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Overseas study applications fall

Update: May, 04/2009 - 00:00

Overseas study applications fall


HCM CITY — The number of Vietnamese people applying to study abroad has fallen because of the current economic slowdown, according to consulates general and foreign education offices in HCM City.

The US Consulate General said 5,002 people had applied for a visa to study in American high schools for the June 2008-March 2009 school year, while 6,427 people had applied for the June 2007 – March 2008 academic year.

Overseas education consultants have also reported that the number of students using their services has fallen 30 per cent to 50 per cent since the end of last year.

Nguyen Dang Hien, director of Academic Services Cooperation International (ASCI), said his company had experienced a drop of 20 per cent in business.

Many clients were carefully considering their options, with most families choosing to study in England, Singapore, Australia and the US, he said.

Le Hoang Tuan of Saigontourist Travel Service Company said families were saving money by choosing Asian countries for the first few years of school and then transferring to European and American schools.

"Expenditures including tuition and accommodation in England are around VND330 million (US$18,539) per year, while studying in Singapore costs about VND200 million ($11,235)," he said.

To attract more clients, ASCI plans to cut fees and look for partners to provide scholarships, while Saigontourist will reduce its consulting fee to $400 from $700.

Mark Ashwill, director of the Institute of International Education (IIE) Vietnam, said students could cut costs by applying for scholarships for full – or part-time study.

He suggested that students complete two years of study in Viet Nam and then finish the final two years for a bachelor’s degree in the US.

IIE offices in HCM City and Ha Noi are offering online consulting services and registration by Yahoo! as well as planning visits to provinces nationwide. — VNS


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