The pursuit of overseas English language education by South Korean youth has resulted in a hierarchy of educational destinations, with migrants studying English in the Global North attaining higher cultural capital compared to those learning English in the Global South. This article examines the experiences of South Korean youth who pursue education in English language schools in the provincial Philippines. Using in-depth interviews and participant observation with South Korean educational migrants in the Philippines and South Korea, it outlines class and regional dynamics in a pattern of youth mobility the author calls “transperipheral educational mobility.” This type of mobility refers to the transnational movement of less-privileged, that is low-resourced, South Korean youth from peripheral regions in South Korea to peripheral cities in the Philippines for the purpose of pursuing English language education in a budget program. Despite being considered “less legitimate” than the credentials earned by their counterparts in destinations in the Global North, the pursuit of English language education in the Global South, as this article shows, provides forms of precultural capital, compensatory middle-class consumption, and entrepreneurial inspiration that strategically and creatively seeks to challenge working-class migrants’ marginal positions within South Korea's highly stratified and increasingly neoliberal society.

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