Life of an international student in Korea

Inku

Hi! My name is Inku and this is my blog for foreigners willing to study in Korea. A little something about myself, I am a Korean who studied in Indonesia for 12 years and in Singapore for another 7 years. Then, I came back to Korea to complete my university here. Currently, I'm studying at Underwood International College (UIC) in Yonsei University. Being overseas for almost my whole life, I understand the struggles of international students living in Korea. Luckily, thanks to my ethnic background and familiarity with the country's culture, I could find my way of adjusting to life in Korea. In this blog, I want to share with you my information that international students need so that you know what to expect from studying in Korea and to prepare and adjust.

Posts (11)

by Inku
65th TOPIK (in Korea) application guide and details

The 65th TOPIK (July 7, 2019) application in Korea is open tomorrow (May 21, 2019)!   Make sure that you apply from 9:00 AM May 21, 2019 to 6:00 PM May 27 for the 65th TOPIK in Korea!   The exam will be conducted on July 7, 2019   The Results will be released on August 1, 2019   1st round of application: May 21 0900hrs ~ May 23 1800hrs 2nd round of application: May 24 1000hrs ~ May 27 1800hrs   Complete your registration and payment for 1st round of application in the given time. If you have not registered or have not made the payment in the 1st round of application, you will have to register during the 2nd round application. – the difference between 1st and 2nd round is that 1st round applicants have the benefit to choose where to take their examination and have priority. On the other hand, 2nd round applicants will have to choose from leftover spaces.   A. How to Apply: 1. Create a TOPIK account or log in to your account 2. Choose your exam location 3. Select whether you are taking TOPIK I or TOPIK II TOPIK I is for level 1 and 2 while TOPIK II is for level 3 to 6 4. Upload your photo and fill in the blanks necessary 5. Upon completion, check if your application is registered.   B. Things to take note: Make sure you upload your correct photo; you should upload a photo of you and not anyone or anything else. You are able to change your photo during the application period. However, after the application period, you will not be able to change it voluntarily. (unless you have been marked as 사진오류자(photo error). You will not be able to print your admission pass without updating your photo when marked as such. After updating your photo you should also inform that you changed your photo on [정보마당][Q&A] Any changes to your application details (other than photo) that you wish to make after the application period, you have to send your changes to the email at topik@korea.kr until July 2. Ex. Title: (접수번호/registration number)-영문성명 변경 요청 Information: HONG GIL DONG -> GO GIL DONG   If your form of identification you bring during the exam does not match the information given in the admission pass, you may not be eligible to take the exam.   C. Date to print admission pass: June 24 1000hrs ~ July 7   D. Refund date: 1st round of refund: May 21 ~ May 27 (100% refundable) 2nd round of refund: May 28 ~ June 3 (50% refundable) 3rd round of refund: June 4 ~ July 6 1300hrs (40% refundable)   E. If you have difficulties/limitations in online registration, you can visit certain facilities Time: 21 May 2019 ~ 22 May 2019 (09:00 ~ 18:00) Items to bring: Identification (alien registration card or passport) ID Photograph (or passport photo) Mode of payment (credit card or bank account) Below is the list of facilities you can receive assistance:   Name IC Contact Location 국립국제교육원 TOPIK 사업단 02-3668-1331 국립국제교육원 TOPIK 사업단(7층, 704호) 건국대학교 임철권 02-450-3956 건국대학교 언어교육원 행정실 (교내 6번 건물 1층) 한국산업기술대학교 오창열 031-8041-0802 한국산업기술대학교 시흥비즈니스센터 502호 계명대학교 남희온 053-580-6358 계명대학교(성서캠퍼스) 동영관 317호(사랑방) 부경대학교 이지은 051-629-6905 부경대학교 대연캠퍼스 국제교류부 행정실 (대학본부 108호) 선문대학교 전동호 정다운 041-559-1302 041-559-1308 선문대학교 천안캠퍼스 본관 401호 제주한라대학교 조훈진 064-741-7421 제주한라대학교 금호미래관 1층 언어교육센터 한림대학교 장윤희 033-248-2973 한림대학교 국제관 1층 14102호   Link to official TOPIK website: http://www.topik.go.kr/usr/lang/index.do?home_seq=221

May 20, 2019
by Inku
How's university like in Korea?

