Cost of Studying and Living in South Korea
South Korea uses the South Korean Won (KRW) as its currency.
If you choose to study at a South Korean university as an international student, you will pay the same tuition fees as domestic students. However, tuition fees vary from institution to institution. At a public institution, you should expect to pay between $2,000/€1,700 and $4,500/€3,900 per semester. Degrees such as medicine will be on the more expensive side. At a private institution, you should expect to pay between $3,000/€2,600 and $6,000/€5,200 per semester. At one of the top ranked universities, annual fees will be around $6,800/€5,900. There are plenty of scholarships available for international students, these tend to be awarded by individual institutions. These will cover between 30% and 100% of your tuition fees. There are also some scholarships available from the government, which can also cover living costs.
For your living costs, you should budget for minimum of $1,200/€1,000 per month. This covers your accommodation, groceries and travel. If you choose to live in one of the bigger cities, your living costs will be higher. This is also the case if you choose to stay in privately rented accommodation as opposed to university dormitories. If you are studying for a masters degree, you are able to work up to 20 hours per week without a work permit so long as you have a valid visa.
Another cost that international students need to consider is health insurance. If your course will keep you in South Korea for longer than one year, Korea’s National Health Insurance Corporation provides health insurance on the same basis as Korean nationals. To get this, you have to submit a copy of your alien registration card and verification of purpose of stay at an office of the Corporation.
To study in Korea, you will need to obtain a D-2 visa. This can be applied for at the South Korean embassy or consulate in your home country. To be accepted for a visa, you will need to provide certain documents. These are your passport, a completed application form, recent educational transcripts, proof of your acceptance into a South Korean institution, proof of sufficient funds and evidence of language proficiency (English or Korean). You will also need to pay a visa application fee, which will depend on what sort of visa you require.
The official languages of South Korea are Korean and Korean Sign Language.
There are many courses taught in English at South Korean universities, at bachelors and masters level. You can also opt to study in Korean if you wish. No matter which language you choose to study in, if it is a non-native language you will need to provide evidence that you have language proficiency. If you do not meet the required standards, you may be able to take a course to help your language skills improve.
Even if you study in English, it is recommended that you make an effort to learn as much Korean as possible. Communicating with the locals and other students is the perfect way to practice. This will not only improve your everyday life, it is also a skill that will look great on your CV/resume!
Officially the Seoul Special City, Seoul is the capital city of South Korea. As well as this, it is the largest metropolis in the country, and is home to just under 10 million people. Historically, the city was surrounded by a circular stone wall to secure it from wild animals, thieves and attacks. This wall no longer stands, but the gates remain near the downtown district. Until the late 19th century, the gates stayed closed, and the city did not welcome foreigners or attempt to modernise. However, the city is now very modern and a great place for international students.
The city of Seoul hosts the majority of the country’s most prestigious institutions. This includes Seoul National University, Yonsei University and Korea University, among many others. Yonsei University was founded in 1885, and is one of the oldest universities in South Korea.