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It's really helpful to go through some American graduate education, especially the kind with research and thesis requirement. I have to admit that the two and half years I spent in Nothwestern has been the happiest time in my life. I had a BS in CS back in china, yet I still felt brain-stormed in the first year. The education system was completely different from that in china, especially in Computer Science. They base everything on Unix while I had only played with windows3.x in China. The pace was so fast, you got exams coming up every other week, and meanwhile you have to teach labs for those kids in order to get your TA stipend. When it comes time to do your research, the state-of-the-art equipments and projects make you feel you are standing on the top of the world. Anyway, it's a good experience to improve your English and get you familiar with American way of doing things.
However, there is a big problem: the Green Card.
After you graduate from school, you have one year period of practical training, which entitles you eligibility to work without an H-1B visa. After that, you've gotta apply for an H-1B visa which is good for 6 years and non-renewable. If you were born in China, you are bound to wait in a big line to get your GC application approved. US only allows a 9600 quota for GC processing each year for a particular country, because there are so many chinese and indian applicants, you have to wait for several years only to get your application process started! And during this waiting period, you can not switch your jobs, if you do so, you have to restart the process. For this reason, a lot of talented chinese students have to put up with low salaries, poor working conditions, and boring repetitive tasks.
This is a very pathetic situation.
Immigration to Canada is an alternative, you don't have to worry about your GC anymore. However, even after you get your citizenship, and you want to work in US, you have to renew your TN-1 visa every year, which is a pain in butt, at least for me. Even worse, the existence of TN-1 depends very much on the North American Free Trade pact, NAFTA. Now a lot of people in Canada are opposing NAFTA , if NAFTA is gone, there will be no more TN-1s, and canadians will have to apply for H-1 as people from china do.
Nobody can forsee the future, the only thing you can do is to do the best in your ability. Success belongs to people who strive for it, It doesn't matter where you are, canada, US , or China.
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