Why South Korea should be on your Study Abroad List?

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By Swetha Sukumar

Posted on November 24, 2023


5 min read

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Study in South Korea

South Korea is not just a world of K-pops, K-dramas, K-movies, K-beauty, Kimchi, giant MNCs, and UNESCO world heritage sites as you might think, but it is also an incredible destination for international students to study abroad in South Korea to pursue academic excellence.

Studying abroad in South Korea allows students to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the world, advance their careers, improve their quality of life, learn a new language, and appreciate other cultures. Most students have a goal list that includes studying overseas. With plenty of choices, South Korea is attracting international students and slowly becoming one of the most coveted places for higher education. The reasons are apparent, these include the promise of quality education, a rich cultural experience, and a thriving student life.

If you are considering pursuing your higher education abroad, South Korea is definitely a good option for you to choose, leaving aside the usual choices of Canada, UK, and Germany. This is because the country provides students with various scholarship opportunities, affordable tuition fees, and state-of-the-art research facilities. Compared to private colleges, national universities offer more affordable tuition.

There are over 400 public and private universities, many of which are equipped with research facilities in emerging scientific fields. The nation attracts a large number of international students, especially for graduate and research programmes.

Eligibility to Study in South Korea

You must pass TOEFL or IELTS in order to study abroad in South Korea in English. The following are the minimal requirements for studying in Korea: Minimum TOEFL and IELTS scores for undergraduate and graduate programs are 71 and 5.5, respectively. A minimum TOEFL and IELTS score of 79 and 6 respectively are needed for the PhD level.

The grade point average (GPA) of applicants determines their eligibility for scholarships. At universities that admit overseas students, 30% of lectures are typically provided in English. Additionally, graduate programs typically incorporate more English language instruction than undergraduate programs do. Only English-language courses are offered at several colleges.

Benefits of Studying in South Korea

  • Degrees are internationally recognized

Universities like Seoul National University (SNU), KAIST, Yonsei, POSTECH, Korea University, and SKKU are among the top 100 universities worldwide. One of the top OECD nations for academic excellence and competitiveness is study abroad in South Korea. Additionally, it is highly ranked in the global index of cognitive abilities and educational attainment. In terms of academic success and competitiveness, South Korea is among the top OECD nations. Additionally, it ranks highly on the global scale of educational attainment and cognitive skills.

  • A centre of technological innovation

South Korea is the leading producer of mobile phones, displays, semiconductors, chemicals, manufacturing, automobiles, electronics, and ships. Over the past few decades, South Korea’s economy underwent a transformation from one of the world’s poorest to one of the most successful thanks to innovation and technological advancement. This result is because of spending much more on research and development (R&D) as a share of GDP than other developed markets. And it packs all of these with outstanding career possibilities.

  • Affordable tuition fees and living cost

The main hurdle students face in studying abroad is the total cost of studying. While overseas studies are more expensive, South Korea stands out from the crowd. Studying in the USA, France, UK, Japan, and Australia is very expensive. But unlike them, South Korean universities and educational institutions offer high-quality training in a student-friendly environment without imposing prohibitive tuition costs.  Similarly, the cost of living here is on the low side – accommodation, food, clothing, transportation and activities are relatively pocket-friendly for students.

  • Scholarships

Various scholarship programs offer an additional incentive to pursue higher education in South Korea, in addition to the country’s comparably inexpensive living and tuition costs. This includes a round-trip flight ticket, a waiver of the tuition price, and many more benefits. They offer numerous scholarships, like the Global Korea Scholarship (GKS), to nearly 2,000 international students yearly. Since 1967, the Korean government has awarded scholarships to more than 6,500 eligible students from nearly 150 different countries. Apart from government scholarships for students, many universities and businesses offer their own scholarships, grants, and financial support. They encourage applicants to study in South Korea and experience promising education.

  • Career after studies

International students can stay and get a job after completing their course. And the law allows you to stay there as long as you want. But you do need a valid visa and job confirmation from an employer. Also, if you have high Korean language skills, your job prospects are high here. There are various jobs in almost every sector. However, finding a job as an English teacher is comparatively easy.

If you wish to choose North Korea for higher studies, you must obtain a student visa (D-2) before going to South Korea. If you make the decision to study abroad in South Korea, it will be life-altering. Because it will have a profound impact on your personal and professional life.