University life in Korea   You probably have seen many videos or blogs already about the life of a Korean student. However, in this blog, I want to tell you some of the important things that you have to know as a foreign student studying in a Korean university. The purpose of this post is to give an idea of what you can expect from your university life in Korea.   Many Koreans consider University as the first step into adult life. In Korea, students enter the legal adult age as soon as they start their university year. This is when they start drinking and enjoying the nightlife. Korean parents tend to be strict until their children complete high school, but after entering university, these parents often give freedom to their children. Therefore, students have more control over their life than they ever did.   1. 동아리 Dongari Apart from the lectures and studying, students are engaged in non-curricular activities called 동아리 (dongari). This Dongari is like an active club of students with similar interests. It could be anything from sports or even looking for good food (matjib). In this Dongari, you can meet new people who are from different departments and even different universities. As for myself, I joined a photography dongari even though I had no knowledge in it. As a member of the photography dongari, we would go on field trips or events and take pictures. I joined a few other dongaris as well such as football and coding. I enjoyed the idea of meeting new people of similar interests. These dongaris are not just randomly organized groups but they go through a process of formal registration from the university. There are many Dongaris in each school and I suggest that you look into them when you are studying in a university in Korea, as they may be a big part of your university life.   2. 선배/후배 Sunbae/Hubae One of the important community culture in Korea is the 선배/후배 Sunbae/Hubae culture. In its literal sense, it is closest to senior and junior. However, it is more complicated than just that. Anyone who came first in a certain community is your Sunbae and anyone who comes next would be your Hubae. The most common analogy would be in your school. If you entered a university in 2019, the person who entered the university in the year 2018 or earlier would be your Sunbae. Anyone who enters the school at 2020 or later would be your Hubae. In the past, this Sunbae/Hubae system formed a hierarchical society. However, most of this hierarchical culture have disappeared and left a culture of socializing. Your Sunbaes tend to help you as their Sunbaes did and eventually you will be helping your Hubaes as well.   3. Drinking culture in Korea. Just like in any other universities in the world, drinking(alcohol) cannot be left undiscussed when talking about universities. It is not an overstatement to say that Koreans drink a lot. This drinking culture starts in the universities. As early as your orientation (or as Koreans call it OT), you will most likely be having something called 뒷풀이 (dwitpule). It’s like an after-party for any event. This is when people gather to drink and socialize. In these dwitpule it sometimes extends to 2차 2nd round and 3차 3rd round (or even more). While it is perfectly fine to enjoy this culture, overdrinking is a big issue in Korea and it’s always important to drink in moderation. Personally, I’m not a good drinker and I only enjoy an occasional beer. Hence, I don’t often join these dwitpule. However, it doesn’t mean that I will be left out. There are always other ways to socialize with others. If I do join for an occasional drink, I wouldn’t drink as much as others but still be able to socialize and be part of the group. Although drinking helps you socialize with more people, It’s important that you know your limit when drinking rather than drinking too much and making mistakes that you may regret.   4. 축제 Chukjae Lastly, one of the biggest events in Korean universities are 축제 (chukjae) festivals. Every year the university open these festivals around late spring or fall. The school invites various singers, groups, band etc. to perform. You can watch your favorite groups/band/singers perform live on stage for almost no cost. (Depending on the school). There are also one-day booths set up by the students that sell food and drinks as a fundraiser during these festivals. These festivals are even open to public so you are able to visit other schools as well. In my opinion, school festivals are a great way to let off some steam from studying and enjoy being a student of that school.   Describing the university culture in Korea can be endless. What I gave you above is only some of the many things that you might get to know or enjoy while studying in Korea. However, I hope that this post helped you in understanding at least some of the important university culture in Korea.

