Study in South Korea
Graduate programs in South Korea
South Korea is one of the world’s developing powers, with excellent education, a high standard of living and a growing economy. South Korea is particularly advanced when it comes to IT and technology, being a hot bed of developing technologies and computer systems.
Beyond that, Korea has a rich cultural life and is very welcoming to international students. You can expect a mixture of millennia-old tradition and modern culture, all seared through with trademark South Korean hospitality.
A graduate program in South Korea will be the perfect way to get a great qualification and immerse yourself in this beautiful Asian country.
The South Korean postgraduate system focuses on Graduate Schools, which offer Masters courses to international students. There are more than 40 graduate schools in South Korea, which are divided into generalist school focusing on academic research and more practice-orientated specialist schools.
As well as graduate schools, you can also study at the following types of institution in South Korea:
- Undergraduate universities
- Junior colleges organised by subject
- Technical colleges
A Masters program in South Korea will typically take a minimum of two years to complete, with assessment including a thesis which must pass an examination by three separate examiners.
PhD programs will take a minimum of three years to complete, with your thesis passing examination by at least five examiners.
Immigration and visas in South Korea
In order to study in South Korea you will need to obtain an Overseas Study (D-2) visa, which you will only be able to get after you have been offered a place at an approved institution. You will also need to be able to demonstrate the following:
- Letter of acceptance from your university
- More than $10,000 in your bank account to prove you can support yourself
- Proof of your undergraduate qualification
Your passport must also be valid for the duration of your studies in South Korea. You will also only be able to work a maximum of 20 hours per week as part of your student visa requirements.
Life in South Korea
South Korea is a traditional country that is slowly embracing modernity. The growth of the country’s economy means that South Korea’s cities are becoming more populated as people leave the countryside in search of more jobs. This has led to a movement away from many generations of families living together to a more western style nuclear family living arrangement.
The influence of western culture has grown in cities like Seoul, with American fast food chains, music and clothing all becoming more popular. Nevertheless, Korean culture is still heavily based on respect and family values.
Working in South Korea
South Korea is one of the world’s major economics and had the fastest growing economy anywhere between the 1960s and 1990s. It is dependent on international trade, being the sixth largest exporter of goods and tenth largest importer in the world in 2010.
The country’s economy is founded on high-technology industries, so graduates in subjects such as mechatronics, electronics, automobiles and robotics should be able to find employment postgraduation.
The cost of accommodation in South Korea varies depending on where you choose to study your postgraduate course. There are two main types of accommodation while studying:
- University accommodation – such as halls of residence
- Private accommodation – House and flat rentals
In general, South Korea is one of the more expensive places you can choose to study for both tuition fees and living costs. As a guide, a room in a flat in Seoul will set you back around 400,000 KRW (£240) per month.
Climate in South Korea
South Korea has a humid continental climate, meaning summers are hot and winters cold. The main summer months run from May to September, when temperatures can exceed 30C and it gets extremely humid.
Winter is at its coldest between November and March, when temperatures below freezing are not uncommon.
South Korea is also affected by the East Asian monsoon, with a period of heavy rainfall in the summer months of June and July.
Transport in South Korea is extremely advanced with an extensive network of high-speed railways, bus routes and ferries to help you get around. Locally, trams and taxis are in good supply in major cities, while the six major cities of Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon and Incheon all have metro systems.
The currency of South Korea is the Won.
What to do next
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