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The basics
South Korea: Destination Guides - Must read

Why study in South Korea?

Are you curious about studying abroad in South Korea? Here’s everything you need to know about one of the most unique countries for international students…

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1. Demand for international students

The South Korean Government established a plan in 2015 to bring 200,000 international students to the country by 2023. In 2018, a record number of foreign students enrolled in South Korean universities. There was a 19% increase according to the National Institute for International Education. More specifically, South Korea enrolled 142,000 international students last year up from 123,000 the year before. This is a far larger figure than the 12,000 students who chose South Korea for their studies 15 years ago.  


A range of incentives are offered to students coming to South Korea for their studies. For example, students can work up to 20 hours in term time and for an unlimited period during holidays. Tuition fees are also the same for internationals and native South Koreans, making South Korea a more affordable study abroad option compared with other destinations.


In general, South Korea is a relatively cheap country. A meal at a restaurant will set you back on average WON 7,100- the equivalent to USD 6. So, it can be easy to slot into the South Korean lifestyle, without too much worry over your finances.


2. Unique culture

From K-pop to Korean cinema, Korean popular culture is an enticing draw for foreign students. South Korea’s capital city, Seoul, has grown into a bustling metropolitan area, with massive skyscrapers and advanced transportation, but has not lost the charm of Korean tradition.



No matter where you decide to study in South Korea, the food will be amazing and you will be immersed in the rich traditions of this country, which date back thousands of years. Plus, because of the developed transportation systems throughout the country, you can easily travel between sprawling cities and tiny mountainous villages, or even to volcanic islands! The opportunities in South Korea are endless.


Click here to read more about living in South Korea.


3. World-class universities

Three big universities for Korean students are Seoul National UniversityKorea University, and Yonsei University, which boast strong programmes and high post graduate employment rates. These universities get a lot of recognition, but universities like the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Sungkyunkwan University are just as respectable and sought after. There are also 31 South Korean universities in the Times Higher World University Rankings 2020, reinforcing the world-class reputation of South Korean institutions.


With increased focus and spending on higher education South Korea are aiming to produce better qualified graduates and compete in the global economy. The universities in South Korea are serious about education, and there are few places in Asia that can provide the same opportunities as South Korea.


Here's more information on applying to Korean universities!


4. Strong economy

Known as one of the ‘Asian tigers’, South Korea is Asia’s fourth-largest economy, offering plenty of opportunities for graduates looking to find work after university. South Korea’s largest industries include electronics, telecommunications, chemicals and vehicle manufacturing, to name a few. South Korea is also home to world-famous companies such as Samsung, Hyundai and KPMG. English speakers are particularly sought-after in South Korea and many students stay after graduation to teach English as a foreign language.



5. Proximity to other Asian countries

 If you want to study abroad, then you’re probably interested in doing a bit of travelling during your degree. South Korea is ideally located close by to other Asian countries such as Japan and China. You could take a two-hour flight from Seoul to Tokyo and experience a different Asian culture and lifestyle.



Don't forget to explore South Korea itself though! The country is quite small and so short trips aren’t going to affect your university attendance. While the capital city of Seoul is home to more than half of the entire population of South Korea, there are many other regions with beautiful scenery.