Student-Faculty Interaction Experiences of International Students in Korea: A Phenomenology Study

dc.contributor.authorThibault, Natalie
dc.description.abstractIn the realm of the internationalization of Korean higher education, the number of international students enrolled in Korean universities is on the rise. International students, like all college attendees, benefit from interacting directly with faculty members. Student-faculty interactions remain infrequent, despite being beneficial for student experiences and outcomes. Rare interactions between students and professors in South Korean tertiary education are problematic, especially for international students who face additional challenges. The phenomenological study explored the nature of international students’ lived experiences of student-faculty interactions while attending a Korean university. Through semi-structured in-depth interviews, 17 participants shared a wide range of experiences of direct student-faculty interactions inside and outside the classroom. The study identified eight prevalent meaning-making themes and 31 sub-themes evidenced in participant experiences. Despite infrequency, student-faculty interactions were deemed consequential for international students, who wanted to connect with professors beyond book-based knowledge. Factors such as professor demographics, language proficiency, and means of instruction influenced the quality and frequency of interactions. Immediacy was deemed important in meaningful relationships with faculty, while certain elements of the Korean educational culture hindered contacts. International students emphasized distinctions between in-person learning and online classes, as the COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted instruction and student-faculty interactions. The study findings filled a gap in literature and may guide administration and faculty efforts towards genuine internationalization of the Korean higher education system, of which recruitment of international students is a crucial element.
dc.subject.lcshEducation, Higher
dc.subject.lcshStudents, Foreign
dc.subject.lcshTeacher-student relationships
dc.titleStudent-Faculty Interaction Experiences of International Students in Korea: A Phenomenology Study
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