How To Get Into Korean Colleges


So, you just graduated high school and you’re thinking to yourself, “DANG, I want to study in Korea!” But how!? 🙁 You’re not alone. Korea is filled with vibrant cultures making the country a great place to live, study, and work. We will break down the do’s and don’ts to give you a better idea of how things run in Korean universities and what they look for in prospect students. So listen up! Let’s take a look at this step by step and simplify it as much as possible:

Why study in Korea?

It’s Korea, DUH! 😀 But! No matter how much you love Korea, you have to be aware of what you will run into (which applies to any country) – like the environment, home sickness, and etc. Other than that, if you are a tough cookie, Korea should be one of the best experiences for you! Here are some other reasons why Korea is so awesome!:

  • Korea has a very developed economy (15th in the world! yeeuh!) with many employment opportunities for foreigners.
  • There are a number of culture and language based programs available that will lead you to the heart of South Korea’s cities.
  • Korea’s natural beauty, four distinct seasons, and contrasting scenery in a small country allows for some great exploring. Check it out for yourself.
  • Korea’s rich culture will fascinate you, and many elements of the past have been preserved for the modern cities of Korea.
  • Although Korea is a divided country, it has become important economically, diplomatically, and strategically among other nations such as China, Russia, Japan, and America.

This is what makes Korea a sweet deal for students who want to study in Korea! 🙂


Preparation – 3 steps

In Korea, there are many different universities you can choose from. This makes it easy for you to choose a university that fits you the best. But where do I start, you may ask? Remember, advanced research on your own is the best advice we can give to you. Make a list of the universities that look interesting to you. Are you an artsy guy? Are you a math wiz? Whatever suits you, choose wisely. Another thing that you should look out for is the application process – they are usually all in Korean (many universities are working on making the process in English so it’s a lot easier for students abroad).

1.) Do not procrastinate.
Seriously, do NOT procrastinate! As application deadlines get closer, you will get more frustrated. Korean universities have entrance exams only once a year (usually in October or so). If you pass the initial deadline for the application, you will have to eat another birthday cake before you can apply again.

2.) University fairs.
You know, it’s kind of like the science fair and job career fairs you’ve always attended in high school, except this is a University fair. Korea is great in organizing university fairs every single year for students who are interested in studying here in Korea. Although this applies to more bigger cities like Seoul, most cities in Korea have university fairs where all universities look for foreigners to gather and promote their universities and programs. Make sure you attend at least one of these university fairs to get an idea of what is best for you. It seriously helps! If for some reason you have financial problems and you can’t fly to Korea, e-mail the university staff (extremely early) to find out more information. This would be the best alternative.

Usually, many of the university advisors will be available to help you understand the university a bit more. They will immediately guide you through the whole process, and some of them will even accept the applications right on that day.

3.) Get your documents.
Now you know which university you want to to go. You know all the dates and so forth. Well now comes the hard part. It’s time to get your high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, and etc. Advice: Start this process as soon as possible. There will be many university fairs throughout the year where you can get more information about the options you have. Most of them will have completely different admission requirements so its important for you to check with them in advance so you have everything ready by the time you decide to apply. Don’t procrastinate on this!

If you have steps one, two, and three in tact, you got the hard stuff down. Now let’s get on to FAQs.


Do I Have to be Smart?

Define smart. Many people misunderstand the fact that there are just as many opportunities to study as a foreigner in South Korea as there are plenty of opportunities for South Koreans to study in other countries. You may think that the common requirements are extremely good grades, exceptional Korean language skills, and blistering loads of money to pay tuition and living expenses – well, you thought WRONG! In fact, some universities have a very high quota on foreign enrollment, hence, it may actually be easier for you to get into a Korean university than an actual Korean! 😉

How much Korean should you know?
Admission requirements will be different for each university. Some will require Korean, some don’t. As an example, some universities will ask you to have incredibly good scores on your Korean proficiency tests, to have many extracurricular activities, etc. However, the truth is that the only thing that really matters is how “well-rounded” you are. Are you an open guy/girl? Just a tip, don’t get depressed if you didn’t do well on the Korean proficiency test, you can still get admitted. Trust us! Just think of the Korean test as your confidence test. Are you serious about attending the university? That’s all.

You will be very surprised to see that most universities require international students to be really good at Korean, which in reality you don’t. The universities just want students to be serious about the people attending their universities. Your Korean will improve dramatically over time even if you failed miserably on the test. Nevertheless, if you tried hard to show on your application that you can try, you should be considered easily. Well-roundness in a person is what really matters! 😉


Letter of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation is also a big factor to your application process. It’s kind of like proof to show that you are a considerable person for the university. Make sure you start getting them early before you come to Korea. Talk to your teachers in High school and your part-time job employers (if you have one) for good recommendation letters that can show your university of interest what kind of student you are! Also, make sure you make several copies of the letter and you ask your professor to sign them all. You’ll be so happy to know that all those recommendation letters will have helped you get into the university you wanted.



Finally, you got everything together. Now all you have to do is submit! This is the easiest part. Nonetheless, keep something in mind: Koreans take deadlines pretty seriously. Make sure you don’t send your send your applications too late, or you’ll lose your chance to getting admitted where you want to.


Good luck!

If you have any questions, thoughts, or even concerns, leave a comment below!


  1. liyana says:

    hi. i’m from malaysia. i just want to know how to apply to universities in korea? i’m very interested to study there.

  2. Jumanah says:

    I am currently on break from college, I am honestly not a great student when attending college in the USA. I want to start a program in Korea as an absolute freshman, will that be alright. I am willing to save up and pay my own tuition as well as maybe getting a part-time job. I know a little Korean, I can read and write the language a little. Please help me understand.
    정말 고맙습니다!!!

