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A Study on the Adaptation of Foreign Students to Korean Universities

  • Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Abbr :
  • 2018, (61), pp.71-94
  • DOI : 10.17939/hushss.2018..61.004
  • Publisher : Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Interdisciplinary Research
  • Received : October 2, 2018
  • Accepted : October 23, 2018
  • Published : November 30, 2018

Hyeon Sil Choi 1

1동국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In this study, we found cases that showed active adaptation to college life from interviews of international students during the academic advising interview process from March 2, 2015 to September 28, 2018. Foreign students were interviewed three or four times. Open coding, axial coding, and selective coding were derived through the method of grounding theory, and a situation model was developed. There are three main categories of foreign students who are good at adapting to college life. The first category is a group that is well suited to college life in Korea with the possible exception of the language barrier, a problem common to most foreign students. Students in this group are actively trying to respond and do not fall into a continuous state of lethargy and loneliness. In particular, compared to Chinese students, Vietnamese students studying with family members and relatives have a psychological stability from the beginning, maintaining a good college life and good relationships with friends and other college students and thus overcoming feelings of strangeness and loneliness. The second category of students well adapted to Korean college life are individuals less likely to be economically burdened with tuition and living expenses, often due to their participation in the school's foreign scholarship system (i.e., students with higher TOPIK scores and school grades). In their quest to overcome the economic burden, these students are not only acquainted with and actively participating in the school system, but are also trying out for various scholarships open to international students. The third category of foreign students who adapt well to university life in Korea engage in activities reflecting their desired goals. Due to their clear goal consciousness they are better prepared for economic and psychological independence and goal-oriented self-development.

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