Are you looking for answers to these questions: How is South Korea as a study-abroad destination? How to apply for Bachelor and Masters programs in South Korea? How to study in South Korea with a full scholarship as an Indian student? What are the stay-back options and career prospects after studying in South Korea? Or, do you need online guidance from Study in South Korea consultants? Read this full article until the end to get all your answers.
Study in South Korea for Indian Students
Co-authored by Parinita Gupta
International student mobility has changed drastically over the past two decades or so. Earlier, Indian or Asian students used to flock to the West for higher education. But, scenarios are changing rapidly. US, UK, Canada, Australia et al. still continue to be the most popular study abroad destinations. However, with rising costs and stricter (and uncertain) post-study work policies everywhere, Indian students are becoming more concerned about ROI than ever before.
South Korea presents a great option for Indians. In this post, we will cover all you need to know about Study in South Korea for Indian Students – top reasons to study in South Korea, the application process & timeline, visa guidelines, top universities & courses, post-study work rules, and job market scenarios & salaries for international students in Korea.
Advantages of Studying in Asia
Studying in Asia has its benefits – the cost of living is generally lower (although cities like Singapore and Hong Kong can be expensive), cities are very diverse, and the weather is generally milder than on other continents.
As the importance of global skills and international mindsets gain traction, studying in Asia can be a great way to leave your comfort zone and immerse yourself in a whole new culture.
Being close to India and still experiencing an international experience in the class, make it a popular choice for cost-conscious students from India. Unlike western countries, the time taken to fly down from Asian countries to India and the costs of an airline ticket are pretty manageable.
Among the most popular Asian destinations, names like Singapore and Hong Kong always come to mind first. China and Japan are also gaining good traction. But, one country that has been off the radar for quite some time is South Korea – the land of Kpop and kimchi.
South Korea is one of the most developed countries on the Asian continent. The country is considered one of the top-performing OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries in reading mathematics, literacy, and sciences with the average student scoring 519, compared with the OECD average of 493. It has one of the world’s highest-educated labor forces among other countries.
With one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree, education in South Korea has been admired for several reasons including its prominent role in navigating the economic development of the country.
Since the last decade, the country has increased its focus on accelerating the number of international students who come to study in South Korea and they are increasingly successful in attracting international students into their education programs. South Korea is counted among the top countries for STEM education.
At present, there are above around 400 National and private universities with state-of-the-art research facilities in several emerging scientific fields. The country is well known for its high level of prominence on education with its national obsession with studying popularly called “education fever”.
With the record growth in foreign enrolments in its universities since 2017, South Korea is becoming one of the top Asian destinations for Indian students. Graduate programs have the majority of the lectures in English than undergraduate courses. Few universities are such where all the courses are taught in English which is quite a plus for Indian students. Read the story of Suhena Mehra (from Delhi) who pursued Masters in Korea after finishing Bachelors from the UK.
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Top 5 Reasons to Study in South Korea
So, why study in Korea? There are multiple factors. Here we will point out the top 5 reasons.
As per various survey reports, international students are very satisfied with the education system in Korea. According to QS Top Universities, “Investment in education and research has been at the heart of South Korea’s growth into the world’s 11th largest economy and the fourth largest economy within Asia. It’s this investment and growth in innovation and technology that has meant the country is known as one of the four ‘Asian Tiger’ economies, alongside Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan.”
There are various fields of study one can opt for when considering studying in South Korea. However, the most rewarding fields of study in South Korea for Indian students are arts, science, and business-related courses.
Both tuition fees and living expenses are pretty affordable in comparison to Western countries. The average expense of a foreign student studying in Korea is about USD $6,500 (INR 4.6 Lacs) a year.
Tuition Fees to Study in South Korea
Generally, the cost of education varies for different fields of specialization, for example, the Humanities field of study is on the lower end compared to the medical field which is quite higher. You can expect an average of USD $3,000 to USD $7,000 per semester for undergraduate courses at a public university. So, the average annual academic tuition fees considering the 16 internationally ranked universities in Seoul are estimated at USD $9,800.
A Masters’s degree will cost INR 2 – 4.5 Lacs per year. MBA programs (18 – 24 months) can cost INR 10 – 16 Lacs per year.
