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Nov 13, 2016

Study abroad programs have been popular for decades in Western universities, and even in some high schools where students spend a semester living and studying in a foreign country. In China's rigid educational system, though, where rote memory and testing are the norm, the idea that a student would interrupt their academic program for some kind of international experience was unheard of until recently.

However, now a growing number of well-to-do Chinese families are opting to send their children to universities in the United States where the competition for admission at prestigious universities is fierce. So to help give their children an edge they turn to any of the thousands of admissions consulting firms in China that aim to help students get in to a top school.

One such firm, Beijing-based AIC, is now offering a study abroad program in Ghana for Chinese high school students. The China Ghana Changemaker Program was co-founded by AIC educational adviser Francis Miller who recently accompanied the first class of seven PRC students to Accra. Francis joins Eric & Cobus to discuss more about the growing popularity of Chinese overseas studies in Africa and the moral pitfalls of these kinds of "voluntourism" programs.

Join the discussion? Are you encouraged that more Chinese young people are joining Western students to volunteer in Africa where they come to learn and supposedly help local communities or do you think this is just the latest evolution of the "white savior" complex. Tell us what you think.

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Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque