Thinking of studying abroad in South Korea? Keep at it – you are going in the right direction.

South Korea is a perfect place for education. It is a highly energized place, immersed in innovation and developing technologies. Seoul, the country’s most modern city, is a bustling metropolis filled with spirited people and wonderful ideas. Those who plan to study abroad in South Korea can expect to discover an adventure filled time with endless opportunities for personal and professional development. The infectious optimism of the people of South Korea can inspire anyone to achieve excellence in any of the variety of programs that South Korean universities have to offer.

Why South Korea?

The country gives you countless reasons to come study here.

An Affordable Cost of Living

As international students, this would be a major concern for you. Luckily, the living costs in South Korea are not very high, even though the country itself is one of the richest in the world.

  • Residence: University hostels and residences would be the cheapest options available to you. They can cost you as little as ?2,600 ($2.50). If you want to rent your own apartment, the ideal way to go about it would be to gather a group of friends and then split the overall cost. However, even if you are renting on your own, the rent for a studio apartment can be as low as ?300,000. Cheap hotel rooms can also be found throughout South Korea.
  • Food: South Korea has one of the most delicious cuisines which are highly suitable for those on a budget. Street vendors are a common sight all over the country and they offer the cheapest food options. You can get mandu (Korean dumplings), fried chicken or ddeokbogi (Korean spicy rice cakes) and a lot of other such foods for as low as $3 USD. Avoid restaurants, except for on special occasions. A traditional Korean BBQ meal can cost you around $12 USD (inclusive of beer and soju). In addition to the low cost, Korean food is also very well balanced.
  • Transport: South Korea has cheap and efficient public transportation system. The base fare for a cab roughly comes to $2.5. Now you can imagine how cheap the bus and subway systems would be. For your convenience, you can also get a T-money debit card which can be used for all types of transportation, to free you of the hassle of carrying loose cash for rides.

The Safety Factor

 South Korea is a safe place by and large. Sure there are cases of crimes just like in any other country, but they are not very common, nor are people generally afraid of them.

The Numerous Attractions in South Korea

When you are finalizing your study abroad destination, one of the main things that come up is the number of attractions and places that you can visit.  And South Korea happens to be full of them.

The Nightlife: Big cities like Seoul have the most happening night life. And there is something for everyone – if you like to drink, there is the local rice liquor called soju, served in a green glass bottle. If you are more of the laid back type who enjoys the occasional beer with a group of friends, there are wonderful bars for that as well. If you happen to be the crazy, dance-all-night type, South Korea has a lot of places where you would feel just at home. And the best part – almost nothing closes till the sun comes up.

The Advance Technology of South Korea: When you first arrive here, it might seem like South Korea is years ahead of the rest of the world in terms of technology. At night, the streets never darken, thanks to the perpetual neon lights that dot most of the country. You will see giant TV screens in nearly every building.  Computers, cell phones, printers, air conditioners and pretty much all type of electronics would be very readily available and in use nearly everywhere you see.

The Fast Internet: It won’t be long before you realize you are in internet heaven in South Korea. The country has super fast internet speeds, nearly everywhere. In practical terms for you, that means fast downloads of large music albums, movies and television series within a matter of minutes, if not seconds. More than speed, however, you will appreciate the fact that you are always connected. Busses, subways and trains all have high-speed WiFi running 24/7. Similarly many cafes across the country also offer free WiFi services.

Places to See in South Korea: The country has a lot of attractions and historic sites that you should take time out to enjoy. Have a look:

  • Seoul: The hub of modern buildings and structures in the country, along with historic temples and a buzzing pop culture
  • Busan: The Haeundae Beach is a must visit place in Busan, along with various temples and picturesque mountains
  • Incheon: If you love beaches, this would be a perfect destination for you to visit over Spring break with your friends
  • Jeju City: Home to numerous casinos, seaside resorts, beaches, caves and golf courses, this city has a lot to offer in terms of high class entertainment
  • Chuncheon: A must visit place in autumn, thanks to its beautiful autumn colors. Other activities here include tennis and numerous museums
  • Daegu: If you are an art fanatic, Daegu is the place for you. Check out the musical theatre here, along with the countless concerts, a buzzing cultural scene and several art galleries
  • Suwon: Perfect for those looking to enjoy a fun nightlife. The city also has a lot of cultural attractions, museums and art galleries
  • Namhae County: The perfect place to enjoy the Oktoberfest – home to seaside resorts and golf courses

How to Get to South Korea – Visa Considerations

One of the first things you will need to do once you finalize your plan to study abroad in South Korea is to get your visa application process going. Before you can apply for a Korean visa, you will need to be accepted into an educational program as a language student or as a regular student. Along with this, you will be required to submit the required documents with your admission letter.

