How To Study in Korea for Free

Princewill Princewill
Posted Princewill Princewill August 16, 2022
Updated 2022/08/16 at 5:12 PM
12 Min Read
How To Study in Korea for Free

Lately, the craze to study abroad has escalated pervasively. And the number of people that chose Korea as their choice destination has increased as well. As a result, a lot of people are looking for how to study in Korea for free. 

Well, if you’re one of these people, you’re in luck. 

In this article, you will find everything you need to know about studying in Korea for free. We’ll cover the common sources international students study in Korea, some affordable universities you can study in, and ways you can study for free in your dream country. 

Why Study in Korea?

With a population of 51.8 million, Korea is one of the most dynamically developed countries in the world. And as such, is a go-to destination for students looking to study abroad. 

Aside from the opportunity to explore a variety of cultures and beliefs, you will be open to a highly competitive academic environment. 

According to QS University Rankings, at least 6 Korean universities are found in the position of Top 20 Universities in Asia. This goes to say hoe Koreans take academics (especially tertiary education seriously). 

Universities in Korea have a variety of courses and programs you can choose from as an international student. This, coupled with the ultra-modern facilities in Korean universities make your college experience unique. 

The icing on the cake is the opportunities you’re open to as a graduate of a Korean university. Most Korean brands run recruitment programs for international graduates, and this opens you up to various career prospects. 

The language skills, versatility, and cultural background of international students in Korea make them highly desirable and valuable to both Korean and non-Korean employers. 

Common Programs for International Students in Korea

Korean universities have a variety of courses and programs. However, the most common ones offered by international students include: 

  • Nursing
  • Business
  • Computer Science 
  • Medicine

How much does it cost to study in Korea? 

The cost of tuition in Korean universities depends largely on the institution itself. However, private universities typically have a higher tuition fee than government-owned schools. 

The average tuition fee for a university in Korea is about $6,000 per semester.

An associate degree costs about $1,500 to $7,260 while an undergraduate program is estimated between $1,580 and $11,560. As expected, graduate programs cost between $1,290 to $ 12,230.

The cost of transportation, accommodation, academic study materials, and other various expenses greatly affects the overall cost of studying in Korea as well. 

A more precise breakdown of the living expenses of an average international student in Korea will give you detailed information. 

How to study in Korea for free

The most ideal way to study for free in Korea is to get a fully-funded scholarship. However, being selected for a scholarship takes intentional effort on your part as an applicant. 

Here are some of the things you can do to increase your chances of securing a Korean scholarship. 

Prepare to meet Application Requirements

Before applying for a scholarship in Korea, it’s essential to check for available scholarships and their requirements. Most scholarships are generally awarded based on merit, and so your chances of getting a scholarship are higher if you have excellent academic records. 

Highlighting your academic records, test results, and CGPA in your scholarship applications is necessary.

Possibly, augment your applications with a record of your extracurricular activities, achievements, and awards. This will help you stand out in the crowd of applicants, therefore increasing your chances of getting a scholarship. 

Submitting a statement of purpose or a self-introduction is a requirement for most scholarship applications. In instances like this, having an exceptional and well-written letter will put you at an advantage over other applicants. 

It is advisable to begin your application process early, and spend considerable time crafting your application letters. 

Prepare and apply for applications on time

As we stated earlier, preparing your application early will allow you enough time to collect the necessary information and documents you need to process your application. 

It will give you enough time to address and sort out every issue or concern you may have.

Preparing in advance will also help reduce the possibility of making mistakes in your application. This will further increase your chances of securing a scholarship. 

Do a thorough Research for Korean scholarships

There are several arrangements in place for international students looking to study in Korea. These could take the form of financial aid or scholarship programs. 

Some institutions automatically consider their students for a scholarship once they apply for admission. On the contrary, other universities will require you to go through a scholarship application process to be selected. 

Ensure that you adequately research for and read the financial aid requirements for schools you apply for on their official website. This will make sure you don’t miss out on the financial aid opportunities you are eligible for. 

Some Korean universities that offer financial aid include: 

  • Yonsei University 
  • Seoul National University 
  • Kyung Hee University
  • Punsan National University
  • Korea National University of Arts 
  • Ehwa Women’s University
  • Dongsea University

There are also several scholarship programs funded by the Korean ministry of education. These scholarships are made available to national and international students alike, as is only awarded to top applicants. One of the scholarship schemes funded by the Korean government includes: 

  • Global Korean Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to students looking to get their bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate’s degrees in select Korean universities. It covers the applicant’s full tuition for the entire academic session. 

Apply for Scholarships from your government 

Some countries offer study-abroad scholarships to their citizens. It is advisable to check if scholarships like this exist in your home country. This is another way to study in Korea for free.  

Search for external scholarship opportunities

Aside from institutions and the government, there are other organizations and companies that offer scholarships to students willing to study in Korea. These companies are ready to fund your education and living expenses all through your academic program.

 However, there are usually strings attached. One of these ‘strings’ may be to become a member of their staff and work for them after you complete your studies. 

As a result, it is important to read the terms and conditions of these companies thoroughly before applying for their financial aid programs. 

Other Ways you can study in Korea for free

Securing a scholarship is undoubtedly the best way to study in Korea for free. However, not every applicant will successfully secure a scholarship. 

If you’re in this category of people, there’s no need to worry! You can still survive in Korea as an international student if you properly plan your education and expenses, and keep your cost low. 

Here are some tips that can help. 

Apply to affordable universities 

At this point, your goal is to keep your costs low. You cannot successfully achieve this if you attend a private institution. So, it is advisable to apply to national and public universities, and the cost of tuition in these schools is considerably lower. 

Depending on your program, you may need an average of $3,000 or less per semester for an undergraduate degree program in a public university. The same program may cost you 50% more in a private university. 

Work while studying 

This is another way to study in Korea for free. International students in Korea are allowed to work part-time while pursuing their education in a Korean university. 

You can apply for a part-time employment visa at the Immigration Office if you possess a D-2 student visa or D-4 student visa. 

The employment visa is also known as an S-3 visa. It will allow you to work for 25 hours per week as an undergraduate student and 30-hour per week as a research student or a master’s or doctorate student. 

Be sure to do your homework regardless; ensure you check for available part-time jobs you can work for. 

Manage your living expenses

An average international student in Korea needs $700 a month to cover living expenses. This amount might be influenced largely by your choice of accommodation and feeding. 

Living in a student accommodation or dormitory in school costs considerably less compared to renting an apartment. Eating out also costs more than preparing your meals yourself. 

Hence, choosing to live in a student dormitory and making your own meals will greatly reduce your cost of living in Korea. 

This doesn’t mean you should have close to no social interactions and be self-denying. You do not have to visit the biggest and most popular clubs and hangouts to have a nice time. There are places you can visit and activities you can do without incurring significant financial stress. 

The goal is to reduce your cost of living, not to lead a boring and sad life. 

In conclusion, it is absolutely possible to study in Korea for free. You can either do that by securing a scholarship, or by applying to affordable schools within your budget. Working as an international student in Korea, and regulating your finances can also make your study in Korea inexpensive. 

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