While South Korea is popular for its K-pop icons and K-beauty products, not a lot of people know that it’s a great destination for studying. For one, the peninsula is home to excellent institutions, some of which are highly positioned and included in the world university rankings.

Despite being a financially stable country, the cost of living in Korea is cheaper than in other first-world nations. More importantly, South Korean food and culture continue to attract enrollees from all over the globe.

If you are an aspiring student wishing to study in Korea, you may want to consider applying for a scholarship to help you with your academic finances. Check out the list below and you may even obtain a degree for free!

Can International Students Receive a Scholarship in Korea?

International students are eligible to apply for scholarships offered by Korean institutions and even by the Korean government. Since colleges in Korea want more diversity and additional numbers to join their ranks, many international applicants receive some sort of scholarship and financial aid when studying in South Korea.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

How Can International Students Receive Full-Ride Scholarship in Korea?

To receive a fully-funded scholarship while studying in Korea, your best option is to apply for Global Korea Scholarship, which is a prestigious award offered by the Korean government. Awarded only to top applicants, the GKS Scholarship covers your tuition fees, airplane tickets, resettlement allowance, health insurance, stipend for Korean language courses, and more!

Top Scholarships in South Korea for Foreign Students

1. Global Korea Scholarship

  • Scholarship Page
  • Eligible Degrees: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D. degrees for select Korean institutions

The GKS program, arguably the best scholarship in Korea for international students, was created by the Korean government to promote international educational exchanges and mutual friendships with other countries.

Through this, 220 undergraduate and 1,080 graduate students have the chance to study for free at top Korean institutions.

The GKS Scholarship also includes a resettlement allowance, living allowance, medical insurance, and language course fees. Those who exhibit excellent Korean Language proficiency will be awarded an additional prize of KRW 100,000.

Graduate students are also entitled to research support, dissertation printing costs, and a completion grant of KRW 100,000 (USD $80).

To qualify, applicants must be under 25 years (undergraduate) or 40 years (graduate) of age. A GPA of at least 80% from the previous institution is required as well.

2. SNU President Fellowship Program

Founded in 1946, Seoul National University is considered the most prestigious public institution in Korea. Expectedly so, it offers an equally prestigious SNU President Fellowship program, one of the top scholarships in Korea for international students. It is given to Ph.D. students who are faculty members in universities in Asia, South America, and Africa, to name a few.

Preference is given to applicants who have exhibited impressive accomplishments in the fields of public health, agriculture, medicine, engineering, developmental studies, and Korean studies.

Deserving recipients will receive a full-tuition scholarship for 6 months, apart from monthly living expenses of KRW 1,500,000 (USD $1,220), group medical insurance, and round-trip airfare. SNU will also shoulder the cost of language programs, granted that they’re only taken during the evenings of fall & spring terms.

The awardee must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 to receive this lucrative benefit for 3 years.

3. Yonsei University Underwood International College Admissions Scholarship

Yonsei University, one of South Korea’s best private institutions, has recently opened the country’s first English-language liberal arts college. Named UIC, it currently has more than 2,500 students from 66 countries.

What’s great about the UIC scholarship is that all applicants are automatically considered. Awardees for this top scholarship in Korea are chosen according to their academic credentials. Once selected, the notice of scholarship will be sent together with the admission packet.

As with other scholarships, students must maintain a certain GPA to renew their eligibility for the next school year.

4. Korea University Scholarships

As a private institution, Korea University has some of the most expensive tuition costs in the country. Thanks to these awesome Korean scholarship programs, many foreigners have managed to finish their studies at the institution – free of charge.

A select number of new students taking undergraduate studies, for example, can be given Global Leader Scholarships. This scholarship, depending on the admissions committee’s evaluation can award students up to 100% tuition fees.

5. Ewha Global Partnership Program

Ewha Women’s University is a private university based in Seoul, South Korea. The university has numerous scholarship programs intended for international students and one of them is the Ewha Global Partnership Program,

Recipients of EGPP will have the following scholarship benefits. 100% tuition waiver, free dormitory lodging, and a living stipend. Insurance, however, is not included in this grant.

The EGPP is given to female applicants from developing countries. Awardees are selected according to their academic capacity and leadership potential. Eligibility is subject to screening and renewal every year.

