Study in South Korea

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South Korea is one of the most looked after countries in Asia by international students. From the last decade, the country has increased its focus on increasing the number of international students who come to South Korea for pursuing their higher studies. They have been successful in attracting international students into their education programs. Here we present the complete information about Study in South Korea.

Why study in South Korea

Being one of the most developed countries in the Asian continent, South Korea offers plenty of benefits to international students. Here are the main reasons to study abroad in South Korea:

  • The cost of living is Cheap in South Korea. Especially when compared to Japan or Singapore. 
  • South Korea had Excellent education institution. All the universities have high postgraduate employment rates and marvellous reputations. 
  • Students graduating from Korean universities are highly looked upon by employers all around the world. Studying in South Korean universities will open up plenty of employment opportunities for you. 
  • The economy of South Korea is extremely stable. This assures you of a financially secured future after graduation.
  • English is a widely spoken language through out in South Korea. You can also find plenty of English taught degrees. So as a foreigner, you can study in South Korea in English. Also, it will be easy for you to deal with your daily Korean life and travel throughout Korea. 
  • The main good news is that South Korea has plenty of scholarships open for international students. This can decrease your financial burden for studying in South Korea.

Higher education in South Korea

You can gain higher education in South Korea from colleges and universities, industrial universities, national universities of education, the Korean National Open University, technical colleges and cyber universities etc. However, each institution has some specific requirements which are needed to be fulfilled to get admission. The higher education system comprises of: 

Bachelor's degree
A bachelor degree in South Korea takes around 4 years to complete. However, some degrees in the field of medicine, law, and dentistry can take up to 6 years to complete.  You will gain a bachelor's degree from the South Korean university after completing 130 to 140 credit hours. 

Master's degree
To study masters in South Korea, the student must be having a bachelor's degree from a reputed institution with a GPA score of 3.0 (B) or higher. Some of the entrance exams must also be cleared along with an interview. Masters in South Korea for international students have 24 credit hours of coursework in addition to a thesis that generally has to be completed within two years.

Doctoral degree
To gain admission in a doctoral program, students must hold a postgraduate degree, have a research background in their field of study. PhD programs are sometimes administered in conjunction with master's programs with the student needing to complete 60 credit hours in conjunction with the master's degree. The final GPA  must be of 3.0 (B) or higher which takes up to 4 years to complete.

How to study in South Korea?

The procedure of getting into universities in South Korea is very simple. You will need to follow 8 easy steps to reach your destination. The steps are mentioned below:

  1. Choose the Korean university and course you want to study.
  2. Get complete information of the conditions and requirements for admission in the specific course from the university’s website.
  3. Submit the filled application for enrollment and the required paperwork to the Korean University.
  4. If you are application is accepted by the university, they will an acceptance letter to you.
  5. After receiving the acceptance letter, prepare for the documentation required for the application of student visa in South Korea.
  6. Submit the visa application and the documents to obtain the student visa.
  7. Lastly, receive your study visa and fly to South Korea for attending your classes.

Korean universities ranking

With around 380 official higher education institution, South Korea offers lots of options. There are 7 universities in South Korea which have secured the place in the top universities of the world. Here we have listed those universities with their rankings in the following table:


QS World University Ranking 2021

University of Cape Town


University of Witwatersrand


University of Johannesburg 


Stellenbosch University


University of Pretoria


Rhodes University 


University of Kwazulu-Natal



Top courses to study in South Korea for international students

South Korean Universities offer several courses in each subject. You will find the course of your choice in South Korea. Some of the popular study abroad programs in South Korea are:

  • Study Mechanical Engineering in Korea
  • Study Electrical Engineering in Korea
  • Study Business Administration in South Korea
  • Study Environmental and Civil Engineering in South Korea
  • Study Information Technology in South Korea
  • Study Medical Sciences in South Korea
  • Study arts and literature courses
  • Study MBA in South Korea

Requirements to study in South Korea

To get admission in the universities in South Korea, you will require some important documents. The different academic institution has different required based on the course you choose to study. Some of the common documents required for the application are:

  • Filled Application form for Korean university.
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Copy of your Passport 
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of proficiency in the English language or Korean language(depending on the medium of instruction)
  • Academic score/ record from the previous academic institution.
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Personal letter.
  • C.V/ Resume 
  • Certificate of work experience.
  • Portfolio

Student visa for South Korea

To enter South Korea for attending classes, you will need to obtain a D-2 visa. You can apply for this visa at your nearest South Korean embassy or consulate. To get the approval, you will need certain supporting documents along with the filled application form. The documents required are:

  • A valid passport for the duration of your planned stay in South Korea.
  • Duly filled visa application form.
  • A processing fee
  • Proof of admission in the south Korean university (provided by your institution)
  • Certification of your educational record and qualifications.
  • Proof of sufficient funds to study in South Korea. It should at least for ₩17,465,000 (USD $15,000). This can be in the form of a current bank balance or other financial support.

Cost of studying in South Korea

Tuition fees in South Korea vary from institution to institution. At a public university, the average tuition fee can be from ₩2208520 ($2,000) to ₩4969170( $4,500) per semester. Educational Degrees in the field of medicine or law will be costlier. At a private university, the average tuition fee can be from ₩3312780($3,000) to ₩6625560($6,000) per semester.

For your living costs, you should arrange a minimum budget of ₩1325112($1,200) per month. This will cover your expenses such as accommodation, groceries and travelling. If you wish to live in one of the big cities, your living costs will increase accordingly.

Scholarship to study in South Korea

The answer to your question of how to study in Korea for free is to apply for the scholarships. If you are successful in getting fully-funded scholarships, congratulations your study becomes free. Here we have listed some of the scholarships open for international students :

  • Global Korea Scholarship
  • Korean Government Support Program for Foreign Exchange Students
  • Support Program for Self-financed Students
  • Korea-Japan Joint Higher Education Student Exchange Program
  • The Undergraduate Korean Government Scholarship
  • Seoul National University scholarship for graduates and undergraduates
  • Yonsei University scholarship for Undergraduate program
  • Korea University scholarship for Graduate and undergraduate program
  • KAIST scholarship for Undergraduate and graduate
  • Hanyang University scholarship
  • Kung Hee University scholarship
  • Hankuk University scholarship for Foreign Studies
  • Sogang University scholarship
  • Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) scholarship
  • Inha University scholarship

Study and work in South Korea

Yes, international students are allowed to work part-time during their studies in South Korea. Students are eligible for working for a maximum of 20 hours per week during their semester with a valid visa. They will also have the right to work for unlimited hours during their holidays. Foreign students should visit the immigration office and apply for work permits.

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