South Korea is a safe country that boasts a relatively high quality of living. These – and the nation’s long history of academic excellence – make the Asian country a great option for students who wish to study abroad.

With strong governmental support – coupled with revolutionary research and development – South Korea has proven itself to be one of the best academic destinations in the world. Coupled with budget-friendly tuition – as you will see in these cheap universities in Korea – South Korea offers a learning nirvana at amazingly affordable costs.

Affordable Schools in South Korea for International Students

1. Chonnam National University

Chonnam National University, or CNU, is the flagship university of South Korea. It was founded in 1952 and is currently based in Gwangju. To date, it also has a satellite campus on the former Yeosu National University premises.

CNU’s undergraduate colleges cover the fields of artificial intelligence, agriculture, business, engineering, human ecology, humanities, medicine, law, natural science, social science, nursing, fisheries, biology, dentistry, and interdisciplinary studies to name a few.

It also has a graduate school for students who wish to take higher studies in business, culture, law, medicine, dentistry, education, technology, public administration, and fisheries.

2. Sejong Cyber University

2014 marked the beginning of Sejong Cyber University, born out of a Remote Educational Agreement with the Dasomi Foundation. It also saw the graduation of the first batch of students – now an annual event with the distance-learning institution.

As a remote education institution, Sejong offers a variety of undergraduate offerings. These include degrees in the fields of international studies, content creation, counseling psychology, social welfare, child and family studies, management, hotel and restaurant administration, information technology, disaster and safety, and the arts.

3. Woosong University

Woosong University was founded in 1954 – and re-opened in the year 1999. Located in Daejeon, it offers a special curriculum that makes use of IT and foreign languages.

It is one of several South Korean universities to offer 4-year English-taught programs in the fields of tourism and culinary management, business, railroad transportation, health and welfare, international studies, and media/communication arts.

Woosong also offers graduate programs in computer design, industrial information, management, business, and health & welfare. It also offers 2-year associate degrees in the culinary arts and hotel management.

4. Kangwon National University

Kangwon National University (KNU), one of the cheapest universities in Korea for international students, started as the Chuncheon Agricultural College in the year 1947. It was made a comprehensive university in the year 1978 and is now the flagship institution of the province of Gangwon-do.

Apart from specializing in agriculture, animal life science, and forest/environmental sciences, the suburban university also offers other courses. These include business administration, engineering, art and culture, social science, nursing, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, biomedical science, humanities, natural science, information technology, and sports science.

It also has graduate schools in medicine, arts and sports, engineering, natural sciences, and humanities.

5. Cheongju University

Founded in 1947 as the Cheongju Commercial College, Cheongju University has transformed into a sprawling private educational institution.

Located in North Chungcheong, South Korea, Cheongju University offers undergraduate degrees in the fields of economics and business administration, humanities, law, arts, engineering, social sciences, and education.

This affordable university in Korea also has a dedicated graduate school for the studies of education, business administration, industrial engineering, and public administration. Cheongju University also engages in vast research in the industrial sciences, information and communications, and internet business.

6. Seoul National University of Science and Technology

Colloquially known as Seoultech, the Seoul National University of Science & Technology was founded in 1906 as a Royal Engineering Research Center. Today, the Nowon-gu-based university is a big institution with more than 11,000 students – 6% of which come from various areas across the globe.

Currently, Seoultech is organized into the Colleges of Engineering, Information & Communications Engineering, Energy & Biotechnology, Business & Technology, Art & Design, and Humanities & Social Sciences. Seoultech also has a graduate school for Engineering, Sciences, Arts, and Business Administration students.

Seoultech is listed as one of the best universities in Korea and the Asian region. True to its name, it is particularly known worldwide for its comprehensive Engineering courses.

7. Seoul National University

Seoul National University – also known as SNU or Seouldae – is considered the best educational institution in all of South Korea. It is particularly renowned in the fields of clinical/health science and engineering. SNU is also ranked in the top 100 in the fields of physical and life sciences.

Founded in the year 1946, SNU is the result of the mergers among the institutions established during the reign of King Gojong. Currently, it has campuses in Gwanak-Ju, Pyeongchang, and Daehangno.

SNU, one of the affordable schools in Seoul,  has a total of 16 undergraduate colleges that offer a total of 83 degrees. It also offers master’s and doctorate degrees through the graduate schools of Data Science, Public Health, Public Administration, International Studies, Business, Environmental Science, Agriculture, Convergence Science, Engineering, Medicine, Law, and Dentistry.

Of all Korean universities, SNU has one of the highest concentrations of foreign students. To date, international learners represent 11% of the university’s 26,700+ enrollees.

FAQS About Studying in South Korea

What Are the General Requirements to Study in South Korea?

Students who wish to study in South Korea need to have a high school diploma to apply for an undergraduate course – and a bachelor’s degree to apply for a master’s program. Depending on the university’s medium of instruction, the applicant must showcase proficiency in either Korean or English.

Additional requirements such as transcripts of records, entrance tests, interviews, and portfolios may be requested by the university as well.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Do Universities in South Korea Offer English-taught Programs?

Yes. Although most schools teach in Korean (and thus, require language proficiency), some teach courses or degrees in English. One good example is Korea University, wherein many classes are taught in English. Another is Kyung Hee University, which has an English-track International Studies program.


South Korea has numerous internationally recognized universities, however, some of them have high tuition costs that are quite impossible for international students to pay. However, due to the influx of foreign students in recent years, some universities started to provide low-cost education. This is one way of attracting more international students to come and study in the country.


Hopefully, this article will encourage you to study in Korea. To know more information like this, check out the Available Programs for International Students and 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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