Sunday, June 08, 2008

Wild Geese

Earlier this year I had a particularly thoughtful and engaged student from South Korea. She happened to be here looking after her son, an international student at a high school in Toronto. Meanwhile her husband remained at his job in South Korea.

Apparently, this arrangement isn't as unusual as it seemed to me at the time. In today's NYT, Norimitsu Onishi, reports that an estimated 40,000 of these so-called "wild geese" have flown the Korean coop at least temporarily. This jives with the experience in our program where South Koreans have come to form the largest group of students by nationality.

In a few years, when these students begin applying to foreign universities, the Korean IELTS scores will likely improve. What will happen to the families, though, is another issue.

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