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. Diya says:

    Hi guys! i am Diya i am from India and i want to study in korea as a medical student ( Doctor), i am currently in 11. I wanted to ask how good is YONSEI university? and i am i bit confused if i can live there after i complete my studies?. Hope you can help. Thank you.

    • Hemant Vishal says:

      Hello diya !! Yes you can study medical over there at Korea ( south ) I’m myself am planning to do My UG in KAIST ( it’s a university ) …please be free to explore .
      Thank you

    • Akanksha says:

      Diya, I also want to pursue medicine in one of the SKY universities. I’m also in class 11. Do you have any information that could be helpful. Please reply. Contact me on: [email protected].
      Thank you.

    • Vaynu says:

      Hello everyone!! I’m also a class 11th BIO student, India. I was searching for one such comment ^^ I am also a medical aspirant and I wanted to do my UG in South Korea but unfortunately not much info is available on the internet to meet my curiosity… Anyway, I would love to help! And it would be great if you can provide me anything you’ve discovered? 🙂

    • isha says:

      I kind of did some search I found out that in Korea medical is expensive than commerce and humanities.
      After completing your course living there is difficult. getting a job over there is tough and very competitive.
      chill out as we Indians!

      • isha says:

        Yonsei University you have a nice choice. In Korea, if people ask you in which college are you in if you say Seoul national university they will think you are a good student.

    • Kalam says:

      Hi diya…
      I staying in korea now.i am Bangladeshi
      I can help you. If you want to study in korea contract me.
      My e-mail~ [email protected]

  2. kasaya says:

    hi friends im kasaya from Fiji i want 2 study in korea as a accounting manager…humbly waited for your gangs reply

  3. MakBlahsAlot says:

    Hi guys. My name is Dania.. and I am from Pakistan. I am currently in college. And I want to study Software Engineering in one of the top universities. I would like to know.. what grades are required for studying in SNU?

    • Hemant Vishal says:

      Hello , I’d rather ask you to try in KAIST as it is more rated university by QS with world standard tech too … plz be free to ask question.
      Thank you

  4. Juliet says:

    Hi I’m Juliet i want to study in Korea. I’m from Nigeria hope I will be welcome

    • Hemant Vishal says:

      Juliet I’m from India myself and am willing to study there . Please feel free to explore this world of opportunities

  5. rajshri says:

    Hi, I m rajshri from india, currently im doing architecture and im interested in doing masters in one of the top universities in korea and i would like to know the procedures for that.

    • Hemant Vishal says:

      I’d suggest you to get in contact with the KAIST admission team !! They’re a university of great importance and ranking in world level

      • Maddy says:

        KAIST admission team !!! please let me know about that how will get in touch with this team… i am Maddy and i am from pakistan … i want to study in korea .. i want to study fashion and designing there… please let me know about that team

  6. Lee says:

    Hello everyone..i am mahi from india..well you can call me lee so i really want to study in korea.I know average korean and i am on the verge of improving,i would like to get some suggestions,well i am interested in modeling or acting.. gamsahamnida

  7. Diana says:

    Hello I’m Diana from MN, USA
    And I want to studie as a doctorate in Korea university ~~~

  8. keiraEo says:

    Hi, I’m planning on doing a year long exchange to one of S.K.Y when I’m in my third year of university, what would you say the average monthly cost of living (food, housing, phone bills, etc.) are in Seoul? I need to work out if it will be feasible for me to be able to afford to make the exchange. Thank you in advance for any help!

    • Haelim says:

      Hey, you can check the cost of living on the website called Flying Chalks. There are lot of information about universities in Korea including SKY. Check it out!

  9. Ritu says:

    Plzz can u tell more about point 11

  10. Christie says:

    When I graduate high school, I will be 18. Since people in South Korea aren’t considered legal adults until the western age of 19, would this hinder my ability to live alone if I plan to attend college there? Would I even be admitted to move into the country until that age? I would like to know so that I can plan out the future for if I devide to attend one of these universities.

