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Spending on overseas tuition down 7.6% in H1

The amount of money South Koreans spent on education abroad dropped 7.6 percent in the first six months of this year from a year earlier, central bank data showed Sunday, amid the declining number of South Koreans studying abroad.

South Koreans studying abroad spent a total of US$1.57 billion in the January to June period, compared with $1.7 billion in the first half of last year, according to the data released by the Bank of Korea.

The reading -- which includes spending by exchange students and language school students -- has been in the decline for three straight years.

The reduction in spending came as the number of South Koreans studying abroad has dropped in recent years due mainly to the lack of benefits in getting jobs after graduating from foreign universities.

A total of 214,696 South Koreans studied abroad last year, down 2.2 percent from 2014, according to the BOK.

Separate data compiled by the Ministry of Education showed 10,907 elementary, middle and high school students left South Korea for schools overseas between March 2014 and February last year, down 12 percent from the same period the previous year. (Yonhap)