If you’re getting ready to finish up in high school, there are likely a million and one things you’ve got to organize, plan and prepare. Of course, one of the biggest decisions you’ll be making at the moment (and maybe in your entire life) will be where you’re going to go to college. No pressure, right?
This decision is made even more tricky by the fact that there are thousands of great universities both in the US and abroad to choose from. The world is quite literally your oyster. So, with this being the case, why study in South Korea?
If you’re considering South Korea as the destination for your third-level education, or even if you’re curious about what college life might be like there, this guide is definitely for you. South Korea is a beautiful, dynamic, and vibrant place, and it’s also home to some top-notch universities. The real question is, why wouldn’t someone want to study there?
If you want to learn more about some of the biggest and best reasons to study in South Korea, read on. This article will tell you everything you need to know.
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1. You Can Get Yourself an Excellent Education
Let’s start off with the obvious—going to South Korea for college is a great idea first and foremost because it’s possible to get a world-class education there. South Korea is a country that’s known for its universities.
Not only will you be able to get yourself an excellent education, but you’ll also be able to earn a degree that will be recognized wherever you go—whether you decide to stay in South Korea after college or not. There are many world-recognized universities here, and almost all have stellar reputations. Institutions like Seoul National University, Yonsei, Korea University, KAIST, POSTECH, and SKKU all offer internationally recognized degrees, and all have excellent post-graduate employment rates.
2. The Cost of Living is Attractive
Although South Korea’s economy is currently booming, the cost of living there is not prohibitive. Students aren’t usually known for having a whole lot of money to burn, but luckily, in South Korea, this shouldn’t be a problem. Your tuition fees, rent, basic necessities, and utilities are all reasonably priced.
What’s more, in areas that are close to colleges and universities, you’ll find that everything—from restaurants to bars to hairdressers—is even cheaper than it is elsewhere. This is an acknowledgment of the fact that students might not have as much money to spend as the rest of the general population.
3. South Korea Rolls Out the Red Carpet for International Students
Nervous about going to college in another country? In South Korea, you needn’t be! The South Korean government is actively trying to attract students from abroad and because of this, it’s got tonnes of supports in place.
The country has seen foreign enrollments grow consistently over the past 6 years, with over 160,000 international students attending its universities and colleges according to recent figures. So if you do decide to study abroad in South Korea, you’ll be in very good company indeed.
There’s also a pretty good possibility you could win a scholarship, too. Since the 1960s the government has given scholarships to over 6,500 international students. The Global Korea Scholarship, for example, is awarded to nearly 2,000 international students every year.
4. You Can Have a Happy Life There
South Korea is a great place to live. But you don’t have to take our word for it. It’s actually performed well in a number of different studies documenting life satisfaction.
For example, in the Better Life Index published by the OECD, South Korea earns excellent scores on a wide range of measures. Some of the areas it ranks well? Personal security, civic engagement, housing, education and skills, jobs and earnings, and more!
Speaking of personal security, South Korea is well known for being an extremely safe country. In fact, the risk of muggings, terrorism, and danger for female travelers are all considered to be on the lower end of the scale. So you can be confident you’ll be getting your education in a happy and safe environment.
5. It’s Got a Unique and Fascinating Culture
By now, the whole world has fallen in love with the culture in South Korea, between k-beauty treatments, and k-pop superstars, many parts of South Korean culture have captured the imagination of millions. But the true culture here is so much more than BTS and BLACKPINK.
South Korea is, to say the least, quite different than America. But that’s the great thing about studying abroad. It broadens your horizons and exposes you to things you never usually would be privy to.
The architecture is interesting and there is an array of amazing galleries and museums to explore. There are also tonnes of festivals—Seongsan Sunrise, Boryeong Mud Festival, and Jinju Lantern, to name only a few.
6. The Food Is to Die For
If there’s one aspect of Korean culture that the US is already very familiar with, it’s got to be the food. From kimchi to K BBQ, South Korea has a food scene that’s out of this world. If you’re a fan of Korean food, imagine for a moment the kind of amazing culinary experiences you could have in its native land.
While there are plenty of fine dining restaurants to be found, some of the best food you’ll eat will probably be in a hole-in-the-wall spot you happened upon tucked away near your university campus. Having unexpected experiences like this is what studying abroad is all about.
7. You Can Satisfy Your Wanderlust
If you’re considering studying abroad, chances are you’re a fan of travel and exploring new places. If this is the case, then you’re in for a real treat if South Korea is your chosen study abroad location. Not only does the country itself have tonnes of unexpected and amazing towns and cities to explore, but you’re also in the perfect position to explore the rest of Asia.
Without breaking the bank, you’ll be able to explore places such as Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan—the list goes on and on. South Korea is the perfect jumping-off point for a whole host of amazing Asia travel adventures.
8. It’s Ahead of the Curve
South Korea is a leader in many things, from technology to cultural trends. It’s a country where innovation is woven into the fabric of society, and as such it’s an inspiring place to learn and grow as a person. Year after year, South Korea finds itself towards the top in various innovation rankings. Most recently, it appeared at 2nd place on Bloomberg’s 2020 Innovation Index and 11th on the Global Innovation Index in 2019.
It’s a place that embraces technology, which is great news for students. For example, did you know that South Korea has the fastest internet connection speed in the world? You’ll have no trouble turning in your term papers with a 121 megabit per second connection.
9. It’s a Beautiful Country
Sure, how beautiful a place is doesn’t have anything to do with getting a great education. But it doesn’t hurt either. It’s more of an added bonus that South Korea is a stunningly beautiful country.
Its coastline boasts some of the most jaw-dropping vistas you’ll see anywhere in the world. Meanwhile, its villages and countryside are so picturesque they have to be seen to be believed.
10. You Can Learn a New Language
While many courses in international universities are offered in English, living in South Korea offers the perfect opportunity to learn a new and valuable language. In order to immerse yourself in South Korean culture, it’s a great idea to learn Korean, so that you can have an easier time communicating with the people there.
As an added plus, having a second language will increase your employability—both in South Korea and back home in the US. Many universities also offer language courses, and there are classes available for all levels.
Why Study in South Korea? Why Not!
By now, we hope we’ve more than answered the question “why study in South Korea?” for you. It’s an incredible country, and not only that, studying abroad is an incredible adventure too. Be bold, take the leap, and discover a whole new world today.
If you’re looking for any tips on going to college abroad, or going to college in general, we’ve got you covered. Check out the rest of our Education-themed blogs now for all of the knowledge and support you need.