Seoul Destination: A Mixed-methods Study on the Pull Factors of Inbound Exchange Students at a Korean University
The number of international students studying in the Republic of Korea has increased tremendously over the last 20 years, marking a change in regional student mobility trends. While most international degree students tend to originate in countries in Asia, signifying regionalization versus internationalization, exchange students are diverse by nationality/ region. This concurrent nested mixed-methods study sought to investigate the pull factors of a Korean university among exchange students. 564 students completed an electronic questionnaire and through on campus interviews. Quantitative results suggested that exchange students found characteristics about Korea attractive (e.g., K-pop) as well as wanting international and/or cross-cultural experiences, to be the most appealing. 10 students participated in interviews, and findings showed that students became interested in Korea by exposure to popular media, as well as wanting a diverse, international study environment. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of university inbound program promotion/marketing and program design/development for short-term mobility, along with areas for future research.
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