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  • Why Study in South Korea:
  • Education System in South Korea
  • Types of Degrees in South Korea
  • Application Procedure for South Korea
  • Tests Required

About South Korea:

South Korea is a highly developed country and the world’s 12th-largest economy by nominal GDP. Its citizens enjoy the world’s fastest Internet connection speeds and the densest high-speed railway network. It was named the second-best country in the world to raise kids in the 2020 UN Child Flourishing Index, with the best chance at survival, thriving and well-being due to good healthcare, education, and nutrition. South Korea is the world’s 5th largest exporter and 8th largest importer. South Korea is a global leader in many technologies and innovation-driven fields. Since 2014, South Korea has been named the world’s most innovative country by the Bloomberg Innovation Index for six consecutive years. Since the 21st century, South Korea has been renowned for its globally influential pop culture, particularly in music (K-pop), TV dramas, and cinema, a phenomenon referred to as the Korean Wave.

Why Study in South Korea

When it comes to enhancing the reading ability and imparting knowledge in the field of Mathematics and Science, South Korea is amongst the top-performing OECD countries. With its national obsession with studying popularly called “education fever” and the high percentage of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree, South Korea is among the world’s most educated countries. With scores of degree and skill development courses available, state of the art facilities, modern infrastructure, and scholarship schemes, this East Asian nation has become a great study abroad destination.

Top Reasons to study in South Korea are as follows:

1. High Quality of education: As per various survey reports, international students are delighted with the education system in Korea. According to QS Top Universities, “Investment in teaching and research has been at the heart of South Korea’s growth into the world’s 11th largest economy and the fourth largest economy within Asia. The country boasts no less than six top-20 entries and 57 representatives in total in the QS Asia University Rankings 2019, and 29 ranked institutions in the QS World University Rankings 2019. There are various fields of study one can opt for when considering to study in South Korea. However, the most rewarding areas of study in South Korea for Indian students are arts, science, and business-related courses.

2. Affordable Cost of Education & Living: Both tuition fees and living expenses are affordable compared to western countries. The average expense of an international student studying in Korea is about $6,500 (INR 4.6 Lacs) a year.

3. Secure and a Friendly Country: South Korea has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world. Seoul has also been placed in the 8th position in EIU’s Safe Cities Index report for 2019. South Koreans are also extremely warm and hospitable people.

4. Scholarship Opportunities: There are many scholarship schemes available specifically for Indian students, which can be checked directly from the respective University websites. Scholarships are also available for international students from individual universities, and these can cover up to 100% of tuition fees. The Korean Government offers generous scholarships (full tuition fees, airfare, and monthly living allowance) to international students who learn the Korean language before commencing the actual degree program.

5. Excellent Career Prospects: South Korea is home to leading corporations in the world such as Samsung, Hyundai, Kia, LG & Posco. There are plenty of opportunities for international students to get jobs in South Korea. As there are plenty of South Korean brands based in India, many Indian students can secure employment in these companies back home in India.

Education System in South Korea

Korean education is a single-track system that operates on a 6-3-3-4 basis, with six years of elementary school, three years of middle school, three years of high school, and four years at the undergraduate university level. There are nine years of compulsory education, including the six years of elementary school and three years of middle school. One academic year has two semesters; the first semester is from March to August, and the second from September to February. There are two vacations, in summer from July to August and in winter from December to February.

Higher education institutions in Korea are divided mainly into junior colleges (2-3-year programs), universities (4-year program), and graduate schools. In recent years, with the development of information and communication technologies, cyber universities that deliver education in the format of e-learning are also growing. Graduate-level programs (master’s and doctoral degree programs) are generally provided at 4-year universities. But recently, separate ‘graduate schools’ are also being established to offer graduate programs with no affiliations to universities exclusively. Korean universities are divided into national universities built and operated by the central government, public universities established by local governments and private universities, which are founded by private non-profit educational foundations.

To promote quality assurance, the Ministry of Education imposes specific requirements for higher education institutions regarding faculty composition, curriculum, facilities, degree conferment, etc. Therefore, all private universities, which take up the largest share of higher education institutions in Korea, are regular educational institutions that have fulfilled the ministry’s established requirements and have acquired official accreditation.

South Korean Universities & Colleges offer the following courses:

• Degree Program: International students can join a degree program offered during the regular semesters with Korean students. Degree programs are taught either in Korean or English; After completion, a degree is awarded.
• Exchange Student Program: Most higher education institutions offer student exchange programs based on academic agreements with universities overseas.

• Summer/Winter Program: Universities run summer and winter programs offering regular courses and Korean language courses.

• Courses taught in English: As many Korean universities are keen on internationalization, approximately 30% of courses are taught in English, some universities have a Department of International Studies, which teaches all the courses in English.

• Korean Language Courses: Many universities have Korean language institutes that offer Korean language courses. Short intensive courses for three to four weeks aim to improve communication skills. 10 to 40-week intensive programs develop students’ communication skills through many practical assignments and cultural activities, which will also enhance their understanding of Korea.

Graduate Schools: Graduate schools are divided into general graduate schools within universities that offer academic programs and professional graduate schools which provide practical skills. Master’s programs require two or more years of study and 24 academic credits in general. Upon earning all the required credits, students must pass a qualification exam, after which they should write and submit their master’s thesis. Doctoral programs require three or more years of study and 36 credits in general. After earning all the necessary credits, students must pass a comprehensive qualification exam and write a doctoral thesis. Graduate schools also offer post-doctoral programs for those who want to continue research after acquiring a doctoral degree.

