October 04, 2011 09:19
The number of Korean schoolchildren studying abroad has rebounded for the first time in four years, according to a survey. The rise was due to signs of an economic recovery last year and Korean universities' stronger emphasis on practical English in entrance exams, experts say.
Some 18,741 primary and secondary school students went abroad to study for the 2010 academic year (March 2010-February 2011), according to the Education Ministry.
That was 623 more than a year earlier. Most (6,403 students or 34.2 percent) went to the U.S. to study. Next came Southeast Asia (4,178 students or 22.3 percent), Canada (2,568 or 13.7 percent), China (1,680 or 9 percent), and New Zealand (1,066 or 5.7 percent).
Primary schoolchildren topped the list with 8,794, an increase of 5.1 percent, followed by 5,870 middle schoolchildren (up 2.7 percent) and 4,077 high school students (up 1.3 percent).
Many parents want to send their children abroad to learn foreign languages at an early age. Their number soared each since the early 2000s, peaking in academic year 2006 with 29,511 but began to fall in 2007 and kept dropping.
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