OMNES : The Journal of multicultural society

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OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 12 , No. 1

[ Article ]
OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 25-61
ISSN: 2093-5498 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Jan 2022
Received 25 Oct 2021 Revised 22 Dec 2021 Accepted 15 Jan 2022

The Family Migration of Vietnamese Students in Korea
Thi Thanh Lan Nguyen* ; David Alan Lee Krieger ; Van Cuong Nguyen ; Julia Jiwon Shin
Wonkwang University & Phenikaa University, South Korea
Wonkwang University, South Korea
Hanyang University, South Korea
Chonnam National University and University at Albany, State University of New York, South Korea

* First author and corresponding author


This study aims to explore the difficulties and challenges Vietnamese students families face in Korea. To analyze the process and reasons of their family migration and their difficulties and challenges during studying here, I introduce the concept and classify the types of family migration. The study emphasizes that the main reasons Vietnamese student families decide to migrate to Korea are family reunification and children. However, they face many difficulties and challenges in childbirth, children care, educating children, and living expenses. The study found that first, in the process of giving birth and raising children, the Vietnamese student families lack the support of their extended family. Their children do not receive any government tuition or educational support in Korea. Thus, if their children go to kindergarten, they have to pay very high tuition fees. Second, because of the language barrier, they have difficulties in educating children, communicating with doctors during medical and health check-ups, and accessing basic policy and lifestyle information in Korea. As a result, most of these families had to pay very high hospital fees for the first hospital visits, and the language barrier has put them under psychological pressure.

Keywords: Family Migration, Vietnam, South Korea, international students, difficulties and challenges

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Biographical Note

Thi Thanh Lan, Nguyen Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the College of Liberal Arts, Wonkwang University, Korea, and at the Department of Korean Studies of Phenikaa University, Vietnam. She holds a Ph.D. degree in International Studies from Chonnam National University, holds a Master of International Development Studies at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and a Master of Vietnamese Studies at Vietnam National University. She has pursued additional specialization in Immigration reform, international migration, Multicultural society, labor market integration, Asian studies, human rights, Vietnamese and Korean diaspora, and international relationships. Her current research focuses on family migration, international students, immigration reform, and illegal immigrants in Korea. E-mail: or

David Alan Lee Krieger, Assistant Professor, Department of Liberal Arts, Wonkwang University, Korea. Email:

Van Cuong Nguyen, Researcher, School of Nursing, Hanyang University, Korea. Email:

Julia Jiwon Shin, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Chonnam National University, South Korea and Visiting Professor, Department of Sociology, University at Albany, State University of New York. E-mail: