Best Korean Universities for International Students

Best Korean Universities for International Students

Are you hoping to study in South Korea? You're in luck! There are many options for international students looking to study¬†abroad. We've narrowed them down¬†based on reputation, acceptance rates, and overall atmosphere.¬†Here are the best Korean universities for international students. Let's go! (ÍįÄžěź)

Yonsei University

Exterior of Yonsei University with trimmed hedges

Image Credits: Yonsei University via Instagram

As one of the highest-ranking universities in South Korea, Yonsei University is also part of the prestigious "SKY." However, it's also home to some of the best programs, including Psychology and Clinical & Health. Besides the Study Abroad program, international students can do the Yonsei International Summer School (YISS) or Winter Abroad at Yonsei (WAY). Finally, Yonsei is the filming location for several iconic k-dramas, so definitely consider applying if you're a k-drama fan!

Campuses: Sinchon-dong, Seoul (main); Songdo-dong, Incheon (international); Wonju (satellite)


Seoul National University (SNU)

Overhead view of SNU campus

Image Credits: Seoul National University via Instagram

Nicknamed the Harvard of Korea and one of "SKY," SNU is very selective, with many applicants hoping to graduate and get high-paying positions with their degrees. You'll have better luck as an exchange or visiting student (from a non-partner institution), since SNU accepts 800 every year. There's also an international summer program done entirely in English, as well as a Korean Language Course that's popular with international students. On its main campus, you'll find two museums and the Joseon Dynasty's royal library, the Kyujanggak.

Campuses: Gwanak-gu, Seoul (main); Yeongeon-dong, Seoul (medical); Pyeongchang (biotechnology); Siheung ("smart campus") 


Korea University (KU)

Korea University sign in front of wide skyscraper with blue windows

Image Credits: Korea University via Instagram

If you're a law student with a love of Korean culture, then give this school a shot. Our final member of SKY, it has eight research institutes and a whole campus that is mainly focused on biomedical studies. For short-term students, KU offers a Buddy Assistant (KUBA) who helps international students get more comfortable with their university experience. Scholarships are also available, though there are more options for long-term students.

Campuses: Seongbok-gu, Seoul (main); Sejong (biomedical and health focus)


Sogang University

An overhead view of Sogang University

Image Credits: Sogang University via Instagram

Founded by a Jesuit priest in 1960, Sogang strives to produce alumni with great leadership qualities, whether they're practicing Catholics or not. Its Korean Language Education Center is considered one of the best, attracting 30,000 foreign students each year. With its focus on practical daily use instead of grammar, students are able to communicate better with their domestic peers. Besides that, Sogang University is considered one of the best Business and Economics schools in South Korea.

Campus: Mapo-gu, Seoul


Ewha Womans University

Ewha Womans University building with leafy trees and pink flowers

Image Credits: Ewha Womans University via Instagram

Despite what the name suggests, this university isn't exclusively for women. However, it's one of the world's best women-focused universities, producing famous female politicians, academics, artists, and athletes. Ewha partners with 70+ international institutions and welcomes over 3000 students each year for either summer courses or one of three exchange programs. There are various clubs and activities, and Ewha also provides special services for students with disabilities and North Korean refugees. 

Campus: Seodamun-gu, Seoul


Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST)

Sprawling grounds of KAIST

Image Credits: Image via U.S. News & World Report L.P.

KAIST is the first Korean public science and engineering university and considered the best. International students can pursue dual degrees at KAIST, with full scholarships given to long-term students. They can also conduct research through the Visiting Student Researcher (VSR) program, even if they're taking a leave of absence from their home university. The university has a vibrant student community, with lots of supports and activities available.

Campus: Daedaeok-gu, Daejeon (main); Munji, Daejeon; Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul; Gangnam-gu, Seoul (Dogok campus)


Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)

Aerial view of SKKU

Image Credits: Image via Indiana University

Operating since 1398, SKKU has a rich history that encompasses education, arts, sciences, and so much more. It ranked #3 on the list of top Korean universities in 2022, and with its focus on research and development and many notable alumni, it's not hard to see why. SKKU also has a high number of international students, who are attracted by its variety of courses (with many taught in English) and welcoming environment. 

Campuses: Jongno-gu, Seoul (Humanities and Social Sciences); Yuljeon-dong, Suwon (Natural Sciences)


Kyung Hee University (KHU)

Kyung Hee University with pink cherry trees

Image Credits: Kyung Hee University via Instagram

Celebrated for its College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University is also one of the best schools for international students. It has partnerships with over 580 universities and accepts about 500 foreign students every year. KHU also has several global programs, including the United Nations Academic Impact and Global Collaborative. Similar to KUBA, KHU has Dowoomi (Korean Language Helpers) who volunteer with international students. If you're ever on the main campus, check out the three museums: Central, Natural History, and Hye Jung.

Campuses: Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul (main); Yongin (global); Namyangju (Graduate Institute of Peace Studies)


Chonnam National University (CNU)

Red brick building on CNU campus with trees and green fields

Image Credits: Image via USAC

If you're worried about tuition costs, then this university should set you at ease. CNU is one of the least expensive universities for international students, costing about $2000-$4000 USD per year for undergraduates and $4000-$6000 USD per year for graduates. CNU also provides multiple courses in English, a number of scholarships, and various cultural programs to acclimatize students to Korea. Keep this in mind as you organize a budget for your studies abroad.

Campuses: Gwangju (main), Yeosu (satellite)


Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS)

Skyscrapers on HFUS Seoul campus

Image Credits: Image via World of Students

Are there any future scientists or researchers reading this blog? Well, HUFS might be the best fit for you. It's considered the no. 1 Korean global university for a number of reasons: 45 languages offered, a 7+1 Study Abroad Program (where students can attend at least 1/8 semesters abroad), and a huge number of visiting foreign dignitaries. It's also a great university to attend if you're hoping to become CEO someday - just ask alumni Lee Sung-soo (CEO of SM Entertainment USA) or Gene Yoon (chairman of Fila).

Campuses: Imun-dong, Seoul (main campus); Yongin (global campus); Songdo-dong, Incheon (global campus, AI focus)


Handong Global University (HGU)

Square red brick buildings on HGU campus

Image Credits: Image via Handong Global University

HGU is one of the easiest Korean universities to enter, due to its more lenient admission requirements and partnerships with over 200 international schools. It also provides financial aid to students are unable to pay tuition. Along with the university exchange program, HGU offers a Leadership School for middle and high school students and an ambassador program for international students returning to their home universities. Finally, as a Christian university, HGU has both required and optional faith-based services and programs.

Campus: Pohang


Sun Moon University

Sun Moon University overhead shot at sunrise

Image Credits: Sun Moon University via Instagram

Last but not least, we have Sun Moon University, which has one of the highest acceptance rates of any Korean university and, according to its website, the highest ratio of international to domestic students in Korea. One of its initiatives is the "3+1 system," where students spend three years abroad at Sun Moon and one year at their home university. It also offers the Global FLY System through which students take training at overseas universities. Besides them, there are various clubs and activities that students can participate in, making Sun Moon one of the most globally diverse Korean universities.

Campuses: Asan (main); Cheonan



Were any of these universities on your list? Are there any that you hope to attend? Let us know in the comments. And good luck on your studies/applications!

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1 comment

i loved it i’m looking forward to it

kulsum rattansi

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