According to The Korea Herald, over 150,000 international students enrolled in a Bachelor’s, Master’s or other courses in South Korea last year. If you want to join them, here are the main steps you need to follow during the university application process:
1. Find a South Korean university to apply to
To get you started, here are some of the top-ranked universities in South Korea:
- Seoul National University
- Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
- Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)
- Korea University
Find other universities in South Korea.
2. Learn where to submit your university application
Many South Korean universities allow students to fill in their applications online. Since there’s no centralised system, you need to check the individual website of each institution and find the application form.
3. Meet the university entry requirements
While admission requirements vary from one university to another, here are some of the common prerequisites:
- submitted application form
- proof of paying the application fee (if applicable)
- high school diploma (to apply for a Bachelor’s)
- Bachelor’s diploma (to apply for a Master’s)
- proof of English proficiency (IELTS, TOEFL)
- proof of financial resources (to live and study there)
- transcript of records
- passport-sized photo(s)
- copy of valid passport and/or personal ID
- motivation letter
- letter(s) of recommendation
- personal statement
- (online) interview
It’s also worth mentioning that not all universities in South Korea use these criteria to evaluate your competence. Instead, some choose to conduct online interviews or ask prospective students to pass university-specific tests.
4. Find out about the language requirements
Those brave enough to study a degree taught in Korean need to pass the official Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK).
However, most international students will choose English-taught programmes, for which they need to submit:
Learn more about IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE Academic.
5. Apply before the application deadlines
At most South Korean universities, there are two admission periods:
- September-November: for the spring semester
- May-June: for the autumn/fall semester
Since application deadlines can change yearly, we recommend double-checking the specific dates before you start applying. Also, keep in mind that the visa procedure takes some time, so include that in your planning.
6. Final steps after receiving your acceptance letter
- confirm your enrolment after receiving the acceptance letter/university offer
- apply for a student visa in South Korea
- apply for medical insurance
- search for scholarships and grants. You can also apply for our Studyportals Scholarship: International Distinction Awards.