Officially the Republic of Korea, South Korea is a highly developed country in East Asia. A global leader in the technological and industrial sectors, South Korea is a high-income economy, with a very high Human Development Index. The country is amongst the top-performing OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries in reading literacy, mathematics, and sciences. The country is well known for its high level of emphasis on education with its national obsession with studying propularly been called “education fever”.
Education in South Korea has been applauded for several reasons including its major role in steering the economic development of the country. With one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree, South Korea is among the most highly educated countries in the world. Since 2010, the country has increased its focus on accelerating the number of international students who come to study in South Korea. With the record growth of 18.8% in 2017 in foreign enrolments in its universities, South Korea is becoming one of the top Asian destinations for students.
Why study in South Korea?
The Korean universities sincerely focus on delivering quality education amongst its local and international students. Though there are various fields of study one can opt for when considering to study in South Korea, the most rewarding fields of study in South Korea are arts, science, and business-related courses. If you are interested in shaping your career in any of these fields, pursuing undergraduate or postgraduate studies in a South Korean university will ensure that a lot of doors get opened for you.
Cost of Living
The expense of a foreign student studying in Korea is about $6,500 a year. Transportation, accommodation and eating outing are all cheap in South Korea. It is safe to say that by far the most expensive part of your year studying abroad in South Korea is likely to be your plane ticket!
Though Korean is the official language of South Korea, almost all South Korean students today learn English throughout their education. With English being the most common language in which the textbooks are written and it being a global language of today, South Korean Universities have started focusing on conducting more and more courses in English, making South Korea a favorable destination for international students. It is advisable for international students to learn Korean once they start studying and living in South Korea. Almost all universities that welcome international students, offers courses in the Korean language that vary from Beginners to Advance level.
As the most industrialized member of OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and one of the G-20 major economies, South Korea ensures a financially secure future of students following graduation. Over a period of time, the top South Korean universities have sought the attention and interest of international organizations and job-providers. All this makes studying in South Korea promising for international students.
Moving abroad to a culturally different country away from home certainly gives one cold feet. However, South Korea is an extremely safe destination for international students and provides a conducive environment to study and work. In South Korea, it is pretty common for people to leave their personal belongings unattended at a café, and to go out late at night with friends and be completely safe.
The extremely hard-working Korean students are known for being welcoming and amiable. Studying with Korean students and with students from across the globe will let you become familiar with Korean and other cultures. The food, festivities, and hospitality of the Korean people will convince you that South Korea is an ideal destination for studying abroad in a safe and secure environment.
Generous Scholarships and other benefits
With South Korea’s focus on increasing the number of international students who study in South Korean universities, several scholarship opportunities and other merits are provided to international students. In addition to the Korean Government Scholarship Program available to international students, almost all universities in South Korea offer several scholarship programs to their international students. Some South Korean universities also let students opt for multiple scholarship programs simultaneously, making studying in South Korea very affordable.
Top 7 Universities of South Korea
Founded in 1946, Seoul National University is considered to be the most reputable university in South Korea. Through its sixteen colleges, one graduate school and nine professional schools, the university offers various graduate and postgraduate courses in Social Sciences, Medicine, Engineering, Fine Arts and other fields. Among its eminent alumni of Seoul National University are outstanding personalities in international organizations such as Hoesung Lee (Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), Ban Ki-moon (the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations) etc.
One of the notable universities of South Korea, Sungkyunkwan University was founded in 1398. The university’s partnership with Samsung has helped SKKU to develop world-leading academic programs in mobile communications engineering, nanotechnology, software development, energy engineering, business, medicine, and law. Through the Samsung Global Scholarship Program, each year 15-25 students are selected for Seoul National University’s engineering program or SKKU’s Graduate School of Busines.
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology was established by the Korean government, with the help of American policymaker in 1971 as South Korea’s first research oriented science and engineering institution. KAIST is organized into 6 colleges, 2 schools, and 33 departments. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology also has three affiliated institutes including the Korea Science Academy, Korea Institute of Advanced Study and National NanoFab Center.
Dedicated to education and research in science and technology, Pohang University of Science and Technology was established in 1986. As the provider of most per-student scholarship support and highest educational investment, Pohang University of Science and Technology provides students from all economic backgrounds the opportunity to obtain a quality education. POSTECH provides professional courses in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Technology, and various other fields.
One of South Korea’s oldest and most esteemed universities, Korea University was founded in 1905. The distinguished faculty body of Korea University consists of over 1500 full-time professors with 95% of them holding Ph.D. or equivalent qualification in their respective fields. Korea University has 17 colleges and schools with 59 academic departments and programs in total. Korea University offers fellowships, scholarships, and awards under the auspices of the Korea University Foundation.
Located in Seoul, South Korea, Yonsei University is a private research university that was established in 1885. As one of Korea’s three “SKY” (Seoul National University, Korea University, and Yonsei University) universities, Yonsei offers quality education in various fields such as Economics, Commerce, Law, Engineering, Medicine, Life Sciences and much more. There are more than 100 clubs at Yonsei University including Business Innovation Track (a track aiming to foster innovative young generation), International Yonsei Community (a community for global, multicultural exchange in the Yonsei society), Avenante (mixed choir in Yonsei University, composed of both music and non-music majors) and more.
With its motto and educational philosophy of Love in Deed and Truth, Hanyang University was founded in 1939. The University offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Engineering Sciences, Pharmacy, Science & Convergence Technology, Languages & Cultures, Communication & Social Sciences, Computing, Business & Economics, Sports and other fields. The notable alumni of Hanyang University include Chung Mong-Koo (Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group), Pyun Hye-young (Author) and Chang Chang-sun (Olympic silver medalist and world champion).
How to Apply to Korean Universities?
With English taught programmes expanding rapidly in South Korea, the international students can choose from amongst various courses being taught by renowned South Korean universities. All South Korean universities require students to apply directly to the university through an online application.
Here are a few general documents that students need to submit while applying to all the universities:
- Properly filled application form
- Letter of Recommendation(s)
- Proof of proficiency in either Korean or English language (depending on the programme one is applying to)
- Transcripts/Academic record
- Personal Statement/ Statement of Purpose
- Copy of your and your parent’s passport
Applications in South Korean universities are generally open from January to February while the admissions decisions are released in April. Make sure that you check the admission deadlines of specific universities that you are targeting and that if they require any additional documents apart from the ones mentioned above.
After successfully applying to the universities of your choice and securing admission in one of your shortlisted universities, you will require a study visa of South Korea:
- D-2: Visa for Regular Educational Programme: This visa is for any student enrolling in a Bachelors, Masters, or Ph.D. programme at a junior college, university, or graduate school.
What can you do today to get admission in a South Korean university?
South Korea as a study destination has started gaining popularity only recently. With limited information and help available, applying to universities in South Korea can be tricky and it is advisable to seek professional guidance and services for the same. You can give a call at Leverage Edu (+91-8826200293) today and book a free consultancy session to map your journey to the South Korean university of your choice.