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China / Education

Wealthy Chinese want kids to study abroad

By Lian Zi in San Francisco (China Daily USA) Updated: 2014-11-25 11:51

Four out of five wealthy families in China want to send their children to study abroad, according to a recent Hurun Report.

In terms of destinations, the US is their top choice for higher education, followed by the UK, and other Western countries such as Australia, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand and France.

According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), China remains the leading place of origin for foreign students coming to the US and Chinese students now make up 31 percent of international students studying in the US.

In the 2013-14 academic year, 274,439 students from China were studying in the US, an increase of 16.5 percent over the previous year, according to IIE.

In 2013, Chinese students contributed $8.04 billion to the US economy, according to the US Department of Commerce.

The result of the report was not surprising to one CEO of a Chinese company who asked not to be named during a phone interview with China Daily.

"One of my daughters is now in the UK and we plan to send our younger daughter to study in the US in the next few years," he said.

He said he wants to send his children abroad because he values the educational concept in Western universities of "all-round development" and "quality oriented education", rather than learning only by rote memory.

"By sending them abroad, we also hope to broaden their horizons and give them the chance to be independent," he added. "We want them to live and learn in a new environment where they will not be labeled as children from a rich family."

According to the Hurun report, the average age of Chinese millionaires' children is 16 when they are sent abroad.

"We definitely see a trend that the Chinese students who study abroad tend to get younger," said a manager of LiuxueTime, a college placement agency based in Los Angeles, who also preferred not to be identified by name.

Summer camp has already been established as a popular way to bring Chinese students to US schools, the manager said.

More and more Chinese middle school and high school students register for LiuxueTime study tour programs and some then apply to US high schools.

More than 90 percent of Chinese applicants could get offers from the US schools they apply to, but, according to LiuxueTime, the rankings of the schools remain uneven, which heavily depend on applicants' TOFEL English-language scores.

Sending children to study in a US high school is not cheap. "The tuition of private schools in California could be $25,000 to $28,000 a year, with living expenses of about $1,400 a month on top of that," the manager said.

Hurun Report is a leading luxury magazine targeted at China's high net worth individuals.

zilian@chinadailyusa.com

 

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