Top 10 Korean Universities for International Students

Hey! How about studying abroad in Korea, eh? You can learn all about the Korean universities for international students in this blog and be one step closer to achieving your dream.

I watch a lot of travel videos because it is my dream to travel around the world one day and document my travels not just that but I also find travel videos very exciting, interesting, and educative. Boy, there really are amazing and weird cultures and food out there, they seem so strange to me that I can’t even wrap my head around them but then no matter how strange the food looks, I always look forward to trying them out one day.

My favorite travel vlogger is Drew Binsky, I’ve watched nearly all of his videos. I love how detailed the guy is when documenting and narrating his travel experience. Of all his travel vlogs, one that will forever stick to my memory is his experience traveling and living in South Korea. In fact, travel vlogs on South Korea stick in my head and if you’ve watched one then you will know what I am talking about.

South Korea is not just any developed nation, it is a beautiful place with advanced technology that makes you think that you are watching a sci-fi movie but no, it is actually real. The use of technology in this country is top-tier, maybe on par with China and Japan. And you know what still surprises me? Koreans, with all their cutting-edge technology, still hold, in high esteem, their cultures from thousands of years ago and practice them to this day.

Korea is a culturally rich, tech-advanced country to describe it one word. They look like they are in the future (maybe they are) while the rest of the world is just following behind.

My excitement about Korea has gotten ahold of me and I nearly forgot that this is an article on Korean universities for international students and not “About Korea”. But then, if you are considering studying abroad in Korea, then you should know some important things about the country as I have described above, don’t you think?

After advanced tech and culture, the next thing Korea is known for is its education followed by its K-pop & K-drama industry, cosmetic industry, and cuisine. Do you know that this country has one of the toughest exams in the world? This exam is the Suneung or College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT), a national-level exam for Korean high school students. This exam is the most important milestone in the life of every Korean.

South Korea isn’t just a place of advanced technology and strange cuisines, it is home to some of the best and most advanced universities consistently ranked top in the world by Times Higher Education and the US News & World Report platforms. Korea is also 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.

So, if you are considering going to Korea to study, you are on the right track and this list of Korean universities for international students curated here will draw you one step closer to your goal. As a student here, you get to enjoy the best adventure and high-quality education. You can select any program of your choice ranging from business and medicine to economics and engineering.

The universities in Korea that accept international students offer English-taught academic programs as well as in the official language, Korean. International students who wish to enroll in English-taught programs are required to take one of the internationally accepted English language proficiency tests such as the IELTS or TOEFL. Also, more than 70% of the population in South Korea are fluent English speakers, so language shouldn’t be an issue for you.

How Much is Tuition in South Korea for International Students?

The tuition fee in South Korea for international students is about 6.8 million South Korean won per year. But you don’t have to pay all the fees from your pocket, there are Korean scholarships for international students that you can apply for and receive financial support for your education.

Are Universities in Korea Good for International Students?

Universities in Korea are consistently ranked among the best in Asia and the world for their competitive academic programs. So, yes, universities in Korea are a great place for international students to develop their potential to the fullest and be ready for career success.

Do South Korean Universities Teach in English?

Yes, there are English-taught courses across Korean universities. Part of this is to attract global learners. The slides below are answers from Quora regarding the question above.

    The people who provided these answers provided them from their experience of studying/studied or teaching in South Korean universities. Therefore, their input is very important and will help you in making better decisions.

    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 Rankings.

    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 one of the three most prestigious institutions in the country and is 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 one of the top Korean universities for international students, 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 this is 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. At the same time, the ERICA campus handles Engineering, Business, Sports and 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 developing 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, the institution has established an international reputation in various 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 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 master’s and doctorate courses, and 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.


    Which Korean university is the cheapest for international students?

    Chonnam National University is the cheapest university in Korea for international students

    Can international students work in South Korea?

    To work in South Korea on an international student visa, you must obtain prior permission from the Global Services Center (GSC) and the immigration office to work outside the university. Before starting working, prepare the ‘Part-Time Work of Foreign Student Confirmation Form’ with other supporting documents for approval.