Study in South Korea 2024: Programs & Scholarships for Indian Students

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South Korea is a highly developed country in East Asia and might be the perfect destination for you! This East Asian nation has become a rising star in the world of education. It not only has a top-performing school system but also a high number of citizens with college degrees. 

Nicknamed “Education Fever”, South Korea’s focus on learning has fueled its economic growth and placed it among the most educated countries in the world.

With over 200 universities and 16 UNESCO World Heritage sites, it has become a popular destination for Indian students who wish to study in South Korea. The country offers a unique blend of academic excellence and artistic exploration, making it an unforgettable study-abroad adventure. 

This article will guide you through everything you need to know about education in South Korea – top courses, the best universities and their admission process, scholarships that can reduce the cost of study in South Korea, and much more. 

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Key Highlights

Here’s a roundabout of everything you learn in great detail in this blog.

Particulars Description
Top-most South Korea University for International StudentsTop-most South Korean University for International Students
Top-most South Korea Scholarship for Indian StudentsGlobal Korea Scholarship
University Scholarship Type A
University Scholarship Type B
Intakes to Study in South Korea for International StudentsSpring
Fall
South Korea Study Visa FeesINR 5K to INR 7.5K ($60 – $90)
Top Jobs in South KoreaSurgeon
Psychiatrist
Software Developer
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Why Study in South Korea?

Did you know the employment rate in South Korea has hit a record high of 69.2%? Needless to say, once you have a degree from a top South Korean university, you’ll be showered with high-paying job offers. 

Need more reasons why you should study in South Korea? Let’s give you. Did you know? About half of Korea’s 51 million population lives in the Seoul National Capital Area, which consists of Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi Province.

Here’s why you should study in South Korea:

  1. South Korean universities are renowned for their high-quality education. The country has 13 universities in QS’s top 500 universities in the world in 2025. Whether you’re interested in Arts, Science, or Management, you’ll find excellent Korean study-abroad programs to complement your career goals.
  2. Many universities in South Korea offer programs such as MBA, Psychology, Engineering, etc, entirely in English. So even if you do not speak the local language, you will have no issues in completing your education comfortably.  
  3. South Korea is a safe and welcoming country. Seoul consistently ranks high in safety indexes; it is the 9th safest city in the world, as per the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index (SCI) 2023. In a nutshell, it is very safe to study in South Korea as an Indian student.
  4. When you study in South Korea, you get a chance to mingle with other students from different ethnicities. This makes you a lot more tactful, which is an invaluable life skill that will help you in leading a team in the future. And not to forget, you will be able to experience the joy of tasting authentic  Korean cuisine, and participate in exciting festivals.
  5. South Korea is a global leader in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Studying here puts you close to world-renowned corporations like Samsung and LG, opening doors to exciting career opportunities in this booming field.

Top 5 Universities to Study in South Korea

South Korea’s reputation as a leader in education extends beyond its impressive national school system. The country boasts a thriving higher education scene, attracting international students with its world-class universities. 

In fact, five South Korean universities are ranked among the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings 2025, a prestigious international benchmark. This achievement highlights the exceptional quality of education in South Korea.

Here’s a list of the top five universities where you can study in South Korea as an Indian student. 

Top Universities to Study in South Korea for International StudentsQS World Ranking 2025Average Annual Tuition Fees
Seoul National University31INR 3L to INR 10L (₩ 500K to ₩17 Million)
KAIST – Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology53INR 12L (₩ 19 Million)
Yonsei University56INR 7.5L to INR 10L ($9K to $13K)
Korea University67INR 6.7L to INR 17L (₩ 10 Million to ₩ 28 Million)
Pohang University of Science And Technology (POSTECH)98INR 6.9L ($8.3K)

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Study in South Korea 2024: Programs & Scholarships for Indian Students

1. Seoul National University

Study at Seoul National University (SNU), a top Korean university founded in 1946! Choose from 85+ courses, even a double major. SNU offers a beautiful campus, great facilities, dorms, and free shuttles. Join clubs, play sports, and explore the art museum. It’s a fun and supportive environment for your academic journey!

Top Korea Study Abroad Programs at SNU

  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Engineering
  • Business Administration
  • Korean Studies

Notable Alumni

  • Kim Tae-hee is a well-known South Korean actress and a Seoul National University alumni.
  • Ban Ki-moon, who served as the eighth secretary-general of the United Nations between 2007 and 2016, is another Seoul National University alumni.

2. KAIST – Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology

Established in 1971, KAIST (formerly Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) is South Korea’s leading science and engineering university. Though young, it’s known for its world-class research, like the electric transport system they’re developing. 