The cost of living in Korea is steadily rising, especially in Seoul. However, accommodation cost in other student areas of South Korea is generally very affordable for them with one-room apartments starting at $300. The average rent of a one-room accommodation a student can expect is around $450. Students coming to South Korea to pursue their higher studies will typically have four main options, they are – Dormitories, One-room apartments, Goshiwons, and share-houses.
Thankfully, there are always great budget options and you can easily find a suitable place that fits your needs and budget. Food is another major factor that adds to the cost of living. Students arranging for home groceries can expect to spend around $30-$70 a week. And if you plan to eat out, it can easily cost you $3-$20 per meal.
Generous Scholarship Schemes
There are many scholarship schemes available specifically for Indian students which can be checked directly from the respective University websites. Scholarships are also available for international students which are widely available from individual universities and it can cover up to 100% of tuition fees.
The Korean Government offers generous scholarships (full tuition fees, airfare, and monthly living allowance) to international students who learn the Korean language before commencing the actual degree program. Check out the top scholarships for international students to study in South Korea.
The RoK Government provides scholarships to international graduate students for either one of the following courses:
1) Master’s course: 3 years (1 year of Korean language course & 2 years of master’s course)
2) Doctoral course: 4 years (1 year of Korean language course & 3 years of doctoral course) Scholarship Payment is as follows: (subject to change and actual contract)
- Airfare: A round-trip economy-class ticket
- Monthly Allowance: 900,000 won per month
- Research Allowance: 210,000 won for students in humanities and social sciences; 240,000 won for students in natural and mechanic sciences per semester
- Relocation Allowance: 200,000 won upon arrival
- Language Training Fee: The full costs up to 1 year (NIIED pays directly to the entrusted language institution)
- Tuitions: The full entrance fee is exempted by the host institution. The full tuition is exempted by NIIED.
- Dissertation Printing Costs: Up to 500,000 won will be reimbursed for the costs related to a dissertation printing. (Up to 800,000 won for art or physical education course)
- Medical Insurance: 15,000 won per month
Scholarships for Indian Students to Study in South Korea
- The Undergraduate Korean Government Scholarship
- Yonsei University Scholarship For Undergraduate Program
- Global Korea Scholarship (GKS)
- GKS for ASEAN Nations
- Korean Government Scholarship Program
- Seoul National University Scholarship For Graduates And Undergraduates
- Korea University Scholarship for Graduate and Undergraduate Program
- GIST Scholarship
- UST Scholarships
Useful Websites for Information on Scholarships to Study in Korea:
So, it’s a great way to study abroad for free; well almost. Read how to study abroad for free from India.
Opportunity to Learn Korean Language
Learning a foreign language is a great way to stand out in the job market – both in India and international job market. Additionally, there are other benefits as well. One of the rewards of learning a second language is that being bilingual is a way of boosting one’s intellectual growth, as well as enhancing mental development. Read the importance and cognitive benefits of learning a foreign language.
Why learn Korean?
Opportunity to Get Full Scholarships and Full-Time Jobs in Korea
Learning the Korean language is definitely going to help you get full scholarships and to get jobs after your studies in Korea.
Jobs in Korean Companies in India
What is not very well known is that more than hundreds of Korean companies and groups have a presence in India. These companies are operating in almost every sector, i.e., Information Technology, business research, consumer electronics, R&D, life sciences, media, automobiles, tourism, construction industry, trading, finance, services, etc.
Candidates, who are fluent in the Korean language, are preferred in Korean companies as their head office is based in Korea, and they need to communicate with the Head Office regularly.
Jobs in Indian and International MNCs
Apart from Korean companies in India, many Indian companies have invested in S.Korea, like Tata Motors has bought Daewoo Commercial Vehicles, M&M has bought Ssangyong Motors. Besides these acquisitions, many companies like Infosys, TCS, L&T Infotech, Wipro, etc. have their branch offices in S.Korea.
South Korea is a special strategic partner for India. Thanks to Indo-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IK-CEPA), There are significant export opportunities for several Indian products in the Korean market including, mineral fuels / mineral oils, iron and steel, organic chemicals, aluminum and articles thereof, residues and waste from food industries, cotton products, and more.
Additionally, there are 100’s MNCs from India, USA, and Europe who hire Korean language professionals for their offices in India. Jobs in these MNCs are related to accounting payables, translations, sales, purchases, technical writing, proofreading, and interpretation, to name a few.
