There are Korean universities for international students, they have been listed and discussed in this blog post to assist students who want to study abroad or specifically in Korea. This article serves as a guide to such students.
International study can be exciting and adventurous and comes with numerous benefits including having access to a high-quality education which seems like the main advantage of studying abroad. I recently published an article discussing the benefits of studying abroad which will give you more reasons why you should study in a foreign country.
You should also understand that studying abroad isn’t as rosy as it sounds, there are also disadvantages that come with it such as adapting to a new culture, food, and weather would be an issue in the beginning, there’s also language barrier thingy and being lonely for a while before making friends. Studying abroad is also expensive unless you manage to get your hands on some international scholarship that will support your tuition.
This blog post on Korean universities for international students may seem kind of confusing to you because there is North Korea and South Korea but let me clear the air.
North Korea has a lot of restrictions on its citizens and foreigners so going to study here would pose a lot of problems to you. North Korea has only two universities, the Kim II Sung University and the Kin Chaek University of Technology neither of which are ranked on any official university ranking platforms.
If you do decide to study here, not only will your life be miserable, you’re limited to Korean Language Studies.
However, South Korea is the direct opposite of North Korea and doesn’t pose any restrictions on its citizens or foreigners, and going to study here would offer you the best adventure and high-quality education. You can select any program of your choice ranging from business and medicine to economics and engineering.
Universities in South Korea are consistently ranked in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and it is one of the most popular study destinations in Asia and in the world. The South Koreans take education – especially higher education – very seriously and this makes their schools competitive to get into.
The programs in South Korea are taught in the English language so as an international student aspiring to study at one of the universities, you have to take one of the internationally accepted English language proficiency tests such as the IELTS or TOEFL. Over 70% of the population in South Korea are fluent English speakers, so language shouldn’t be an issue for you.
How much does it cost to study in South Korea?
The tuition for international and domestic students in South Korea is the same, ranging from $4,000 to $20,000 annually. There are also various scholarships provided by the government and institutions to assist the funding of both international and domestic students.
Although I can’t give an estimated cost of living in South Korea as it largely depends on your lifestyle but living costs in the country are relatively lower compared to other developed countries. The internet services are cheap and the accommodation is also affordable. The estimated cost of living in South Korea is about $300 per month, covering rent and groceries.
Are Korean universities good for international students?
Yes, Korean universities are good for international students. They are consistently ranked the best in Asia and among the best in the world.
Do South Korean universities teach in English?
Korea University has more than 40% of all classes offered in English while Seoul University has somewhere between 10 to 20% of its courses taught in English.
How much does it cost to study in Korea as a foreigner?
Studying in Korea as a foreigner costs an average of $4,350 per semester for public universities and $5,800 to $7,000 for private and top Seoul Universities.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the top Korean Universities for international students.
South Korean Universities for International Students
Below are the lists of best Korean universities for international students listed in no particular order;
- Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
- Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)
- Yonsei University
- Seoul National University (SNU)
- Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)
- Korea University (KU)
- Hanyang University (HYU)
- Sejong University
- Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST)
- Kyung Hee University (KHU)
1. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology was established in 1971, it is one of the best South Korean universities for international students, nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in innovations, entrepreneurship, and science & technology. It was established by the Korean government as a research-intensive institution for science and engineering and also the first in the country.
KAIST houses 5 colleges, 7 schools, and 13 graduate schools offering courses in interesting and advanced areas like Entertainment Engineering and Eco-Energy. Over 600 international students are admitted annually and nearly 80% of the courses are taught in English. Aside from being the first research-oriented university in South Korea, it is 9th on QS Asia University Rankings.
The admission requirements and tuition fees vary by degree and program of study, the links below will provide you with further details.
2. Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)
The Pohang University of Science and Technology is one of the best South Korean universities for international students. It was established in 1986 as a private research university in Pohang, South Korea by POSCO, a steel company. It is 6th on the QS National University Rankings and 24th on QS Asian University Ranking.
POSTECH admission is highly competitive admitting only 323 students from its freshman admission application in 2014. The institution provides the highest educational investment and the most per-student scholarship support in Korea, allowing students from all walks of life the opportunity to obtain a POSTECH education.
POSTECH has 11 Sci-Tech departments and 73 research centers where it trains specialist engineers.
3. Yonsei University
Yonsei University located in Seoul, Korea is the oldest and one of the best private Korean universities for international students, as well as for domestic students. The institution is deemed as one of the three most prestigious institutions in the country and particularly respected in the studies of medicine and business administration.
Yonsei University has 18 undergraduate colleges and schools, 16 postgraduate schools, and is affiliated with 5 hospitals that train medical students. Through these schools and colleges, the university offers comprehensive graduate and undergraduate programs in almost every discipline.
It has 2 campuses, one in Sichon and the international campus in Songdo, Incheon both internationally renowned for their beauty and conduciveness.
