Special Reports

Chinese Students In American High Schools To Prepare For University Rises


The number of Chinese teenagers moving to America to study high school continues to rise. This comes as they prepare themselves to enroll at universities and colleges in the United States.

The New York Times described these Chinese kids as "the parachute generation." The publication reported that the number of Chinese students coming to the U.S. has continued to rise even as the country's relations with China have slipped.

It is estimated that about 370,000 students from mainland China are enrolled in American high schools and colleges. This figure is six times more than the data from over a decade ago.

It was noted that this is a "strange historical moment" when the elites of a rising nation would send their precious children, the products of China's one-child policy, to study at a geopolitical rival country. Even President Xi Jinping, who led the crackdown on Western influences in Chinese schools, sent his daughter to Harvard.

A survey conducted last year by a Shanghai-based research firm found that 83 percent of China's millionaires plan to send their children to study abroad. The average age has currently dropped to 16 from 18 in 2014.

In 2014, the number of Chinese students rose to a whopping 40,000. Now, they account for about half of all international high school students in the nation.

Nini Suet, founder of Shang Learning, a boutique consultancy with headquarters in Beijing, noted that parents have begun to realize that they need to start earlier if they want their children to attend a top U.S. university. Suet's company charges $25,000 to $40,000 to help Chinese kids with the preparation and application to American boarding schools.

According to NPR, Chinese parents want their kids to earn a degree in the U.S. since it "carries a lot of weight." Moreover, the students themselves enjoy studying in America because it allows them to be more independent and creative. The workload is also more manageable than in China where the national college-entrance exam takes nine hours to complete and a lot more hours to prepare for.

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