Study abroad semester in South Korea

South Korea is a safe and modern Asian country. It emerged after the division from the North Korea in mid 20th century. After then, the two nations proceeded in opposite directions: South Korea opened its economy to the world, gaining an impressive and sustained growth, while North Korea kept a restrictive policy with poor results. The two political systems are totally different as well, and life in general is not related at all. South Korea is now one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with one of the highest life expectancies for its citizens.

Development made it possible to establish a strong population density, especially in Seoul, that, with 25 million inhabitants, is ranked as the fifth largest metropolitan area in the world. Governmental help and services are excellent. Means of transportation are efficient and up to date. Population growth is stagnant, in line with the other advanced economies.

Religion is not that popular in South Korea: atheism make up the largest part of the population, with Christianism and Buddhism following as primary religions. Also, Confucianism and Shamanism (an ancestral religion based on demons and spirits) are present, but still with a marginal share compared to atheism. Baseball, football, skating and taekwondo are some of the most followed sports. Hiking and skiing are possible due to the mountains located in the north of the country and the cold winter climate.

What are the best universities in South Korea for semester students?

Are you still undecided whether or not South Korea might be an appealing destination for you? On wearefreemovers you can find a selection of 15 academic institutions offering you the possibility of spending a semester or a full academic year in South Korea. Let’s check some statistics about them.

Here you can see the positions of the South Korean institutions among the world’s best universities rankings.

NAME QS THE ARWU CWUR CWTS Eduniversal palmes U.S. News & World Report's Best Global Universities Rankings Webometrics
Seoul National University 37 60 101-150 31 10 5 129 435
Korea University 69 167 201-300 174 101 5 264 735
Yonsei University 85 187 201-300 165 51 5 329 750
Sungkyunkwan University 88 101 201-300 195 86 4 205 789
Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) (Research only) 39 96 201-300 234 134 5 274 671
Hanyang University 146 351–400 201-300 323 162 4 440 845
Kyung Hee University 236 251–300 301-400 383 202 3 547 -
Sogang University 490 801–1000 901-1000 999 871 3 1182 958
Ewha Woman's University 333 601–800 501-600 537 530 3 741 720
Hongik University - - - 1676 1166 - - -
Konkuk University (Undergraduate level) 551-560 601–800 701-800 627 380 - 922 791
Kyungpook National University 561-570 801–1000 301-400 404 283 - 618 478
Pohang University of Science and Technology (Research only) 77 151 301-400 362 397 - 367 362
Pusan National University 581-590 801–1000 401-500 449 240 3 689 489
Sookmyung Women`s University - - - 1725 - - - -

South Korea is definitely a prestigious and competitive destination. Excluding Hongik University and Sookmyung Women`s University, which in my opinion should strive more to gain international recognition, all the South Korean destinations listed here on wearefreemovers are excellent. If you want to draw a line between a highly prestigious and exclusive tier of universities, and a very good and more accessible one, you could check whether the chosen institution has a two or three digit position in rankings. If you go sub-100, well, you are choosing one of the best 100 universities in the world. Considering the number of countries and students in the world, that’s a pretty elite group of institutions, to which some Korean institutions listed here belong.

Costs and fees of studying in South Korea

South Korea is an expensive country. Monthly costs of living for a single person are close to 850€. Here you can find a detail of the various costs that you can encounter in this country. Keep in mind that, as a student, you could have access to various discounts which can include food, travel, and accommodation expenses.

When it comes to university’s fees, South Korea is not that expensive, with a median 3050€/semester for free mover students.

Which South Korean cities are available for free movers?