May 20, 2019
by Inku
No 'Outs' in Health 'In'surance

No ‘Outs’ in Health ‘In’surance   Recent reports state that from July 16th onwards, it will be compulsory for all foreigners, including students, to sign up for the state health insurance system if they stay in Korea for longer than 6 months. Hence, the burden to pay for health insurance rose from 100,000KRW per year to 678,000KRW per year, almost 7 times its original cost. That’s a significant increase for an average college/university student. It’s a questionable move by the government considering the fact that they’ve been trying to increase the number of foreign students studying in Korea. Apparently, the root of the issue dates back to 2012.   1. The issue According to a Chosun News article from 2018 titled “외국인 건강보험 적자, 작년 2000억 돌파”, Foreigner Health Insurance Deficit has constantly been rising from 77.8 billion KRW in 2012 to 200 billion KRW in 2017. The main reason behind the deficit was that foreigners would receive the benefits of health insurance and after the treatment, the patient would immediately return back to his/her country. For instance, patient A could be paying for the health insurance of 100,000 KRW for a year and receive treatment worth 500,000 KRW. As soon as patient A is treated, he/she returns back home and a deficit worth 400,000 KRW arises. Similar cases have become an issue in Korea where some people would come to take advantage of the health insurance system. Tuberculosis treatment, for example, is a common disease that can be treated for free even if you are a foreigner without health insurance. In fact, Tuberculosis patients increased from 791 patients in 2007 to 2940 patients in 2016. Even though there was a decrease in Korean nationals diagnosed with Tuberculosis, there was an increase in international patients. This increase in sick patients has caused both health and financial concerns.    The current National Health Insurance policy allows foreigners who have stayed in Korea for longer than 3 months to decide whether to sign up for it or not. Compared to countries such as the UK, where foreigners not from EU are qualified after 6 months, and Japan (1 year), Korea’s standards seem to be too lenient. In fact, Korean students who study overseas fear to be sick, and stay away from healthcare, as they are often not insured. Hence, it seems that the government has added that 6-month buffer time before the compulsory payment.   2. The disagreement While this seems to be the reason behind the decision of the government, it is evidently unpopular among the international public in Korea. A current petition is ongoing, where more than 62,000 have signed for the withdrawal of the compulsory insurance policy. A university faculty member in charge of foreign students in Korea has raised the issue of the previously undiscussed policy. This faculty member expressed his regret over the proceeding of this policy without being discussed with members related to this issue. In fact, during the announcement of this policy, the faculty member asked why it wasn’t discussed before the proceeding of the policy, and the answer that he received from the management was that “last year’s health insurance deficit was 200 billion KRW”.   These are the 3 main points that he/she expressed regret upon:   Firstly, while many foreign students sign up for health insurance in private companies, the new policy makes it compulsory to sign up for the National Health Insurance Service. This means that foreign students who have difficulties in making a bank account due to nationality (ex. Ethiopian, Iranian) would have to visit the bank in person every month. Hence, there are concerns about the feasibility of this policy.   Secondly, compared to health insurance from companies, the National Health Insurance is too expensive. While it is already difficult for foreign students to find a job in Korea, he believes an increase of more than 6 times its original cost puts a burden to many foreign students. In truth, many of the students who come to Korea to study are not financially stable. Additionally, the punishment set for not paying for the insurance such as confiscation and limited Visa extension is too harsh and may, in turn, lead to an increase in illegal immigration.   Lastly, the 6-month time for eligibility of the insurance begins on the date of arrival in Korea. However, this seems to disclaim the fact that it takes 2weeks to as long as a month to receive an Alien Registration Card. Hence, there is a lack of understanding of this period of waiting.   3. Final thoughts It seems to me that the issue of Health Insurance deficit has always been a problem because of the minority of people taking advantage of the system. Since most people potentially are more likely to be diagnosed with a chronic illness in their later ages, international students who are generally healthy during their time of study are at a disadvantage. While universities are trying to bring in more foreign students, this change seems to be a step backward. Though it may not be a deciding factor, this increase may cause unhappiness in this group. Yet at the same time, is there any fair solution for such a great deficit? I am curious about how the international community in Korea perceives of this current situation. Please leave any opinion or corrections you may want to share. The current petition is still in process, and you can be a part of this petition by going into the petition section of the Blue House webpage in Korean.   Reference: http://m.chosun.com/svc/article.html?sname=news&contid=2018043000080#Redyho http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2019/05/177_268676.html https://www1.president.go.kr/petitions/580061

May 17, 2019
by Inku
An exclusive chance for ASEAN Science and Engineering students

If you are a Science or Engineering student from one of the 10 ASEAN countries, you should take this exclusive opportunity to study in Korea. Almost everyone would have heard of Samsung, as it is one of the largest electronics company in the world. Not only that but Korea is well known in the R&D (Research and Development) section throughout the world. Every year, up to 200 ASEAN students get the chance of studying here for 5-weeks for zero cost.    GKS for ASEAN Countries’ Science and Engineering students   A. Introduction: An opportunity open to the 10 ASEAN countries’ students in the Science and Engineering department. Every year, around summer break, the government announces the application for this scholarship. This year, the program is from July 11th to August 14th, 5 weeks of academic training and experience is prepared from 6 different universities to choose from. Sadly, the application has met its deadline on may 10th 2019. However, the program is still open every year. The benefits of this scholarship is airfare, accommodation, tuition fee and Traveler’s Insurance. A total of 200 students were to be accepted this year 2019.   Some of the programs provided during the 5 weeks are:  Orientation  Introduction of Program  Lectures  Field of study, Korean language, History Culture  Research Project, Lab activities, Seminar  Conduct research projects under mentoring of graduate students in Korea  Field Trip  Laboratories, institutes, cultural visits  Closing  Presentation, award ceremony for outstanding students These programs are subject to changes according to school and time period   These are the institutions and fields that you could apply to this year (2019). You should be aware that the schools you may apply to changes yearly and while some may remain, some may be replaced:   Chosun University  Mechanical Engineering, Photonics Engineering  Chung-Ang University  Electrical and Electronics Engineering  Chungnam National University  Animal Science and Biotechnology  Keimyung University  Architecture and Civil Engineering  Kyungwoon University  Aeromechanical Engineering, Aviation IT Convergence  Mokpo National Maritime University (newly added in 2019)  Maritime Engineering (Marine Engine, Navigation, Naval Architecture, Ocean Civil Engineering You can choose only one of the universities given and once the document screening is complete, you may receive a phone/skype call to do an interview from your choice of university. B. Qualification: Citizen of designated ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam)  Undergraduate students majoring in Science or Engineering in the above ASEAN countries and have completed 2 or more semesters.  Fluent in English Mentally and Physically healthy Ability and willingness to adapt to Korean life and culture   C. Date of Application: The notice is usually posted 3 weeks before the application deadline. For this year’s notice, it was posted on April 22nd. One should check the notice around this time in order to apply for the scholarship.   D. Documents: Along with the notice, you will be receiving an application form, self-introduction, research plan, letter of recommendation template to fill out. It can be written in English or Korean.  Additionally, you need to submit: Passport Copy Proof of enrollment in current university And an original sealed transcript from the university   E. Additional remarks: Because the full program is going to be in English, it would be important for you to be fluent in the language. In addition, understanding Korean language and culture would benefit your program experience as well as to improve your chances in being selected. Among the 6 choices of the University, you should firstly be aware of the programs they provide as well as their location. For instance, only Chung-ang University is located in Seoul and the rest are not. It does not mean one is better than the other but rather something you should be aware of to know what to expect. As for your accomodation, during your 5-weeks, you will be in a dormitory of 2~3 person per room and mostly Korean food will be provided.     Thank you for reading this post! I will continue to put an effort to provide you with any useful information. If there are any changes or mistakes that you want to mention, feel free to email me at (wakandasian@gmail.com). You can email me personally if there are any questions as well and I will give a reply either through the blog or personally.

