not as good as American education; in fact, America is trying adopt some useful experience from the Chinese system, as Chinese people are so good at certain subjects.
However, to me, American education fits me much better than the Chinese version, at least for higher education. Hanover really has offered me a lot of opportunities to do what I want to do and “forced” me to try what I haven’t thought about before. It is this kind of education that makes me realize my potential more thoroughly and makes me more confident and prepared for my future.