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China No. 1 destination for Koreans studying overseas

2016/11/13 18:08

SEOUL, Nov. 13 (Yonhap) -- China has become the top destination for Koreans studying overseas, surpassing the United States for the first time, government data showed Sunday.

Of 223,908 South Koreans who were studying abroad as of April 1, 66,672, or 29.8 percent, were taking language courses and other higher education programs in China, according to the data released by the Ministry of Education.

In second place was the U.S. with 63,710, or 28.5 percent.

The number of Koreans studying in China surpassed 60,000 for the first time in 2009. Since then, the number has fluctuated around that mark. This year, however, it increased by 3,749 from last year.

Meanwhile, the number of Koreans studying in the U.S. peaked at around 75,000 in 2010. It has fallen every year since then. This year, it dropped by 4,395 from last year.

In terms of the type of study, 65 percent of students in China were found to be taking language or other educational courses, while 82 percent of those in the U.S. were found to be enrolled on an undergraduate or graduate course, the data showed.

In total, the two countries accounted for 58.2 percent of all Korean students overseas.

Australia came third with 16,251 students, or 7.3 percent, while Japan came fourth with 15,279 students, or 6.8 percent.

Ireland, meanwhile, showed remarkable growth in the number of Korean students with 3,012, compared with several hundred until last year.

hague@yna.co.kr

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