Chinese Students Encounter America


Qian Ning. Translated by T. K. Chu

ISBN : 978-962-209-593-9


July 2002

304 pages, 6″ x 9″

For sale in the Greater China area (Hong Kong, the Mainland, Macao, Taiwan), Japan and Singapore only

  • HK$195.00

An instant bestseller upon its publication in China in 1996, Chinese Students Encounter America (Liuxue Meiguo) appealed to those who had studied abroad, those who dreamed of doing so, and those who wanted a glimpse of the real America. Since China reopened to the West in the late 1970s, several hundred thousand Chinese students and scholars have travelled abroad for advanced education, primarily to the United States. Based on interviews conducted while the author studied journalism and taught Chinese literature at the University of Michigan, Chinese Students Encounter America tells the poignant and often revealing stories of students from a variety of backgrounds.

Qian presents the experience of Chinese students today through anecdotes ranging from students’ obsession with obtaining Green Cards and their struggles to support themselves, to their marital crises. Looming large in these personal stories is the legacy of China’s three decades of social and political turbulence following the Communist revolution in 1949 and America’s dizzying abundance of material goods and personal freedom.

Qian Ning, son of Qian Qichen, China’s former foreign minister and now a deputy premier, studied at People’s University in Beijing and worked as a reporter for People’s Daily before entering graduate school at the University of Michigan. Since returning to China, he has worked as business consultant. His most recent book is about the Qin dynasty prime minister Li Si. T. K. Chu was born in Anhui, China. A graduate of National Taiwan University, he received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Before his retirement, he was principal research physicist at the Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University.

“Not a sentimental paean, but an objective chronicle of the lives of Chinese students who have become a significant presence on almost every university campus in [America].” —New York Times

“[Qian] presents a realistic portrait of America that is as deep as it is sweeping. He juxtaposes snapshot interviews of Chinese emigres with impressionistic freeze frames of American and Chinese life.” —Christian Science Monitor