With one of the most advanced economies on the Asian continent and a national culture that has begun to garner some penetrating influence beyond its own borders (think Samsung and K-Pop), South Korea is a continuously rising country in the global arena. Making the decision to study abroad in South Korea will be the beginning of a grand world adventure in which you explore a language, culture, and history that has thrived for thousands of years, and continues to innovate at the head of the curve.
South Korea is a fairly large nation of 50 million people located in East Asia. The country shares maritime borders with China and Japan, as well as a land border with North Korea. While tensions between North and South Korea are somewhat tense, there has not been any serious flare-up in action since the Korean War in 1950, when the two countries were first separated. South Korea has since remained a peaceful nation.
As the capital and largest city in the country, Seoul is the first choice for many international students of where to study abroad in South Korea. With some 25 million people living in the metropolitan area, Seoul is home to just about half of South Korea’s population and is a hugely influential city in global culture, politics, and economy. Further known as the world’s “most wired” city, Seoul is an ideal landing place for futurists of all interests.
Other destinations where you might consider looking into study abroad programs in South Korea include the smaller cities of Daegu and Chuncheon. The former is another high-tech capital of South Korea, while the latter is a more remote lake town which is home to five universities. Don’t settle for the ordinary; look into as many destinations as possible for where to study abroad in South Korea!
Subjects & Courses
As one of the four Asian Tiger economies that has experienced rapid growth over past decades, South Korea continues to stand tall as a major global leader in education, research, and innovation. The country is furthermore making a targeted push to attract more international students to its doorstep every year, including opening up international campuses within several of its major universities to accommodate for English-speaking students.
Some study abroad programs in South Korea will enable you to take English-taught courses at local universities, while others will offer to enroll you at their own satellite schools, where classes are taught by local faculty and custom-tailored to an international student body. If you speak South Korean, of course, then the option will also be on the table to enroll full time at a major local university.
Some of the most popular subjects among international students who study abroad in South Korea tend to include Korean language, computer science, international business, and Asian studies. You are by no means limited to within these areas, however, so make sure to take the amount and type of course offerings into account while researching different programs through which to study abroad in South Korea!
Scholarships & Costs
Another benefit about studying abroad in South Korea is that general costs of living remain affordable in relation to other advanced economies (especially compared to neighboring Japan, for example). The national currency is the South Korean won, which exchanges at roughly 1,150 KRW to $1 USD. There are also a large number of scholarships out there which can further ease the financial toll of studying abroad, so be sure to look into these as well!
Accommodation & Visas
Student dormitories, off-campus apartments, and homestays are all examples of the types of accommodation you might be offered while you study abroad in South Korea. Every housing option has its pros and cons, so be thoughtful about the decision. For example living in a homestay can be a great way to immerse yourself deeply in the local culture, while living in an apartment can afford a more autonomous lifestyle. It all comes down to what you want out of the experience!
You will also typically be expected to apply for a student visa in order to study abroad in South Korea, a process that your study abroad program or host school will generally help guide you through. The specifics of what visa you need will depend on factors such as your home nation and the duration of your intended stay; for more information regarding your individual circumstances, check out our South Korean Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Cutting Edge. South Korea is a country on the rise, and one of the most technologically innovative in the world. Studying abroad in Seoul, especially, can seem eerily futuristic at times.
National History. Over the course of the past century Korea has been occupied by Japan, then divided into two separate nations, then waged a new war in itself. While the past half-century has been peaceful, learning about South Korea’s fascinating history will shed a whole new light on East Asian dynamics.
Culture Shock. Adapting to your new surroundings while you study abroad in South Korea may be challenging at times, as you will be in the midst of an entirely new culture and language. Put your best foot forward to assimilate, however, and you will come to fall in love with the country.
Making the leap to study abroad in South Korea will place you in a dynamic academic environment, which through its investment and research remains ahead of the global curve. If you’re an ambitious, creative individual, then you’ll fit right in.