July 6, 2002
By Ahn, Joon-Yong
As the unemployment rate continues to rise in the United States,
more and more Korean international students in New York are returning
According to a survey conducted by National Association of College
and Employer (NACE) on four hundred and fifteen American companies,
the percentage of employed recent college graduates has decreased
by 36.5 percent since last year. This narrowed employment route
makes the situation even harder for international students to secure
jobs in the United States.
Mo Na-Hyun, who has studied photography at New York University
says, "Since graduation, I have recently started looking for
jobs at some of the top magazine publishing companies. Most of the
companies, however, were at the laying off stage rather than recruiting."
And she added that she considered going to a graduate school to
pursue a more advanced degree, but because of the financial burden,
she decided to go back to Korea.
Oh, who has studied linguistics at St. Johns University,
is also in a similar situation as Mo. After getting a degree, he
went back to Korea rather early when he realized that it was almost
impossible to get a job nowadays.
While some people are returning to Korea after completing their
degrees, there are other international students who simply give
up pursuing their degrees for the fear that they would not be able
to utilize them in the United States. Sohn, who has transferred
to one of the City University of New York (CUNY) colleges to study
Hotel Management, is someone who belongs to the latter case. When
he realized that it was no longer possible to get a job in the United
States, he abandoned his studies at CUNY.
The head of IPS International, an executive search firm, Ahn,
Jin-Oh says, "On top of an economic stagnation, the
9/11 tragedy has driven the unemployment rate to higher levels than
ever. Even in computer science, engineering or finance, all of which
are favorite majors pursued by Korean international students, the
door to employment has narrowed a lot."
He also adds, "On average about ten Korean international students
come to me everyday for consultation, and the only word I can say
to them is to look for jobs somewhere else."
The president of the Korean Student Association of New York (KSAN)
said, "This year, the number of international students returning
to Korea has increased dramatically. I credit Koreas improved
economy and success in the World Cup for this positive phenomenon."
From 6/1 to 7/5, only about 60 jobs were posted on the KSANY website,
but more than 10 thousand people have accessed it, indicating how
seriously slow the job market is.
Translated From Korean by Julia Yook
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