"American universities have better education...I thought, if I'm going to send my child to the US for education, I should send him over earlier so he could have a chance to get used to life in the US," Feng said.
Landman from the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations said that what's different now about Chinese students studying abroad is that many want to go back to China after a few years.
"They feel they have more of a future there. There is a strong sense of patriotism and wanting to build China. They want to do something," she said.
At least 6.3 million Chinese students are expected to graduate from college this year. Some predict that China may soon hold the greatest number of PhD degrees.
A student from one Chinese high school visited by ABC News said that "chinese students often have clear short time goals such as a specific university in China or America, but for American students they don't have so much pressure."