China / Society

Better preparation needed for children sent to study abroad

By Zhao Xinying ( Updated: 2015-05-12 19:15

Parents who decide to send their children to study abroad at a young age should try their best to get the kids prepared, not only for the foreign language, but also aspects of school life abroad, overseas study consultants said.

More and more Chinese parents are sending their children to study abroad at an increasingly younger age.

Zhao Yao, a senior consultant with Vision Overseas, an overseas study consultancy under the New Oriental Education & Technology Group, said one third of their present clients are parents whose children are at third or fourth grade of primary school. Previously, most of their clients were parents of junior middle school students.

"It's crucial for parents to help their young children to make comprehensive preparations for study overseas," Zhao said.

Lu Wei, head of a department of Vision Overseas that helps Chinese students to study at high schools in the United States, said when they say "preparation", they are not only referring to taking required tests and getting all the documents ready.

"It means something more fundamental. For example, we believe that the preparation for the English language is not just about taking the TOEFL test and achieving a high score. Parents should pay more attention to nurturing children’s interest in the language, by ways such as guiding children to read English books," Lu said.

She added that the fostering of other skills and abilities - independence, team spirit, communication and other skills – are of equal importance and deserveparents' attention.

"Parents should be careful of making the decision of sending children to study overseas. But once you have decided, you should try your best to get your children ready," she said.

To gain a better understanding of younger students’ needs overseas, staff members of Vision Overseas made a trip to high schools of the US last September, to collect information of various aspects including admission, daily study and host families.

Later in the month, the staff members will set out again. This time, they will focus on high school graduation ceremonies in the US, as well as Chinese students' situations after they graduate from high schools there.

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