4 important steps to study Korean in Korea

Reading Time: 7 minutes
Study Korean in Korea
Latest updated: June 2024

There can be many reasons for wanting to study Korean in Korea, from K-pop music to ancient Korean traditions. Nowadays, learning a new language has become more accessible through online courses or apps on mobile phones. However, if you really want to learn a foreign language in a serious and native way, the best thing is to live in the country where that language is spoken. In this article, we explain the ways to study Korean in Korea.

1. Pick a Korean language course in Korea

There are many options to study Korean in Korea. Korean language programs in South Korea are offered at universities or private schools, and you will first have to choose the type of school that best suits your needs. Let’s see what options there are.

1.1 Studying Korean at universities in Korea

Unlike other foreign countries where language courses are run by public schools, the best Korean courses in Korea take place at universities. Korean universities, in fact, offer language courses in the foreign language department, and they are open to anyone who wants to study Korean in Korea intensively.

Korean language courses at universities run from Monday to Friday, for four hours a day, and are usually divided into trimesters of 10 weeks each. Average class attendance and grade point average are crucial for continuing the course in the next term (and level). This is why university courses are made for those who want to devote themselves fully to their studies.

What is special about the language programs run by the universities is that you can make full use of the school facilities. You can access the canteen, join clubs and extra-curricular activities, use the library, and make friends with Korean students at the university. In addition, once you arrive in Korea, universities offer full support with visa renewal and provide many student services, for example, assisting with opening a bank account in Korea, purchasing health insurance, or obtaining a Korean Residence card.

Go! Go! Hanguk partners with some of the best universities where to study Korean in Korea. We can help you with the application process with the schools listed on the “Language schools” page on our website. There are universities in the three major cities of South Korea: Seoul, Busan, and Daegu. Here you will find the differences between these beautiful cities.

Study Korean in Korea - Study material on a desk

1.2 Studying Korean at a private school

Those who want to study Korean in Korea for a few weeks, without an intensive commitment as required by universities, can still study Korean in Korea by attending Lexis Korea or LTL.

Lexis Korea and LTL offer weekly Korean language courses. Their programs are low-intensity courses for those who want to have a short study experience in Korea. Lessons are flexible, which means you can even sign up for a one-week course, and the price is calculated per week. Or it offers flexible courses for those on working holiday visas who are looking for short-term and not particularly intensive Korean lessons. However, as private schools, they cannot guarantee a student visa

New courses begin every Monday regardless of your starting level, and you will get plenty of free time to explore Korea after class.

Lexis Korea and LTL offer various types of affiliated accommodations (mini studios, homestays, service apartments, etc.). Contact us to find out more.

1.3 Korean Study trips for 2-3 weeks

If you want to study in Korea for a short period and have a full experience with the Korean language course and cultural activities, we recommend our ‘Study trips’. These are packages that include Korean language courses in the morning, cultural activities in the afternoon, and accommodation in mini studios. Course participants come from all over the world, and the study holiday lasts approximately 3 weeks.

It’s the best way to combine your passion for Korean culture with language study and meet lots of new friends! Click here to see what’s planned.

1.4 Studying Korean in Korea during a Visiting Program

A final option to consider is the Visiting program offered by Hanyang University. You can find it on the ‘Universities’ page of our website. This is a study program suitable for students who are already enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree program in their home country, and who want to do an exchange period abroad, gaining university credits. Courses are held every March and September, for a minimum of one semester (meaning approximately 4 months of classes) and a maximum of 1 year with the application for a D-2 student visa through Hanyang University.

However, Hanyang is not affiliated with any particular university for their Visiting program, which means that anyone can obtain credits. Depending on the university in your home country, recognition of these credits may differ. Hence, it is essential to ask for confirmation before enrolling in a course in Korea.

During the Visiting Program, it is also possible to study the Korean language. In fact, an intensive Korean language course is offered, with two options: Introductory Korean and Intensive Korean. The Introductory Korean course provides Korean lessons 2 times a week and 3 credits total per semester, while the Intensive Korean course offers classes 5 times per week and 13 credits total per semester (March and September only). It is therefore a viable option if you wish to study Korean in Korea while pursuing your university studies.

2. Get ready to apply for the right visa

If you study Korean in Korea for up to 3 months (to be considered as 90 days), you will not need to apply for a visa, that is, if you have a passport that allows you to enter Korea as a tourist and stay for up to 90 days. As a tourist, you can attend a Korean course at the universities for a term, a shorter course at Lexis Korea, or one of our Study Trips.

