Immigration. Travel. Living.

Best South Korean Universities for Foreigners (how to apply, costs, programs)

Studying in South Korea is an opportunity to get an education that is quoted worldwide, also a unique experience of living in an actively developing Asian country. According to the Bloomberg Index, it is one of the most innovative economies in the world. It is already almost among the top ten, and it is ahead of both its Asian neighbors (for example, Japan) and recognized European leaders (for example, Germany). South Korea serves as a bridge between the West and Asia in many ways. There is a recognizable Asian lifestyle, quite exotic for Europeans. And at the same time, there are many Western features in the business, technology, and education.

The Korean education system fully meets the requirements of the Bologna – bachelor’s degree (4 years), master’s degree (2 years), doctorate (3 years). Due to the fierce competition in the domestic labor market, all teachers go through the strictest selection, and the best get the right to work in universities.

Top 3 best universities in South Korea

Below, there are top 3 Universities in South Korea:

  1. Korea University, Seoul

Estimated Tuition Cost: $ 3,000 per year

Today, Korea University is gaining increasing popularity among international students, and it is included in the top 100 best universities worldwide and the top 20 best educational institutions in Asia. Based on two campuses, the university trains more than 20,000 students. The university is multidisciplinary and offers quality education in various fields, including engineering, business, arts, humanities, law, hospitality, international relations, and much more. 

  1. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon

Estimated Tuition Cost: $ 5,800 per year

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is one of the leading research universities in South Korea and is renowned for its quality science and technology education. Besides, for the study of engineering, nanotechnology, innovation, exact sciences, environmental protection, construction, and many other disciplines. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology was founded in 1971. The university educates more than 10,000 students, offers a wide range of English-language programs and international student exchange programs, through which students can travel to America, Europe, and Asia. 

  1. Yonsei University, Seoul

Estimated Tuition Cost: $ 11,000 per year

Yonsei University is the oldest and one of the most prestigious universities in Korea. It is a private institution, occupying a historic campus and offering programs in diverse disciplines. Students from all over the world come to this university, first of all, to study the humanities, management, foreign languages, social sciences, and medicine.

The main features of studying in South Korea:

  • Studies begin twice a year: in March and September. Winter vacation is 3 months (although exams are held in December), summer vacation is 2 months (usually July and August);
  • International students can apply for government scholarships in South Korea and grants from the universities themselves;
  • For admission to most Korean universities, IELTS 5.5-6 points for English-language programs are enough, and a TOPIK level 3 certificate for Korean streams. But you need to take into account the real rating of the university. Perhaps the formal requirements will be low compared to the high competition, and other applicants will have an advantage because their language certificate scores are higher than the minimum required.

On average, when assessing the cost of studying, we recommend focusing on a check of $ 6,000 per year as an undergraduate student, and at least the same amount for living. It is the lower bar, the upper one three times higher. The cost of studying in South Korea for a master’s degree can reach $ 20,000 per year. However, when comparing the total cost of tuition studying in South Korea and Western universities of a similar level, South Korea will be much more profitable.

Free education in South Korea

It is possible to study in South Korea for free. In recent years, the state has been actively building up international relations, including in the educational sector. The Government of South Korea annually awards scholarships under the Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) program to attract foreigners. Global Korea scholarship fully covers all the costs of university tuition and living in the country. You can study for undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral studies at one of the 65 universities participating in the program. The choice of courses is limited only by the duration: the scholarship covers the costs for 4 years.

The basic package of documents for admission

In most cases, you will need to submit the following documents to enter Korean universities:

  • Copy of passport;
  • Letters of recommendation;
  • Immigration certificate of entry and exit;
  • Introductory documents, including a motivation essay;
  • Proof of proficiency in English or Korean, depending on the chosen study program.
  • Remember that you will also need a student visa to study in South Korea, which can take several months to process.

Deadlines for submission of documents

Korean universities take for the submission of documents seriously, so it’s important not to miss the dileadline! The period for applying to universities usually begins in January or February. And the results of enrollment are announced in April. For admission to several programs, you also need to pass a language exam, which takes place in August, after admission. You can find out about the specific terms of admission to the selected university on the website of the educational institution.

Useful tips for applicants

Here are some useful tips for applicants of universities in South Korea:

  • Start collecting documents now. To study in South Korea, you will need to collect a whole package of documents, and you should not postpone it until the last. Prepare in advance!
  • Contact your institution’s representatives. The staff of the university office for work with foreign students can help you with some questions!
  • Meet the deadline. As we already mentioned, deadlines play an important role in the educational institutions of South Korea, so don’t forget about them.
  • Apply to several universities at once! It will expand your choices and increase your chances of being enrolled.

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