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China café: foreign students

Foreign students are descending upon Beijing, but young Chinese still dream of studying abroad

By Alec Ash   August 2010

At rush hour, it can take 40 minutes for bus 307 to cross three sets of traffic lights and a railway track at Wudaokou intersection in northwest Beijing. Pedestrians cut across the path of our driver as we stutter another metre forward. Cyclists mount the kerb to cross the tracks before a train passes. Street vendors on three-wheeled carts hawk stationery and bootleg get-rich-quick books, getting in everyone’s way.

These crossroads are a candidate for the worst-designed in the country, yet Wudaokou is at the hub of Beijing’s foreign student population. As China rises as a global power, more and…

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