Visa for Regular Educational Programs (D-2)

The D-2 visas are for students interested in pursuing bachelors, masters, PhD or research degrees in junior colleges, graduate schools and universities established by in accordance with the Korean Education Law. To apply for this type of visa, the prospective student would need:

  • Family registry (this applies to Chinese students only; the whole family must be mentioned)
  • Visa application form or Certificate for Recognition of Visa Issuance
  • A valid passport
  • Processing Fee: $30 USD (in case of single-entry) and $50 (multiple entry)
  • Admission letter/enrollment letter from the school with its recognition of the student’s aptitude for studying and financial ability to support the education
  • Most recent record of school grades and results
  • Verification document of the bank account balance

If you have the recognition of visa issuance or a visa issuance recognition number, you will only need to submit your valid passport, along with a visa application form along with this number.

Visa for General Training (D-4)

This visa is meant for

  • People who want to receive technical training at a national or public research institute, training institute or bodies
  • People who are receiving payment from research institutes or who have industrial training system qualifications
  • Individuals who intend to study Korean at a university-run language school
  • People who wish to pursue their education in an accredited educational institute or an educational institute other than an academic research institute

To apply for this kind of visa, you will need to submit certain documents. These include:

  • Valid Passport
  • Visa application form or Certificate of Recognition of Visa Issuance
  • A fee of $30 USD for single entry and $50 USD for multiple entry
  • Financial verification with proof of more than $3,000 USD in a domestic bank account or certificate of currency exchange or relevant documents under a university academic exchange agreement
  • Identification verification (this option is for those individuals who cannot verify their ability to financially fulfill their tuition amount and living expenses)

In this case as well, if you have recognition of visa issuance or a visa issuance recognition number, you will only be required to submit a valid passport, a visa application form and the relevant visa issuance recognition or number.

Universities in South Korea

With a nearly 100% literacy rate, South Korea is a wonderful place for international students. It is home to several universities that offer excellent study abroad options. Have a look at the following top universities in South Korea:

  • Pohang University of Science and Technology (Postech): Founded in 1986, the university has been a true pioneer of Korean higher education in science and technology research. The university is globally recognized as one of Asia’s premier universities.
  • Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST): Established in 1971, the university has quickly become a very well-respected member of the worldwide science community, offering some of the best academics in the fields of science and technology.
  • Sungkyunkwan University: With more than 600 years of history and tradition, this university is perhaps one of the greatest learning places in the world.
  • Korea National Open University (KNOU): Known for its amazing Masters programs, this is certainly one university you should consider if you are looking into higher education study abroad options.
  • Korea University: This university is vast – it consists of the Anam Campus, the Sejong Campus and three auxiliary hospitals (Anam Hospital, Guro Hospital and Ansan Hospital).
  • Yonsei University: This University is one of the oldest private universities in Korea. It was initially established in 1885 by Christian missionaries. The university aims to create leaders who will contribute to humanity in the spirit of “truth and freedom”.
  • Hanyang University: This opened as an aspiring engineering institute in 1939 with the founding principle of “Application of Knowledge” and “Love in Deed”. Based on the ideas of innovation and serving the society wholeheartedly, Hanyang University is certainly one of the top institutes in the country.
  • Ajou University: This University is a leading research university in Korea. It is home to a large number of international students and its international programs are accredited by the Korean Government. International students can enroll in either a degree or a short-term program.
  • Ewha Woman’s University: The University believes in the ideas of fostering growth and innovation to achieve global success. Ewha is committed to finding and investing in essential knowledge for the future.
  • Seoul National University: The origin of the Seoul National University dates back to the late nineteenth century with the Korean Emperor Gojong establishing modern higher education institutes that later amalgamated to become a part of SNU. The University believes in a constant development method of progress along with continuous personal growth.

Korea has a vast variety of study abroad programs in its large number of diverse universities. Subjects offered vary from social sciences, humanities, medicine to art and design, history and engineering and technology. Besides education, the country has a lot to offer as well, especially in terms of entertainment and a highly affordable cost of living.

So come and experience the exciting, energetic and culturally rich life of South Korea, a place where you are bound to make friends and memories that will last you a lifetime.


  • Capital
  • Calling code
  • Population
    50 Million
  • National languages
  • Time zone
  • Currency
    South Korean won (KRW)