May 16, 2019
by Inku
11-day trip that costs 0 dollars

Have you ever wanted to go to Korea but never actually got the chance? We often dream of traveling to a new country alone and meeting new people. However, it is never easy planning it or even going alone. Not to forget the costs of the whole trip itself. What if you don't have to pay a single dollar? What if you don't have to plan anything? That's why I want to introduce you to this program.   GKS-IP Global Korea Scholarship Invitation Program for Students from partnering countries.    A. Introduction: An Invitation program provided by the government for students who are interested in an all-expense paid training program. Its purpose is to offer future global leaders with invaluable experience in Korea. It is an 11-day trip to Korea and programs are set up to provide lectures, activities, tours, university visits, homestay, and more to the applicants. This program is offered annually usually around June to July with about 120 students from 56 different countries. Each country is given a limited number of students to send to Korea. 60 university students and 60 high school students from schools that offer Korean language courses are chosen.    Below is the list of Programs offered in the 2019 program (subjected to changes): Activities Details Lectures Korean language, history, economics, culture, etc. Government Office visits Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Unification, etc. University Tours Visiting Korean universities, Meeting and networking with Korean students Field trip to historic sites Gyeongju, Gyeongbok Palace, the National Museum of Korea, etc. Field trip to Korean Companies POSCO, Hyundai Motor Company, Samsung Electronics, etc. Cultural Activities Nanta Concert, Traditional Korean Clothes, and Food Homestay 2~3 students per family Other activities Visits to a Broadcasting Station, a Korean Folk Village, and an Amusement Park, etc. (http://down.mofa.go.kr/hk-en/brd/m_1495/down.do?brd_id=8158&seq=761234&data_tp=A&file_seq=1) PDF   B. Qualification: Undergraduate student or high school student Students from the selected country Priority is given those who have never been to Korea Preference for students who have a good understanding of Korea and fluent in Korean and English   C. Date of Application: Application is open from the Korean Embassy of your country. It differs from country to country and one should check the notice. However, the application is usually until mid to late March and open for application for about a month.    D. Documents: No separate documents are required until stated so. Travel related documents such as passport copy may be requested. An application form will be provided along with the notice of the program. Check with your embassy on what to prepare and where to submit them.   E. Additional Remarks: Because the program will be offered in English, applicants should be fluent in English. Those who are able to speak Korean and interested in Korea are given priority over others. It is beneficial to be familiar with Korean or the culture to increase your chances of being selected and to enrich your experience. Since most food provided will be Korean food, it is advisable to familiarize with Korean food. Students will follow the program schedule and private schedules are not allowed during the program.    Thank you for reading this post! I will continue to put an effort to provide you with any useful information. If there are any changes or mistakes that you want to mention, feel free to email me at (wakandasian@gmail.com). You can email me personally if there are any questions as well and I will give a reply either through the blog or personally.

May 15, 2019
by Inku
How to be fully paid for during your exchange program in Korea

