Destination, Experience, Social Network, and Institution

Exploring Four Academic Exchange Pull Factor Dimensions at a University in the Republic of Korea


  • Kyungsuk Lee Boise State University
  • Willam H. Stewart Hankuk University of Foreign Studies



Student mobility, Exchange students, Korean learning, Pull factors


Korean universities have shown a dramatic change in international student enrolment over the last 20 years. While a notable increase in enrolment is undeniable, factors related to international students at Korean universities are not well known or are poorly understood. In this exploratory correlational study, we investigated the relationship between gender and study level using the push–pull model among four pull factor dimensions: (a) Appeal of Korea, (b) Experiential Motivations, (c) Social Network Influences, and (d) Institutional Appeal. Short-term exchange students (N = 601) showed that Experiential Motivations was the most salient pull factor dimension in general. A 2x3 analysis of variance indicated statistically significant differences by gender and study level among the four pull factor dimensions. We conclude by discussing mobility programs and the need to account for the different motivations of potential students typologically in order to design policies and programs more effectively.

Author Biographies

Kyungsuk Lee, Boise State University

KYUNGSUK LEE, PhD, is an Adjunct Professor of Korean language at Boise State University where she teaches beginner’s and intermediate Korean. She has been teaching Korean in distance and in-person as well. She specializes in Korean language learning in informal settings where language intersects with culture. Email:

Willam H. Stewart, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

WILLIAM H. STEWART, EdD, is the Inbound Exchange Student Program Manager at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, where he coordinates all aspects of inbound exchanges. He specializes in transnational and international education, particularly where these fields intersect with distance education. His research focuses on student motivations for, and experiences with distance education in cross-border settings with a focus on the Korean context. He earned a doctorate in Educational Technology from Boise State University. Email: ORCid:


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How to Cite

Lee, K., & Stewart, W. H. (2022). Destination, Experience, Social Network, and Institution: Exploring Four Academic Exchange Pull Factor Dimensions at a University in the Republic of Korea. Journal of International Students, 12(4), 889–908.



Research Articles