To begin studying in South Korea, South Koreans must take the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) at the end of their high school education. This tests your knowledge in the areas of languages, mathematics, social sciences and natural sciences. The test result is decisive for which university accepts the new student. The reputation of the university in turn is an important criterion for future career opportunities in South Korea. The parents of most students therefore invest a lot of money in tutoring to help their children achieve a better test result at the CSAT.
Requirements for international students
In order to receive a place in a Bachelor program in South Korea, international applicants must have at least twelve years of school education. Usually this is the high school diploma. The South Korean universities decide individually whether the advanced technical college entrance qualification is sufficient.
To be admitted to a master’s degree, students must have a bachelor’s degree or a comparable degree, such as a master’s degree or diploma. As a rule, a master’s degree is a prerequisite for a doctoral degree. In individual cases, the universities also accept the old Magister or Diploma degrees. The combined master’s / doctoral degree programs require a good to very good bachelor’s degree.
International prospective students must have sufficient language skills. Universities require different proof of language proficiency depending on whether the classes are in English or Korean. Universities usually expect a standardized language test such as the IELTS or the TOEFL as proof of English language skills.
In addition to certificates and language skills, some universities also require proof of sufficient financial means for studying in South Korea. In these cases, the students or their parents must prove that they have a certain amount of money. The amount to be verified can be up to EUR 10,000.
Costs and financing options
According to usprivateschoolsfinder, all South Korean universities have tuition fees. How high these turn out depends on the degree program and the university. In principle, the fees at private universities are higher than at state institutions. Medical courses are significantly more expensive than humanities subjects. Accordingly, the cost of studying in South Korea varies between EUR 4,000 and 14,000 per academic year.
Cost of living while studying abroad in South Korea
The cost of food, clothing, teaching materials and leisure activities is around EUR 400 per month. Then there is the rent, which can be relatively high in South Korea. In most cases, it’s cheapest to live in the university dormitory. A room there costs between EUR 700 and EUR 2,000 per semester.
Foreign BAföG for studying in South Korea
Students who only spend one or two semesters abroad in South Korea can receive funding from the Auslands-BAföG. The office pays up to EUR 4,600 of the tuition fees for a maximum of one academic year and grants further subsidies for travel and living expenses. Like the domestic BAföG, the international BAföG is dependent on the income of the parents. Nevertheless, it can be worthwhile to apply for BAföG abroad. Since the assessment limits are higher here, students who are not entitled to BAföG in Germany often also receive grants.
Scholarships to study in South Korea
Anyone wishing to complete a full degree in South Korea should inquire about a scholarship. In Germany, the DAAD and various foundations in particular award scholarships for studying abroad. The South Korean government and South Korean universities also award scholarships to international students. The amount of the scholarships from universities is mostly dependent on the average grade and covers between 30 and 100 percent of the tuition fees. It could therefore be worthwhile to find out about possible scholarships from the university of your choice.
Government grants are awarded by various ministries. They are aimed primarily at students in the graduate section of the course, i.e. at master’s or doctoral students. In most cases, the prerequisites are good academic achievements and first-hand knowledge of the Korean language. For undergraduate students who are studying Korea-related studies, there are also scholarships for participating in Korean language programs.
For students who do not receive a BAföG or scholarship abroad, an education or student loan can be a way of financing their studies abroad.
International students studying full-time in South Korea are allowed to work up to twenty hours a week during the semester, and more during the semester break. To do this, students must have been enrolled for at least one semester, have a D2 visa and have a letter of recommendation from a professor.
Visa and entry requirements of South Korea
International students need a visa to study in South Korea. You should apply for this at the South Korean embassy or consulate in Germany well in advance of your departure. The D2 visa is required to study in South Korea. Students who take part in a language program at the language institute of a university or another educational institution, on the other hand, need a D4 visa.
You have to submit the following documents for the visa:
- Certificate of enrollment from the South Korean university
- Copy of the family register
- Proof of US $ 10,000
- Certificate of study from the last German university attended
After arriving in South Korea, you must present yourself to the local immigration office within ninety days. There you will receive an Alien Registration Card, which you will need to open a bank account or sign a mobile phone contract, among other things.
Last but not least, you should definitely take out comprehensive international health insurance for the time in South Korea. It is also advisable to visit a travel doctor in good time in order to refresh the standard vaccinations according to the current vaccination calendar of the Robert Koch Institute. If necessary, you should supplement these with vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, Japanese encephalitis and rabies.