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Thousands of Chinese Students Choose American High Schools



For VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.

Chinese students have a long history of coming to the United States for education. And this month, American educators expect high schools across America to enroll more Chinese students than ever. Seventeen-year-old Grace Liu is one of about 30,000 Chinese citizens at American high schools. She grew up in Tianjin, a city of 14 million people on China’s east coast. This fall, she is starting her third year of high school in the southeastern United States. Grace attends Rabun Gap Nacoochee School in Rabun Gap, a small community in the state Georgia. She sounds very happy with her surroundings.

Anthony Sgro heads the Rabun Gap School. He says the number of Chinese applications, or requests, to attend the school has risen sharply in the last 15 years. Many of the students are from China’s growing middle class. They want a good education and to improve their chances to attend America’s most respected universities. Attending schools outside of China also means an escape from the intense competition at schools inside China. Memorization by rote is common there. This method of learning through memory exercises uses up a lot a time. It can keep students from taking part in sports or interest groups. Anthony Sgro says some of Rabun’s citizens have expressed displeasure about the young Chinese arrivals. Mr. Sgro says when his students see stories about in newspapers and television. He says they also will know five students from that country. He said this helps the student understand that they need to be aware and interested in what is happening around them.