My husband's business associate in China has sent his daughter to San Francisco to attend the Academy of Art. We went yesterday to pick her up at the airport and help her get situated in her new school. She is 18 years old, and newly graduated from High school. Wow, I would be nervous to send my 18 year old daughter to a big city in another country!
I kind of wonder if the Academy advertises heavily in China, because there were a lot of students who have come from China. I think one draw for them is that there is open enrollment. But it costs about $700 per unit, so it's surprising that so many come!
The campus is downtown San Francisco, but the dorms are in another area. They have shuttles that take the students back and forth. There is also a dining hall somewhere near the dorms. I never did see it. There are buildings scattered all over the down town area.
I think the parents of these students are unaware of the culture in San Francisco. They are looking at the world through their own paradigm "spectacles", and automatically assume that San Francisco is like any big city where they live. They don't know about the panhandlers and dangers that might exist in the city. These students come having no idea which areas of the city to avoid. They do speak English, but it is an adjustment for them to learn the accent used here, and also the slang. Even though the school does try to help them stay contained on campus, there are no guarantees that the students won't go exploring in the city and end up in trouble. They are, by and large, naive and ignorant of the dangers that exist in SF life.
While I applaud their desire to send their children to a good school, I have to say that I don't know if I could send my teenage daughter alone half way across the world to college! What about you? Would you feel comfortable doing this?