The last few years, the number of Korean students studying abroad in English speaking countries has increased enormously. This has caused many problems in our public education system as well as changing our family structure. Because of this, some rese ...
The last few years, the number of Korean students studying abroad in English speaking countries has increased enormously. This has caused many problems in our public education system as well as changing our family structure. Because of this, some research in this area has been done in Korea, exploring the experiences of Goose fathers who remain in Korea and support their families living in foreign countries. In spite of all of this, we have yet to pay much attention to the experiences of Goose mothers and their young children who have studied abroad. Therefore, the purpose of this research study is to explore the experiences of Korean Goose mothers and their young children during their short period of studying abroad.
Narrative inquiry was used as a research methodology, as conceptualized by Connelly and Clandinin (1990, 2000). The data was collected for 8 months, from April to December 2007, using conversations with two Korean mothers and their young children who came to Canada in 2006. Two young children were in grade one at the time of my conducting the research with them. The children's diaries and schoolwork were also collected for additional data. Data analysis was made in a more holistic way than coding. Patterns, narrative threads, tensions, and themes (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000), based on my experience and background knowledge, were searched in research texts.
The stories of two mothers' and their children's experiences clearly indicate that there were tensions, difficulties, and uncertainties in their process of adjusting in a foreign country. As a pharmacist, Mother-A did not have time to take care of her children in Korea. Therefore, she appreciated her time to be with her two daughters in Canada. Mother-A also lived tally different life in Canada than she lived in Korea. She enjoyed her life, learning various sports activities, piano, and English, and volunteering her children's classroom. Meanwhile, mother-B experienced great difficulty in the process of adjusting. Somebody broke into her car and stole her money. The more that the difficult things happen to her, the more she depended on God. She did everything for her sons because she thought it was her responsibility as a mother of them. She was sure that she and her children's being away from Korea had strengthened the solidarity of her family relationships. However, both mothers had great difficulty in adjusting to a foreign country because of lack of their English ability.
In the beginning, when they first moved to Canada, both child-a and child-b experienced difficulties in their adjustments to a strange environment, mainly because of their lack of English.
As time went by, becoming involved both at and after school in such activities as girl sparks, church activities, and sports, child-a's English improved and she did better at school. However, even by the end of grade one, child-a still had difficulty in making school friends.
For child-b, leaving Korea meant saying a very tearful goodbye to a much loved grandmother. Later his father's return to Korea brought him even more stress. child-b was not able to go to school for six months because he did not have a student visa; his time was spent watching T.V. and playing all by himself. When he finally began grade one, he was bored by the long school hours. His lack of English made it difficult to respond to his classmates teasing him about his Korean lunch.
The research suggests that parents make careful consideration before they decide their young children's studying aborad.