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ISSN : 1226-4822(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea Vol.21 No.2 pp.93-122

Communicating with Study Abroad Generation:A Study on Reentry Shock and Transition

Jeon Jihyeon*, Park Joori
Ewha womans University
Received: 5. 30. 2013, Revised: 8. 6. 2013, Accepted: 8. 7. 2013


As the yearning for global competence including English communication ability increases, more and more school aged Korean kids have sojourned to overseas to pursue education. Yet, despite the growing number of study abroad students, little research has been conducted on Korean study abroad returnees. Some Korean people think the Korean returnees from oversea stays are different from domestic Korean people in the way they act and communicate. On the other hand, many Korean returnees find adjusting back to Korea more difficult than adjusting to the host culture abroad. In fact, due to lack of understanding on the returnees, returnees are often not fully valued and utilized at Korean organizations. The goal of this study is to learn about the Korean returnees’ reentry experiences using critical incident technique. The study also seeks for reentry adjustment strategies and companies’ supports to relieve reentry shock. Twenty-five participants who currently work for various organizations in Korea and have studied abroad in English speaking countries for more than five years shared their experiences through face-to-face or online chatting interviews. The findings show the challenges of coming home and underscore the importance of developing and implementing reentry preparation and support programs to facilitate returnees’ readjustment to the Korean living and professional environment. Understanding returnees’ reentry shock and transition will promote better communication with study abroad generation. (244)