So, as you can see, knowledge of Korean could land you a plum job in a plethora of top companies.
Immense Career Opportunities
Studying abroad has got its own advantages. Learning the Korean language during your stay is also going to help you in several ways. Additionally, studying in Korea has many other career benefits as well.
There’s very low unemployment in South Korea. Currently, the Korean economy has been growing steadily, making it a great time to get a job in the country. The Korean government is also keen on students from overseas securing jobs there.
Top Korean Brands with Presence in India:
- KIA Motors
- Shinhan Financial Group
- IL Jin
The academic session starts in March every year hence applications in universities are generally open from January. The admission deadlines of specific universities are different hence it is advisable for the students to check prior to their admission whether they require any additional documents apart from the ones mentioned above. Please be advised that a few courses start in August/September as well.
South Korean universities prefer all their students and new applicants to apply directly to their respective universities through an online application. The process of application and the documents required to submit are:
- Filled Application form
- Letter of Recommendation
- Copy of your Passport along with your parent’s passport too
- Proof of proficiency in Korean or English language
- Academic score/ record from previous school/ colleges
- Statement of Purpose/ Personal Statement
- Bank Statement in case the student pays his own fee
Aspiring students will require a study visa to study in South Korea. D-2 Visa for Regular Educational Program – this visa is for any student enrolling in Bachelors, Masters, or Ph.D. programs and the visa application process takes up to a minimum of 10 days to get finished. Students are advised to plan out their time accordingly.
International students are allowed to work part-time in Korea. With the relevant Visa, students are eligible for working up to 20 hours a week during their course and in their holidays they can work for unlimited hours.
Language students working for 20 hours a week have to have a D4 visa however they are only eligible to apply for this permission after 6 months. Interested students need to visit immigration and apply for permission to work.
Application for Part-time work requires the following documents – Passport, Letter of recommendation, and Proof of Enrolment certificate of attendance from your university.
The top courses to study in South Korea in 2020 are Arts & Literature, Business Studies, Economics, Engineering & Natural Sciences, Management studies (including MBA), and Social Sciences to name a few.
Top Universities to Study in South Korea
- Seoul National University
- KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)
- Korea University
- Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)
- Yonsei University
- Hanyang University
- Kyung Hee University
- Ewha Woman’s University
- Sogang University
- Sungkyunkwan University
- Donguk University
- Gyeongju University
- Catholic University of Korea
- Chungbuk National University
- Catholic University of Daegu
- Woosong University
- Kwangwoon University
- University of Suwon
- Konkuk University
- Sejong Univesity
You’re only eligible to work full-time in South Korea after graduating if you seek a visa for professors, have a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences and Engineering or a Masters’s degree in a humanities subject from a Korean university. If none of the above experience applies to you then you might find it tricky to secure a work placement and we recommend speaking to your international office at your university to discuss this further.
A rising number of overstaying international students in recent years prompted South Korea’s government to tighten visa rules for applicants, beginning with Vietnamese students in 2019. So, you need to be alert about your job search process.
Job Search Tips:
- Take advantage of any work placement opportunities during your studies in Korea
- Get your language up to scratch by taking a module in Korean language or investing in language classes
- Network at all opportunities. The job market is all about connections
- If you have work qualifications from another country check ahead of your trip if they’re recognized in Korea
Useful sites for finding a job in South Korea:
HigherEd Jobs – for PhD, postdoctoral, research and lecturing vacancies at Korean universities
Korean national job centre – supported by the Korean government
Work net – recruitment portal
Hi Korea – for foreign nationals in Korea
The job market can be competitive as you’ll be up against Korean nationals, but as long as you have a relevant degree from a Korean institution and a good command of the language, you may find your international background can serve as an advantage.
The IT and medical sectors absorb a lot of Indians. In the current time, with growing political and social ties between India and South Korea, students can expect for better job prospects. The average salary of an IT & Software Engineer is $46,980. A research scientist and a Business manager can easily have a median salary of around $74,500. However, salaries do depend on your experience and skills.
Author Parinita Gupta: Parinita is a full-time banking professional. Additionally, she is also a passionate blogger and digital marketer.
She mostly writes about the Banking & Finance, Technology, and FinTech sector. But, she also enjoys writing on other topics as well. You can follow her on Twitter.
Featured Image Source: Sahara Avenue