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Best Universities for students wanting to study in South Korea

South Korea has become one of the most prominent study destinations in Asia, owing to the pop culture influence that it has created on students worldwide. The country has experienced significant growth in recent years, thanks to the growing popularity of Korean dramas, the advent of K-Pop, and the ultimate love garnered by Korean fashion. Studying in South Korea is a dream come true for those who struggle to find good authentic Korean food in their own countries. Korean cuisine is very diverse and is not limited to high-end restaurants. You can indulge in delicious Korean delicacies while strolling through the bustling streets.

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Study in South Korea

Apart from the scrumptious food and popular music, Korea, as one of the world’s most innovative countries, has emerged as a dominant force in the digital technology industry.

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Reasons to study in South Korea

Reasons to study in South Korea

1. Flourishing economy

South Korea has experienced substantial economic growth in recent years and has emerged as a world leader in innovation and technology. It is also the world’s 12th largest economy and Asia’s fourth-largest. The country is also home to the world’s biggest companies like Hyundai, Samsung Electronics, Kia Motors, POSCO, to name a few.

2. Standard of living

South Korea is one of Asia’s safest countries, with a low crime rate. Convenient transportation, secure housing, a rich culture, and the ability to interact with individuals from various backgrounds are among the important aspects that contribute to the country’s good quality of life.

3. Rich culture

South Korea boasts a diverse culture and is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and islands. You will find a peaceful co-existence of traditional and modern infrastructure, ranging from ancient temples to magnificent glass buildings. The country also offers a vibrant nightlife, allowing students to unwind on weekends and escape the stress of university life. Furthermore, you won’t have any trouble fitting in as Koreans are extremely friendly and hospitable.

4. Education system

Korea is well-known for its outstanding higher education system, high postgraduate employment rates and solid reputation. International students interested in studying in Korea can choose from a variety of subjects of study. Arts and science are the most popular disciplines of study in Korea, and students can also take up various business-related courses. Studying in Korea will give you a head start as you will be exposed to world-class technical knowledge due to the country’s expertise in the field.

5. Inviting international students

One of the things that bother students who plan on studying abroad is not feeling welcomed. If you plan to study in South Korea, you don’t have to worry about that at all. The South Korean government has constantly been taking steps to invite more and more international students to their country. These efforts include introducing scholarship to study in South Korea for international students along with other funding opportunities offered by private universities.

Best South Korean Universities

10 best South Korean universities

1. Seoul National University 

Seoul National University is South Korea’s most prestigious university, having notable alumni such as Ban Ki-moon and Kim Tae-hee. It is a research-driven institution that offers high-quality education at all levels, ranging from undergraduate to doctoral. The university ranked 37th in the QS World University Rankings and offers various courses in social science, medicine, fine arts, engineering, and other fields. It has two campuses in Seoul, one in the city centre of Jongno and the other in the southern part of the city.

2. Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST)

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology is South Korea’s first research-oriented science and engineering institution. This well-known institute currently holds the 40th position in the QS World University Rankings list. According to their career goals, students securing admission at KAIST can choose to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programmes. KAIST has grown to become one of the world’s most prestigious research universities. It is located in Daejeon, the city’s popular technology centre.

3. Korea University

Along with Yonsei University and Seoul National University, Korea University is a part of the SKY trio. It was founded in 1905 and is well-known for its finance, public administration and political science programmes. Remarkable academics lead 81 departments at Yonsei University which ranks at number 69 in the QS World University rankings. The Korea University school of law is South Korea’s oldest law school and offers one of the country’s most prominent law programmes.

4. Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)

According to the QS World University rankings, Pohang University of Science and Technology was founded by a Korean steel-making company in 1986 and is placed at the 77th position. In 2012, POSTECH was ranked first among the world’s top “100 universities under 50 years” by Times Higher Education. The university has a reputation for being extremely selective, accepting only about 300 undergraduate students each year who demonstrate excellent intellectual ability.

