Stay or leave? Question for overseas students of Chinese origin

Updated: 2013-06-26 14:26

By Zhang Xiang (

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"Many of my classmates and I want to stay in China after graduation because of its fast economic development; and also because we have Chinese origins, and our 'roots' are here", Yuan Yirui, a Chinese Argentinian student from Tsinghua University told China News service.

Despite this year being labeled as "the hardest year" to find a job due to the growth of graduates and a decline in the number of job postings, Yuan still decided to stay in China after graduation. "I've got used to living here and I just cannot cut my emotional ties with China," Yuan said.

Yuan has been studying in Beijing for five years and speaks Spanish, English and Chinese.

"Most of the overseas students speak several languages. We are more competent when finding a job no matter whether it is in China or back in our own countries," Yuan said.

Unlike Yuan Yirui, Chinese Malaysian student Li Meici from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics is preparing to go back to her country.

"I was offered a part-time job in a bakery, but the company took away the offer after finding out that I'm a Malaysian," Li said.

After that, Li tried several other companies, but all of them rejected recruiting her because she is not a Chinese national.

Another Chinese Malaysian student Cai Huichuan, who studied in Peking University, experienced the same obstacle during her job hunting.

Statistics show that there were 328,330 overseas students in China in 2012. Now those who are going to graduate this year are in the same situation as the local students - facing the hardest year to get a job.

The overseas students who decide to stay in Beijing are more likely to work in foreign companies, especially the Beijing branch offices of their own countries' companies, China News Service reported.

Many companies in China are not allowed to recruit foreigners according to local regulations. Even those having qualifications may not choose to hire them for a number of reasons, given the complicated situation this year.

Foreign graduates of Chinese origin may prefer to stay in China, but they will have to face various obstacles as Li Meici and Cai Huichuan have discovered.