Recently, the university has added business programs with international accreditation and even dual degrees with top universities worldwide.

Top Korea Study Abroad Programs at KAIST

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Life Science

Notable Alumni

  • Yi So-Yeon, the South Korean astronaut and biotechnologist and the first Korean to fly in space, is a KAIST alumnus.
  • Kim Jung-ju, founder of Korea’s largest gaming company, Nexon, is also a KAIST alumni.

3. Yonsei University

Founded in 1885, Yonsei University is Seoul’s leading university with a rich history. It offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs across four campuses and has over 38,000 students. The university focuses on areas like medicine, engineering, and social sciences, and its research centres tackle global challenges like climate change.

Top Courses Offered

  • Business Administration
  • Economics
  • Korean Literature
  • Communication
  • International Relations

Notable Alumni

  • Bong Joon-ho, the South Korean film director, producer and screenwriter winner of three academic awards, is a Yonsei University alumni.
  • Baek Jong-won, the main host of the SBS’ cooking television series Baek Jong-won’s Top 3 Chef King, Baek Jong-won’s Food Truck, and Baek Jong-won’s Alley Restaurant is also a Yonsei University alumni.

4. Korea University

Established in 1905, Korea University is Korea’s first private university. With over 33,000 students, it offers programs in Humanities, Engineering, Medicine, Law, and Business. Its beautiful campus is located in central Seoul and boasts modern facilities.

Top Courses Offered

  • Business Administration
  • Economics
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Engineering

Notable Alumni

  • Lee Myung-bak, a South Korean businessman and former politician who served as the 10th (17th election) president of South Korea from 2008 to 2013, is a Korea University alumni.
  • Kim Yuna is a retired South Korean competitive figure skater. She was the 2010 Olympic champion, the 2014 Olympic silver medalist, a two-time World champion (2009, 2013), and a Korea University alumni.

5. Pohang University of Science And Technology (POSTECH)

Imagine studying at POSTECH, a leading science and technology university founded in 1986. Established to train future tech leaders, POSTECH offers undergraduate programs in science and engineering, with a strong focus on research. 

Their modern campus boasts a 5:1 student-faculty ratio for personalised learning, world-class labs, and even Korea’s only synchrotron radiation facility. 

Top Courses Offered

  • Chemical Engineering:
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Life Science
  • Ocean Engineering

Notable Alumni

  • Hyungjun Kim, a graduate of the POSTECH Department of Convergence IT Engineering, is celebrated for his groundbreaking work in reducing the weight of AI models.
  • Jungin Lee, another POSTECH graduate, is from the Department of Mathematics and has been celebrated for his contributions to the advancement of domestic mathematics.

General Admissions Requirement to Study in South Korea

Did you know the acceptance rate in South Korean universities is 85% for international students? If you want to see yourself in the league of students who make it to their dream universities, you should pay attention to the admission process. 

The application process for Indian students to study in South Korea involves submitting specific documents and tests set by the universities.

Don’t worry—this guide will provide you with all the information you need to complete this step smoothly.

Study in South Korea 2024: Programs & Scholarships for Indian Students

Here’s a breakdown of the admission requirements for international students to study in South Korea

  • Education Background
    • Undergraduate Programs: You’ll have completed 12 years of schooling (primary and secondary), often referred to as’ 10+2.’
    • Postgraduate Programs:
      • MasterMaster’se: A BachelBachelor’se is required.
      • PhD Degree: A MasterMaster’se is needed.
  • Language Proficiency
    • English-taught programs: Valid TOEFL (71+) or IELTS (5.5+) scores are mandatory.
    • Korean-taught programs: Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) (80+) scores are required.
  • Additional Documents
    • Letters of Recommendation (LORs)
    • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
    • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    • Other program-specific requirements may apply.

Important: It is recommended that you check your chosen university’s official website or check with the administration for any additional requirements they may have.

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Intakes in South Korea

South Korea is a popular destination for international students, with the number expected to boom from over 2,00,000 in 2023 to over 3,00,000 by 2027. Understanding the admission process is key to securing your spot at a South Korean university.

Here are the key things to remember.

  • Applications are typically submitted three to four months before the semester begins, so plan and be mindful of the deadlines set by your chosen universities.
  • Many universities have designated semesters when international students can enrol. Research these intake periods to ensure you apply during the correct window.

Dive deeper into the intakes in the following table below.

IntakeStartEnd
SpringMarch- JuneSeptember – November
FallSeptember – DecemberMay – June

How to Obtain a Student Visa to Study in South Korea? 

South Korea’s reputation as a leading education hub is attracting an increasing number of international students, including over 13,000 Indians, in 2023.

