Chinese students going abroad at younger ages

A recent trend indicates that Chinese students are studying overseas at younger ages, Asia News Network reports.

As Chinese families learn more about overseas education and increase their ability to pay for it, there has been a significant decrease in the average age of students going abroad. Marvin Mao, the Chief Executive Officer of the online overseas education network ShareWithU, has noticed a significant increase in the number of young students going abroad:

…the number of Chinese high school students heading overseas has been surging since 2010, and there has been a big growth in the number of applicant for junior high schools and primary schools this year.

As an example, Asia News Network points to the Summer Young Learner Course from Bell Educational Services Ltd., a London-based education company, which caters specifically to children between seven and 17. This year, the company has noticed a significant change in the population of its course: “the average age of Chinese students taking Bell’s young learner course has fallen from 17 in 2012 to 14 in 2013” with “the proportion of students aged between 11 and 14 years [soaring] from 5.12 per cent in 2011 to 24 per cent in 2013.”

Katie Latimer, the Recruitment and Marketing Manager of Astrum Education, a London-based education group, states that many parents feel that by sending their children abroad at a young age, the students are more likely to experience a more “positive effect on the overall performance…not only academically, but also from a social and language development perspective.” She continues:

The longer an international student is immersed in this sort of environment, the better adjusted they are for their future educational and career journey.

Many international high schools welcome this increase in Chinese students because they bring much needed revenue, Asia News Network says:

…having the high school or college experience in the U.S., a popular destination for many in China, doesn’t come cheap: it can cost 200,000 yuan (US$32,630) to 600,000 yuan a year, including tuition and living expenses. That’s the annual income of many Chinese families.