9 Reasons to Study Abroad in Korea

Studying abroad? South Korea is home to a rich culture, standout universities, and a relatively affordable cost of living.

portrait of James Mielke
by James Mielke

Published on April 6, 2022

Edited by Will Baker
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9 Reasons to Study Abroad in Korea


South Korea is a dynamic country that can offer study abroad students a rich cultural adventure, strong academics, and a resume-boosting experience. Whether you're pursuing an undergraduate degree in engineering or wanting an opportunity to practice your Korean language skills, South Korea is a popular destination for international learners.

Below, we spotlight nine reasons why South Korea is a standout location for students studying abroad.

1. You Get to Experience Korean Culture

Academics may come first for many students, but getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing a new culture has endless benefits. Students who study abroad in South Korea inevitably gain a greater world perspective and cultural appreciation.

Since they are participating in an immersive cultural experience, study abroad students can experience South Korean culture in a way that tourists can't. Students can experience Korean entertainment, nightlife, and culinary traditions while gaining first-hand knowledge of South Korea's global influence.

2. There Are Plenty of Programs to Choose From

Students packing their bags for their Korean study abroad experience can enroll in an extensive list of academic programs. Whether in South Korea for a summer semester or a whole year, students can study diverse topics like engineering, business, and Korean culture.

During their time in South Korea, students can also take advantage of seemingly endless opportunities to learn, hone, and practice the Korean language. Students can take advantage of internships and future career opportunities.

3. You'll Receive a High-Quality Education

While the cultural experience of studying abroad in South Korea is a significant incentive for students, education is still a primary component of enrolling internationally. Students traveling to study in South Korea can expect a high-quality education at some of the most prominent institutions in Asia.

Korean universities are also home to distinguished faculty with the same level of academic credentials as professors in American schools. Students may also pay less in tuition rates when studying abroad in South Korea.

4. You Can Learn Korean in an Immersive Environment

Tackling a new language in a classroom setting is one thing, but learning in an immersive environment encourages students to grasp the language more quickly. And while learning a new language can feel enriching, language proficiency can also boost your resume and enhance career options.

As a bonus, many find Korean easier to learn than other Asian languages like Chinese or Japanese. Traveling students can enroll in one of the country's language training programs.

5. You Can Eat Authentic Korean Cuisine

One of the most direct ways to get a feel for a culture you're experiencing for the first time is through its food. Korean cuisine is wholly its own, and traveling students can immerse themselves in a diverse menu of foods that include staples like banchan, kimchi, and a rich street food culture in urban centers.

Travelers can also connect with the country's deep Buddhist traditions and experience an array of vegan and vegetarian options.

6. It's an Inexpensive Country to Travel In

South Korea is an inexpensive country to travel in, and students studying abroad can take advantage of Seoul's subway system, which ranks among the best in the world. Additionally, buses and trains boast affordable costs and travel instructions that English-speaking travelers can easily understand.

Students who study abroad in South Korea can also take advantage of daily expenses that cost less than in other modern countries. For the cost-conscious traveler, lodging, food, and entertainment won't break the bank, so you can get a feel for Korean culture in all its forms. Students can also expect relatively inexpensive tuition rates.

7. You Can Explore a Beautiful Landscape

South Korea's glimmering modern cities might catch your eye, but the vast majority of the Korean Peninsula is mountainous and ripe for outdoor adventures. Additionally, rural plains and sunny beaches provide students with a chance to escape the city and explore the country's unique geography.

Study abroad students can explore South Korea's island parks and mountain hiking trails, and see what life is like outside of bustling city centers.

8. You Can Explore Beautiful Cities

To study abroad in South Korea often means simultaneously experiencing the country's modern architecture and culture alongside historic temples, castles, and parks. Students studying abroad in South Korea can experience modern architectural marvels like Seoul's city hall, the Jongno Tower, and the EWHA Womans University campus.

When studying in South Korea, students can typically expect to land in some of the country's larger cities like Seoul, Busan, Incheon, and Daegu.

9. You Can Travel in a Safe Environment

In addition to offering an experience rooted in rich culture and strong academics, students studying abroad in Korea can expect a safe experience. Korea ranks among the safest countries in the world and has an especially low crime rate.

When you combine a high quality of life with an absence of street crime, traveling students can fully immerse themselves in their study abroad experience without the fear of physical harm and loss of property.

Frequently Asked Questions About Studying Abroad in Korea

How much does it cost to study abroad in Korea? true

The cost of studying abroad in Korea varies between programs, but students can typically anticipate tuition rates to fall below American colleges and universities. Studying abroad in South Korea is a relatively affordable option, and the cost of food, housing, and entertainment is pretty reasonable.

Those wanting to study abroad in South Korea can seek out funding through various sources, including the Global Korea program for international students.

Where should I study abroad in Korea? true

Students should choose their study abroad location based on their academic goals and the type of cultural experience they are pursuing.

If you want the experience of big city South Korea, enrolling at a school in Seoul is an excellent choice. Conversely, those wanting to experience a quieter, more traditional South Korea should set their sights on a place like Daegu.

What are the requirements to study abroad in Korea? true

When planning to study abroad in Korea, students must sort out enrollment, travel, housing, and the finances required for day-to-day living. Additionally, international students must secure a D-2 student visa to study in South Korea.

Students should also consider some Korean cultural expectations before they land in the country. While visiting students receive the benefit of the doubt in cultural exchanges, no one likes the stereotypical loud American.

Feature Image: Gw. Nam / Moment / Getty Images

Thousands of U.S. college students study abroad each year, but where should you go? Here are the 12 best countries to study abroad and why. Nearly half of colleges plan on sending students out of the country this fall as U.S. study abroad programs reopen after COVID-19 shutdowns. Find out where study abroad is possible now that countries are accepting U.S. travelers.

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