If you’re considering joining this growing trend, you’ll need a student visa to study here. The visa application process typically involves submitting various documents to the South Korean embassy or consulate located in India.

Here’s a list of documents that you will need to apply for a South Korean study visa.

  • Application form (for visa)
  • Passport, and one copy of the passport ID page (the page with your photo)
  • Passport size photo (3.5cm×4.5cm with white background; must be taken within the past six months)
  • Certificate of Admission (issued by the International Education Team at Korea University)
  • Application fee of INR 5K to INR 7.5K ($60 – $90)
  • ID card (personal ID in residing country)
  • Certificate of Korean language proficiency
  • Certificate of English language proficiency
  • Tuberculosis Test Certificate
  • Academic Transcripts (high school mark sheet, bachelor’s)
  • Financial Proof of a minimum of INR 17L ($20K) in your bank account
  • Tuition fee payment receipt

It is recommended that you start the visa application process well in advance, as the processing time can depend on the volume of applications.

Working On a Study Visa in South Korea

South Korea allows international students on a D2 visa to work part-time, both on and off campus. This is a fantastic way to gain valuable work experience, boost your resume, and earn money to help with living expenses while you study. 

The best part? You can work up to 20 hours per week during semesters and even full-time during breaks and holidays! So, you can focus on your studies during the term and still earn money for leisure activities or travel during breaks.

Major Scholarships Available to Reduce the Cost of Study in South Korea

Studying in South Korea can be an enriching experience, but it’s important to consider the financial commitment. The cost of tuition only can range widely, from approximately ₹3.4L to ₹19L (500K KRW to a high of 28 Million KRW per year). 

This can be a significant investment, especially for Indian students. However, don’t let the initial numbers discourage you! Scholarships specifically designed for Indian students studying in South Korea can dramatically reduce the financial burden. 

With some research and effort, you might find scholarship opportunities that make your dream of a Korean education a reality.

Here’s a list of major Korean scholarships that can reduce the cost of studying in South Korea.

Scholarship NameOffered ByScholarship Award
Global Korea ScholarshipKorean GovernmentCovers:
AirfareInsuranceTuition feesLanguage coursesResearch support
University Scholarship Type AEvery Korean UniversityCovers 30% to 100% tuition fees
University Scholarship Type BEvery Korean universityCovers 30% to 100% tuition fees

Cost of Living in South Korea for Indian Students

South Korea’s rising popularity comes with an increase in living costs, especially in Seoul, a popular choice for international students. However, compared to major US cities such as New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, Seoul remains relatively affordable. 

Seoul is 33.7% cheaper than New York, 20.6% cheaper than Washington, D.C. and 27.3% cheaper than San Francisco.

South Korea’s strong tech and business sectors often translate to higher wages, potentially offsetting living expenses.

Keep in mind that South Korea uses the South Korean Won (₩), which can be hard to find outside of East Asia. If you can’t exchange for Won before your trip, bring US Dollars or Chinese Yuan to exchange upon arrival.

Here’s a breakdown of some average living costs in Seoul (in INR and Won) to help you budget.

ParticularAmount (Monthly)
RentINR 59K (₩ 975K)
UtilitiesINR 12K (₩ 200K)
TransportINR 3.5K (₩ 55K)
GroceriesINr 3.5K (₩ 55K)
EntertainmentINR 3.6K (₩ 58K)

Career Opportunities in South Korea

Did you know that more than 1.4 million foreigners live in South Korea, and more than 64% of them have jobs there?

South Korea offers a fantastic education and welcomes international students to stay and build a career after graduation. There are multiple visa options to explore, many based on a point system that rewards skills and experience.

South Korea offers a promising future for graduates. With strong partnerships between universities and recruiters, career prospects are vast. While not mandatory, learning Korean will give you a significant advantage in the job market.

Below is the list of the top jobs available for graduates in South Korea.

Job TypeAverage Annual Salary
SurgeonINR 75L to INR 1.6Cr (₩124 Million to ₩264 Million)
PsychiatristINR 53L to INR 1Cr (₩86 Million to ₩169 Million)
Software DeveloperINR 31L to INR 44L (₩50 Million to ₩70 Million)
Financial ConsultantINR 25L to INR 44L (₩40 Million to ₩70 Million)
Business AnalystINR 31L to INR 44L (₩50 Million to ₩70 Million)

To Conclude

South Korea presents a compelling opportunity for Indian students seeking a world-class education at an affordable price. 

Renowned universities like Seoul National and KAIST offer globally recognised degrees, with tuition fees ranging from approximately ₹3 lakhs to ₹17 lakhs per year. 

