Want to Study Abroad in Korea? 14 Things to Expect – Seoulistic

Want to Study Abroad in Korea? 14 Things to Expect

Studying in Korea is a great experience, especially if you’re interested in a foreign culture and language. And attending university in Korea is a great choice for anyone looking to expand their horizons. If you’re thinking about studying abroad in Korea, here’s 14 things you can expect about universities in Korea!

1) Korean Universities Want You!

Korean universities are becoming increasingly competitive when it comes to enrolling foreigner students in attempts to meet global standards. Foreign students are a good source of revenue for universities. But more than that, they want you because foreign students help improve the university’s image on a global scale. Universities are also allowed to accept as many foreign students as they want (whereas the Ministry of Education sets quotas for how many Korean native students can be enrolled). This means that foreign students are in high demand in nearly all Korean schools. However…

2) You May Have to Speak Korean

If you want to attend an exchange program (through your home university) or are enrolling in a masters program, English will be enough to enroll at most universities in Korea. If you want to enroll as a general student, however, you will need to have a decent level of Korean proficiency. Most Korean universities will want you to have a TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean) score of at least 4 or better (which is the equivalent to intermediate proficiency). For masters programs it’s pretty much the same, but some will give you a bit of wiggle room depending on your intended field of study (i.e. if your major is going to have something to do with English, Korean Language, or English education). Even with that…

3) Between 25-30% of your classes will be taught in English

To meet global education standards, many classes in Korean universities are taught in English. This is true of nearly every major (Korean Language possibly being the only exception). These professors will be teaching in English, but might not have the best English, so Korean proficiency will still benefit you in the long-run when you ask your fellow students for help. The main motivation for many Korean students to learn English is to either obtain a good TOEIC score or to just be able to understand what their teachers are saying in lectures. On the bright side…

4) Tuition and housing are, comparatively, cheap!

Especially if you are coming here from the United States. The average for one year’s tuition in a Korean university is 6.7 million won (approx. $6,000). For on campus housing it will only cost you about 700 thousand won ($625). Compared to an average tuition cost of $22,000 for one year of college in America and suddenly learning Korean and getting to this side of the planet just became a LOT more reasonable!

5) Not all Korean universities are created equal

Every Korean high schooler goes to sleep thinking of three letters and three letters only: S.K.Y. These letters stand for the traditionally top three universities in Korea: Seoul National University, Korea University, and Yonsei University. And even if the SKY Universities might not be the best for the major you pursue, the brand name degree from one of these three schools (especially SNU) will have you pretty much set for a successful life in Korea. If you’re planning to continue living in Korea and pursuing a career here, however, being a foreigner graduate from any Korean university will be a huge stepping stone to getting your life started in Korea.

6) Partying Hard…

Life as a Korean college student is an intense balancing act. Korean students have become extremely accustomed to a life of studying non-stop after high school. Come college time many of them are living outside of the house for the first time and/or suddenly have WAY less pressure on them to constantly be studying and taking classes. This means one thing: partying. Korean college students party just as hard and possibly more often than the students in your home country, which sometimes leads to…

7) Partying Hard with Upperclassmen

Korean high schools rarely mix the class levels, so many students are for the first time in their lives being in environments with various ages. Combine that with traditional Korean hierarchy, and upperclassman come to have plenty of opportunities for mischief. Underclassmen see their upperclassmen as mentors and guides and will pretty much do whatever their seniors say they should. This includes drinking and partying until the wee hours. Conversely…

(Are you a high school student looking to apply to university in Korea? Here’s how to get into universities in Korea.)

Margaret has been living and working in Seoul since 2011. Originally hailing from the United States (Maine and Tennessee, to be precise) she’s more than found a home amongst the wonders of Seoul. She eats more kimbap that could possibly be healthy for her and has a bad habit of bursting into KPop songs to which she does not know even 80% of the lyrics. Check out her blog at margarettriesbeing.com for more in-depth (that is to say, rambling) articles on Seoul How-To’s, Survival Tips, and excessive use of animated gifs.


  1. colorful eat says:

    Any course related to commerce in south korea? Please advise me.

  2. Priyana Panta says:

    Are there any international students here studying in Cheju Halla University?? If yes, how is the facilities there like study, hostel and everything else?

  3. Neal Weisel says:

    He was prepared in his undergraduate degree to be able to
    create new mathematics or work as a part of a scientific group in trade https://math-problem-solver.com/ .
    Analysis shows that to be fluent in math, children should be capable to precisely reply math questions within 2 seconds.

  4. Chinwe says:

    Please, I want to apply for my masters degree program in South Korea, how do I go about with it?

  5. suraj pandey says:

    Is korean language is necesarry

    • Lucy Jung says:

      You don’t need to know fluently Korean but you should and I highly recommend that you get used to knowing Hangul and reading it. Depending on your classes and schools, it should be pretty basic Korean. If you’re planning on moving to South Korea then I would probably recommend having a Korean Dictionary/Guide with you or an app on your phone.

    • haJaR says:

      YES; at least the basices to know how to make a simple phrase u can learn it ther in korea for 6mouths

  6. suhaila c-s says:

    I want to study psychology in Korea at Yonsei University. I am Australian and in year 10 with average marks will I be able to make it to university with average marks? can I enter when I am 19 years old? right after year 12?

    • Ck says:

      Yes, you can. In korea student enter university with 18. You will have no problems, but it depends on the ranking of the uni. You may considere not the top 3 then because it’s hard to get in. Otherwise you may need to have Korean language skills. I would recommend you to go to Korea for 1 year language training and then to uni. The reason when you speak Korean even a little your chance increase a lot to get accepted. Plus you won’t have many troubles with getting adjusted to Korean life. It’s just the experience of my friend and I.

  7. Zara says:

    Do I have to learn Korean for enrolling in Hongik?

  8. Manuval Joseph says:

    I would like to know about agriculture masters degree in South Korea… How can I join for above degree in Korea?

  9. Ramjit says:

    I can’t speak Korean language . But I want to study in Korea how can I study in Korea . please can you give me any advice about you

  10. K says:

    Is Korea a safe country to study in . Is it worth it to study there? I’m thinking of doing my ug there and higher studies somewhere else. Do you think it’s worth it . I’m currently in 11 th commerce and I’m thinking of studying psychology in Korea. Thank you please do let me know.

  11. Sk says:

    I got 55.6% in 12th.i want to study b.tech in korea ….. what are the requirements i need to fullfil

  12. Shy_Shy says:

    What if you don’t know any Korean is their a chance you can still get in and study their.

  13. Reginald says:

    what is the average tuition cost of phd in korea

  14. Yun Seungmin says:

    Hi everyone. It’s Yun Seungmin from Seoul South Korea. I am a student studying at Seoul National University from past 2 years. I am Korean. To my dearest friends who wanna come over here to South Korea, to those I say your decision will be amongst the best you have had taken in your life. South Korea holds many opportunities for foreign students. The SKY(short form of Seoul National University, Korean National University and Yonsei University) usually cost around 6.3 million Won to 10 million Won ( Around 6,300 US $ to 10,000 us$.

  15. Ora says:

    I’m leaving in a few weeks to study at Inha University and wanted to ask how much money (if any) did you have with you when you first arrived? I want to have some when I’m at the airport, but I don’t know how much is enough⁠—or too much.

  16. Naran says:

    I have paas +2 with 41%
    I want to study in korea for bachelor

  17. Trilochanaa says:

    at what age can you enter university/ college at Korea?

  18. Shahkhbozbek says:

    I want to study medicine at seoul university? What I to do for this?

  19. Shahkhbozbek says:

    I want to study medicine at seoul university? What I to
    do for this?

  20. Ruth Nyanamah Gbatoe says:

    How do I benefit from your services?

  21. Anthony Mendy says:

    I want to study sound engineering in South korea

  22. Rachel Roberts says:

    Im 28 and I want to finish my bachelor degree in physical therapy in Korea. Will they say I’m to old to attend any university?

  23. Suruchi Acharya says:

    Hello I am from India and currently I am studying 2nd year of electronics and telecommunication engineering and for Btech I really want to study in south korea for that what I have to do?

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