Predicting U.S. College Students’ Interest in Studying in China: Social Influence, Personal Experiences, Country Reputation, and Media Coverage


  • Hongwei Yang Appalachian State University
  • Yingqi Wang Appalachian State University



Social influence, Personal experiences, Country reputation, Education abroad, Study abroad, US college students


An online survey of 374 US college students was conducted in April 2015 to examine whether and how subjective norm, direct and indirect experiences related to China, their perceptions of China (China’s country reputation), and media coverage of China influence their interests of studying in China. Statistical results show that their subjective norm, China’s reputation, and media coverage of China positively predicted their attitudes toward studying in China (R2= 51.5), whereas their intent to study in China (R2= 35.2) was determined by their attitudes, subjective norm, and China experiences. The study indicates that social influence or normative pressure is a much more important factor to shape their attitudes toward studying in China than their overall perceptions of China and media coverage of China. Social influence is also the second most significant predictor of their intent to study in China. The important theoretical and practical implications were discussed.


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How to Cite

Yang, H., & Wang, Y. (2018). Predicting U.S. College Students’ Interest in Studying in China: Social Influence, Personal Experiences, Country Reputation, and Media Coverage. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 30(2), 136–160.