Fewer and Fewer Koreans Study Abroad

      December 08, 2014 09:50

      The number of Korean students going overseas to study has dwindled for a third consecutive year, according to statistics from the Education Ministry.

      Their number kept rising from 2008 to peak at 262,465 in 2011, but since then they have been on the decline, reaching 219,543 this year.

      The figures also include exchange students, language learners and those on foundation courses.

      The U.S. still topped the list as a destination for Korean students last year with 70,600 or 32.2 percent, followed by China with 63,400 or 28.9 percent and Japan with 17,200 or 8.3 percent.

      Next came Australia (14,100 or 6.4 percent), Canada (9,800 or 4.5 percent), and the Philippines and the U.K. (7,000 or 3.2 percent each).

      The numbers have dwindled in most countries, most drastically in the U.K. with a 44 percent drop from 2012 to 2013 and New Zealand with a 43 percent decline. But in the Philippines they rose about 2,000 on-year.

      "It seems that an increasing number of parents feel they can't afford the cost of sending their children abroad after a protracted recession, while many college students are deciding not to go abroad because foreign diplomas or degrees are no longer the magic wand they used to be for finding decent jobs," a ministry official said.

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