Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

Files in this item



application/pdfResearchProcess.pdf (166kB)
Research ProcessPDF


application/mswordEA_YOUTH_FINAL.doc (51kB)
Final PaperMicrosoft Word
Other Available Formats


application/pdfEA_YOUTH_FINAL.doc.pdf (78kB)
Automatically converted using OpenOffice.orgPDF


Title:East Asian Students at the IEI(Intensive English Institutue): Neoliberal
Author(s):Choi, Hee Jung
Contributor(s):Furukawa, Chie; Cheng, Benjamin
English learning
global education
cosmopolitan capital
ANTH499 S08
Abstract:This project is about East Asian students from Korea, Japan, and Taiwan studying at the Intensive English Institute of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We conducted face-to-face individual interviews with eight students and one interview with a former IEI instructor. We asked how these students give meanings to their study abroad experiences on this campus. Particularly we explore how external "push factors" such as neoliberalism and globalization affected the students' decision making to study abroad, and at the same time how they negotiate on their own terms based on their individual micro circumstances. Furthermore, we study the meanings of multicultural or global experiences during their stay in the United States as well as English learning. We found out that the students are pushed to study English by prevailing forces such as neoliberalism, but at the same time they are not just passive followers of external forces. They give their own meanings to their English learning and multicultural/global experiences on their own terms through subtle contradiction, resistance, and negotiation. We also learned that the institution itself is reshaping and customizing its curriculum in order to satisfy the students' needs.
Issue Date:2008
Course / Semester:Anth 499, East Asian Youth and Global Futures, Prof. Nancy Abelmann and Prof. Karen Kelsky: East Asian youth have experienced perhaps the world’s most compressed development as well as the world’s most aggressive globalization policies. This course examines how youth in East Asia (China/s, Japan, and the Koreas) are making their way in our globalizing world, focusing in particular on the transformations in work, education, recreation, gender, and sexuality brought about by neoliberal economic restructuring in the region. Topics studied include the insecure job market for young people, consumerism, globalized pop culture phenomena such as Pokemon, the Korean wave, and Internet gaming, emergent LGBT communities, etc. Students are encouraged to focus their research projects on aspects of the U. of I. student life that reflect the experiences of East Asian youth in a global market. The U of I offers a fascinating window on East Asian youth because of the many college (and pre-college) students who make their way here – as well as the movement of “Amercian” youth to East Asia. Through participation in the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI), students will conduct local field research that reveals the global processes at issue. The course syllabus is available at:
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-06-11

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Student Learning
    This collection examines student learning both in and beyond the classroom.
  • Globalization and the University
    This collection examines the influence of globalization on the university and the university's place in a burgeoning world market for higher education.

Item Statistics