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USC Homicides One Year Later: Prospective Chinese Students Have Safety Concerns

Shunqi Lin |
April 11, 2013 | 4:27 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

The shooting of two Chinese students last April has shaken USC’s reputation among its Chinese applicants. 

Twenty-two-year-old Hao Wang received an offer from the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering. His family initially had doubts about USC.

“My mom disapproved my decision at first," said Wang. "Many parents won’t let their children go to USC after the shooting incident."

Wang managed to persuade his parents to let him go to USC. “USC is not the only university suffer from safety threats," he said. "It’s a general social problem.

“When I told my friends and relatives I got enrolled by USC, the first thing they said was, ‘Be careful, it’s dangerous there,’” said Chaoran Lu, a prospective student for the fall.

Lu appreciates USC's academic reputation but she said the school isn't her top choice.

“If I get (an) offer from another university which also has a pretty high rank, I will probably not choose USC,” Lu said.

Kathy Xu chose USC over Syracuse University and the University of Florida. She already made up her mind to come to Los Angeles to pursue a master's degree in journalism.

“Some of my friends in the United States have warned me about the safety issue around USC,” Xu said. “But I also have friends who came to USC for their undergraduate study, and they are fine.”

For Xu, USC's academic reputation outweighs its safety concerns. 

“My program lasts two years so I can have enough time to get adjusted and learn the culture," she said. “Also, USC has a high rank in academic excellence, which is important to Chinese companies when they hire people. I have to think in the long run.”

USC has enrolled the most foreign students for 11 years in a row. Nearly 8,000 international students came to USC in the fall of 2012. Chinese students make up the biggest population, with a total of 3,038 in both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Reach Staff Reporter Shunqi Lin here.



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