4 tips to study abroad in Korea

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Last update on February 2024.

In recent years, South Korea has become one of the most popular places to study in Asia. The Hallyu wave and all things K-pop, K-drama and Korean cosmetics are gaining popularity all over the world, but there’s more to Korea than that. Korea is a leader in digital technology, with one of the fastest and most innovative internet networks in the world. In addition, Korea combines tradition with modernity, especially in the big cities, and the country is slowly opening up to foreign countries.

If you also love the “land of calm mornings” and would like to study abroad in Korea, we will tell you where to start.

1. What is your goal to study abroad in Korea?

Before embarking on a study abroad experience you will certainly have thought about a goal that you want to achieve, or you will have in mind what level you want to achieve at the end of your studies.

Why do you want to study abroad in Korea? Are you looking for a language course to prepare you for a future career, or to further your university studies? Are you looking for a course to learn Korean, but also want to discover more about its culture? Here are the options for you:

  • Korean course from 3 to 24 months, at the language department of the universities;
  • Korean course of up to 90 days at Lexis Korea;
  • Short study holiday of 2-3 weeks with language course and cultural activities;
  • Degree course in Korean and/or English;
  • Visiting program, to study one or more semesters at a Korean university faculty.

Practice book to prepare to Study abroad in Korea

2. Choose your language course

If you want to study abroad in Korea, the best language courses are held at universities. In fact, the main universities have a language department dedicated to Korean language programs for foreigners. You can find the universities in which we collaborate on our schools’ page.

The courses are quite intensive, requiring you to study hard even after class to keep up with the rest of the program. They consist of 4 hours of lessons per day, Monday to Friday, with mid-term and end-of-term examinations, as well as various tests during the term. In general, the universities all have a more intensive pace of study than the small public schools, as they aim for sufficient preparation to enter a university faculty after studying the language in Korea.

You will also need to consider how long you want to enroll for. University courses are structured in quarters of 10 weeks each, and the minimum enrollment is just 3 months, up to 2 years. From 6 months onwards, you will need a student visa and only universities in Korea can sponsor this type of visa.

If you’re looking for a shorter course, which isn’t too demanding and leaves you some free time to explore the country, we recommend one of the public schools, such as Lexis Korea. The hours and duration of these courses are flexible, allowing you to study in Korea and still have enough time to enjoy yourself outside of school. However, these courses are very short, less than 3 months, and do not require a study visa. To find out how the visa works in this case, we recommend this article that goes more in-depth about the Korean student visa.

Alternatively, if you are looking to study abroad in Korea to learn the language but also to engage in cultural activities and share your experience with people from all over the world, there are ‘Studytrip.com’ packages. These are short holidays of 2-3 weeks, which include language courses, accommodation, and numerous activities related to traditional and modern Korean culture. You can find more information here.

Finally, you can opt for a degree course in Korea, bearing in mind that in most cases an advanced level of Korean is required, at least TOPIK level 4. For this reason, we recommend that you first attend at least 6-9 months of language courses in order to prepare yourself for the Korean university. The visa required for degree courses is a D-2 visa.

Finally, if you would like to experience being a university freshman in Korea, but then complete your studies in your home country, there is the possibility of attending a Visiting program, similar to the more classic exchange programs. With the Visiting program, you can spend one or more semesters in Korea, attending classes with other Korean students and participating in the university’s curricular activities. It is not an affiliated program with universities abroad, which means that anyone can apply, regardless of which university they are attending in their home country.  If you want to find out more, read our article on the Visiting Program.

Study abroad in Korea

3. Choose your city to study Korean in Korea

Seoul, Busan and Daegu are the main destinations for those who want to study abroad in Korea. Let’s learn more about each city.

Seoul

Seoul, with almost 10 million inhabitants, is a modern, avant-garde city, full of universities and nightclubs, so it is definitely a young city. Being the capital city, the cost of living is more expensive than in other cities, but it is still reasonable, especially when compared to Europe or the United States. For example, the monthly rent of a goshiwon (small private room with bathroom) goes between 300-400 US dollars per month, while a quarter of language courses cost around 1200 US dollars.

Busan

Busan is the second most important city in South Korea. Compared to Seoul, prices are lower both for language schools and for life in general. Although less chaotic and busy than the capital city, Busan also has plenty of clubs, shops and opportunities to have fun with friends. Busan also overlooks the sea, as well as having beautiful mountain scenery around it, so you’ll be able to enjoy both the beach and the mountains. The cost of a trimester intensive Korean course can be under 1000 US dollars.

Daegu

Daegu in terms of quality and cost of living is very similar to Busan, with the difference that it is much quieter. It is a small city, where life is more relaxed, and where the presence of foreigners is much lower than in big cities. This is why, in Daegu, you will be able to practice your Korean language skills to the maximum, as few people can speak English. Course prices in Daegu are also between 1000 US dollars or less per term.

To help you choose, we recommend our article on the cost of living in South Korea and to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Go! Go! Hanguk will help you study abroad in Korea

4. Rely on Go! Go! Hanguk to study abroad in Korea

Go! Go! Hanguk is here to help you choose the right school for you to study abroad in Korea. We’ll help you through the whole enrollment process, including obtaining your Certificate of Admission (CoA), which you’ll need to apply for a visa at the embassy.

You can also count on our help in booking accommodation (dormitory, share house, goshiwon, etc.) and in obtaining all the information you need to realize your dream of studying in Korea. Our service is free of charge for you: you will pay the same amount as if you were doing it on your own, while avoiding stress and lengthy procedures. Visit our accommodation page to see what options there are.

We’ll also explain how the health care system works in Korea, how to open a bank account, and we will also help you buy a Korean SIM card, which is very useful for communicating via KakaoTalk and getting a Korean phone number.

Contact us via email by sending this form, and we will reply in English as soon as possible, within 1-3 working days.

If you can’t study in Korea, but are looking for a course to learn the basics of the language, take a look at our online Korean course. Run in collaboration with Hanyang University, you’ll gain an official Korean Level 1 certificate on completion of the course.

For more information and useful tips you can always read our blog, or follow us on Instagram and TikTok.

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