GKS/KGSP for Exchange students   A. Introduction: A scholarship provided by the government to international undergraduate students who are willing to come to Korea for an exchange program. The NIIED supports about 200 international students each time. Depending, on the length of exchange of the student, the scholarship lasts from 4~10 months. The NIIED selects the (Korean) universities and the number of exchange students each school can nominate. This number may vary from time to time. Next, the (Korean) universities select a number of potential candidates for this scholarship. These potential candidates will be required to send documents which will then be screened by the respective universities and finally to the NIIED.    Below is the scholarship benefits that you will receive: Category Living Expenses Settlement allowance Round-trip Airfare Medical Insurance Amount 500,000KRW per month 200,000 KRW upon arrival Reimbursement available within the set amount 20,000 KRW per month   (http://www.studyinkorea.go.kr/en/sub/gks/allnew_exchange.do)   B. Qualification: Korean Citizenship (including dual citizenship) holders are not eligible Undergraduate students who have completed 2 semesters Must take a Korean language or culture class (at least one / 2 credits) Must possess a GPA of at least 80% out of 100% Must not have enrolled in a Korean university Must not have been sponsored by the Korean government    C. Date of Application: Depending on the season of application, it may fall before the start of the summer semester or the winter semester.  D. Documents: If you are nominated for the scholarship, the university may require you to submit a few documents for screening. Below is a list of some of the documents they may ask you to send: Self-Introduction Study plan Letter of recommendation Language proficiency certification (TOPIK/TOEFL etc.) Verification of awards The list of documents may vary according to circumstances. However, the above list of documents may be needed in order to understand whether the candidate is worthy of the scholarship.   E. Additional Remarks: The universities will screen you based on your academic performance as well as additional information that you provide them. Hence, in order to increase your chances of earning this scholarship, you should have a high GPA and an overall high performance in your respective schools. Additionally, it would be good to make a good self-introduction or study plan to leave an impression. Lastly, it is always recommended to have a TOPIK grade level 3 or above when applying for a Korean university. Thank you for reading this post! I will continue to put an effort to provide you with any useful information. If there are any changes or mistakes that you want to mention, feel free to email me at (wakandasian@gmail.com). You can email me personally if there are any questions as well and I will give a reply either through the blog or personally.

May 15, 2019
by Inku
Let the University pay for your education

Hi everyone! It's me again with another blog to explain to you about the scholarships given by Universities this time. There are very many scholarships provided by the universities and listing them would be almost endless. This is a little summary of the scholarships available and how you can find details about them.   University Scholarships A. Introduction: Universities have different scholarships ready for international students to lessen the burden of paying school fees and living in Korea. Though each university provides scholarships based on different criteria, scholarships are generally awarded to students with outstanding scores and performance.    B. Qualification: Students with outstanding GPA scores Students who make great improvements from previous GPA scores Students with high TOPIK scores Students who were recommended by faculty members Above are the general criteria required for University scholarships. The amount of scholarship given under such circumstances differ based on each University and degree. Generally, scholarships are awarded to students who perform well in their school as a form of incentive.    C. Date of application Differs by the scholarship type as some may last until you graduate and some do not. You should check with your universities on the date of application. However, most of the times it would be after or before the semester, during summer or winter.     D. Documents:  There are no specific documents required for these scholarships except your grades or a recommendation letter from a professor and it depends on the scholarship program as well. Some scholarship program may also be limited by your nationality. Hence be sure to check if the scholarship applies to you as well.     This list of universities will help you find out what university scholarships are available: http://www.studyinkorea.go.kr/en/sub/overseas_info/request/universityList.do For further details on the scholarship, I suggest that you look into the official university website (which will be shown in the link above according to the school)  Thank you for reading this post! I will continue to put an effort to provide you with any useful information. If there are any changes or mistakes that you want to mention, feel free to email me at (wakandasian@gmail.com). You can email me personally if there are any questions as well and I will give a reply either through the blog or personally.  

May 14, 2019
by Inku
What is SKY and Suneung(CSAT)? And which school should I go to?

