Studies of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
Place of Publication
Country of Publication
Stanford University Press
Trade paperback (US)
Table Of Contents
Contents and Abstracts1Towards a New Model of Engaging Skilled Foreigners chapter abstractKorea has pursued new opportunities for continued growth, but has been hampered its lack of global talent- individuals with key skills conferring valuable advantages in global markets. Countries like the United States have generated such advantages by recruiting skilled foreigners. Korea has had difficulty recruiting such foreigners because its strong ethnic nationalism makes it comparatively unfriendly for foreigners. Yet, Korea can leverage skilled foreigners by inviting skilled foreigners for a short-term sojourn. Since they will have difficulty assimilating, such foreigners are not expected to stay and contribute their human capital over the long-term. However, if they return home, they can become transnational bridges linking Korea with their home societies and create mutually beneficial opportunities for information exchange, cooperation and trade. Overall, Korea and similar countries in Europe and Asia can benefit from participating in global brain circulation, even if their ethnic nationalism hampers them from assimilating skilled foreigners. 2Foreign Students in Korea chapter abstractIn recent years, Korean universities have attracted an increasing number of foreign students, mainly within the Asian region. Some students expressed mainly instrumental reasons to study in Korea such as the lower cost, the availability of scholarships, and Korea's geographical proximity and social similarity to their home countries. In contrast, other students expressed mainly social identity reasons to study in Korea, mainly the opportunity to learn about Korea's development experience and to experience firsthand a culture they had learned to appreciate while consuming Korean cultural products abroad. Such individuals also expressed a desire to bridge Korea and their home countries for mutual benefit, a tremendous opportunity for all involved. Understanding this, several Korean firms have begun to recruit foreigners studying in Korea and begun training them to run subsidiaries in their home countries. 3Korean Students Abroad chapter abstractKoreans study at U.S. and Canadian universities to receive what they perceive to be a better education. On average, such students have a moderately high desire to return to Korea after completing their degrees, being more familiar with the Korean environment and wanting to spend more time with family and friends back home. Indeed, many individuals want overseas work experience to enhance their career prospects when they eventually return. However, two subgroups of Korean students abroad have less desire to return home. Choki yuhak students, who started studying overseas at a relatively young age, have become acculturated into in the U.S. and Canada and feel more comfortable there than in Korea. Also, students who attend Korean churches feel less homesickness, as these churches function as small-scale ethnic enclaves. Although they prefer to remain abroad, both groups have the capability and desire to bridge Korea with their host societies. 4The Korean Diaspora chapter abstractThe Korean diaspora includes some of the best-educated citizens of the U.S. and Canada. This group encompasses a range of individuals, from corporate ladder-climbers to freewheeling artists, who may or may not be familiar with Korea. Individuals unfamiliar with Korea express a strong desire to sojourn in Korea to reclaim their lost identities, but react very differently to actual sojourns based on their goals and interests. While business-oriented individuals react positively to the ample opportunities they encounter in Korea, others react negatively to the conformity and sexism they perceive as being prevalent. Individuals more familiar with Korea have little need to reclaim identities they never lost, and express greater interest in relocating to Korea long-term based on career opportunities they find there. Overall, a shared ethnic id
Gi-Wook Shin is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. Joon Nak Choi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.