Why Deteriorating Relations, Xenophobia, and Safety Concerns Will Deter Chinese International Student Mobility to the United States


  • Ryan M. Allen Chapman University, USA
  • Ying Ye Shanghai Normal University, China




Chinese students, COVID-19, student mobility, xenophobia


Collaborations between American and Chinese universities have been critical to global knowledge production. Chinese students accounted for over a third of all international students in the United States prior to COVID-19, but the pandemic paused most global mobility in 2020. We argue that this international mobility to the United States will not fully recover if larger stressors are left unaddressed. First, relations between the United States and China have deteriorated in recent years, especially under the Trump administration, with growing suspicion against Chinese researchers and scholars. Second, viral acts of violence and anti-Asian incidents have painted the United States as unsafe for Chinese students. Finally, given the mismanaged response to the pandemic, it may take years before trust returns from abroad. While the Biden administration has promised to curb some of these issues, the perceptions of the United States may have been permanently altered. 


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Author Biographies

Ryan M. Allen, Chapman University, USA

RYAN M. ALLEN, PhD, is an assistant professor at Chapman University’s Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies. He primarily works with the college’s doctoral program partnered with Shanghai Normal University. His research focuses on internationalizations of higher education, EdTech, academic publishing, and the East Asian region. He serves on the executive board of the Study Abroad and International Student SIG within the Comparative and International Education Society, where he shares his passion for supporting global mobility and promoting study abroad.

Ying Ye , Shanghai Normal University, China

YING YE, EdD, is a faculty in the School of Education of Shanghai Normal University, mainly responsible for the international programs. She received her doctoral degree from East Normal University in China, majoring in Education Leadership. She has also been exploring how international collaboration and communication can be established between universities from different countries in terms of both research and practice.


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How to Cite

Allen, R., & Ye, Y. (2021). Why Deteriorating Relations, Xenophobia, and Safety Concerns Will Deter Chinese International Student Mobility to the United States. Journal of International Students, 11(2), i-vii. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v11i2.3731