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Finding a Chulu (Way Out): Rural-origin Chinese Students Studying Abroad in South Korea

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Based on multi-site research in China and South Korea, this paper examines the motivations for rural-origin Chinese students to study abroad in South Korea and how their overseas experiences are mediated by both internal and international educational hierarchies. Existing literature on transnational student mobility from Asia mainly focuses on students from urban middle-class backgrounds, while little attention has been paid to students from less advantaged backgrounds. Scholars have noted that China's seemingly meritocratic gaokao (national college entrance exam) policy in reality functions to perpetuate the structural marginalization of rural students in its educational system. This research moves beyond the internal migration paradigm by examining how social inequalities associated with the rural/urban divide are reproduced and re-articulated by the intersection of class, gender, place of origin, and time management at the transnational scale.

Keywords: CHINA; CLASS; GENDER; RURAL/URBAN DIVIDE; SOUTH KOREA; TRANSNATIONAL STUDENT MOBILITY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam

Publication date: December 1, 2021

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UA-1313315-28