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Reconsideration of studying abroad at an early age


In recent years, more and more parents are sending their children to Canada to study at an early age, in high school, or even junior high or elementary school. It is becoming a trend. Many people think that Canada is the most cost-effective country to study abroad. This is a tremendous advantage in all aspects. Whether a young student lives in a boarding school or with a host family, it enhances the child's ability to learn, live, and interact socially. ability. However, I don't think parents should oversimplify the advantages and disadvantages of studying at a younger age. Children living abroad, with or without their parents, can be a challenge in an unfamiliar culture and language environment, and I'd like to share some thoughts with you here.



Parents shouldn't oversimplify the advantages and disadvantages of studying at a younger age


Should we send elementary and middle school students abroad to study?
Professor Kan Kaili of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications advocates "sending children out of China after attending junior high school in China. At this time, he has already been exposed to Chinese culture and basic knowledge and does not need to undergo the torture of the college entrance exam, a waste of youth. " He believes that "school education nowadays is too utilitarian, what is a primary school for? What's the point of going to high school in order to get into a better high school? To get into a good college, and to go to college for what? To go to graduate school in the future and then go out and be able to get a job that makes a lot of money, or an ironclad job. Such learning goals, in and of themselves, are extremely harmful and are turning learning into a means of pursuing merit. The workload also wore students down. The natural desire to know and the joy of learning is fundamentally destroyed. The core of education is broken. "
I think Professor Kan's point is valid. It's just that if you want to settle in Montreal, the time to come out to study is not after the third year of school. Because Montreal, Quebec follows the Quebec special education system. First and second-year high school grades are the only criteria for admission to a good CEGEP (College Preparatory Program). Only by attending a good CEGEP program will you be able to enter the university of your choice and major of your interest. There is also no standardized test from CEGEP to university admission, but rather an overall assessment. It is generally recommended that your child come to school in the third year of school to give him/her time to adjust to studying and living in Montreal. In this way, your child's grades in the first and second year of high school will be good enough to get into a good CEGEP or major of their choice. If a parent sees that Montreal is blessed with a bilingual learning environment and wants their child to be bilingual in English and French, the child is best served by I am in the third grade of elementary school or the first year of secondary school in Montreal. I will explain the reasons for this in more detail in a future article.
Professor Rao Yi of Peking University "does not advocate parents in China to send their primary and secondary students to study abroad. The main reason is that the process of a child's growth is closely related to family relationships and the closeness of family members, and it is very difficult to separate a child from his or her family. It will have a great impact on his life."
I think Professor Rao Yi's views on the issue of studying abroad at a young age are valid. The love and care from parents, relatives, and friends is indispensable in a child's development. With today's advanced communication methods, such as WeChat and email, the love and care from relatives no longer seem so far away. If parents decide to send their children abroad to receive a Western education, I think it is best for young international students to be accompanied by at least one parent rather than easily considering the option of staying with a host family. However, I don't need to tell you that we all understand the side effects of a child who is too young to be strong and independent for his age. It is true that children need timely and attentive parental care and guidance in order to avoid detours and help their character grow soundly.
In addition to the above-mentioned tuition fees, the natural environment, and other factors, we will discuss the advantages of a foreign education below.


The Real Advantages of Education Abroad
The concept of education abroad is completely different from ours, and the goal of public education is to "train citizens for a democratic society". That's why schools encourage students to follow their interests, and whether a child's future is as a firefighter, carpenter, or forklift driver, he or she will be supported by his or her school and family. And the fact is that being a forklift driver doesn't necessarily pay less than being a college professor. And some public schools in big cities, very much like China's major high schools, also place a lot of emphasis on college enrollment rates. This diversity of talent training is very conducive to the balanced and healthy development of a society. We often think that primary and secondary education abroad is inferior to that in China, but this is a misconception.
Private schools abroad, unlike public schools, aim to Contributing Members of Society, in other words, train the social elite. Its educational standards are unmatched by any major high school in the country. It does well in all aspects of academics, community service, and extracurricular activities. Some of the courses offered and projects required of students are college level in both content and format. The teachers are very good.
Overseas elite education often gives children the opportunity to discover their true potential, and students tend to be more open-minded. Chinese education has a single goal. The high level of competition can have a negative impact on the physical and psychological well-being of some children.


Decisions for young students
Studying at a younger age has its advantages, as the younger they are, the better their chances of acquiring a foreign language. It is difficult for teenagers to go abroad without an accent in the future, but they usually grow up speaking more accurately in a foreign language. Young students who grow up in an overseas culture are more likely to assimilate into mainstream society, while undergraduates who study abroad mostly find it difficult to assimilate into mainstream society due to language and cultural differences. When they enter the workplace, they often have better business skills than their Western colleagues, but their positions are lower than theirs.
We Chinese often say that "knowledge changes destiny", but some people believe that in this globalized environment "vision determines destiny". !" The point I want to emphasize here is that parents must never make a simple comparison of the merits of Chinese and Western education. Chinese education may not encourage critical thinking, but there will still be a proportion of Chinese students with extraordinary creative and critical thinking skills. It is true that rote memorization is not encouraged in Western countries, but there are some students who are just as good at it as their Chinese counterparts.
Since Quebec is different from other Canadian provinces, the education system is completely different. If an elementary student is coming to Montreal to study, he or she will need to choose the right time and grade level to attend school.


This article is contributed by Juwai Columnist Rita Zhou.

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