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Starting Small

A recent Wall Street Journal article documents a trend that could end up the reshaping the future of Sino-American relations. More and more Chinese students are choosing to study in the United states in larger numbers than ever before. And they are doing it at an increasingly early ages.

The Journal article anchors its narrative to the story of Kevin Yang, a twelve-year old from the Jiangxi province who currently goes to school a full 7,000 miles away from his family in Mission Viejo California.

Kevin Yang attends Mission Viejo Christian School, a private school that enrolls 300 students in elementary and middle school. Making a new life in unfamiliar language is never an easy feat, but the Journal reports that the combination of small class sizes and a dedicated host family has allowed Yang to acclimate to the alien surroundings of southern California quickly and happily.

Yang’s parents agree that the upsides of Kevin’s recent experience clearly exceed the downsides of a long separation. Kevin’s father says he wants his son to benefit from the American system’s unique emphasis on independent thinking. He adds that he hopes his son's quality of life will likewise benefit from a less populous and pressurized academic environment than he would have faced back home.

Kevin has joined the ranks of a wave of foreign students that has grown larger and faster than any forecasters predicted. The federal government reports that the number of Chinese children settling in America for elementary school has quintupled in the last five years. Throughout the same period, the population of Chinese nationals currently attending American secondary schools more than doubled and now stands at more than 46,000 students.

While those numbers are still dwarfed by the numbers of Chinese students who choose to come to the United States to pursue higher education every year, positive experiences like Kevin Yang’s are clearly causing more and more Chinese parents to consider US-based primary education to be a crucial advantage.

Check out the full article here:

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