5. Sungkyunkwan University 

Sungkyunkwan University is another popular private university in South Korea, best known for its affiliation with Samsung. The institution places a strong emphasis on research and development, offering world-class programmes in nanotechnology, software development, mobile communications engineering, business, law, and medicine.

6. Yonsei University

Yonsei University, one of the three universities in the SKY trio, was founded in 1885 as a research institute. It is said to have one of the most beautiful campuses globally, and it provides high-quality education in commerce, engineering, law, and economics, among others. The university places a strong emphasis on experiential learning and is known for its innovative multidisciplinary programmes.

7. Jeonbuk National University

Previously known as Chonbuk National University, Jeonbuk National University is a Korean research-based institute. The university is sincerely dedicated to providing higher education to all citizens of the country. Since its establishment, the university has expanded tremendously, consisting of 15 colleges, 100+ departments, and 120+ graduate and postgraduate courses.

8. Kyung Hee University

Kyung Hee University has recently accepted roughly 23% of international students in 2021. The university has partnered with 434 universities in 69 countries to offer a unique study abroad programme. The college of Korean medicine at Kyung Hee University is particularly well-known, as it is a pioneer in Asian medical techniques and traditional Korean medicine.

9. Dongguk University

Dongguk University is one of the world’s few Buddhist-affiliated universities. It was founded in 1906, and has four campuses around the world, including one in the United States. The university’s main campus is in central Seoul’s Jung District, and it provides a diverse range of academic programmes, including 59 graduate programmes and 53 undergraduate majors.

10. Sogang University

Sogang University is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution in South Korea. The Society of Jesus found this eminent university in 1960. After its establishment, Mother Teressa, a Nobel Laureate, visited the school and addressed the students on the significance of charity. Most of Seoul’s major attractions are close to the university and are easily accessible due to the well-established transportation system. Sogang University is primarily known for its Business and Economic majors and is also accredited to AACSB.

Cost of studying in South Korea

Cost of studying in South Korea
The cost of pursuing a degree from South Korea will vary according to the university you choose. Private universities are more expensive as compared to public universities in South Korea. Although the universities charge the same tuition fee to international and domestic students, to encourage more students from abroad to enrol in South Korean universities. The tuition fee for a degree program ranges between $4000-$20,000, depending upon the program you choose and the type of university. You’ll be able to find accommodation at a relatively low cost. Students can also take advantage of the highly developed public transportation system. If you choose to live in Seoul, where most of the top universities are located, you can easily travel to and fro at a minimal cost. 

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Requirements to Study in South Korea

Requirements to study in South Korea

The application requirements to study in South Korea may vary depending upon the university you choose. However, the student must have a bachelor’s degree in the relevant discipline to enrol in a master’s programme at a South Korean university. Some domestic South Korean universities are difficult to get into due to the high level of competition, so students with first-class honours will be given preference over other students. Although knowing Korean is not a requirement, students can choose to enrol in programmes taught in English. However, students should learn the language because it is an essential aspect of learning about the country’s culture and will also help them understand some of the programmes that might be taught in Korean.

Application procedure

Most universities in South Korea offer two intakes in one year so that you can plan your application process accordingly. There is no central admission system, so you can directly apply on the official website of your university. You can also check out the Study in Korea website run by the Korean government for additional information. The following documents must be submitted as part of the application process: 

  • Completely filled application form
  • A copy of your passport
  • Degree copy of the highest-level education
  • Proof of Foreign student insurance
  • Application fee
  • Proof of language proficiency (English/Korean)
  • Statement of purpose
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • CV
  • Evidence for scholarship/funding


Due to the country’s stronghold on research and development, a degree from a South Korean university will equip you with the latest technical know-how to succeed in the field of technology and innovation. Additionally, household names like Hyundai, LG, Samsung, Hanon provide exciting work opportunities for recent graduates from the above-mentioned top-ranking universities. Although you might experience a minor culture shock as you settle in. This is inevitable, no matter which country you choose to study in. So, hold tight and get ready to make the most of your time in the BTS and K-pop land. 

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