South Korea

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Study in South Korea

Nicknamed the Land of the Morning Calm, South Korea is a unique blend of old and new, ancient and modern, nature and technology. You can experience a long historical landscape, full of natural beauty, with the plus side of seeing a major tech and entertainment hub in the city of Seoul.

These days, South Korea has achieved popularity among international students – and for good reason! There is a wide variety of universities and programmes for students everywhere to pursue their Master’s and Bachelor’s degree programmes. Plus, living and studying in South Korea is relatively inexpensive for most people. So, going to South Korea would ensure both stunning surroundings, interesting friends, and great value.

Why Study in South Korea?

Variety, that’s why! In South Korea you have not only an endless number of options for careers, activities, cuisine, and weekend trips; you also have plenty of university options to select from. In fact, just in South Korea alone, you can discover hundreds of university options, each offering different types of training, research, and instruction that will suit whatever you are looking for.

Based largely on an American education model, the universities in South Korea offer 4 year Bachelor’s degree programmes, with Master’s degrees giving you an additional 2-3 years of education. So there’s plenty of time to acquire necessary skills and knowledge before you’re tossed out there on the job market.

What it is like to study in South Korea

Two words: constant excitement. If you find yourself studying and living in South Korea, you’ll have endless chances for adventure. Major technology hubs like Seoul, alongside wonderful countrysides and mountain regions – you can spend all of your time outside of classes exploring and soaking in the scenery.

Apparently, in South Korea, there is a reputation of students dressing nicely to all of their classes. Several international students and locals have reported on this tradition, and it has come to be a stereotype of Korean university life – every student dresses up as if they are going to a job interview.

This is a stark contrast from, say, American universities, where students roll immediately out of bed in their pyjamas and slippers. In South Korea, it’s all about the professional look that compels everyone to think: ‘this guy must be important.’

What to study in South Korea?

South Korea is a place known for embracing technology, entertainment, and media. It’s a place where you can go to be inventive, bringing new and fresh ideas into the world. But, it’s also a place with a long, interesting, complicated political history, making it a great place for social scientists and history geeks.

Here are some ideas for subjects to find in South Korea:

Major cities in South Korea

By ‘major cities’ we mostly mean Seoul. And can you blame us? It’s such a wonderful place. It’s surrounded by mountains, it’s a bustling city full of life, people, and entertainment; and it’s got some excellent university options.

Seoul has started to turn into a hugely diverse city, welcoming more and more international people every year. Plus you’ll have a legendary nightlife in Seoul, with plenty of places to meet people and have fun after your classes.

Which universities and colleges to attend in South Korea

South Korea has really started to boost its offer of English-taught study options for international students. Universities there are starting to gain a widespread reputation for producing some of the sharpest minds in the world, and bringing brilliant students into contact with the careers of their dreams.

Here are some universities to keep an eye out for:

Practical Information

How to apply to universities in South Korea

Each university in South Korea has its own system on their website that allows future students to apply for and enrol in their degree programmes. So, once you select the university of your choice, you can go through their application and submit your materials there.

Here are some of the basic requirements you’ll need for every application:

  • A scan of your diploma (high school or Bachelor’s degree)
  • A transcript/record of your previous courses
  • A scan of your passport and/or birth certificate
  • Your CV
  • Testing scores
  • Evidence of scholarship or funding
  • Letters of recommendation (between 2-3)
  • Portfolio and/or writing samples 
Helpful ways to make sure you qualify for a university in South Korea

Take Preparation Courses: These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes. Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice;

Improve your English through an English-language prep course: If you’re attending a degree programme in South Korea you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures; some schools will require Korean, while others will require strong English skills. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.

English-language tests

To apply to study in South Korea, you’ll need to provide proof you have a diploma for your English proficiency.

The certificates generally accepted by the universities in South Korea are:

Living in South Korea

Let's take a closer look at tuition and living expenses in South Korea:

Tuition fees

Like most countries around the world, South Korea separates their universities into public (government-backed) and private universities.

Yet, one of the unique things about South Korea is that they don’t charge a different price to international students; instead, foreign students have the same fees as their local South Korean classmates.

Tuition fees at public universities
  • 1,600–10,800 USD for Bachelor's degrees
  • 1,100–20,900 USD for Master's degrees

Engineering and Medicine degrees are usually the most expensive.

International students who enrol at private universities should expect to pay higher tuition fees.

Cost of living in South Korea

South Korea can be a rather expensive place for your studies with average living costs of 900–1,400 USD/month. But, you can find plenty of ways to save money and budget properly while you’re there.

Here is a breakdown of costs in South Korea:

  • accommodation (university dormitory): 600–1,400 USD/semester
  • accommodation (private rent): 300–400 USD/month plus the security deposit (3,000–5,000 USD)
  • food and groceries: 300–500 USD/month
  • medical insurance: 20 USD/month
  • monthly transport pass (train, metro, bus): 40 USD
  • 3-course meal for 2 at a midrange restaurant: 34 USD
  • Milk: 2.10 USD
  • Loaf of bread: 2.45 USD
  • Cappuccino: 3.80 USD

About South Korea

South Korea, officially called The Republic of Korea, is an independent state in East Asia, covering the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. The country is fenced in by the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan, the closest neighbouring countries are North Korea, China, Taiwan and Japan. With an overall population of over 50 million, the capital Seoul- a vibrant city, second largest in the world, is home to almost 20 million people.

Interesting facts about South Korea
  • When Korean’s write a name in red ink, it means that someone is dead or is about to die.
  • In 1999, South Korea passed a law requiring all online shopping and banking to be done using Internet Explorer. It is still in place. Probably why they miss out on so many deals.
  • South Korean wedding garments are usually red, which is a symbol of good fortune
  • When taking a photo, South Koreans say “kimchi” instead of “cheese.”

Universities, colleges and schools in South Korea


Find PhDs Degrees in South Korea

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Where to study abroad?

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