America continues to lead the world as a destination for international students. Last year about 900,000 foreign students were studying in the United States, about halfof them from Asia. But a growing number of Asian students are looking to an English-speaking country much closer to home—the Philippines.
The island nation of 100 million is quickly becoming theeducation center of Asia. The country’s low prices,open culture, and quality schools are attracting recordnumbers of foreign students. Koreans are leading theway, according to Jose L. Cuisia, the PhilippinesAmbassador to the United States.
“There are more and more Koreans that are studyingEnglish in the Philippines. In 2004, there were about5,700. . . The following year, it tripled to about 17,000, in 2012 it was about 24,000. So we’re seeing anincreasing number of Koreans. But they’re also fromother countries: Libya, Brazil, Russia.”
The Philippines is in a unique position to benefit from the global demand for English education. American colonialism brought the English language here in the early twentieth century.Although it is not the native language of most Filipinos, English is an official language here. More than 60 years after independence, Filipinos still speak English with a strong American accent. Today, the Philippines markets itself as the world’s third-largest English-speaking country.
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