A lens on learning abroad

Updated: 2012-12-09 14:51

By Wang Bowen and Joseph Boris (China Daily)

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A lens on learning abroad

Bian Saiyuan dreams of playing basketball in the NBA. Provided to China Daily

Liu Hainan was uncertain about studying in the United States and thought others might feel the same, which is why he has been documenting his overseas studies experience for the past two years.

The documentary-film major freshman at the San Francisco Art Institute also asked fellow Chinese students in the US to tell him their stories and the response was overwhelming.

He has traveled to many universities in the US and spent up to two years with Chinese students to get good interviews.

Of the roughly 200 students, 20 are the focal points of his documentary.

He has posted regular updates on his Renren blog, a Chinese social-networking site, of his progress and uploaded footage on the video-sharing website Youku, where it has been viewed more than 363,000 times.

The son of a middle-income couple in Beijing, Liu used money his parents set aside for his undergraduate studies to finance the making of his film.

The documentary, he says, "captures the shared desire of many people to leave their current lives and glance into others' lives".

The number of Chinese studying abroad has reached almost 2.5 million, making China the world's biggest source of international students, according to this year's Blue Book of Global Talent.

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