However, while the number of Chinese students studying overseas continues to increase, China itself is fast becoming a hotspot for international tertiary education with students from all over the world looking for unique experiences and the opportunity for studying in one of the world's fastest growing economies. In fact, latest figures suggest almost 300,000 students have selected China as a study option this year alone. Quite a change from the 1950's when there were only 20 international students in China.
"With China rapidly expanding its reach in various industries, the opportunity to contribute to the foundations of future organisations and markets is becoming an irresistible proposition."
Rob Munro, Marketing and Recruitment Coordinator for INTO China, explains that in addition to career opportunities and development, students studying an INTO China programme also benefit from "an award-winning model which is proven to deliver first-rate student experiences and expertise, distinctive cultural exchanges and the opportunity to network with a truly international student cohort."
For our Chinese partners, the benefits are also considerable with INTO growing the academic credentials of Chinese universities, increased enrolment, powerful brand recognition, which students respond to, and the ability to internationalise campuses, with recruitment teams bringing in students from America, Europe, Africa and the rest of Asia.
With so many opportunities emerging, it's no surprise that an increasing number of students studying at our partner universities are choosing to spend their summers in China developing new language skills and immersing themselves in a student market that's beginning to flourish.
One such student is Emily Vosper, an undergraduate studying Business Management at the University of East Anglia in the UK, spent four weeks on an INTO China language course at Dongbei University of Finance and Economics before beginning her studies.
"For me, the best part of the programme was meeting new people, becoming friends with them and being able to share the 'China Experience' with them. I am now able to hold conversations with confidence and am more than willing to speak Mandarin to locals."
Emily is one of 3,300 British students currently studying in China, with that number rising, on average, by 10% each year. According to the Chinese Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange under the Ministry of Education, the number of British students in China is expected to more than double by 2020, inline with INTOs own strategic development plans.
In the US also, student enrolment numbers to China have increased to 13,600, up 4% the previous year with that number likely to double in 2013/14. Initiatives like the US Government initiative launched by Barrack Obama - 100,000 Strong, designed to expand access to US study abroad programmes in China demonstrate the growing appeal of Asia as a study option for Western students.
"Initiatives like this [100,000 Strong] complement our own aims and the strategic direction of INTO and our University partnerships in China." Stephen Healy, Managing Director, (China and Asia), explains that although many Western institutions are catching on to the idea of offering programmes in China, INTO have been ahead of the global trend for some time.
"Our goal is to increase the educational opportunities for an increasing number of academically focused international students and bringing with this, INTO's strong track record in delivering exceptional student experiences in China and success to complement the academic credentials of our University partners."
This summer alone, students from INTO partner universities: Oregon State University, Colorado State University as well students and staff from our partner Universities in the UK such as Exeter University and the University of East Anglia in the UK, will make up the fabric of those taking up either a language and/or an academic programme available through INTO China.
Stephen says that now we're firmly established, INTO can focus on strengthening the student experience and long-term academic study opportunities with our Chinese University partners in China and expand opportunities throughout the Asia region.
"We see the INTO network providing very real and tangible opportunities for international student mobility across continents and between INTO University network partners. The recognition by Oregon State University of our success in China last year by providing six academic credits for students studying at INTO China partners is a strong foundation on which to build future intra-network mobility initiatives for our students."
In a recent move to increase student mobility between our partners, Emily Chu, Executive Development Coordinator, INTO China, and Dan Cross, USA Recruitment Manager (Asia) accompanied the President of the University of South Florida, Dr.Judy Genshaft, on a trip to see the INTO Asia operation and made a stop-off at Newcastle University's Malaysia Medicine centre in Iskandar, Malaysia.
For more information on INTO China, our programmes and our three partners: Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, Nankai University and Beijing Foreign Studies University, click here