Why do Vietnamese international students flee in Korea? 8

Why do Vietnamese international students flee in Korea? 8

When his D4-1 visa was about to expire, Thanh Tung (20 years old, from Hanoi) quit school, moved and applied to work full-time at the factory from 7pm to 7am.

At 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning, Thanh Tung finished his 12-hour overtime shift and returned to his room deep in a small street of Busan, Korea.

Having finished high school, realizing the possibility of not getting into university, Tung convinced his family to let him go to Korea to study and work.

Right from the time he applied for the D4-1 visa (issued to those who want to study Korean at Korean language schools), Tung had the intention of hiding and staying.

Since escaping, Tung’s life `is not very miserable but very lonely`.

Vietnamese international students who run away often work in restaurants, cafes or factories and industrial parks.

If the police randomly check their documents while on the road or are denounced, international students will be deported to Vietnam.

However, because of the attractive income, many people choose to escape.

Explaining why he did not follow the path of labor export but instead studied abroad and then ran away, Hoang, like many international students, said that going that way was much more difficult.

Photo: Shutterstock

Planning to have a baby in 2020, Thuy Trang (22 years old, from Phu Tho) and her husband, currently living in Daegu, Korea, plan to drop out of school and go out to work, even though they have completed one year of language school and two years of university.

Thuy Trang came to Korea in March 2017 with the hope of studying and working to pay off her family’s debt of 300 million VND.

According to Trang, there are mainly three cases of Vietnamese international students who came to Korea and then ran away and stayed illegally.

The second is the case of going abroad with the purpose of studying and working, but not studying or being lazy to study while working with a good salary compared to Vietnam.

The common point of international students who intend to escape to Korea is that they all go to study abroad through a consulting center in Vietnam, applying for VISA D4-1 to study language for a year in Korea.

`If I get pregnant, my husband will definitely go out to work, saving me the tuition fee of 20 million VND per month and earning more money. Once we quit, we will stay here for a long time, trying to make enough money.`

Trang believes that escaping is easy because factories and stores in Korea need workers, especially hard-working people.

As a Korean teacher at a Korean study abroad center in Ho Chi Minh City, Thuy Duong (28 years old) affirmed that no center encourages international students to run away because the penalties are very heavy.

To continue operating after three months of visa failure, centers with runaway students in Korea often have to change their names, but `it’s not much better`.

At the center where Thuy Duong works, in order to limit the situation of international students running away, the center often requires a deposit of 100-200 million VND to be returned when they return home, or relatives must compensate the center.

`Our center is lucky to have no cases of escape. However, I think the important thing is the awareness of international students. If they want to escape and stay to make money, there is no way the center can stop them.`

*Character names in the article have been changed.

On December 10, Incheon National University reported to the police that more than 160 Vietnamese students studying in the Korean language program were missing for unknown reasons.

On December 12, Mr. Pham Quang Hung, Director of International Cooperation (Ministry of Education and Training) said that the Vietnamese Embassy in Korea worked with the Korean Language Institute of Incheon National University.

The Ministry of Education and Training will find out how the 161 students studied abroad, whether they went through a study abroad consulting organization or not, and check whether those organizations violate regulations to find solutions.

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