Determinants of Global Korea Scholarship: Students’ word-of-mouth about Korea

Global Korea Scholarship
people-to-people diplomacy
public diplomacy
country image
KF grant

Kadir Jun Ayhan* and Moamen Gouda (2021), “Determinants of Global Korea Scholarship: Students’ word-of-mouth about Korea,” Asia Pacific Education Review: 22(1): 15-29, doi: 10.1007/s12564-020-09648-8


Ewha Womans University Graduate School of International Studies

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies


August 2021

Other details

Supported by Korea Foundation 2018-2019 Policy-oriented Research Support Program.


International student-mobility programs are one of the core programs countries employ as part of their public diplomacy portfolio. Policymakers assume that sponsored foreign students would develop positive beliefs about and emotions towards the host country, which in turn would lead to favorable behavior towards it. However, evaluations of such programs from a public diplomacy perspective are rare and Western-centric. In this paper, we analyze how Global Korea Scholarship students’ cognitive and affective evaluations of Korea influence their country image and word-of-mouth about Korea; i.e., in how they voluntarily share their experiences in Korea with others. We use variance-based partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) to analyze the data obtained from surveying 1107 scholarship-holding foreign students. Our findings suggest that students evaluate Korea most positively in terms of its culture and nature, while their evaluations are not as positive in terms of the integrity and values of the country. For positive word-of-mouth, affection towards Korea plays the most significant role, while for negative word-of-mouth, the students’ beliefs about the country’s integrity and values had the most influence. Our findings help identify the strengths and weaknesses in Korea’s country image which can, in turn, inform and shape policies accordingly.


A correction was published for this article:

Ayhan, K.J., Gouda, M. (2021). Correction to: Determinants of Global Korea Scholarship students’ word‑of‑mouth about Korea. Asia Pacific Education Review. 22, 579-582. doi: 10.1007/s12564-020-09648-8

BibTeX citation

    title = {Determinants of Global Korea Scholarship students’ word-of-mouth about Korea},
    volume = {22},
    issn = {1876-407X},
    doi = {10.1007/s12564-020-09648-8},
    pages = {15--29},
    number = {1},
    journaltitle = {Asia Pacific Education Review},
    author = {Ayhan, Kadir Jun and Gouda, Moamen},
    date = {2021},
    note = {Type: Journal Article},