  3. mercy says:

    Am mercy, and a nigerian. At early age I dropped out of high school(final year). And I would really love to continue my education in korea. What are the requirements?

  4. Emily says:

    I plan on going to Changwon National University for Korean Language as my major. I don’t know what to do about the first year of core classes though. In America your first year of college you have to take your core classes before you start the classes for your major. Do you have to do that in Korea as well if you are a foreigner? If you do would it just be easier to take my core classes here before going to Changwon? Can you even take core classes in Korea if you don’t fluently speak Korean?

  5. Justyna says:

    I’m Polish girl… Now I’m in China as Au Pair (nanny for baby) but from August 2013 I work as an English teacher in my boss’s training center… But my dream is study about korea – korean language, culture, history… I graduate technical school in April 2013. Honestly – my family is not rich at all. I’m thinking – am I good person to study in Korea?But this is my dream and I’m VERY serious about it. I will not give up on this!

  6. kathy says:

    hey..i’m a university student..i would like to know if i wanna study master in a korean university can i get the chance??
    my high school grads are great but in university i had ups and downs..also i wanna know how much chance i have for study master..i’m in 3rd year of my university and i have 1 year left..
    it would be great if i could have more informations..

  7. Fahime says:

    Sorry but what about the money? I want to study in korea and study dental but i really can’t pay sooo much for tuition.besides I’m good at korean and really love to go there to study.if you accepted in university should you pay for tuition or not?? Plz help me.감사합니다!

  8. Berta says:

    I’m a girl from Spain and I didn’t understand well (not bc im from Spain haha) “Do I have to be Smart”, I mean, I’ve read that you have to got an 80% of ur marks to get to University! Do u know if that is true? I really want to study uni there but it’s too difficult to get an 8 here! So, what can I do? thank u very much!

  9. Nick says:

    Dont they have any scholarships :/

  10. Sam says:

    Hey I am sam. I finished my MBA from UK, now I want to do my Phd from South Korea. can anyone suggest me a how to go for it. like when the enrollment procedure start, which is a better university for Phd in management. what about scholarships.
    do let me know please

  11. Hi I graduated from high school and I really want to study abroad in korea and sing to meet my idol

  12. Nunti says:

    I just want to share my experience. I applied for graduate admission for Fall 2014 but, unfortunately, I am not accepted. Although I really want to study Ph.D. at Korea like Korea University and have been trying my best to prepare myself before admission process , I cannot reach my goal.
    I have read this post many time because it encourage me about the application for Korean universities.
    I think that Korean language is very important for some department for example in department of Mass Communication which I applied. I think that Korean language is the main factor that I cannot be accepted.
    However, this post is very impressive and useful for everyone who want to study in Korea. I will apply again in Spring 2015.
    Fighting everyone!! ^_^

  13. Chingyi says:

    Hello! I am interested to have a student exchange program in Korea. Do you know which Korea university has the best business school? Thank you!

    • farzan says:

      Hello,my name is farzan and I am from Iran. I want to studying veterinary in Korea, and i was graduated from high school. please recommend me for good college for that,thank you.

  14. kiran gc says:

    I want to get admitted in Korean language program of SNU. How would i know when i have to apply for the admission. What are the criteria for those??

  15. Valeria says:

    Hello my name is valeria i am junior in highschool and thinking about studying in korea i was Wondering if we have to take basics and what it takes to be in qualified.

  16. Areum ssi says:

    A while ago we are reading in the internet what are the needs that we must comply in studying in korea and i said there that student must be studying for atleast 16 years, and needs a master or doctoral degree. and we was like: omo what are we going to do like we are still a grade10 students and our plan is to go to korea when we finished k-12. we feel so down but right after reading this, gawd this give me hope, is it really possible to study in korea after we graduate in grade12?

  17. Dirus Gideon says:

    Am very much interested in studying in korea will kindly like to know the following requirements.

  18. Priyanshu Ranjan says:

    I am Priyanshu Ranjan from India ,I want to do PHD from korea so what is requirement for PHD course and how to get admission in korea?

  19. Hafizur Rahman says:

    I am Hafiz from Bangladesh I want to admite the university of Seoul but low tution fees

  20. lolo says:

    does korean universities accep gcses

  21. Diana says:

    Hi , i am Diana and i graduated from korean high school and i want to apply for scholarship to korea university, what should I do?

  22. Nehal says:

    hi. i’m from somalia
    i just want to know how to apply schoolershibs universities in korea? i’m very interested to study there.

  23. Lobelia says:

    hi im from Philippines
    i just wanted to know how can i apply for scholarship for med course in Korea?

  24. md yeamin says:

    Ibis ambassador good hotel l want live

  25. md yeamim says:

    I want live in koreaKorea and l am student so l want Korea collage in education

  26. Charmaine kho says:

    I’m form malaysia , my wish is to be a dancer in korea.. So which college should i go..

  27. Sarah says:

    Hi I want to study Speech therapy in Korea and am hoping to admit into the fall semester next year. Does anyone know how to go about it? I have a diploma in biomedical science and I am from Singapore

  28. Beth says:

    Hi, my names Beth and I’m from the UK I really want to study in seoul and I would want to do something around performing; as that’s the only subject I’m really interested in. I’m confused on the whole process and don’t really know what to do… but I really want to study in Korea, could you help me please?

  29. Rita zuu says:

    I’m Rita Zuu from Liberia. How do I enter this university?

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