How To Get Into Korean Colleges – Seoulistic

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. Celestina says:

    I’m Celestina pls how can I study in Korea with scholarship, what are the requirements.

  2. Celestina says:

    Please let me know all the things I need to do, how fast

    • Holly says:

      Hey, I am from the uk, and I am 16 years old, I am coming closer and closer to exams everyday, I am
      trying my best to improve my Korean, but I am not perfect and what I mean about that is I hardly know enough for Korean, I need to learn the money and find out what college I need to go to!!!
      Any recommendations, I would love to be a game designer, then need to be able to speak English ( but I will try my best to improve) any suggestions?!?!?

      • Ayah Kathem says:

        to get better at Korean is to practice a lot. You need to take in consideration that what you’re learning is a whole different language. Find videos that will teach you the Koreans money and their ways of spending it. Ask your teacher your teacher to see if she can put a good recommendation for you.

  3. Ye Myat Oo says:

    What requirements I need to get admit in one of the South Korea’s collages

  4. Aiza Ali says:

    it was reealy helpful i have one question that what grades are accepted by korean universities in general? for students who completed A levels thanks

  5. Shruchi says:

    i want to join the beauty school in korea and i haven’t graduated 12 grade of nepal in management. Can I apply for the beauty school in korea?

  6. Shruchi says:

    I want to join the beauty school in korea but I haven’t graduated 12 grade of nepal in management. Can I apply for the beauty school in korea?

  7. Elysse says:

    I really want to go to a medical korean college that teaches english. I’m not even sure if I want to major in the medical field, but for the sake of wanting to live in korea i would be okay at majoring in english to be an english teacher too. Are there any colleges that teach in english that are not too hard to get into? Thanks!

    • Imane says:

      Hi Elysse
      I have done some reacher because I want to apply to a Korean medical uni in English too
      But in Korea there are not medical university thought in English that is why I asked in my post what I have to study since here in Italy whe have to take a test with a lot of subject into it.. like math,biology, chemistry… and I was wondering if I have to study them with the Korean language..
      and that will be really impossible!! ?

      • nadia says:

        Yes there are universities that teach in english. i have done a lot of research about seoul national university and they don’t oblige you to take the TOPIK test (korean language test) but it will better to learn some korean before you go there. So to get admitted in that uni you NEED the toefl test (english one). Btw even i am planning to do the medical university and im from italy too.

        • Nory says:

          I am an IG student now and I want to go to a (medical) Korean university so I want to know what are the average grades that most of the Korean universities need

        • Syahirah says:

          Hi, among the researches you have made,were there anything you found about malaysian persuing studies in kore?i am interested in persuing mine in korea,i am a malaysian.i wonder if they accept malaysian matriculation programma graduates…

  8. APALA says:

    Thank you for the invaluable information.

  9. hi
    i want to join in south korea college on humanities. how can i apply?? please let me know…

  10. Steveann Maye says:

    HI. Quick question did you have to pay to attend university in korea?

  11. Fasan oluwakemi says:

    I dont know who h school to choose

  12. Imane says:

    Hiii… I read you post and it was so useful!!! Thanks
    But I have some doubts.. I want to go to a Korean medical university and I just have finished the high school.. so I have to apply for the undergraduate program right???
    And what tests I have to take as a foreigner to get into a medical university??? Because I asked a lot of times the uny but they didn’t answered me with information that could help me understand more!!
    I really hope that you could answer me because it so frustrating to just not understand what I have to do and for what exames I have to prepare myself!!!
    Waiting for you answer

  13. Deanne says:

    Hi guys! I presume that applying to a Korean university is like applying to any school – think about how you applied to a local school. First, you look for a school. Second, you research what college program you want to take. Third, check the deadlines and the requirements for admission in the university (you can check on the school’s website or you can email the university). Fourth, develop a budget – this not only includes expenses for the tuition bus as well as food, accommodation, transportstion, miscellaneous expenses. Lastly, you apply.

    This is not an easy task. You will have to spend hours and hours on researchig and applying. But if you really want it, don’t give up and file the application.

  14. Hyeri says:

    How old do you have to be to apply? I would like to go into linguistics but I’m only a sophomore in High School but I’ll gladly do whatever I can to go study in Korea.

  15. Leydi says:

    Hi, I’m Leydi and I am a junior in high school. I would like to study at Hongik University but I am confused of what I need to do in order to prepare myself. Do I have to submit my letter of recommendation now? And what college program should I pick? Please help me out so I can start preparing. Thank you!

  16. Mitchell says:

    I’m a high school student in Australia who wants to study teaching English in Korea, do you know where I could find out which Universities are running the courses I’ll require with English lectures?
    This article has calmed my nerves quite a lot, thank youuuuu

  17. Seanna Savage says:

    Hello, to anyone who may respond. So my freshman year of high school didn’t go too well and I’m just curious as to if because of my freshman year.. will my chances of getting accepted into any Korean university become tiny?

  18. Naaz Hossain says:

    Hi I am Naaz Hossain. I am a Class 12 student preparing for boards the next year. I have a plan to apply in Konkuk University under the Commerce Faculty but I don’t know what to do? I do have some financial problems and am under the age 18 . So Can I still apply for the university? And how can I do so ? And how can I get financial support ? Plz help

  19. Moriba M Kamara says:

    Am interesting studying in korea. Can i get detail information about the requirements fir admission and how much per semester.

  20. tripti says:

    what is the process of getting admission through sports and do colleges in korea have sports scholarship ? please reply asap

  21. Rida says:

    Hi. I’m from India and I’m looking to get into Either SNU or yonsei uni. But will I have to take the topik test? And if I fail, I can still be accepted right? If I want to major in bio for animals and zoology then are these universities a good option?. I’m really stuck and I would we all live some help. Thank you

  22. Nafisa says:

    Please can you explain the process of korean government scholarship program ? And how to apply for it ….ect.

  23. Hailey says:

    Hi does anyone know if there are community colleges for English speakers in South Korea specifically Seoul?

  24. major chibisa says:

    am a Malawian citizen,i wish and willing to study I korea. engineering study

  25. Kim Guech says:

    Hii im from Cambodia and i wanted to know if there is any scholarship for high school grade 11??

  26. Hi,I am from Liberia and a graduating Senior in building construction engineering from Stella Maris university by next year August and l want to enroll at one of the Korean university to read electrical engineering and I want to start my enrollment process for next year but I don’t know how to commence the process. As for the the university, I will like to enroll at the Korea university. Sir can you please help me with the procedures for enrollment

  27. Varsha says:

    Hey, hello buddy I am varsha from India and currently I am in 11th standard . From my childhood I am big fan of Korean culture . The first which atract me to korea is k dramas and bts . And after my research I came to know that korea is counted in top 10 country’s for educational system . And now it’s my dream to enrolled in korean medical University . But the problem is high cost of living in Korea so kindly tell me the scholership criterias , process etc etc …… I hope you will help me buddy

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