Hi! I'm back again with another blog about universities in Korea. Some of you might have heard the term ‘SKY’ or ‘Suneung’. In order to explain that term, I will introduce you to education in Korea and its structure. It's important to understand how Koreans perceive education and the society that revolves around it. While I can't choose what university you should go to, I hope this introduction to Korean education system will provide you enough information to put you in the same position as a typical Korean student.   Education is considered one of the most crucial and important parts of your life. Many Koreans believe that a good education is directly related to success. Getting into one of the top universities in Korea is often the most important goal of high school students and their parents. From as early as elementary school, parents prepare their children to go to the top universities. This issue was highlighted in a recent Korean drama called, “SKY castle”. It became one of Korea’s most viewed drama with 23.8% viewers in its last episode. Much of its success was because this drama shed light on the dark side of education in Korea where people put too much emphasis on their children’s university entrance. While it is true that such excessive interest is negative, it shows the competitive nature of education in Korea and its importance in the Korean community. Hence, the education standard in Korea doesn't fall behind compared to other countries in the world.   Just like many American schools, the typical education in Korea starts from kindergarten, 6 years of primary school, 3 years of middle school, 3 years of high school then to universities or college. The most important transition is from high school to university as mentioned earlier. Students take Suneung (수능) or the CSAT (College Scholastic Aptitude Test) to decide which Universities to go to. In this CSAT, students are tested on their Korean, Mathematics, English, History, Second Language, Humanities/Science/Specialized Job. This test is so important that during the listening part of the test, all flights are delayed and if the students are running late, police motorcycles drive them to the test location. Number grades are given based on a certain percentile such as 1st grade (1 등급deungeub) followed by 2nd grade (2 등급deunggeub) and so on. Based on the grades, students are eligible to enroll in a university. You require an all 1st grade score to get into the top universities in Korea. These students who do make it to the top universities are considered the top 1~3 percentile of students in Korea.   People often mention ‘SKY’ when talking about the top universities in Korea (Hence, the title ‘SKY castle’). ‘SKY’ is a term for grouping Seoul National University (SNU), Korea University, and Yonsei University. These 3 universities are often the dream schools for many high school students. In terms of QS South Korea Rankings 2019 posted by topuniversity.com, KAIST is ranked first, followed by, SNU, Korea, SKKU, Yonsei, POSTECH, Hanyang, Kyunghee and many more. Though the rankings have shown changes over the years, SNU, KU and Yonsei University are still regarded as one of the best schools in Korea. Do not get me wrong, schools such as KAIST, POSTECH, SKKU, and other universities are all fantastic schools and are the best in their own ways. (In fact, KAIST and POSTECH are the best engineering schools in Korea and only the best of the best enter these schools) However, when speaking in general term, SKY remain the top universities in Korea and their CSAT score cutline proves this point.    So how expensive are these Universities? According to the Ministry of Education in Korea, The current average tuition fee in Korea for Universities is 6,696,000 KRW (=5640 USD) per year, 5,789,500 (=4876 USD) for Junior/Community College and 4,212,700 (=3548 USD) for Graduate Universities. Each University has different tuition rates based on its courses. And it may range as low as 1,100 USD to as high as 10,800 USD and 20,900 USD for certain Graduate degrees. (this value was provided by NIIED).   In order to find out more about your school of interest, you may use http://www.academyinfo.go.kr/index.do and http://www.studyinkorea.go.kr/en/sub/overseas_info/request/universityList.do to search about your school. These websites will provide you with the type of scholarships available from the school, facilities, and the numbers of the school at a glance. I strongly suggest you look into this and also the respective school’s website to help you know more about the school.    Although it may seem difficult for Korean students to be admitted to the top university in Korea, I personally found that it is relatively easier for international students to be admitted to prestigious universities. With such opportunities, I suggest you search more about the universities that might interest you and find out which school suits you best. Thank you for reading this post! I will continue to put an effort to provide you with any useful information. If there are any changes or mistakes that you want to mention, feel free to email me at (wakandasian@gmail.com). You can email me personally if there are any questions as well and I will give a reply either through the blog or personally.

May 13, 2019
by Inku
KGSP Support Program for Self-Financed Foreign Students

Hi! this is another blog about how you can get another scholarship for your undergraduate studies. Though this is for undergraduate students who have already finished their first year in a Korean University/College, even if you are not yet in a Korean University, you can look into this as reference.   Support for Self-Financed Students   A. Introduction: A government scholarship provided to foreign students who are self-financed by providing 500,000 KRW per month for 10 months. This scholarship is given to about 200 students yearly. This scholarship is for university/college students who have already studied in Korea for 2 semesters. B. Qualification: The student must be in his/her 2nd / 3rd / 4th year for which he/she is applying. Students enrolled without credit, graduate students, cyber university students are not eligible. Student should be a foreign student with a foreign nationality Cannot be a recipient of a scholarship of similar sort (living expense related scholarship that exceeds 500,000 KRW per month) from Korean Government, university or other institution. Must have a total GPA of 80 percentile or higher Must have previous semester’s GPA of 80 percentile or higher. (if you have ca Must have at least level 4 on TOPIK C. Date of application: Whole application process may be from January to March. Make sure to check with your respective universities regarding application or the NIIED. D. Documents: This scholarship is usually open before the start of the first semester for universities in Korea (early March). Hence, online application will appear early in the year around January to February and application periods usually lasts for a month. As soon as the online application is done, you will need to submit your application form along with a few documents to your university. Below are a list of some of the documents that you may need other than the forms that they provide you: Copy of passport TOPIK report card Copy of Internationally Authorized Language Tests Copy of Recommendation letter (official/university) Other related documents such as voluntary work or awards in Korea. E. Additional Remarks: After the recommendation of the university, NIIED makes the decision on who will be given the scholarship. Below is the scoring criteria that the NIIED screening committee will be using. GPA 40% TOPIK 30% Other language proficiency 10% Self-introduction, study plan, recommendation letter, voluntary work, awards 20% You should be aware of the scoring criteria above so that you can have a higher chance of getting the scholarship. Thank you for reading this post! I will continue to put an effort to provide you with any useful information. If there are any changes or mistakes that you want to mention, feel free to email me at (wakandasian@gmail.com). You can email me personally if there are any questions as well and I will give a reply either through the blog or personally.   Official link and manual for scholarship http://www.studyinkorea.go.kr/en/sub/gks/allnew_excellentMercy.do http://www.studyinkorea.go.kr/download/gks_own_manual.pdf

May 10, 2019
by Inku
Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) / Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP)

