South Korea police officers are searching for 164 Vietnamese students enrolled at Incheon National University’s Korean Language School after they have not shown up in class for 15 days, Korean media reported.
According to the Yonhap News Agency, the university reported the case to police on Tuesday in accordance with a law mandating universities to report foreign students skipping classes for 15 days.
The students are among 1,900 Vietnamese students on a one-year Korean language training program at the university.
According to the school, the program began four months ago.
Police believe the missing students’ purpose of coming to South Korea was to get a job after learning Korean for a short time.
The school has informed the immigration department about the students’ absence.
South Korean residence law requires universities to report to police if foreign students leave school for more than 15 days, according to Yonhap.
“To come to Korea to study short-term language courses, many students have to pay millions of won to brokers in Vietnam,” a spokesperson of Incheon National University was quoted by Yonhap as saying.
“They believe that the salary of illegal labor in Korea may be greater, so these illegal actions were taken.”
Another spokesperson for the university emphasized that those ‘missing’ students studied Korean very hard.
Currently, Incheon National University and the immigration department are conducting discussions to introduce measures to prevent foreign students from abusing study abroad programs to work illegally in South Korea.
In December 2018, nine Vietnamese went unaccounted for in South Korea after accompanying a high-level legislative delegation to attend a business forum.