Subject : More Gangnam kids going abroad

DATE. 2009-05-10 5:09:23 Visit. 1608

According to the education office, the number of Gangnam students who left home from last September to February this year was 834, more than double that of the 416 who did so in the first half of last year.

The upward trend is widely considered to be inspired by the thinking that acquiring English earlier in life gives children an advantage when gaining admission to a foreign language high school or a prestigious university.


Nearly one of every 25 elementary students in the Gangnam area, southern Seoul left to study abroad last year, according to statistics from local education authorities.


A recent survey by the Gangnam District Office of Education showed that a total of 2,165 students went abroad for study, accounting for nearly 4 percent of the 53,228 students in 51 elementary schools in the Gangnam area.

Consisting of Gangnam-gu and Seocho-gu, the prosperous Gangnam area is considered the nation''''''''s most sought-after educational district.

The totaled outbound students include 1,250 whose experience of studying abroad is not authorized as official academic career and other 915 authorized students who went abroad along with their family members for settlement.

The figure is four times higher than the average number of outbound elementary students in all of Seoul.

In 2007, a total of 7,183, slightly more than 1 percent of the elementary students in the city, went abroad to study, according to the education office.


English-speaking countries were the favored destinations, with 890 studying in the United States. Canada followed with 484, New Zealand with 85, Australia with 79 and England with 33.

A large portion of students also opted for China, with 83 kids studying there. Other destinations included Japan (27), Germany (20), South America (11), India (nine), the Middle East (six), Russia (five) and France (four).


Citing the nation''''''''s dropping birth rate and slowing economy, the Education Ministry announced last October that the number of outbound students younger than age 19 decreased for the first time to 27,668 in 2007, slightly down 1,843 from 2006.

However, yesterday''''''''s survey showed that a still-growing number of children in Gangnam are going abroad for better educational opportunities regardless of the economic downturn that started last year.


(Source : Korean Herald, Apr. 23, 2009)