Many parents in Hong Kong tend to share the view that sending their children to study overseas could help improve their children's English.
Gives them the competitive edge that local schools and universities cannot afford.
Consequently,it is now increasingly common for school children to be sent to grammer schools, boarding schools, high schools and universities in English speaking countries such as the UK, USA and Australia.
In my opinion,however, parents should think twice before making a decision that could have significant consequences in their children's future.
Many of these consequences can be negative...
Both the students and their families bear quite a lot of risks and burdens brought on by the move.
And, on balance, I believe the drawbacks involved in sending school children to study overseas outweigh that of the benefits
Some of the benefits of studying overseas are obvious.
No doubt students who were sent to school in English speaking countries can learn English more effectively by immersion.
These students are planted in an English speaking environment
and they are surrounded by English speaking classmates, teachers, friends and acquaintances day and night.
They most certainly have a better chance to improve their English dramatically
since they are forced to speak and write English every day.
畢竟,____ makes _____.
Afterall, practice makes perfect.
Hong Kong children are notoriously helpless around the house.
Sending them to study overseas could give them the much needed opportunities to learn to care for themselves.
Without the help of their parents and domestic helpers,
these children are forced to do all kinds of household chores and to make the necessary arrangements regarding their accommodation, transportation and studies.
These experiences are certainly good for a child's development.
A friend of mine who is now going to school in the U.K. wrote to tell me that he is now an _______ cook. He was, only a year ago, a ________ Hong Kong teenager who 只僅能為自己整個杯面
who could barely make himself a cup noodles.
Unfortunately, the move could also negatively affect both the students and their families in more ways than one.
Families of these children need to bear heavy financial burden for the exorbitant school fees and sky high living expenses.
The school fees for studying in a UK university register at about HK$400,000 per school term.
Living expense could easy add another HK$100,000 per school term.
Many of these families took out loans to pay for their sons and daughters' overseas education.
Some even have their apartment re-mortgaged and downsize their own spending to the bare minimum.
In fact, the mother of that same friend of mine who is now studying in UK ______ that she has not had a holiday anywhere outside of Hong Kong ever since she started saving for the her son's education.
And she doesn't think she'll be going anyway until her son finishes all his schooling.
To adjusted well and integrate oneself into a foreign society, a person needs to be an extrovert and has a pleasant character.
Simply not every one of us has what it takes to adapt well to a new environment,
particularly one which is dominated by a population that speak a different language and has different cultural practices.
Many of the mal-adjusted students retreat into confined social circles made up of friends of their own ethnic backgrounds,
fall behind their studies and waste the precious resources of their parents' on clubbing and on all kinds of indulgence.