Chinese students’ Korean dream clashes with realityThe number of Chinese students studying in South Korea has increased almost tenfold over the past six years to 53,461, which is 7 percent of the entire foreign student population in South Korea. Due to the popularity of Psy’s song “Gangnam Style” and TV shows such as “My Love From the Star,” the Korean Wave is moving fast and deeply influencing Chinese teenagers. Many young Chinese choose to study in Korea thanks to the Hallyu. However, the sad reality is that many of the Chinese students reportedly return home with an anti-Korea sentiment.
Why is that? First, they have to spend much of their time working part-time jobs in Korea. Some of them even work in factories. Most have worked in restaurants, convenient stores, duty-free shops and some in personal continuation schools. I know a Chinese girl who worked in a bar as well. Furthermore, some become illegal employees. They enjoy earning money and gradually lose their focus. Making money after class is not a bad thing; however, it can become detrimental if it takes away too much time from studying.
Second, the social circle of Chinese students in Korea is small. Chinese students would rather spend time with other Chinese and complain about their lives in Korea together. In the end, they don’t have any Korean friends. It causes Chinese students to miss out on opportunities to get to know and understand real Korean culture.
Finally, most Chinese students don’t study hard when they study in Korea. They don’t have a clear study plan, either. Some play on their phones or even sleep during classes. Some of them also skip school. But they don’t like to reflect on themselves or improve their grades by studying hard.
An enormous difference between the dream and reality exists for Chinese students who come to Korea. The ability and the amount of effort exerted lead to success. Chinese students who choose to study in Korea should spend much of their time studying and not just earning money through part-time jobs. They should expand their social circle and make more Korean friends. It will help to learn and understand Korean culture well. Life can’t be repeated. The Korean Wave can influence interest, style, diet and so on, but don’t allow it to determine your future.
By Du Tingting, Chinese student at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies