Want to Study Abroad in Korea? 14 Things to Expect – Page 2 – Seoulistic

Want to Study Abroad in Korea? 14 Things to Expect

8) I get by with a little help from my sunbae!

Sunbae (affectionate term for upperclassmen) will often treat their hubae (underclassmen) to lunches, drinks, and dinners in which they shower the junior they’ve taken under their wing with advice and lend a sympathetic ear. This is called naeri sarang (descending love). Sunbae take their jobs very seriously and expect their hubae to call them whenever they are having any trouble. This can be especially helpful when broke and looking for a yummy meal.

Here’s another post on what it means to be an oppa, unnie, noona, hyeong (older in Korea).

9) Part Time Jobs!

Many Korean university students also work part-time to help pay for their tuition or to help pay for their weekend high jinks. Universities themselves hire a large number of their own students to help out with various jobs around campus. As a foreigner, many unique work opportunities on campus will be open to you, but many jobs off campus might be harder to get. But, if all else fails, tutoring is always a viable option.

10) Fun Dating Culture, University Student Style

In Korea, it’s not common to just walk up the hottie sitting next to you in econ and slyly pass them your number with a slick nod and smooth utterance of “call me.” No sir. Most Korean college students have either dedicated themselves to achieving the perfect TOEIC score (Test of English for International Communities) or will only meet possible significant others through their friends. The most common way for Korean university students to meet prospective significant others is in group dates called “meeting.” A group of girl friends will go with a group of guy friends and feel out who matches with who. Usually, there’s no pressure, and is just a fun time out with a group of boys and girls playing drinking games and feeling each other out. Then there’s the more private sogaeting, which is a blind date set up by your friends. Student organizations are also used as places for young singles to meet. But, if you upset the wrong person…

11) Transferring between universities is extremely difficult

And getting harder. For Korean students, the Korean ministry of education sets the number of students that will be allowed to transfer each year. This is because most students desire only to transfer to a school better than their current one. For a foreigner, you need to have attended a university for at least two years before you can attempt to transfer into a Korean university. Transferring between Korean universities, as a foreigner, is not a common procedure and would mean the requirements would be the same as freshman entrance into a university.


If you are considered a Korean national (dual citizenship)…

12) Koreans can’t major in just any thing they want.

This is only true for Koreans. As a Korean, once you’ve obtained entrance into a Korean school your testing days are not over. You’ll also have to take what is called the “entrance exam.” This exam determines what majors you are qualified to pursue. Even if you are extremely passionate about becoming an engineer if your test scores say you don’t have the basic mathematic score, you won’t be permitted to enter that field of study. If your scores say you’re best for accounting and not education, you either have to toughen up and play the hand you’re dealt, or go to a different university.

13) You’ll need at least one major and one minor.

Most Korean college students have one major and one minor. Most of the time it’s a minor within the college you’re majoring in, like an Economics major also minoring in Sociology. This often means that you’ll have a good deal more coursework than you might have experienced in your home country. (This is the system in S.K.Y. schools, but it might be less demanding in other universities)


14) Adapt, React, Readapt

Don’t try to live your Korean student life in the same way you lived as a student in your own country. The ability to adapt and adjust to Korean student life is the key to success in a Korean university. You will experience culture shock, no matter how much you’ve studied up or how many KDramas you’ve watched, but living through it and overcoming it is far from impossible. Just learn to go with the flow and roll with the punches and your life as a Korean university student is sure to be a pleasant one!

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

Hopefully now you are up to speed on what it’s like to be a Korean university student. What’s it like being a foreign student in your country? Leave us a message in the comments below!

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

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