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May 20, 2005

Learn With Mother

"Oyako ryugaku" programs, a parent and child studying abroad together, are currently growing in popularity. There are several companies in Japan that make arrangements in countries such as the US and Canada for the parent - usually the mother - to study at a language school while their child attends a daycare center or primary school. In some cases, the children are as young as three months. Tokyo-based Last Resort Inc., which specializes in helping Japanese relocate abroad, sends about 300 parent-child pairs every year. Manager Yoshiko Nomura said, "Parents' enthusiasm for sending children abroad while they are still very young continues to mount. The demand is showing no signs of slowing down." Publisher Space Alc, also of Tokyo, started a similar program six years ago. Senior Manager Keiko Shimizu said that mothers are increasingly less likely to be swayed by their husbands' objections to taking their children abroad, putting the children's education first. Program costs vary greatly, but a typical one-month homestay comes to about ¥400,000, plus airfares. (from a Kyodo story)
BizTrend: Japanese 'mother-and-child' study-abroad programs popular

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