South Korea, an East Asian nation on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, shares one of the world’s most heavily militarized borders with North Korea. It’s equally known for its green, hilly countryside dotted with cherry trees and centuries-old Buddhist temples, plus its coastal fishing villages, sub-tropical islands and high-tech cities such as Seoul, the capital.
So, Why study in South Korea?
South Korea is a constitutional democracy state with a very high standard of living. As Asia's fourth largest economy it is one of the world's leading international financial centres.
- As one of the Asian tigers it has enjoyed rapid economic growth and avoided the worst effects of the recession of the post-2008 period. Unemployment is low and public services such as transport are cutting edge. The proportion on non-Koreans in the population is increasing rapidly. English is widely taught and spoken.
- There are 43 national and almost 180 private universities and universities.
- Undergraduate programmes normally last four years (six years for medicine and dentistry).
- In 2010 there were 83,842 foreign students from 171 countries studying in South Korea.
- Compared with the US, Canada, and UK, Korea has lower tuition and living costs. International students do not have to pay higher fees and there are many scholarship programmes to assist international students financially.
- The Korean government has recently announced substantial support and deregulation for foreign students in areas such as scholarships, dormitory provision, part time jobs, and employment after graduation.
The university system:
South Korea has a large and diversified higher education system with many private universities.
- Most undergraduate degrees are four year courses and many are taught in English.
- The academic year starts in March, but many universities admit new students twice a year, in March and September. The academic year is divided into two semesters, with a summer break from July to August, and winter break from December to February
- Generally, for applications by international students, the deadline for spring semester (March entry) is usually from September to November, and for autumn semester (September entry) from May to June. There is some variation between individual universities so check first.
- Applicants may print out an application form and send it by mail or courier service or apply online if available.
- Applicants who do not have English as their first language should take TOEFL, IELTS or other acceptable English language tests to prove their English proficiency.
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