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There’s a new trend these days and it includes many students opting to pursue their business and legal educations overseas and more specifically, they’re choosing Asia. The Wall Street Journal is reporting more American college kids are applying to schools in both Asia and Europe. Lawyer and founder A. Harrison Barnes says while this trend in itself isn’t indicative of the level of education American law schools offer, it is, however, a tell tale sign that more young adults are wanting to take advantage of what will likely be their only chance to see the world before their own children are raised. “Today’s young adults have an uncanny ability to see what their futures hold and unlike past generations, instead of embracing it, they’re choosing to redefine it”, says the founder.

The Graduate Management Admission Council, which oversees the GMAT, says nearly 7,800 American students were sent to colleges outside the U.S. in 2009 alone. For contrast, in 2005, that number was right at 5,000. The WSJ also reports 2009 marked the first time China had made the list of top ten countries that Americans sent their GMAT scores to. China is no doubt appreciating the influx of new visitors, but does this mean America has anything to worry about? “Not at all”, insists the founder. It’s important to remember many of China’s college students are opting to come to America to study, so in a lot of ways, it often balances out just right.

So why Asia? Many say it’s all about the appeal of the many opportunities they’re offered in China. While the educational possibilities are often the deciding factor, the truth is, many prefer the fast moving business climate. The China Europe International Business School in Shanghai says its class of 2009 graduates included 8% Americans. Parents should expect to pay more for their globe trotting offspring. As one might expect, there are considerable expenses that go into allowing your teen to finish law school abroad. Not only that, but because American law is specific and definitive, it can be difficult to find those foreign schools that offer the necessary courses. In fact, many law students bring it full circle by taking online courses when possible and when a needed course is not available via the foreign institution.

Does this mean Asia is offering better educational experiences in terms of one’s aspirations of a Legal Career? Most say it has nothing to do with that; A. Harrison Barnes is quick to reiterate that it truly does come down to taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. “Today’s contemporary generation is interested in becoming multi-lingual (Mandarin is the most sought after foreign language class among Americans) as well as keeping their options always open, even if they’re halfway around the world.

Finally, many students are saying the international degree opens doors the more traditional degrees might be able to do. “Everyone likes a worldly and diverse personality”, says Barnes. Traveling the world is the best way to ensure both.

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