This contrastive study aims at inquiring how South Korean, Japanese, and Australian University students express their complaints in a given situation. The research was performed from May to September, 2002. The number of students who participated in the research was 417: Korean males-60 and females-119, Japanese males-56 and females-119, Australian males-44 and females-68. The results are summarized below. In general, Koreans tend to express their complaints directly, but Japanese do that indirectly, whereas, Australians tend not to express their complaints at all.
Most Japanese and Australians do not complain if a senior classmate is late for an appointment. Concerning age differences and seniority Koreans tend to express themselves more clearly than the other two groups. They want him/her to do something for them as a kind of compensation for waiting, like paying for a cup of coffee. When getting lower than expected grades in a class, on the other hand, most of the Koreans and Australians directly express their complaints to their teachers, but the Japanese just accept the result and do not express any kind of complaints.
All three groups expressed themselves immediately and directly, when it came to individual inconveniences, such as the radio being too loud in a taxi, feeling pressure from a sales person to purchase something, or a book they ordered not arriving on the exact date without a notification in advance.