Korea

The Republic of Korea is rich in culture and traditions, sharing influences with both China and Japan. The country has four distinctive seasons and boasts varied areas of scenic attractions and vibrant festivities throughout the year. Getting around is efficient and easy with the country's excellent public transport systems.

  • Study in Korea is the Korean Government’s guide for international students.

  • Hi Korea is the Korean Government’s website for foreigners living in Korea.

  • Visit Korea provides useful facts and information about Korea including tips and advice. Viewers may use this site as a guide to living, working and studying in Korea.

Study

Higher Education

Up to 80 per cent of all Korean institutes in higher education are private, however all institutes whether public or private come under the supervision of the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.

The website of the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) provide a comprehensive overview of Korea's tertiary education system.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology provides comprehensive overview of Korea's tertiary education system.

Preparatory language opportunities

Many Korean universities offer Korean language courses designed for a variety of student needs. Programs include short-term and regular courses.

Information on Korean language centres is available at the following links:

Korean language centres at major universities:

Studying in English

At present, universities with an interest in internationalising university education are conducting about 30% of their classes in English. The proportion of classes conducted in English is higher in graduate schools than in undergraduate studies. Some universities have established international faculties in which all the courses are taught in English.

Work and internships

Working

Study in Korea provides information about employment entitlements.

Internships

Taking internships within Korean corporations is common and increasingly more opportunities are available to international students. Students can find internship information through the international office of their university. There are different types of internships programs.

  • Most programs run for 1-2 months but there are opportunities for longer-term placement.
  • Some programs offer ongoing employment after a successful internship period
  • Some programs offer credit recognition (depending on the major)
  • Some programs are offered on-campus and involve working on a specific research project for a Korean company including onsite visits.

Costs

Budgeting

Costs in Seoul are relatively high, especially for university students who may be on a tight budget. For students on-campus living is the most favoured option because of discounted services. Depending on the area, size and facilities, dormitories usually costs between A$100-$200 per month without food costs. Other options include boarding houses, officetels, apartments, and one- room rentals. Costs vary depending on student's circumstances and location.

Fees and funding

For information regarding fees and funding visit the Study in Korea website.

Accessing money

Money can be obtained conveniently through banks and ATMs via use of an Australian bank card or global credit card; however, costs per transaction can be as high as A$14.60.

If a student wishes to set up a local bank account I.D documents and a passport are required upon request. Students should check with their selected Korean local bank for further requirements on a new account. Foreign account holders receive debit cards different to those issued to local Koreans. However, they work the same and the transaction summary will be in English. Cards with Plus and Cirrus logos are the easiest to use and most widely accepted in Korea.

Korea has both national and local taxes. Value added tax is payable on processed foods, luxury items, restaurant bills over a certain value, and in hotels. Tax is set at 10% on the bill.

Scholarships and support

See Money matters for general information about scholarships and financial support for studying overseas.

Many universities offer a number of scholarships for foreign students. Depending on student's academic achievements, the funding may cover from 30%- 100% of the tuition costs. For more information on individual scholarships offered, students should contact the admissions staff at their chosen university.

For information on Korean Government scholarships, visit the Study in Korea website.

Visas and insurance

Visas and entry

Students are advised to contact the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Canberra or the Consulate General in Sydney for up-to-date information regarding appropriate visas.

For more information on visas see the Hi Korea (e-Government for Foreigners).

Foreign students are required to visit the Immigration Office with jurisdiction over their place of residence in Korea in person and undergo alien registration within 90 days of arrival.

For more information on Alien Registration see Study in Korea.

Healthcare and insurance

There are no specific insurance requirements but as a general rule, exchange/visiting students are expected to sign-up for insurance in their home country (that will cover them during their time in Korea) prior to beginning their studies. In extenuating circumstances international students can purchase insurance upon arrival from the National Health Insurance Service or Korean Insurance Agencies.

Accommodation and transport

Accommodation

For students, lodging at university dormitories are most convenient. Universities provide help to students in finding accommodation and understanding contract conditions. Students are advised to find suitable accommodation before leaving their country. Any changes to permanent accommodation can be made after arrival in Korea.

Getting around

  • Seoul Metro has information regarding fares, timetables, tourism etc.
  • Visit Korea has information on how to purchase T-Card or train ticket. Site includes Seoul's subway map for reference.