If, on the other hand, you wish to study for longer periods of at least 6 months, you will need to apply for a D-4 student visa. We recommend that you read this article with all the details on the D-4 visa.

Finally, if you want to have a mixed experience, including some study, some work, and also travel, you can consider the option of the H-1 Working holiday visa. Read more here or contact your local Korean Embassy.

3. Choose an accommodation

Korean universities provide their students with on-campus accommodation. These are dormitories, with double or private rooms, often with an en-suite bathroom. Dormitories are particularly convenient, in terms of the distance from the campus and their affordable prices. 

Staying in a dormitory is not compulsory. If you opt for other options, Go! Go! Hanguk will help you find the right accommodation. We have a wide choice of shared houses, mini studios, and homestays, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help with accommodation while you study Korean in Korea. In the meantime, you can check out our university accommodation and dormitory page.

Study Korean in Korea

4. Cultural full-immersion in Korea

If you study Korean in Korea, you actually have the advantage of being able to practice the language daily. You can practice what you learned from the books by engaging in conversations with the locals like going to the supermarket or hanging out with Korean friends.

Most university programs organise cultural activities that are open to everyone, such as cooking classes, karaoke competitions (noraebang), K-pop dance classes, or short excursions. These cultural programs aim to bring gyopos (i.e. Koreans who have lived abroad) together with foreigners from Europe or South-East Asian countries. Koreans of various ages actively participate, with whom you will have the opportunity to establish lasting friendships and have support during your study period in Korea.

By living in Korea, you will have the opportunity to learn the Korean language as it is used by the locals or to delve into idioms and everyday expressions. If you make friends with Koreans, you will also learn to use slang! And don’t forget that Korea is the home of K-pop. You could attend live concerts of K-pop music and meet your favourites in person! At noraebangs, you will have the opportunity to sing your favourite songs, leaving your new Korean friends in awe.

What is the first step if you want to study Korean in Korea?

To wrap up, the first thing to do when you want to study Korean in Korea is to choose a language school. The teaching methods among various schools are quite similar, but the difference lies in the intensity and pace of the lessons. They are all courses of 20 hours a week, divided into four hours a day from Monday to Friday. Classes are in Korean and there are no classes conducted in other languages, but at each university, there is always a staff member who speaks English.

Should you have any doubts or questions, you can always seek help from them. At Go! Go! Hanguk, we recommend that you learn at least the Hangul alphabet, using our Hangul Quest app to get off on the right foot. You can download it here.

Once you have chosen your school, the application process begins. The required documents and application procedures depend on the duration of the course you choose, as well as the school itself, so contact our staff to find out how to proceed and what visas are available for you to study Korean in Korea.

Courses at universities start every March, June, September, and December, with a few exceptions. Courses start from a minimum of 3 months to a maximum of 2 years, and the program follows the language knowledge and skills required in the various levels of the TOPIK (Korean proficiency text).

Application deadlines can be found on each university’s page. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about enrolment or how to study Korean in Korea.

If you can’t travel to Korea at the moment, but fancy learning the language, sign up for our online Korean courses run in partnership with Hanyang University and Dongguk University. Click here for information and details.

Other articles you might find useful are:

Keep following the Go! Go! Hanguk blog to learn about various aspects of Korean culture and to study Korean in Korea.

Share this article

Go! Go! Hanguk

Search articles

Popular posts

Go! Go! HANGUK Blog

Related articles

Going back in time, sticker photo booths also known as the Purikura booths, became popular in Korea during the early 2000s. Purikura was originated in Japan and later introduced in Korea due to its growing popularity and unique form of entertainment. Today, this trend has evolved into many interactive and interesting photo booths in Korea....
If you are preparing your documents to study Korean in Korea, you may have already heard that an apostille needs to be provided on some documents. But what is an apostille? In this article we explain in detail what it is and how to get an apostille for studying in Korea. What is an apostille...
When choosing the right language course, it can be difficult to know which location is best for your needs. If you want to study in Busan, read this article about being a Korean language student at Silla University‘s area. What to expect as a student at Silla University Silla University is a private college located...
“Spicy and red” – these are the key comments when it comes to Korean food. Due to its condiments and method of cooking, Korean food appears to be red and often suggests it is spicy. But, this is not 100% true! Did you know that there are many other famous non-spicy Korean food? Below we...
Internationally we prefer to call it a gym when we refer to a fitness place but the Korean people refer to private gyms as Helseujang (헬스장) or Helseukeulleob (헬스클럽), which essentially translates to a “health club”. Being a place to keep fit and lead a healthy lifestyle, going to a gym in Korea is somewhat...

Contact us

Any questions? We are here to help