China Passes U.S. as Top Destination for Korean Students

  • By Patrick Park

    November 14, 2016 11:26

    China has overtaken the U.S. as the top destination for Koreans studying overseas.

    According to the Education Ministry, 66,672 Koreans were attending schools in China as of April 1, accounting for 29.8 percent of Koreans studying abroad. Some 63,710 Korean students, or 28.5 percent, were at U.S. schools.

    In 2009, the number of Korean students heading to China passed the 60,000 mark for the first time. This year's total marked an increase of 3,749 over 2015. By contrast, the number of Koreans studying in the U.S. has been on the decline since reaching a peak of 75,065 in 2010. The figure for this year was down by 4,395 on-year.

    Of those studying in China, 35 percent were attending a university or graduate school. The rest were there for some other purpose, such as learning Chinese -- in stark contrast to their counterparts in the U.S., some 82 percent of whom went there to earn a degree.

    Australia was the third-most popular destination among Koreans studying overseas, chosen by 7.3 percent, followed by Japan (6.8 percent), the U.K. (5.3 percent), and Canada (4.9 percent).

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