6. Kyungpook National University International Graduate Scholarship

Kyungpook National University is a public educational institution based in Gyeongbuk, South Korea. It offers several scholarships, one of which is the KINGS Award, which is granted to 70 foreign graduate students every year.

However, the students may not apply for the scholarship themselves. Instead, their respective departments will send the names of possible awardees according to their academic rankings. After doing so, the Office of International Affairs will process the documents. It will then be passed to the Admissions Committee for the formal selection process.

As the scholarship will be renewed every year, awardees will need to maintain a certain GPA to keep their eligibility.

7. POSCO TJ Park Scholarship for Asian Students Studying in Korea

As the name suggests, this scholarship in Korea is exclusive to Asian students who wish to undertake master’s and Ph.D. studies in South Korea. It was developed to help groom the next-generation leaders from every corner of Asia.

Apart from shouldering the tuition fee for 4-6 semesters, the scholarship award will also provide a living subsidy, settlement allowance, insurance, and other financial support

To be eligible, the applicant must have completed a bachelor’s degree in Korea or any other country. Despite this minimal requirement, all applicants will undergo 2 rounds of selection. The first evaluates the submitted documents, while the second relies on the applicant’s interview.

Upon passing the 2 selection rounds, the student needs to be successfully admitted to his/her university of choice. Only then will the student be named a POSCO Asia fellow.

8. Samsung Global Hope Scholarship Program

  • Scholarship Page
  • Eligible Degrees: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D. students from partner universities

The Samsung Global Hope Scholarship Program is open to applicants coming from the DAC list of OCD recipients. These are nations that are listed as least developed, low-income, lower-middle-income, and upper-middle-income.

Scholars are chosen according to academic intellect, language proficiency (Korean and English), and financial need. Additionally, awards are given to students who are most likely to return to their countries and facilitate their development.

9. Korea National University of the Arts – Art Major Asian Plus (AMA+) Scholarship

K-NARTS was founded in 1993. Not long after, it opened the AMA+ scholarship. Established in the year 2004, it has funded 309 students from over 30 OECD DAC recipient countries.

On top of providing full tuition coverage, this scholarship comes with a monthly allowance of KRW 800,000 ($650), health insurance, and round-trip airfare.

As mentioned, the number one criterion is the applicant should come from any of the OECD DAC recipient nations. The student should have a high school diploma (for undergraduate study) or a bachelor’s degree (for a master’s program).

Those with a TOPIK level 6 are exempted from the Korean Language Training requirement for scholars.

As an art scholarship, applicants must submit a portfolio of their works (unless otherwise stated) as well. Other requirements include an accomplished application form, academic transcripts, personal statement, study plan, personal medical assessment, and 3 letters of recommendation.

10. University of Ulsan Entrance Scholarships

The University of Ulsan is located in Mugeo-dong, Ulsan, and it is one of the top universities in Korea that is highly focused on supporting local and international students. This university provides financial assistance to students who are experiencing financial difficulties or who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement.

International undergraduate students accepted to the university are eligible for the Entrance Scholarship. The number of students supported by this program varies according to enrollment and funding. Students with TOPIK 5+ scores are qualified for a full tuition waiver.

11. Dongseo University International Scholarships

Dongseo University Scholarships are the best opportunity to benefit from academic success, and the college claims that academic-based scholarships are available to all international students. The scholarship amount may be partial or complete regarding living expenses and tuition coverage, depending on how well you did in your previous semester or academic year.

The highest-scoring students may have all of their fees covered. This program’s rules and regulations are subject to periodic revision. Application is not needed for this Korean scholarship because it is merit-based, meaning that awards will be based on the results that students achieve through their studies. Additional information regarding this fascinating university can be found in the attached scholarship link.

12. Hongik University International Student Scholarship

Hongik University is one of the most well-known private universities in South Korea and is located in the capital city of Seoul. The primary goal of the institution is to establish a solid connection between academics and the outside world through practical and efficient studies.

Graduate students can avail of the International Student Scholarship to help reduce their academic expenses. This is partial funding with an amount of KRW 1,000,000.

13. Jeju National University International Student Scholarships

Jeju National University (JNU) is situated in South Korea’s unique region of Jeju. This university hosts close to 12,000 students in its facilities, of which 600 are international students. The university currently has 12 undergraduate colleges, including those for art, design, humanities, law, and political science, and offers graduate degrees in the subjects of law, medicine, interpretation, and business administration.

