South Korea is without any doubt a popular choice for international students. This country has the best combination of proper modern cities, disruptive technology, amazing cultural heritage, and super hard-working people. And as a result, the society takes education very seriously. South Korean universities offer education that is top notch with impressive research centers, up-to-date facilities, and a wide variety of colleges. The aim is to have a more diverse student body to study from all around the world because they have academic programs that are completely taught in English with great scholarships. So, would you like to study on free tuition Korea? If yes, let’s learn how to study in Korea for free.
We know that studying abroad requires loads of cash, and Korean universities are aware of it! Apart from tuition, an international student has to budget for application fees, English proficiency tests, living expenses, airplane tickets, visa fees, and alot more! However, if you are unable to afford your studies at any Korean university, but you’ve always dreamed of graduating in this beautiful Asian country, the government and many universities award great scholarships. Some of these scholarships even cover the cost of flights, so you do not have to worry about anything!
Please take a look at the best Korean university scholarships, the application process and how to apply for them.
Ways of Studying in Korea for Free
1. What would I need to apply for a Korean scholarship?
The ideal path to study for free in Korea is to get a scholarship. The requirements to apply for a Korean scholarship depend primarily on the institution and the type of scholarship. However, there are some documents that you’ll need to submit regardless of what scholarship you choose. But before we go into that, let’s discuss the two types of scholarships that are available for international students.
University scholarships in South Korea are awarded by the government or by universities. These can be given before applying to university or after admissions. In the first place, they’ll select applicants based on their high school grades, standardized test scores, and merits and awards. In the second place, they’ll choose candidates based on the student’s performance at university.
So, if you are applying for a scholarship given before admissions, you’ll need to submit the following documents:
- Your high school profile, which should include information like its description, any brochure published, its website, the GPA rate system used, its curricula, the statistics of college acceptance, etc.
- Standardized official test scores that are not more than two years old. This may likely include tests such as SAT, ACT, High School leaving exams, University Entrance exam results, or any other standardized official test you may have taken in your country.
- Official English Proficiency Test certification, such as IELTS or TOEFL. You may be exempted from this so read the guides carefully.
- Honors and awards. These are usually optional, but they may help you.
- Statement of Financial Resources, or any other document that shows your financial status.
- Your ID or Passport. These scholarships are exclusively for international students, and people with a double nationality (Korean and another one) are usually not included, so they may also require your parent’s ID. This way they can verify your nationality.
Now that you know if you meet any of the criteria above, let’s see the application process and the best options so that you can study in Korea for free.
2. How can I apply for a Korean University Scholarship?
As indicated above, there are typically two types of scholarships. The one awarded by the government is known as Korean Government Scholarship. Universities have their own set of partial and full scholarships.
If you would like to apply for the Korean Government Scholarship, there are two ways of doing it: the embassy track and the university track. Once the announcement has been made, please read the information published on the website and ask for further details via email. Put your documents together and send the requirements to a Korean embassy in your country (embassy track) or to the university you’re applying to (university track).
Please note that embassies and universities will typically make the first selection and send it to the Korean Institution that is in charge, which will make the eventual and final selection.Finally, they’ll announce selected candidates.
If you would like the embassy track, please note that you’ll have to be accepted by a university. In this case, you’ll have to apply to the university you prefer, the only difference is that the embassy will do the scholarship selection. They are two different processes.
If you are applying to the scholarship of a university, read the guidelines carefully and don’t fail to contact the university if you have any questions. Remember to check the following:
- Which documents require apostille and notarization, which should be originals and/or copies, and if they must be submitted online or via mail.
- If the dates of the scholarship application and university application differ.
- If your English language proficiency certification is not more than two years old.
- If you can have any other scholarship or financial aid. Some universities typically don’t allow students to have more than one.
3. The Best Korean University Scholarships that You Should Apply to Study in Korea for Free
Korean Government Scholarship
The Korean Government Scholarship is typically awarded to both undergraduate and graduate international students. It’s awarded out by the National Institute for International Education (NIIED), which is a member of the Ministry of Education. This scholarship is one of the best as it is fully funded.
Apart from tuition, this scholarship covers flight tickets, a settlement allowance, a monthly allowance, medical insurance, Korean proficiency grants (if applicable), and the language training fee. For graduates, it covers a monthly research allowance and a reimbursement of the cost of printing out their dissertation. Please visit Korean Government Scholarship Page to learn more details and see if you’re eligible.
Seoul National University (SNU) Scholarships
Last year, the Seoul National University (SNU) was number 2 in Korea’s university ranking. It equally ranked within the top 50 universities globally. With three campuses, 16 colleges, and about 30,000 students, this institution offers everything that an international student seeks to have.
You can also use the Korean Government Scholarship to study at SNU, but they also have their own set of scholarships. Some of these scholarships are specific to some countries, like applicants from developing countries or Asia, and may cover tuition, a monthly stipend, living expenses and/or housing fees. Others are made for all the international students but only include a portion of the aspects mentioned before, or may include additional ones, like flight tickets