South Korea, officially called The Republic of Korea, is an independent state in East Asia, covering the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. The country is fenced in by the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan, the closest neighbouring countries are North Korea, China, Taiwan and Japan. With an overall population of over 50 million, the capital Seoul- a vibrant city, second largest in the world, is home to almost 20 million people.
Like all Asian countries, South Korea is a nation of contrast, having a mix of Oriental traditions and modern technology, a leader notably in biotechnology industry innovations. The government’s continuous investments and growth in this field has led to South Korea become known as one of the ‘Asian Tiger’ economies, alongside Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. A developed country with a high-income economy and with the most industrialized member country of the OECD, South Korea is renowned for its global position in telecommunications, automobile and robotics industries. Investments in education and research have also played an important role in the country’s becoming the world’s 13th largest economy and the third largest economy within Asia.
Although influenced by other cultures, like Chinese and Japanese, South Korea has maintained its distinctive language, culture and customs. According to Korean culture, education is the key to success in life. The country has a literacy rate of near 100%, one of the highest levels of education anywhere. Fundamental values centre on family and the religion of the majority is based on Confucianism or Buddhism, reflecting Korean lifestyle, culture and arts.
South Korea is a democratic state, divided into three branches: executive, judicial, and legislative. The president is the head of state, elected for a single five-year term in office by popular vote and the prime minister is the head of government.
Around seventy percent of the country is mountainous, with mountain views even in the most crowded cities.
Over the past years, South Korea has become a more convenient and interesting option for international students. The country has lower costs regarding tuition and living expenses compared to English speaking countries. The government of South Korea does not impose additional fees to foreign students and is in fact offering these students many scholarship programmes. Among advantages, universities here support students with housing, they are legally allowed to have part-time jobs and there are great employment after graduation opportunities.
There are currently over 350 institutions of higher education operating in South Korea with an enrolment of just under 3.3 million students. There are six different types of institution at the higher education level: colleges and universities, industrial universities, universities of education, junior colleges, broadcast and correspondence universities and technical colleges.
Undergraduate programmes normally last four years, except for medicine and dentistry which last six years. The academic year starts in March, but many universities admit new international students twice a year, in March and September.
South Korea is a leader in IT and robotics expertise, making this nation a great place for international students with an interest in technology to study. Other popular areas of study include: business administration, agriculture and life sciences, international trade, engineering, communications, computer science and electronics systems.
According to the policy of each university, applicants may be required to undertake examinations, interviews or performance test. International students who wish to study programmes taught in Korean, TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean) or KLPT (Korean Language Proficiency Test) are generally used with a score of Level 3 or above accepted.
The following documents are examined as admission criteria:
·Other than the required document, any additional document(s) of language proficiency may be submitted as a supplementary material.
Main language of instruction is Korean, but most international students in South Korea take courses offered in English.
Many universities offer courses in different subject areas and majors in English, with some institutions offering nearly a third of their courses in the language. English-language courses are more common at graduate level.
Students who plan to stay longer than 90 days are required to get a student visa for South Korea. A visa is not required for participating in a short-term study abroad programme and for staying in the country for less than 90 days. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the expected departure date from South Korea. Apply for your student visa through the Korean consulate with jurisdiction over your permanent state of residence.
Documents to be submitted for student visa:
For more information, visit South Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs