What you should know about studying in Korea
South Korea is home to hundreds of universities, and it is also ranked one of the top countries for educational competitiveness and scholastic achievement. So, if you’re searching for a place to study abroad, and you’d prefer to go where you can rest assured you’ll receive an excellent education, Korea might be the right choice for you.
Navigating the process of applying to study abroad in Korea can be challenging, but if you do your research in advance, and you plan for every step, you can take some of the pressure off of yourself, starting with:
- The costs of studying abroad in Korea
- How to save money when you’re in Korea
- The best places to see when you’re taking those study breaks, and finally
- How to apply to university in Korea as a foreign student
How much does it cost to study abroad in Korea?
As is the case in other countries, public universities in South Korea will usually charge lower tuition and fees than private universities. Costs will depend, too, on what program you pursue.2
|Undergraduate program||Costs range anywhere from $1,600 to $10,800 USD per semester|
|Graduate program||Costs range anywhere from $1,100 to $20,900 per semester.|
When it comes to living expenses, if you are planning on renting a place to live off-campus, an average price might be $300 USD monthly, along with a security deposit that might be anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 USD. Of course, these costs will depend on where you live.2 Other costs can include:
|Health insurance||$20 USD per month on average|
|Internet||$30 USD per month on average|
|Transport||$40 USD per month on average|
Extra tip: To estimate how far your home currency will go once it has been converted into the Korean won, you can use currency trends and currency charts, which are provided by global money transfer specialists OFX.
How to save money while studying internationally in Korea
One of the great things about studying abroad in Korea is the lower tuition costs, as well as the lower cost of living, particularly when compared to countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. However, you can save even more money by receiving financial aid, such as a scholarship.
For decades, the government of Korea has supported thousands of international students by awarding scholarships that could help reduce the costs of going to school there.
So, in addition to talking to your school’s financial aid office regarding available scholarships, and researching scholarship opportunities online, it is also worth looking into any scholarships offered by the government each year.3
Other smart strategies can also help you save while living and studying in Korea. For example, you can use an international money transfer service like OFX to save money whenever you need to transfer funds from your home bank account to Korea, including when you need to pay your tuition.
In fact, by using OFX instead of your bank, you could end up saving up to 70%* on your transfer compared to what you’d pay if you got hit with the margins and fees typically charged by banks.
Things to do while studying abroad in Korea
There’s no shortage of fun things to do while you’re living in South Korea, so take advantage of the opportunity to experience a new culture, taste foods that you’ve never had before, and make new friends along the way.
If you love being in the great outdoors, the mountains of South Korea offer you plenty of hiking trails to choose from, regardless of your experience level. If you’re studying there in the spring, make it a point to see the beautiful cherry blossoms while they’re blooming. Plus, there are historical sites, temples, and palaces to explore throughout the country as well.
The bustling city of Seoul will definitely keep you busy, with its UNESCO World Heritage sites, famous Dongdaemun Market, and incredible N Seoul Tower. And, on top of that, there are museums, restaurants, and concerts that you can check out too.
How to apply for overseas study in Korea
If you have decided that South Korea is the place where you want to study abroad, there are a few steps that you can follow to make your dream come true.
Choose where you want to study
First, research the various schools and programs that are available for international students, and choose the one that you’d like to apply to. Requirements vary from one school to the next.
For example, you might need to include documents like a letter of recommendation, transcripts, a portfolio, a copy of your passport, proof that you’re financially stable enough to live and study in Korea, and proof of English or Korean language proficiency. You might also be required to take tests or go through an interview process.
Submit your documents on time
When applying, follow the directions carefully, ensuring you submit all documents by the deadline for the semester that you would like to start in. Then, once you have submitted your application and necessary documents to the school, it’s a matter of waiting to find out if you have been accepted.
Get your student visa
After you’ve been accepted by the university, it’s time to get your student visa, also known as a D-visa. But first, you might need to pay your tuition in advance. Then, the school will send you what is known as a Certificate of Admission that you can use to apply for your visa, which will allow you to study in the country for more than 90 days.1
As part of your student visa application, you might need to provide several documents, such as your passport, photo, and proof of financing. So, again, follow the directions carefully to ensure you submit a complete application on time.1
Get an ID
Finally, once you are in South Korea, you can apply for your Alien Registration Card, which is basically a form of ID. You can do so by going to the Immigration Office.1
Have you thought about studying in South Korea?
If you’ve been searching for a unique country where you can study abroad, and you’re hoping to find a place where you can get a quality education at an affordable price, definitely consider Korea. With a variety of great schools and programs to choose from, a reasonable cost of living, and an array of activities to enjoy when you aren’t in the classroom, you’re sure to love the experience of being an international student there.
*Average savings based on published rates of ANZ, Westpac, NAB and CBA on a single transfer of AUD$10,000 to USD between 6.9.18 and 8.10.18 excluding weekends. Transaction costs excluded. Quoted savings are not indicative of future savings.