What if the government will be paying for all your expenses while studying in Korea? Starting from your flight costs to come to korea to your tuition fees, the GKS/KGSP is prepared for you and it is eligible to more than 800 students every year,    Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) / Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP) A. Introduction: Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) is provided by the Korean Government and it gives scholarship to international students who may be taking an undergraduate or a graduate Course. It gives scholarship to 150 undergraduate students and to 700 graduate students taking Master’s or a Doctorate. This scholarship includes your degree program as well as a 1-year Korean Language Program before the start of your degree programs. There are 2 tracks to decide from when applying for the GKS. The Embassy and the University, when applying through the university track, it provides regional universities. Hence, you have lesser universities to choose. However, it does not mean one is better than the other. Application requirements for both University and Embassy tracks are similar but the process may be different. The main difference is that Embassy tracks go through an additional process of going through the Embassy while the University track goes straight to the University and then the University decides directly on whether you will accepted or not. (This step is present in the embassy track after the embassy accepts your application) It is your decision on which track to select and you should choose the track that favors you.   Below is the scholarship benefit table released by the NIIED: ‌Category ‌Amount ‌Category A‌mount Airfare Actual cost Tuition Fee Actual cost (No more than 5 million KRW per semester) Ressettlement Allowance KRW 200,000 Printing Costs (dissertation) KRW 500,000 - 800,000 Medical Insurance KRW 20,000 per month Completion Grant KRW 100,000 (Once) Living Allowance Undergraduate: KRW 800,000 Award for Excellent Korean Language Proficiency KRW 100,000 Graduate: KRW 900,000 Language Course KRW 800,000 per quarter Research Support KRW 210,000~240,000 (per semester)   B. Qualification: Applicant should not have Korean citizenships. His/Her parents must be citizens of their country of origin. (exception may be made for parents who have Korean citizenship but hold a ‘Special Permanent Residency Permit’ in Japan). Should be under 25 years of age (undergraduate) and under 40 (graduate). According to the standards of 2019 GKS, if you are applying for undergraduate, you should be under 25 as of march 1. (Hence, born after March 1, 1994). While if you are applying for graduate, you should 40 as of September 1. (Hence, born after September 1, 1979). IF you are an academic professor under 45, and hold citizenship of Official Development Assistance (ODA) Recipients (country), you are also eligible to apply. Completed elementary, middle, high school or scheduled to complete before date of arrival. For graduate school, Bachelor’s/Master’s degree is required. 80% GPA from last education institution (refer to GPA Conversion table of NIIED). Applicants who have previously achieved in any undergraduate program, master’s program, or doctoral program in Korea cannot apply for this program. C. Date of application: (Undergraduate)Sep. before year of planned studies in Korea (Graduate) Feb. in year of planned studies in Korea   Notice will be uploaded and further instruction will be provided if you visit the studyinkorea notice section D. Hear it from alumni: You can access the newsletter provided in the notice section of GKS. Many alumni who were a part of the GKS has left their stories in the newsletter. E. Documents needed: There are a number of documents to submit in order to apply for the scholarship. The application notice will upload additional forms that must be filled. However, some documents have to be prepared separately. Below is a list of documents that may be needed. One is advised to check the notice board for official details. There are differences in terms of application based on your nationality. Make sure to check if you are subject to a certain criteria. Documents Undergraduate Master’s Doctoral Research High school graduation Certificate P Î Î Î High school grade Transcript P Î Î Î Certificate of citizenship of applicant and parents P P P P Certificate of Bachelor’s degree or Bachelor’s Diploma (Original) Î P P Î Bachelor’s degree Transcript (Original) Î P P Î Certificate of Master‟s degree or Master‟s Diploma (Original) Î Î P P Master‟s degree Transcript (Original) Î Î P P Awards OPTIONAL Certificate of valid proficiency tests (TOPIK, TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS)   OPTIONAL Passport copy 2nd Round successful Candidates     Below are additional documents that may be needed according to your status, Only for Postdoctoral Research Program applicants: 1. Certificate of Doctoral degree or Doctoral Diploma (Original) 2. Doctoral degree Transcript (Original) 3. Certificate of Employment (Original) Only for overseas Korean: Proof of Overseas Korean Document Only for previous Korean citizenship holders: Proof of Korean Citizenship Renunciation Document Only for Korean adoptees: Proof of Korean Adoptee Document Finally, if the documents that you have to submit are not written in English or Korean, they have to be translated and authenticated by the issuing institution (ex. Embassy). Additionally, if your country is a member of the Apostille Convention, you may submit the Apostille documents.   F. Additional Remarks: While it is not compulsory to learn Korean or take the TOPIK (Korean Proficiency exam) prior to your application, those who are capable of speaking both Korean and English may be given preference over those who do not. So, if you want to prepare in advance, it is advisable to learn Korean and to take the TOPIK. Additionally, you do not have to take the compulsory Korean Language Program (1-year program) if you get a Level 5 or 6 in TOPIK. Alternatively, if you earn a level 5 or 6 during the first 6 months of the language program, you may start your degree program in advance. I will provide you further information about how you can achieve this in another blog. You also get the benefit of receiving 100,000 KRW per month if you possess Level 5 or 6 in TOPIK Each Korean Embassy of your country of residence is responsible for the application of the scholarship. Deadline for the submission of required documents are usually more or less a month after the application announcement. Do check with your respective Korean Embassy, Korean education center, or Korean Cultural Center. (If none located at your home country, check with a neighboring country). When applying through the university track, instead of the Embassy, your university that you apply to will be responsible. Thank you for reading this post! I will continue to put an effort to provide you with any useful information. If there are any changes or mistakes that you want to mention, feel free to email me at (wakandasian@gmail.com). You can email me personally if there are any questions as well and I will give a reply either through the blog or personally. *This is not a complete list of what to prepare for the GKS but a summary and few tips that may help your decision and make your scholarship application easier.  Here is a link to the complete and official form of application for the GKS:   http://down.mofa.go.kr/mn-mn/brd/m_293/down.do?brd_id=12302&seq=758683&data_tp=A&file_seq=7

