Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Asian American Studies

Second Department


Reader 1

Hung Cam Thai, Pomona College

Reader 2

Jessica Kizer, Pitzer College

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Rights Information

© 2024 Huiying Chen


Chinese parachute kids, defined as unaccompanied minor who study in foreign countries alone while their parents remain in China, represent a unique segment of international students.This research specifically focusing on Chinese parachute kids studying in the U.S. Grounded in interviews with nineteen individuals who were once parachute kids, this study challenges the popular view that all international students have monolithic experiences especially within the assimilationist framework.

I propose a typology of three orientations (the heritage, the instrumental, and the global) and argue that Chinese parachute kids’ orientation determines their sense of belonging and their approaches to embeddedness in American educational system. Ultimately, this study suggests that Chinese parachute kids are a distinct “mobile” group that achieve their belonging in the U.S. in multiple pathways.