Since splitting from North Korea in 1948 into a separately governed country, South Korea has emerged a regional player considerably from its neighbor, developing into an internationally recognized Asian powerhouse in the fields of technology, education and tourism, to name but a few of its strengths. Embracing both tradition and modernity, this ‘Asian Tiger’ has much to offer international students, and capital city Seoul is currently ranked among the world’s top 10 student cities.
By investing in education and research, South Korea has grown into the world’s 13th largest economy and the third largest economy in Asia. Apparently, It is this investment and growth in innovation and technology that has moved South Korea into one of the four ‘Asian Tiger’ economies, alongside Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.
How to Apply
Note that admissions into a South Korean university differs from school to school but, generally, you are allowed to apply directly to your chosen university by post or online. Also the South Korean academic year begins sometime in March, although several schools across the country take on new students twice a year – in March and September. Admission deadlines for March applications are typically set between September and November, while for September entry, deadlines are often between May to June. Most universities in South Korea have just two terms, with a summer break from July to August and a winter break from December to February.
Although proficiency in the Korean language is advantageous, around 25% of courses at Korean universities are taught in English. This, along with the fact that English proficiency is growing nationwide, helps to break down the language barrier for international students. However, a desire to learn the basics of the Korean language will certainly be helpful, paving the way for fuller integration into Korean society and culture. In either case, foreign students must prove their proficiency in the language their course will be conducted in.
Visa to Study in South Korea
In Order to study in South Korea as an international student, you will need a ‘D-2 visa. This can be obtained from a South Korean embassy or consulate in your home country. Usually, in addition to proficiency in English or Korean, you will be required to provide your passport, a completed application form, a certificate of your most recent school record, confirmation of your acceptance at a South Korean university and proof of sufficient finances. For your D-2 visa you will be required to pay a processing fee of about US$30 (for single entry) or US$50 (for multiple entry).
Tuition Fees and Scholarships
The beautiful thing about studying in South Korea is that annual fees are the same for domestic and international students, as part of the national arrangement to attract more international students to the country. Note that these fees will vary largely depending on the course and university.
An undergraduate program at a public university will cost from US$2,000 to US$4,500 per semester (with humanities subjects at the lower end and medicine at the top). At a South Korean private university, these fees are estimated between US$3,000 and US$6,000 per semester. Average annual tuition fees at the 16 internationally ranked universities in Seoul are US$6,800. To calculate the total cost, bear in mind that there are two semesters in each academic year, and South Korean undergraduate programs typically last four years (or six years for subjects like medicine and dentistry).
Scholarships for international students are widely available from individual universities, covering between 30% and 100% of tuition fees. In addition, a number of governmental scholarships are available, which may also cover air fares and living expenses. One such governmental program is the Global Korea Scholarship (GKS).
Recent government deregulations of scholarships, dormitories, part-time jobs and employment after graduation aim to make studying in South Korea more accessible for international students – by making it easier to cover the costs, and also to stay and seek work in the country after graduation.
For more enquiries about admissions into universities abroad, send an email to Jonah@studyabroad365.com or call +2347037293057