How to: Get it in

11 11 2009

by: Kevin Connors

There is a race going on right now that only a handful of people know about. The athletes are as follows:

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan

What they are they playing for? People like you.

You’re American, you’re smart, and most importantly you’re curious. These six governments are all competing for the best and brightest foreigners. This article from Sunday’s Taipei Times explains just how serious things are getting in Asia. It’s quite simple. The leaders of these places know three things: the world is flattening (see: Thomas Friedman), their populations are aging, and there is no clear top university in the East. There’s no Oxford or Harvard in Asia—there’s Beijing University, University of Hong Kong, University of Tokyo, National University of Singapore, Seoul National University, and National Taiwan University. And they’re creeping up. Some world university rankings reports have these same places ahead of schools like Brown, Northwestern, and UC Berkeley.

According to Jared McClelland, a graduate student at National Taiwan University, after the Middle East, “the last great stand of American hegemony is going to be in East Asia.” Fortunately, “Asia universities see this, and they see an opportunity to bring people here.” In fact, the Taiwanese government was so eager to get people like McClelland to study in their country, that not only did they offer him admission into the International Relations Program at Taiwan’s top university, they also told him not to worry about tuition—he got a full ride.

A lot of people nowadays talk about wanting to do something different, and they’re right in thought because our generation is absolutely the generation of change. If you’re interested in international relations or if you want to work abroad why not go to graduate school at one of these universities? It’s certainly something to consider. The government scholarships available to people like you and me aren’t just handouts but they should be on our radars as options. Send an e-mail or Skype their admissions office and just ask questions about the type of aid available. If you had to strategize about education, now seems to be the time to do it. You would be buying low, and in 20 years when you got two kids and a dog people just might be asking you, “You went to NUS in Singapore? How’d you even know about it back then?”

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