Study in South Korea – University Requirements, Fees, Scholarships & More!

A flag of South Korea

Why Study in South Korea?

You can earn an excellent degree abroad from a highly ranked university with an affordable living and tuition fees…

Take a guess, which destination are we talking about? 

That’s right – the one and only: South Korea! 

If you want to study in South Korea but aren’t finding the right information to do so, then make sure to read this article to discover the fees, top universities, application requirements, etc. 😉

Whatever you are looking for in a destination abroad, you will find it within South Korea. This safe, inclusive, and wonderful place offers several opportunities for students to excel in their studies and future careers.

Over the last decade, South Korea became one of the most popular destinations for international students. 

It is not only an attractive country, but also has lots of history and culture that you can indulge in and explore!

Other than the quality of education and health care system, it is known to have affordable living costs that are cheaper than in many other developed countries such as Australia, Japan, and Canada.

A man holding a tablet and working in a coffee shop.

Also, it is the number one choice for many students because of the working opportunities. With a permit, you can basically work up to 20 hours per week and 30 hours per week for postgraduate programs.

Not only that, but you can also stay and work in South Korea after graduating from an institution there! After earning a degree, you will have to switch your student visa to “ D-10 Visa” which will allow you to stay and look for a job. 

Once you get a job contract, you will have to change that into a more specific visa – depending on the field and type of work. Check out the different visa options here.

How much does it cost to study in South Korea?

Tuition fees: 

If you are planning to get an undergraduate degree at a public university, then expect to pay around US$4,350 per semester. This number might change depending on the program though. 

For instance, if you want to apply to medicine or dentistry there, the fees would be higher, but for humanities subjects, you may pay even less than that! 

At a private university, fees are estimated at US$5,800 per semester.

Costs of living:

The costs of living for a single person in South Korea would be around $923 per month without rent. 

This is still cheaper than other popular destinations such as Canada for example. The living costs in South Korea are 4.56% lower than in Canada!


When it comes to student accommodation in South Korea, there are several options to choose from such as:

  • Dormitory. The most popular accommodation type there is called a “dormitory”, which is basically a university residence. In Seoul, the price range is usually $700-$1000 per term, depending on the university and the type of room. Keep in mind that the dormitory has certain rules such as curfew times!
  • Shared house. If you would like to have more freedom when it comes to curfews, then a shared house would be a better option for you. The price can be $400-$600 per month with a shared bathroom and kitchen. 
  • Goshiwon (mini-studio). This is a good choice if you don’t want to share your space with anyone, but remember that the space of a mini-studio is very small. If this is something that you wouldn’t enjoy then check out the other options. The rent is $300-$400 per month, depending on the location.
  • Homestay. If you want to fully immerse yourself in Korean culture, then this is the one for you! You will have your own private room in a shared house with a Korean family. Each homestay experience is different depending on the rules that the family wants to set. However, usually you share meals with them and practice the language. The price of the homestay is $700-$900 per month.

The Rent prices in South Korea are 54.48% lower than in Canada!


Students sitting in a class and a professor teaching.

How to Apply to Universities in South Korea?

The first step is to create a list of all the universities that you are interested in – perhaps they have the program that you want to pursue or a great downtown location that you like.

Figure out what matters to you when deciding on a university, then start the process of applying.

For South Korean universities, the requirements aren’t usually the same, each institution sets their own rules. So, ideally, you would have to visit the official website to find what exactly they are looking for.

However, almost all universities ask for the following requirements:

  • Fill out the application form online
  • High school transcripts (if applying for a Bachelor’s)
  • Bachelor’s degree (if applying for a Master’s)
  • Proof of English proficiency such as IELTS or TOEFL
  • Proof of funds to live and study there
  • Passport photo
  • Personal IDs and a copy of your passport
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement

Some universities will also request an online interview with you to understand more about your goals and motivations.

Top universities in South Korea:

  • Seoul National University
  • Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
  • Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)
  • Yonsei University (Seoul campus)
  • Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST)
A visa application and a blue pen.

How to get a scholarship to study in South Korea?

Not only is it an affordable destination compared to other countries, but also offers excellent scholarship opportunities!

They are usually either provided by Korean universities or the Korean government to attract more international students and increase diversity. 

When researching a university that you want to apply for, always remember to visit the “scholarships” or “financial aid” page to learn more about what is available.
Usually, the Korean universities’ scholarships are:

  • Type A: Private universities located in the Seoul metropolitan area, covering 30% of the tuition fees for undergraduate degrees and 80% or full amount for graduate students.
  • Type B: Private universities located outside of Seoul’s metropolitan area, covering 50% – 70% of the tuition fees for undergraduate degrees and 80% or full amount for graduate students.

It’s even possible to receive a fully-funded scholarship! The most known one is called “Global Korea Scholarship which is offered by the Korean government. 

It is competitive though and awarded only to top applicants. The scholarship covers your tuition fees, airplane tickets, health insurance, monthly allowance and more.

Check out some of the best scholarships in South Korea for international students here

Do you feel ready to start preparing for your journey to Study in South Korea? Help out your friends who dream of studying there too & share this content with them! 😉

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