Satisfied or dissatisfied: The determinants of Global Korea Scholarship recipients’ satisfaction with life in Korea

Jae Eun Jon, Kadir Jun Ayhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Sponsored international student mobility programs are important public diplomacy tools for governments. These programs’ positive outcomes are usually taken for granted and are rarely assessed. International students’ satisfaction with life in the host country is an important variable for their behavioral outcomes related to the host country. This study used data from two surveys of Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) recipients from 136 countries to examine the determinants of their satisfaction with life in Korea. We found that students' cognitive and affective evaluations of Korea, frequency of Korean-language social interactions, and perceptions of their treatment by Koreans because of their nationality or religion were significant determinants of GKS students’ satisfaction with life in Korea. In terms of demographic characteristics, men, students from developing countries, and those majoring in natural sciences or engineering fields were more satisfied than their peers. We discuss the implications of these findings for public diplomacy. 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. Hong, Moon Suk, Minjeong Jeon, and Kadir Jun Ayhan. 2021. “International Scholarship for Social Change? Re-contextualizing Global Scholarship Alumni's Perceptions of Justice and Diversity in South Korea.” Politics & Policy 49(6): 1359–1390. Istad, Felicia, Eriks Varpahovskis, Ekra Miezan, and Kadir Jun Ayhan. 2021. “Global Korea Scholarship Students: Intention to Stay in the Host Country to Work or Study after Graduation.” Politics & Policy 49(6): 1323–1342.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1391-1414
Number of pages24
JournalPolitics and Policy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements: The corresponding author acknowledges the support by the 2018 and 2019 Korea Foundation Support for Policy‐Oriented Research grants for this research. In addition, this work was supported by Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Research Fund (first author), and the Ewha Womans University Research Grant of 2021 (1‐2021‐0502‐001‐1) (corresponding author). We thank the editors of Politics & Policy, and anonymous reviewers for constructive feedback on earlier drafts.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Policy Studies Organization


  • Asia
  • Global Korea Scholarship
  • P&P Special Issue
  • South Korea
  • international student mobility
  • public diplomacy
  • satisfaction


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