It is crucial to obtain all necessary information regarding school admission, including required qualifications, application procedures, required documents, and estimated cost for a successful study abroad program in Korea. Applicants should consider collecting information for studying abroad in various ways. Korean universities and colleges offer many different applications of varying lengths, so it is vital to obtain specific information about the desired program.

The admission period for spring is between September to November, and for fall, it is between May to June. The exact application period may start at different times depending on universities; thus, it is essential to check application schedules and deadlines in advance.
The following documents are required for applying:

• application form
• Statement of Purpose
• letter of recommendation
• an academic record at the previous institution and proof of graduation
• photocopy of passport or proof of nationality
• proof of Korean and English ability
• portfolio, video clips, etc. (for arts and physical education applicants only)
• Documents proving financial stability: Proof of the student’s or financial guarantor’s bank balance (maintained for at least one month), domestic remittance, or currency certificate of the amount equivalent to or more significant than the average annual expenses for tuition and living.

Application Period: For the spring semester, applications are accepted during the previous September-November period. For the fall semester, applications are allowed during the May-June period. Many university applications can be found and completed on the Internet.

There are two types of undergraduate admission:

1. Regular entrance requires the completion of a high school education
2. Transfer between universities requires a certain amount of credits from the transferring school or end of undergraduate study.

Visa Application for South Korea: Anyone who wants to study in South Korea, must obtain a student visa from a Korean Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence. It can be obtained only after preparing all the required documents to enter Korea, including an admission letter. The type of visa needed differs according to the kind of course (Korean language training, regular degree, research, or exchange student).
For a student visa, applicants seeking a degree higher than a professional school, research course, or exchange student course will require a D-2 visa permit. Those who want to study the Korean language at a university language school will need a D-4 Visa.

IELTS/TOEFL: All South Korean universities will require students to prove their English language proficiency through the IELTS or the TOEFL exam.

TOPIK: Test of Proficiency in Korean: The Korean government demands a certain level of English or Korean from international students because basic English or Korean skills are needed to have a comfortable stay in Korea. The international students required to submit his/her Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) scores to apply for a regular degree course in Korea. The Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) aims to provide the direction for the study of the Korean language to foreigners who don’t speak Korean as their native language and evaluate their Korean language speaking ability to use the evaluation result for their study abroad and employment. Suppose international students would like to study in Korea for a regular degree course. In that case, it is generally required to submit TOPIK Level 3 or higher, accompanied by the admission documents to the corresponding college or university. It reaches TOPIK Level 4 or higher to graduate. However, if international students would like to apply for the English courses, they must submit the certificate of English proficiency.

The test is held six times a year (in January, March, April, July, October, and November), and the yearly test schedule is notified on the TOPIK website at the beginning of every year. The levels are divided into I and II: beginner level for TOPIK I (Levels 1 and 2), an advanced level for TOPIK II (Levels 3, 4, 5, and 6). For more information about the test, please refer to the TOPIK website. (http://www.topik.go.kr)

  • Costs
  • Scholarships
  • Post Study Work Visa for South Korea
  • Job Opportunities
  • List of Universities

Students should consider the tuition fees before selecting the desired university at which to study. Typically, national universities have lower tuition fees than private universities. Since tuition fees may differ depending on colleges or universities, you need to confirm the tuition fees for the college or the university you would like to enter.

The costs associated with studying in South Korea are as follows:
Tuition Fee:

• Associate Degree: $1,500-$6,200

• Undergraduate Course: $1,600-$10,800

• Graduate Degree: $1,100-$10,600

Accommodation Expenses:

• Dormitory: Room shared by 4 will be $600 ~ $900 (per semester)
: Room shared by 2 will be $900 ~ $1,400 (per semester)

• Rent (outside school): $300 per month (plus a security deposit of $3,000 ~ $5,000)

• Boarding house: $300 ~ $500 per month

Food Expenses: Between $350-$400 per month

Other Expenses:

• Medical insurance: $20 per month
• Transportation: $40 per month
• Internet: $30 per month

The expenses mentioned above are approximate and vary depending on the university and the city in South Korea.

Please click on the link below for information on scholarships available with regards to studying in South Korea:

https://www.studyinkorea.go.kr/en/sub/gks/allnew_scholarship_institutions.do

You are only eligible to work full-time in South Korea after graduating if you seek a visa for professors, have a bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences and Engineering, or a master’s degree in a humanities subject from a Korean university. Suppose none of the above experience applies to you. In that case, you might find it tricky to secure a work placement, and we recommend speaking to your international office at your university to discuss this further. A rising number of overstaying international students in recent years prompted South Korea’s government to tighten visa rules for applicants, beginning with Vietnamese students in 2019. So, you need to be alert about your job search process.

Job Opportunities in South Korea

The job market can be competitive as you will be up against Korean nationals. If you have a relevant degree from a Korean institution and a good command of the language, you may find your international background can serve as an advantage.

The IT and medical sectors absorb a lot of Indians. In the current time, with growing political and social ties between India and South Korea, students can expect for better job prospects. The average salary of an IT & Software Engineer is $46,980. A research scientist and a Business manager can easily have a median wage of around $74,500. However, salaries do depend on your experience and skills.

Job Search Tips:

• Take advantage of any work placement opportunities during your studies in Korea
• Get your language up to scratch by taking a module in Korean language or investing in language classes
• Network on all occasions. The job market is all about connections
• If you have work qualifications from another country check ahead of your trip if they are recognized in Korea

Some of the top-ranked universities in South Korea are as follows:

• Seoul National University
• KAIST – Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology
• Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)
• Korea University
• Sungkyunkwan University
• Yonsei University
• Hanyang University
• Kyung Hee University
• Ewha Woman’s University

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