May 10, 2019
by Inku
Why should I study in Korea?

Studying in a new country is never easy. It takes determination and big decisions to decide on where I would complete my studies. I, myself, took a long time before finally deciding to come back to my Korean roots and take my undergraduate program in Korea. It wasn't easy deciding since I had studied in Singapore and Indonesia my whole life. Considering this position, I wanted to share what made me decide on coming to Korea and how you could consider it as an option too.   First of all, Korea's higher education can be grouped into 3 different categories University (4-year program) Junior College (2~3-year program) Graduate school (Master's and Doctoral degree program) *As Graduate school programs are mostly offered in Universities, 'University' and 'Graduate school' are often categorized together.   Universities (including graduate schools) are a common go-to for many foreign students willing to study in Korea as they provide you with various courses to choose from and eventually earning that hard-earned degree or achieving your goal. Universities provide a 4-year program (6 depending on the course) for your Bachelor's Degree, a 2-year program for Master's, and a 3-year program for Doctoral. Junior College, on the other hand, provides you with education specialized to your needs. After 2~3 years in Junior College, you will be eligible for an Associate's Degree. Non-degree programs such as exchange or summer school programs are also readily available for foreign students. These short term programs are also as popular as (if not more) Degree programs. Korean Universities provides foreign students with a multitude of opportunity to study and experience student life in Korea. Additionally, many international students come to Korea to study the Korean language. There are various language institutes to choose from that will help fulfill these needs. With each categories having their own benefits and purpose, you will be able to find the education that fit your needs.   You need not worry about difficulties catching up with the classes in a non-English speaking country, because there are many opportunities that teach you Korean to help with your studies and numerous English-speaking classes (or you can always look for a Korean institute or classes in your home country before coming to Korea). In fact, though English is not the main language in the country, it isn't terribly difficult to communicate in basic English with Koreans. (A note of advice is to keep it simple because some Koreans feel uneasy speaking in English)   "But why Korea?"   Korea has already made its mark in the Global Market (be it through electronics, music, entertainment or whatnot) and it's currently ranked 11th in Nominal GDP in the world. Korea owes much of its success to its high standard of education. Together with its culture which puts education as a top priority for youths, Korea puts in efforts to keep these schools competitive and in the best quality. However, in the past, some people considered Korea's education to be overly competitive and academically-oriented. But in today's Korea, schools, especially universities, are looking at a more holistic approach, embracing not only the academic department. Ultimately, Korea is becoming a more favorable country for international students to come to be it for studies or for the experience. As Korea continues to grow, more and more students are coming to Korea to study and more importantly experience Korea.   Following are the statistics of Foreigners who are currently studying in Korea released by the Ministry of Education (MOE) of Korea: (Data was based on April 2018)    1) Number of Foreign students based on year   Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Foreign Students 84,891 91,332 104,262 123,858 142,205   2) Foreign students based on continents and course of study   Region Language Training  Course Type Other Courses Total University Graduate School Master's Doctorate South America            213              303            279               58            105            958 North America            414           1,087            718              295          1,350          3,864 Asia        39,507          53,400        18,488           7,532          9,579       128,506 Africa            441              479          1,330              465            103          2,818 Oceania              41              132              74               16            114            377 Europe          1,045              696            540              144          3,257          5,682          41,661          56,097        21,429           8,510        14,508       142,205   *The following numbers were provided by the Ministry of Education of Korea (MOE) and uploaded on its site on 5 November 2018   Since the past 5 years, there has been a constant increase in foreign students studying in Korea (such as shown above) to enroll in a Degree or a non-degree program. It's evident that Korea is willing to accept more foreign students coming to study in Korea and more foreign students are wanting to come to Korea.   The decision is up to you, my readers, on whether to come to Korea to study or not and I don't wish to force it on you. Ultimately, I'm just another blogger and you should be responsible for your education. Leaving your home or where you are familiar is not easy. However, why not try and experience what is new or what you always wanted to do. The opportunity is up for grabs. Thank you for reading this post! I will continue to put an effort to provide you with any useful information. If there are any changes or mistakes that you want to mention, feel free to email me at (wakandasian@gmail.com). You can email me personally if there are any questions as well and I will give a reply either through the blog or personally.     

May 7, 2019