Scholarships like the Global Korea Scholarship can further reduce the cost of study in South Korea for international students, covering expenses like airfare, insurance, and even research support. Additionally, South Korea’s booming job market allows international graduates to find excellent opportunities, potentially recovering their tuition fees. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Can you study in South Korea for free?

    A. Studying in South Korea for free is challenging but possible. Numerous scholarships, such as the Global Korea Scholarship (GKS), cover tuition, airfare, and living expenses. Many universities also offer scholarships that can significantly reduce or eliminate tuition fees. Additionally, work-study programs allow you to earn money while studying. By securing scholarships and engaging in part-time work, you can make learning in South Korea much more affordable, potentially even free.

  • Q. What is the language requirement for studying in South Korea?

    A. For English-taught programs, you’ll need to provide valid TOEFL (71+) or IELTS (5.5+) scores. For programs taught in Korean, a Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK) score of 80+ is required. It’s important to meet these language requirements to ensure you can follow the coursework effectively. Some universities may offer language support programs to help you improve your proficiency.

  • Q. What are the top courses offered by South Korean universities?

    A. South Korean universities are renowned for offering a wide range of top courses. Popular fields of study include Business Administration, Engineering, Economics, Korean Studies, and Computer Science. These programs are known for their rigorous curriculum, experienced faculty, and excellent research opportunities, ensuring you receive a comprehensive and enriching education.

  • Q. Do South Korean universities offer programs in English?

    A. Many South Korean universities offer programs entirely in English, particularly in fields like Business, Engineering, and Psychology. This makes it easier for international students who may not be fluent in Korean to pursue their studies. These English-taught programs are designed to cater to the needs of international students, providing high-quality education while eliminating the language barrier.

  • Q. What are the visa requirements for studying in South Korea?

    A. To study in South Korea, you will need a student visa (D2). The application process involves submitting an application form, your passport, passport-sized photos, a Certificate of Admission from your university, proof of language proficiency, academic transcripts, and financial proof. It’s recommended that you start the visa application process early to ensure you have ample time to gather all required documents and avoid any delays.

  • Q. What is the cost of living in South Korea for students?

    A. Living costs in South Korea, particularly in Seoul, include rent (around INR 59,000 per month), utilities (INR 12,000), transport (INR 3,500), and groceries (INR 3,500). While Seoul is more affordable compared to cities like New York or San Francisco, it’s still important to budget wisely. Living in student dormitories, cooking at home, and using public transportation can help you manage your expenses effectively

  • Q. Are there specific scholarships for Indian students in South Korea? 

    A. Yes, there are scholarships specifically designed for Indian students. The Global Korea Scholarship is one such program that covers tuition fees, living expenses, and even airfare. Additionally, many South Korean universities offer scholarships to Indian students based on academic merit and financial need. These scholarships can significantly reduce the cost of your education and make studying in South Korea more affordable.

  • Q. How much does it cost to study in South Korea?

    A. Tuition fees in South Korea can vary widely depending on the university and program. On average, you can expect to pay between INR 3 lakhs and INR 17 lakhs per year. This cost can be offset by scholarships, which many international students successfully obtain. It’s a good idea to plan your finances carefully and explore all available financial aid options to make your education more affordable.

  • Q. What are the general admission requirements for studying in South Korea?

    A. To study in South Korea, undergraduate programs generally require you to have completed 12 years of schooling. For postgraduate programs, you’ll need a relevant bachelor’s or master’s degree. English-taught programs require valid TOEFL (71+) or IELTS (5.5+) scores, while Korean-taught programs need TOPIK (80+) scores. Additionally, you may need to submit letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a CV.

  • Q. What are the intakes for studying in South Korea?

    A. South Korean universities typically have two main intakes for international students: Spring, which starts in March and ends in June, and Fall, which runs from September to December. It’s important to apply three to four months in advance to secure your spot. Each university might have slightly different deadlines, so make sure to check the specific intake periods for the universities you’re interested in.

  • Q. What are the top universities in South Korea for international students?

    A. South Korea boasts several prestigious universities that attract international students. Seoul National University, KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology), Yonsei University, Korea University, and POSTECH (Pohang University of Science and Technology) are among the top. These institutions are known for their rigorous academic programs, world-class research facilities, and vibrant student life, making them excellent choices for your educational journey.

  • Q. Why should I consider studying in South Korea?

    A. Studying in South Korea offers you access to high-quality education from world-renowned universities. Beyond academics, you’ll immerse yourself in a vibrant culture filled with rich traditions, modern cities, and delicious cuisine. The country is also known for its safety and welcoming nature towards international students, making it an ideal place to live and learn. Additionally, South Korea’s strategic position as a technology hub provides numerous career opportunities post-graduation.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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