Global Korea Scholarship students: Intention to stay in the host country to work or study after graduation

Felicia Istad, Eriks Varpahovskis, Ekra Miezan, Kadir Jun Ayhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Over the past few decades, South Korea has increasingly sought to attract international talent. Every year, hundreds of students are invited to study in the country on a competitive scholarship provided by the government. Upon graduation, students are equipped with a tertiary degree, as well as knowledge of the Korean language and culture. This study examines the determinants of intention to stay in South Korea to work or study after graduation, using a 2019 survey of Global Korea Scholarship recipients (n = 524). We draw upon literature in student mobility and examine determinants of two-step migration, including satisfaction with the scholarship program, university experiences, social integration, and life in the host country. Results from the statistical analysis show that academic satisfaction, social adjustment, and satisfaction with life in South Korea are positively associated with participants' intentions to stay in the country to work or study after graduation. The findings highlight the role of academic institutions and host communities in influencing students' poststudy plans and point to the need for policy measures that approach talent retention with simultaneous attention to integration and satisfaction, both within and beyond campus. Related Articles in this Special Issue: Ayhan, Kadir Jun, and Nancy Snow. 2021. “Introduction to the Special Issue—Global Korea Scholarship: Empirical Evaluation of a non-Western Scholarship Program from a Public Diplomacy Perspective.” Politics & Policy 49(6): 1282–1291. Lee, Hyelim, and Nancy Snow. 2021. “Gendered Experience in Student Mobility Programs—Global Korea Scholarship Recipients' Evaluation of Korea's Country Image.” Politics & Policy 49(6): 1343–1358. Perez, Loarre Andreu, Myoung-Gi Chon, Kelly Vibber, and Jeong-Nam Kim. 2021. “Classifying Foreign Publics: Examining the Relationships Behavioral Experience, Symbolic Environment, and Communication Behaviors among Key Foreign Publics.” Politics & Policy 49(6): 1308–1322.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1323-1342
Number of pages20
JournalPolitics and Policy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Policy Studies Organization


  • Asia
  • Global Korea Scholarship
  • P&P Special Issue
  • South Korea
  • academic scholarship policy
  • graduation
  • higher education policy
  • public diplomacy
  • selective immigration policy
  • student mobility
  • student retention
  • talent migration


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