Korean Students' Health and Adjustment in the United States

미국내 한국학생들의 건강과 적응

  • Published : 1995.06.01


The purpose of this study was to review health and adjustment issues of Korean students in the context of international students' health in the United States. The number of international students studying in the United States has increased. In addition, more and more Koreans come to the United States for education. Korean students formed the fifth largest international group found on American campuses. As more and more international students study on American campuses, their health needs and problems became a concern to health professionals. Most health problems international students experience are stress related and psychosomatic. These students also have difficulties in using health care services. International students face barriers to obtaining health care because of differences in language and differences in cultural beliefs toward health. Korea manifests an eastern culture which is quite different from the western culture, so many Korean students studying in the United States experience difficulties in adjustment and using health care services. The study on the needs of Korean students in the U.S. reviewed in this research was a survey of 105 Korean students at the Pennsylvania State University, 1990. Korean students' health problems included stress, colds, fatigue, and headaches. Homesickness, financial problems, and academic problems were also important problems the Korean students faced. Korean students usually did not participate in any activities with Americans as much as with Koreans. Most Korean students did not participated in any health education workshops held on campus. This may be because the students had not participated previously in health education workshops conducted on campuses in Korea. Korean student's confidence with the English language appeared to be an important variable in using or not using the university health services. University health professionals in the United States need to develop better information system for international students so that they may better use the health services provided on campus. Also, university health professionals working on campuses in Korea need to put more attention on health of college students and provide on-campus health education workshops which meet the student's needs.