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Study in South Korea: Find Out How to Apply for Admission and Visa with Cost of Living
South Korea differs considerably from its neighbor, North Korea. Following the split into two countries in 1948, and developing into a world, the renowned Asian powerhouse has become popular with its innovation. With a mix of modernity and age-long tradition, South Korea provides quality education to offer international students, and the capital city, Seoul, is currently ranked among the top 10 student cities in the world.
Investment in quality education and research has been on the forefront of South Korea’s development and transition into the world’s 13th largest economy and the third largest economy within Asia. This investment has paid off handsomely with South Korea being known as the one of the four ‘Asian Tiger’ economies alongside Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
South Korean government in 2004 set a target of attracting an approximate of 100,000 foreign students to its universities by 2012, and by 2011 over 85,000 international students from 171 different countries had been enrolled into her institutions. South Korea’s current goal is to have an estimate of 200,000 international students in its universities by 2020.
South Korea currently has more than 370 universities as well as Global Campuses opened by international universities as this is part of South Korea’s internationalization plan.
ADMISSIONS IN SOUTH KOREA
The admissions process to get into a South Korean university differs from school to school but, in general, you apply directly to your university of choice online or by post.
The South Korean official academic year begins in March, although many universities enroll new students twice a year -in March and September. The deadlines for March applicants are usually set between September and November, while for September entry, application closes between May to June. The majority of South Korean universities have two terms, with a summer break from July to August and a winter break from December to February.
While proficiency in the Korean language may be helpful, an approximate of 25% of courses in Korean universities are taught in English language. This has helped to break down the language barrier for international students and make South Korea a more suitable option for foreigners. However, desiring to learn the basics of the Korean language will be helpful, and can help you fully integrate into the Korean society and culture.
An interesting information to note about South Korean education is that indigenous students and international students both pay the same tuition. This fact has made it easy for international students to come to South Korea for studies. This has also fallen in line with making it easy for South Korea to integrate foreigners into the country.
An undergraduate course at a public university costs an average of US$2,000 to US$4,500 per semester (humanities subjects are priced at a lower end and medicine at the top). The average annual tuition fees at the 16 internationally ranked universities in Seoul cost an estimate of US$6,800. You need to bear in mind that there are two semesters in each academic year, when calculating the total cost and South Korean undergraduate programs typically last four years (or six years for subjects like medicine and dentistry).
Scholarships for international students are widely available from individual universities that can cover between 30% and 100% of tuition fees. In addition, a number of governmental scholarships are available, which may also cover air fares and living expenses. One governmental scholarship scheme to look out for is the Global Korea Scholarship (G KS).
Recent government deregulation of scholarships, dormitories, part-time jobs and employment after graduation are all put in place to make studying in South Korea more accessible for international students – by making it easier to cover the cost of education, and also to stay and seek work in South Korea after graduation.
You will require a ‘D-2 visa’ to study in South Korea as an international student. This can be granted from a South Korean embassy or consulate in your home country. Typically, as well as proficiency in English or Korean, you will be asked to provide the following:
- A valid passport with at least a blank page for the South Korean stamp
- Processing fee of about US$30 (for single entry) or US$50 (for multiple entry
- A completed visa application form
- A recent passport photograph (2 by2)
- College transcripts/ educational records
- Letter of admission into a South Korean University
- Flight itinerary
- Bank statement with a minimum of $10,000 as proof of sufficient funds for your duration of stay in South Korea
- Medical records for proof of good health
- Birth certificate to show country of origin
COST OF LIVING IN SOUTH KOREA
With the South Korean Won at an equivalent to about $0.001, international students will not find it difficult to ease into life as a South Korean student. It has also been estimated that cost of living in South Korea is 18.91% lower than in New York. Most universities provide accommodation in their fees and they are fairly affordable so it is not difficult to study in Korea.
Studying in South Korea gives you an absolute advantage- offering you quality education at affordable prices.