The International Student Scholarship is available to new students who have completed the enrollment process, and it offers qualified candidates up to full tuition coverage. This scholarship in Korea is available to approximately 8.5 percent of the international student body at Jeju National University, with preference given to applicants with TOPIK ratings of five or higher.

14. Handong Global University Scholarships

The Handong Global University has over 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students of which about 300 are from different countries in the world. The university has a general application fee that is mandatory for all international students, and that fee is close to 80 dollars.

The university offers several scholarships for foreign learners. Undergraduate students can apply for the Entrance Scholarship for International Students (for TOPIK holders) and Outstanding International Students. As for graduate students taking up engineering, law, and science, they can apply for a Regular Admission Scholarship. Successful applicants will receive funding aid and support from the institution.

15. Konkuk University Academic Scholarships for Undergraduate Students

Konkuk University is a private university located in the capital city of South Korea and has many campus buildings in other major cities in the country. Each department at this university has its own cost structure, and there are differences between undergraduate and graduate tuition. That is why the university has scholarships available so it can help potential students achieve higher education.

Undergraduate students can apply for Academic Scholarships. There are two types of this scholarship program – 1) Academic Scholarships for Undergraduate Students (Type A) and 2) Academic Scholarships for Undergraduate Students (Type B).

Type A Scholarships are offered to all international students with outstanding TOPIK results. This partial funding covers from 10% up to  60% tuition. The higher the mark you attain the higher the coverage of funding amount you will receive. For example, TOPIK Level 3 or 4 passers will receive a 10% tuition waiver while those with TOPIK Level 6 will be awarded a 60% tuition waiver

Type B Scholarships on the other hand are intended specifically for students taking up the following programs: Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Imaging Science, Physics, and Science. Those who are successful will be awarded with a financial aid of KRW 1,000,000.

16. POSTECH Graduate Assistantship

The Pohang University of Science & Technology is a private South Korean institution and it is located in the city of Pohang. This university is one of the top universities in Korea and it was among the top four universities in the last educational evaluation.

Graduate students can take advantage of the Graduate Assistantship program as it will greatly help reduce academic expenditures. This is a fully funded program covering tuition fees and living stipends.

17. Chung-Ang University Young Scientist Scholarships

Established in 1918, Chung-Ang University is a private university in Korea that has over 30,000 students currently attending. There are two campuses for the university—one in Seoul and the other in Anseong, Korea. There, students can pursue further education and enroll in programs in law\, medicine, and international MBA.

Exceptional students studying engineering, pharmacy, nursing, science, or medicine and who have received a recommendation from one of the overseas partner universities are eligible to receive the Young Scientist Scholarship. The scholar will be granted the following: tuition waiver, application and admission fees, and a monthly stipend of KRW 500,ooo.

18. Dankook University Scholarships

The Dankook University is a private research university located in Yongin, South Korea, and it serves as the cornerstone of prestigious education in this country.

Dankook University offers various scholarships that aim to help undergraduate and graduate students in their journey to achieve a formal education. One of those scholarships is for the Korean Track Program. This scholarship for undergraduates offers from 15% to 55% waiver of tuition cost. The waiver will depend on the TOPIK test result.  Students with higher results will receive a larger tuition waiver compared to other applicants.

19. Hanyang University Scholarships

Hanyang University offers great educational opportunities for students who have financial difficulties in their home country. International applicants who exhibit outstanding academic records and art portfolios are awarded the HISP. For freshman students, this scholarship in Korea is available for a total of 8 semesters; for transfer students, it is available for a total of 4 semesters. The student must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 each semester to keep receiving this award. The amount that is given to the student depends on their academic success, and it varies from 50% up to full tuition coverage.

20. Kookmin University Admission Scholarships

Kookmin University is one of the oldest universities in the country and is highly advanced in the programs that it offers. The university is located in the capital city of Korea and has many campuses throughout the country. This is one of the best opportunities for international students who want to undertake their studies in a foreign country.

All undergraduate students enrolled at Kookmin are eligible for the Admission scholarship. The scholarship can cover up to 100% of tuition depending on the student’s academic portfolio.

21. Ajou University Scholarships

Ajou University is one of the top-rated universities in Korea and was established in 1973. This university is recognized for its vast and resourceful programs in business administration, engineering, international studies, physical sciences, and computer science. Ajou University welcomes foreign students and strives to make the admissions process as quick and easy as possible. To do this, they offer a set of admission guidelines for foreign students that detail the application process, documentation requirements, and resources available to them.

