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Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(4), 116;

Educational Exodus: Stories of Korean Youth in the U.S.

School of Education, College of Professional Studies, Millikin University, 1184 W. Main St. Decatur, IL 62522, USA
Department of English, Seoul Theological University, 489-52 Hohyeon-ro, Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do 14754, Republic of Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 10 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
PDF [228 KB, uploaded 28 September 2017]


An increasing number of Korean early study abroad (ESA) students are spending some of their K-12 school years in the U.S. to continue their schooling. This typical social and educational phenomenon in Korea has surged since 2000. This study aims to investigate Korean ESA adolescents’ life experiences in the U.S., focusing on motives for ESA and challenges they have experienced during their staying in the U.S. A case narrative inquiry was adopted as a research methodology to examine in-depth life experiences of four focal students. For the primary method of data collection, this study employed longitudinal observation, individual interviews, and written documents. Findings indicated that various components were entangled in complex ways for explaining the students’ decision-making such as escaping from competitive Korean educational situation, improving English language competence, following their parents’ academic journey, and getting better education. However, it might not be a path without risks. In our study, the Korean ESA adolescents have faced various challenges and even agonies. This research will provide authentic and practical information for educators and teachers to understand this emerging group of students. View Full-Text
Keywords: early study abroad; Korean adolescents; English language learning; education; socio-economic class early study abroad; Korean adolescents; English language learning; education; socio-economic class
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Choi, H.Y.; Kim, E. Educational Exodus: Stories of Korean Youth in the U.S.. Soc. Sci. 2017, 6, 116.

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