In South Korea, US education means split families

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Sally Kim is a typical American teenager. She's crazy about singer Bruno Mars, spends way too much time on Facebook and can't wait to start college.

But unlike her friends, Kim can't complain about uncool parents. That's because hers are nearly 7,000 miles away in Seoul, South Korea. They sent their only child to live with relatives in Missouri a decade ago, when she was just 8.

Such relocations have surged in popularity in South Korea, where a rigid education system and intense social pressure to succeed in the global economy often means breaking up families for the sake of school.

Some early study abroad students move with their mothers and siblings while the fathers remain in Asia. Among Koreans, the families are known as "wild geese."

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