In the admission guidelines, students can apply for scholarships offered by the university.  For students at the bachelor’s level, applying for a New Student Scholarship can help students cover up to 80% of the tuition fee. The only requirement is for students to achieve a level 6 evaluation on the language proficiency test TOPIK. This is one of the best opportunities for international students who are highly skilled in the Korean language.

22. Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Scholarships

The Hankuk University of Foreign Studies is a famous higher education institution in Seoul, and it is recognized as one of South Korea’s top universities. It was first established in 1954 as a college for foreign languages before developing into a private research university. This institution offers education to over 26,000 students, of whom 10% are international students. The Hankuk University scholarships have partial to full funding options for all degree-seeking students.

23. Pusan National University International Student Scholarships

The Pusan National University is also known as the Busan National University, and it is one of the ten most well-known national universities in South Korea. This university offers various scholarships, but one of the most notable is the International Student Scholarship, which is offered to students with outstanding scores in the English and Korean language proficiency exams.

This scholarship will cover 50% of tuition if a student achieves a TOPIK Level 4 or higher or a higher grade of 80 at TOEFL or 5.5 in IELTS.

24. UNIST Scholarships Global Uni-Star Scholarship

The public university of Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology is devoted to research, science, and technology. It was founded in 2007 in Ulsan, a major industrial city that is known for its very successful global companies.

Undergraduate students may be awarded a scholarship that is paid for by UNIST. This is open to all nationalities taking up a bachelor’s degree at the university. This partially funded aid will grant students up to a KRW 630,000 stipend every month.

25. KAIST International Student Scholarship

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, also known as KAIST, is a pioneering graduate school in science and technology that was established in Seoul in 1971. Students can anticipate learning from renowned professors and utilizing cutting-edge facilities in their journey toward improving their skills.

In most cases, students receive a complete scholarship for their tuition as well as a monthly stipend of KRW 350,000 and medical health insurance.

26. Inha University Jungseok International Scholarship

Inha University, formerly known as Inha Institute of Technology, is a private university in Incheon, South Korea. It was founded in 1954 as a polytechnic university, and it offers various scholarships based on performance and merit. Inha University has more than 1,450 international students who attend the university, and its international center offers a range of services and resources.

For this scholarship in Korea, the value depends on the language proficiency of the applicants; those who score a TOPIK level five to six or an IBT TOEFL 92 or higher will receive a 70% discount on entrance and tuition expenses. The lower the evaluation amount, the lower the tuition fee coverage will be, so the best way to achieve the highest amount is to achieve great results on language tests.

27. Hallym University Scholarships for Newly Admitted International Students

One of the well-known private universities in Chuncheon, in the Gangwon province of the Republic of Korea, is Hallym University. It was established in 1982 and has held the designation of “Distinguished University” for three years running.

Newly admitted undergraduate students have the opportunity to receive a scholarship. Scholars taking an English Track program will be covered with 50% tuition while those in the Korean Track program are eligible for up to 70% tuition waiver.

28. Soongsil Global Scholarship

Soongsil University is one of the top private universities in South Korea, and it is distinguished for its modern facilities and evolving programs. This university offers various scholarships for international students, and a number of them are financed by the university itself.

Soongsil Global Scholarship is awarded to students who have scored high marks on the TOPIK Test or those who received high marks in the Korean language course at Soongsil. The amount that is awarded is determined by their test result. Students are eligible to receive a maximum of 100% of their tuition if they have achieved a Level 5 or higher in TOPIK.

29. Myongji University International Student Admissions Scholarship

Myongji University is a Christian private university that was established in 1948 in South Korea. This prominent university provides higher education in the subjects of engineering, sciences, and humanities. This university features excellent professors, state-of-the-art infrastructure, an engaging curriculum, and plenty of amenities for students so they can perform at their highest level.

Those who are accepted by the university as overseas undergraduate and graduate students are qualified for the International Student Admissions Scholarships. Undergraduate students can be granted up to 80% tuition waiver if they can present a TOPIK Level 6 certificate. Graduate students can be offered a 100% tuition if they are nominated by the university’s president.

 

We hope that this article on the best scholarships in Korea for international students was helpful. If you’re interested in studying abroad, make sure to check out the Available Programs for International Students and the Study in Korea pages!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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