Why Do International Students Come to South Korea for Language Learning and University: The Social Cognitive Career and Motivation Approach


Due to the rapid growth and international influences of the South Korean economic and social impacts, many international students decided to enrol and exchange at one of the South Korean universities for Korean language learning and university education. Recent statistics indicated that the Mongolian student population is one of the top five international communities in South Korea. However, only a few studies concerned the learning motivations and experiences of these groups of Mongolian students in South Korea. This study aimed to understand what elements attract Mongolian students to come to South Korea for language learning and university education. Based on the social cognitive career and motivation theory, the research study collected interview data and focus group sharing from 45 Mongolian students who are currently enrolled at one of the South Korean universities to study Korean language learning and university education. The findings indicated that 1) the interests in the Korean language, 2) influence of Korean pop culture, and 3) career development after university were the main themes. The research will benefit school leadership, pre-service teachers, policymakers, and school professionals who would like to establish and extend their foreign language teaching and learning programmes and international students’ services for their universities and classroom environments.

Author Information
Luis Miguel Dos Santos, Woosong University, South Korea
Ching Ting Tany Kwee, University of New South Wales, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2021
Stream: International Education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon