The basics
South Korea: Student Finances

Living costs in South Korea

Moving to another country for your studies might be unnerving at first but with our guide on living costs in South Korea, you can start your study abroad journey feeling prepared.

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The cost of living in South Korea is generally affordable compared to other desirable study destinations. That being said, the capital city of Seoul can be costly. The sum of money that you will need to study in South Korea also depends on your preferred standard of living and the financial choices you make. Hopefully, with our help you can gain a clear idea of the average living costs so that you can plan and budget accordingly in preparation for your studies.



Whilst South Korea is regarded as relatively inexpensive, rent will generally be the largest cost that you will need to pay. The average cost of a room in shared accommodation is KRW 500,000 (USD 420) per month. If you think this might be out of your price range, another popular option among students is to stay in a Goshiwon, which is similar to an off-campus residence. In this type of accommodation, you can expect to pay KRW 200,000 – 250,000 (USD 200-250) which is one of the most affordable options. Renting from a private landlord is generally more expensive and may involve further costs and charges that you would need to consider before signing a contract.



As an international student, you can buy a Korail Pass online which offers unlimited rail journeys as long as you travel on consecutive days:



You can also purchase a ‘select pass’ which allows you to travel on non-consecutive days as long as they fall within a 10-day period:


Persons aged between 13-25 can also receive a 20% discount which will allow you to save or spend the money elsewhere.



On top of basic rental cost, you will also need to pay for utilities which are estimated at KRW 85,000-242,000 (USD 70-200) which covers electricity, gas and water. Of course, this depends on how much you are using but this estimate can help give you an idea.


Other costs


As a student, having a reliable internet connection is vital and definitely an essential cost. On average, internet in South Korea will set you back KRW 28,083 per month.


Healthcare and medical insurance

Typically, students in South Korea were expected to pay KRW 100,000-110,000 (USD 85-94) for health and medical insurance. But as of July 2019, it is proposed that all foreign students who plan to stay in the country for six months or more will need to purchase national health insurance. This is expected to cost KRW 678,000 (USD 570) per year. However, it has been suggested that students could be exempt from this revised law.


Check out the below infographic for an idea of what you can expect to pay for everyday costs:



Now that you have some idea of living costs in South Korea, check out our guide on applying for a visa so that you are ready to move abroad for your studies. 

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About Author

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The Content Executive for Hotcourses Abroad, Lizzie will be writing helpful articles to support you all along your study abroad journey.