4. Seoul National University (SNU)
Since 1946, Seoul National University has been Korea’s premier university for international students, setting the bar for academic achievement in the country. It is a member of the famous SKY universities, a three-member league among Korea’s most distinguished universities. It contains 16 colleges that offer 83 undergraduate programs covering everything from Humanities to Medicine to Engineering. It also has 12 graduate schools that offer 99 postgraduate degrees.
Its professional graduate programs offer hands-on training in subjects such as Data Science and Public Administration. There are over 700 English-taught courses, and the number is growing every year. SNU is also noted for its cutting-edge research, particularly in the fields of engineering and natural sciences. It is considered as one of the top Korean universities for international students, it has incredibly competitive admission rates, and is known to ace world university rankings.
5. Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)
SKKU is a private university that has been in existence since 1398. It offered Confucian canon and Chinese classics studies as the Joseon Dynasty’s highest educational institution. It is not only East Asia’s oldest university, but it is also considered one of the greatest in the region. It has campuses in Suwon (Natural Sciences) and central Seoul (Humanities & Social Sciences).
SKKU offers special programs such as the International Summer Semester and the Winter International Student Experience because of its large number of international students. It also provides a Global MBA, which is the country’s first English-taught MBA program. Sungkyunkwan University has a large number of international students, which is why it is listed here as one of the finest Korean universities for international students.
The amenities in the school include the SKKU Learning Factory where students can learn creative ideas through 3D printers, laser cutters, etc. also include sports facilities, and a massive library.
6. Korea University (KU)
Korea University is a private university in Seoul, South Korea that is regarded among the best in the country. It is the “K” in SKY – the abbreviation for three of the country’s most distinguished institutions – and was founded in 1905. It was the first institution in the country to offer courses in Law, Journalism, and Economics.
Korean University is one of the best Korean Universities for international students, it has 17 colleges and schools with 81 academic departments that offer a wide range of academic programs such as Law, Business, Liberal Arts, Education, Nursing, International Studies, Mechatronics, Media & Communication, Engineering, Medicine, Biotechnology, Political Science and Economics, Informatics, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Health Science.
More than 4,000 international students are enrolled in various programs at the institution and are continuously increasing. Admission into Korean University is highly competitive with an admission rate only a little above 5%.
7. Hanyang University (HYU)
Established in 1939 as an engineering institute, Hanyang University makes it on this list of top South Korean Universities for international students. It is a leading higher institution in Korea, especially in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Graduate and undergraduate programs are offered in a diverse study field with its engineering programs ranking the highest in Korea in many university evaluations.
HYU has campuses in Seoul and Ansan (ERICA), the Seoul campus offers programs in Medicine, Humanities, Policy, Economics, Business, Education, Music, Performing Arts, Nursing, and International Studies. While the ERICA campus handles Engineering, Business, Sports & Arts, Science, Language, Communication, Pharmacy, Design, and Advertisement programs.
8. Sejong University
Formerly known as Kyung Sung Humanities Institute and founded in 1947, Sejong University is a private university in Seoul, South Korea. It was renamed to honor Sejong the Great and his contributions to the development of the Korean alphabet, Hangul. In the field of Hospitality and Tourism Management, SJU is well-known.
The university is also proud of its animation, dancing, and rhythmic gymnastics studies. It contains 9 colleges which are the colleges of Liberal Arts, Social Science, Business Administration, Hospitality Management, Engineering, Natural Science, Life Science, Electronics & Information Engineering, and Arts & Physical Education which cover a wide range of subjects.
Graduate courses in the fields of Business, Public Policy, Education, Tourism, Industry, and Interdisciplinary Arts are also offered.
9. Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST)
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology is a new science and technology research university founded in 2007 in response to the increased demand for experts in Ulsan, Korea’s industrial hub. In just a short period of time, the institution has established an international reputation in a variety of fields.
UNIST contains 13 science and engineering departments, as well as a business school and four specialty graduate schools. Advanced materials and next-generation energy are the focus of its current research. The school prompts interdisciplinary education, in which students and teachers study two different areas of study.
It is one of the top Korean universities for international students and is looking for foreign students.
10. Kyung Hee University (KHU)
Finally on the list of Korean universities for international students is the Kyung Hee University. It is a private higher education institution founded in 1949 with campuses in Seoul and Suwon. Also, the university is part of an academic system that provides education from kindergarten to graduate studies. Its College of Medicine is eminent in traditional Korean medicine and other medical practices in Asia.
KHU has 16 graduate schools that offer masters and doctorate courses, its undergraduate colleges specialize in the fields of Humanities, Law, Politics, Management, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, Music, Fine Arts, Dance, Engineering, International Studies, Foreign Language, and Physical Education, among many others.
This brings an end to the top South Korean universities for international students and I hope it provides you with all the details you need and in general, have been of great help for your study abroad pursuit.
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Thaddaeus is a lead content creator at SAN with over 5 years of experience in the field of professional content creation. He has written several helpful articles for Blockchain projects in the past and even recently but since 2020, he has been more active in creating guides for students who want to study abroad.
When he's not writing, he's either watching anime, making a delicious meal, or definitely swimming.