Chinese Students at American High Schools

Chinese at American HS, High Schools and Chinese Citizens, Chinese at American Public Schools

There’s a piece in “The New York Times” that highlights the increasing number of Chinese citizens studying at American public high schools.

A piece in “The New York Times” by Brook Larmer entitled “The Parachute Generation” offers insight into the growing trend of Chinese students studying abroad in the United States not only for college — but for high school as well. Indeed in an effort to improve their children’s case for admission to America’s most selective universities, Chinese parents have been sending their offspring here years earlier so that they can be immersed in the American educational system from a younger age. And not just to private boarding schools…but to public high schools as well.

As Larmer writes, “Even as U.S.-China relations have slipped toward mutual antagonism, the flood of Chinese students coming to the United States has continued to rise. Roughly 370,000 students from the mainland are enrolled in American high schools and universities, six times more than a decade ago. Their financial impact — $11.4 billion was contributed to the American economy in 2015, according to the Department of Commerce — has turned education into one of America’s top “exports” to China.”

The piece highlights the experience of a young man, Yang “Korbin” Jinkai, who enrolled at a public high school in Michigan — Oxford. His father wanted him to enroll at Oxford because he thought the name had a certain cache to it, though the Michigan public school has no association with University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Korbin is now enrolled at Penn State University and he’s a bit homesick — not for China but for his small Michigan town where he lived with a host family.

What do our readers think of American high schools enrolling Chinese citizens? Are they doing it because they believe the world is their classroom or because it’s a boon to their bottom lines? Let us know your thoughts by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.


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  • Will Tierny says:

    Terrible idea to have China using America in every way possible. They tax our imports, we don’t tax theirs, they fly here to give birth then go back to China so their babies can later arrive on our shores as citizens and get in-state tuition. How you can possibly think this is a ‘boon’ to our economy ?

    • Ivy Coach says:


      From the piece in “The New York Times”: “For each student, Weiming would pay Oxford Community Schools $10,000 a year. It was a boon for a district facing budgetary pressures.” This is specifically the boon we are referencing.

  • Ross Jennings says:

    I read the Larmer article in NYT, and felt that it pretty accurately described the situation at a public high school which wanted to bring in extra revenue and honestly serve the needs of all of its students, international and domestic. Neither are easy. I work with a college with a large international student program. My experience with international students who attended US high schools is all over the map. My biggest concerns have been with high schools which have low English requirements and try to top up poor English speaking students’ abilities while they take regular high school classes, so as not to “waste” a year in high school. The result is frequently a very unsuccessful (and depressing) experience. Such students lose confidence, requiring a fair bit of educational and mental rehab required to get them back on track.

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