  11. Ahmad says:

    Hi my name is Ahmad I want to study medical in S.Korea but how much it want

  12. humbli,e says:

    Please I want to study in south Korea but no money, what will I do?

  13. humbline says:

    I want to study in south Korea but no money, what will I do?

  14. Naina says:

    Hello … everyone am from India and i have a huge interest in korean culture . I i want to study in medical (Doctor) in S.korea as am in grade 12 now so what exams and process should i follow to study there . please type a reply as soon as possible if anyone know the procedure. will be waiting for reply…

    • Akanksha says:

      Hey Naina, did you get any answer to your query. I’m Akanksha and I also want to pursue medicine in S.Korea. please help me out if you have any idea about the procedure and scholarships. Contact me at : [email protected]
      Please help me out. Thank you.

  15. Dixit Patel says:

    I am Dixit from Indan and i am planning to study in korea for HR management kindly suggest

  16. Rodeasha says:

    Hello my name is Rodeasha and I’m wondering is there any schools I can attend at the age of 16 years. But I am currently 13 years old so i dont know what to do. Please help me.

  17. Hi I’m Anupriya. I’m in 11th a commerce student (SP) which university is good for commerce in South Korea ? Should I do it after 12 or in 12th

  18. Cassie says:

    Hi im Cassie Im Indian and im in senior year of high school … i want to do fashion design in South Korea after my high school.
    Can you please tell me good universities for fashion design ?? Thank you ♡

  19. rain says:

    Hello my name is Rain and I am currently finishing my first 2 years of college in California. I am a biology major and was planning on taking a semester or two in Korea (possibly get some credits towards Korean language or culture). I was wondering if you would like to recommend me a university that has a great overall atmosphere and is quite open towards foreign students?

  20. tanisha bogati says:

    Hi……I m Tanisha bogati 4rm Nepal …..n I wan study in s.Korea…can I apply with ielts for bba

  21. Grace says:

    Hi I’m Grace, I live in the UK, I am interested in going to a university in South Korea, I’m so confused at the requirements, I do not know any Korean, and what is the overall costs like?
    many thanks x

  22. Oyelade Elizabeth says:

    Hi! Am Elizabeth from Nigeria. I’m actually aspiring for a masters degree in sociology in SNU and I couldn’t get much information to help me apply. Can u guys pls be of help?

  23. Chanoa says:

    I want to work in the music industry can someone tell me which university best fit my needs.

  24. Tina says:

    Hi, I’m Tina, coming from Croatia, and I’m interested in studying landscape architecture in Korea. Does anyone know of some good universities for that field of study?

  25. semonti says:

    Hi! I am Semonti from India. I’m actually aspiring for a masters degree in electrical engineering in SNU from 2018 and I couldn’t get much information about availability of part-time jobs in Seoul. And what is the acceptance rate of foreign students in SNU? Can any1 help me wid the above 2 queries?

  26. Erika says:


    I have a question, do I need permission of the university for being in a photo shoot or for tutoring? or I just need permission if implies a contract?

  27. Chayma1220 says:

    Hi i am chayma from tunisia and the comming year will be my graduating year from highachool i intend to study medecine in a korean university and i have many questions, currently i am studying korean by myself and i am thinking if there is an equivalent to korean sat for foreign students and would it be helpful and facilitate my studies there or what should i do hhh
    Hope you help me i ll be so grateful thank you in advance ^^

  28. Muna says:

    Hey guy! My name is Muna and I’m from the United States, I want to study psychology in Korean and hopefully live there. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

  29. lily says:

    Hi guys
    I hold MS degree in Electronic Engineering and wanna come to Korea as a PHD candidate in Sejong University. Do u think this uni has a good rank or suitable for staying in Korea and find a good job position. By the way I have a daughter which study in high school. would it be possible to enroll her in Korea’ high school and would it be free? Thank s

  30. palak rawat says:

    hello everyone , i am palak from india . i m in 12 th right now and want to do software engineering in korea but in english language . is this even possible? if yes then pls tell me how . i am gonna complete my 12th soon and i m just 15 yrs old . so i wanna be sure that my age will not create any hinderance while taking admission in korean universities.

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