With a competitive environment in academics and prestigious universities, South Korea is no doubt on the list of places for an international study experience. Along with the educational opportunities, you would get to learn about their culture and explore different destinations that will surely make your stay fruitful. In this article, we will be looking at the cost of studying and living in South Korea for aspiring international students!

Cost of Studying in South Korea for International Students

South Korea has its share of excellent institutions, and some of its universities are part of worldwide university rankings. There are also a lot of scholarship opportunities accessible for international students. To give you a glimpse of the possible fees you will have to pay if you opt to study in South Korea, let us look into some of their top universities.

The Seoul National University is known to be the leading institution in the country. Out of all the Korean universities, SNU has placed highest in different rankings for schools worldwide. Various programs are being offered in the school through its different departments. The tuition fees of the students depend on the program they are going to take. The range of the tuition fees is between 2,442,000 to 5,038,000 won. The courses cost less for programs in the College of Humanities, Natural Sciences, Nursing, Business Administration, Engineering, Agriculture and Life Sciences, Education, Human Ecology, and Liberal Studies. It is for programs in the College of Fine Arts, Veterinary Medicine, Music, and Medicine, where the tuition fees are higher.

Another high-ranking university is the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology or KAIST. The university is acknowledged to be the top research-oriented university in South Korea. It also has received rankings in fields like Material Sciences and Chemical Engineering. As mentioned on their site, the tuition per semester is 3,433,000 won. There are possibilities of getting a scholarship, so you should search or inquire about it.

Managing your Finances as an International Student in South Korea

Upon acceptance to the school of your choice in South Korea, you will need to think about how you will manage your finances. You may need to send payments for accommodation facilities to ensure they are ready before you move. Managing these expenses locally from your home country may seem daunting as an international student due to the low conversion rates offered by most banks for your currency and high charges for currency conversion. Consider opening a wise account to ease these struggles. A safe, reliable and more affordable option, Wise bank uses mid-market exchange rates and ensures you have a hassle-free financial transition.

Cost of Living in South Korea for International Students

1. Cost of Living in Seoul

Being the capital of South Korea, Seoul is the center of different aspects, such as its economy and culture. Aside from this, it is also the home of several of the top universities located in the country. As the country continues to attract more people, the living costs are also said to be rising. However, there are still ways that you can live and study in Seoul on a budget.

Before looking into a private place, you might want to check the university dormitories or houses. The expenses for these accommodations are usually more affordable than renting your place, and meal fees may also be included. If you opt for your place, a single-room apartment ranges from 300,000 won to 1,000,000 won per month. For transportation, there are the subway, taxis, and buses for public transportation. You may buy a T-money card for your transportation which is 3,000 won at purchase, and you can charge it with the amount you need. Your food expenses would depend on your lifestyle, but you may set a budget of around 500,000 won for monthly food and drink costs.

2. Cost of Living in Busan

The city of Busan is known as the country’s summer capital, and this is because of its beaches that people would often visit during the summer season. This is the second-largest city in its population and size.

If you want to stay in Busan, the cost of living starts with private housing in the city that has an average monthly rent that is around 500,000 to 700,000 won, but this is depending on the type of housing that you would go for. Same as in Seoul, there is public transport available to you for your transport. This is the most affordable way of transportation, and it is efficient in helping you get to your destination. You may purchase the T-money card which will help you in saving as the prices are less compared to purchasing a single-ride ticket. The prices may vary for food expenses, but the difference does not seem to be that big. It would vary on your preferences and lifestyle, but you could set a budget that is also around 500,000 won to have an allowance.

3. Cost of Living in Suwon

Suwon is said to be the largest city that belongs to the province of Gyeonggi-do, and it is just near Seoul. Although their locations are near each other, if you are planning to live in Suwon, some of the expenses in the city are more affordable compared to the capital. The monthly rent of a private apartment with one room is around 500,000 won to 700,000 won.

For your transportation needs, there is also public transport. It is said that the fees in the city may be cheaper compared to some of the other cities. However, the travel pass is still applicable here which would help you in getting around places. A monthly budget of 500,000 won for your food expenses may be less or more depending on your lifestyle, but there are also affordable meals outside if you would want to treat yourself.

4. Cost of Living in Daegu

The city of Daegu is the third biggest in South Korea, and it is also considered to be one of the best cities for students due to the experiences accessible to them, like hiking and having a food trip.

For aspiring international students who want to stay in Daegu, the average monthly rent for a one-room apartment is not that different from other cities as it falls between 400,000 to 700,000 won. It would cost less if you could find good private accommodation located just outside the center of the city. Just like in other cities, public transport is available, and you have options like the bus and the subway. You might want to check the options for card passes. The food budget of 500,000 won may still be recommendable, but this would depend on how you are spending.

5. Cost of Living in Daejeon

Daejeon is known to be a science and technology hub in the country, and there are centers of research for various companies are located. This is also the home of one of the country’s top universities, KAIST.

Living in Daejeon, the cost of private housing is around the same price for other cities. The average monthly rent for it is around 400,000 to 700,000 won as well when it is located around the center of the city. Public transport would be the most advantageous mode of transportation for students. As reported by KAIST, a ride would cost around 1,200 won and you can use your transportation card. There are a lot of restaurants that you may find around the city and having extra money for your monthly food budget would be beneficial. A monthly budget of around 500,000 won would more or less be enough, depending on your lifestyle.


I hope that this article on the Cost of Studying and Living in South Korea for International Students was helpful. To know more information like this, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

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