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Education – Human Capital

The standard of living in the United States of America is comparatively better as compared to that of other countries. Because of this, there are a lot of cases when people from other countries migrate to the United States in order to have a better life. Some migrate after they were able to finish schooling in their respective countries, while some migrate at a young age for them to study in the country. Looking closely at the situation, we often wonder whether they are satisfied with their decision to stay here, or if they have some regrets that they want to correct if ever given the chance.

In order to answer these questions, a series of interviews were conducted to a number of Asian Americans who have been in the country for quite a long time already. Through their responses, we hope to answer the inquiries that we have earlier. With a first hand account of their experiences, we will know their perspective about studying and working abroad, and the barriers that they encounter because of the racial difference. They are to respond to a series of questions about their life here in the country, whether they’re satisfied or not. We have three respondents, all of them coming from South Korea.

The first question that was asked is about their age when they migrated to the United States. They all had a lengthy stay in the country, all of them coming here at a very young age. One respondent said that he came here when he was seven, while the second one when he was nine, and the third when he was fourteen, right after primary education. As we can see, during these ages of our respondents, they are not capable of coming along in the country, so we can say that they have been partly influenced by their families. The next question is about the difficulties that they encountered when they first came to the country.

All of them responded that they had difficulties with the communication barrier, and in addition, some said that they had academic pressure on them, as some of their Korean relatives are expecting so much from them. Most of them agreed that these difficulties were related to their race, being Asian Americans. One responded saying that it is not because of their race, but because all other people encounter these difficulties when they come to a different country. The next question asked was about their careers in the country, what they do for a living while they’re in the United States.

Two of them are in different fields; one is on the marines while another one is a translator in training. The third one was not decided yet, but has offers to work back in Korea. They all had different reasons why they pursued such post-university activities. The one in the marines said that it was much like his Korean obligation, since all Korean men were to participate in the Army. The one pursuing a career as a translator said that he is doing so because of his interest in eastern languages, and it would be an advantage to his part if he knows different languages.

The last one stated that he would consider going back to Korea because his Visa expired, and is not willing to do a low standard job because of his high educational attainment. When asked about the benefits of going to school in the United States, they all agreed that it really helped a lot. The one in the marines said that in the future, he is considering going back to school to learn more. The one who’s going back to Korea said that it put him at an advantage when he goes back to his home country (Knabb & Stoddard, 2005).

As for the one learning languages, education gave him the chance to learn more, in his case he was able to learn a third language. The final question was about how their race affected their decision after school. They all had a positive reaction to this. The one in the marines felt that it was just like being in the Korean army, hard yet very fulfilling, so his grounding as a Korean really affected him on pursuing that career on the marines. The one who’s going back to Korea said that his race affected his decision because he feels more comfortable working amongst Korean people.

Also, his parents and relatives are still in the country. The one learning languages emphasized that his race encouraged him to learn more, aside from his own, he was able to learn other languages like English and Japanese. According to a research by Sequeira, education is a key element for economic growth, since engineering and technical skills would really boost a country’s economy (Sequeira, 2007). For some countries, they encourage their people to study abroad and then go back to serve their countries afterwards. This is much like the response of the respondent who wishes to go back to Korea.

He gained the advantage of a relatively better education when he studied in the United States. Most modern governments face a growing concern when it comes to matters of education, mainly on how much they would spend and how they would be able to provide it (Sianesi & Reenen, 2003). Because of this, the people go abroad for a better chance of education and consequently, a better life. This is manifested by the case of the other respondents, who went to the United States at a young age in order for them to be educated, and finally land careers which they really benefit from.

References: Knabb, S. D. , & Stoddard, C. (2005). The Quality of Education, Educational Institutions, and Cross-Country Differences in Human Capital Accumulation. Growth & Change, Vol. 36(Issue 3), 20p. Sequeira, T. (2007). Human capital composition, growth and development: an R&D growth model versus data. By: . , Feb2007, . Empirical Economics, Vol. 32(Issue 1), 25p. Sianesi, B. , & Reenen, J. V. (2003). The Returns to Education: Macroeconomics. Journal of Economic Surveys, Vol. 17(Issue 2), 44p.

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