South Korea’s vibrant culture and high educational standards make it an attractive study-abroad destination among international students. The country offers its students a comprehensive range of study programs, several top universities, and numerous growth opportunities.

Additionally, international students in South Korea have the option to take up part-time job opportunities to help with study expenses, as well as gain practical work exposure. This article will brief you on the ways to work while being an international student in South Korea. It will also talk about the work’s usual legal requirements and some pointers to maintaining a healthy work-study balance.

Ways to Work While Studying in South Korea

If you are an international student interested in working while managing your studies, here are ways to work while studying in South Korea.

1. On-Campus Part-Time Jobs

Part-time, on-campus employment is a popular and convenient way to work while studying in South Korea, as these jobs come with flexible schedules that can be easily managed. Part-time on-campus jobs offer varying salaries, depending on your job role. However, most of them start with an hourly wage of 9,620 KRW, which is considered the minimum wage in South Korea.

Interested applicants may check out their university’s career center or job portal to look up available vacancies. The admissions procedure may involve an application form, resume, and an interview in some cases. It is advised that you apply early, as on-campus jobs are generally in high demand.

2. English Tutoring

Students with excellent communication skills and proficiency in the English language can consider tutoring English as a way to work while studying in South Korea. It is a popular job option that can earn a decent income while helping others develop their language skills. The location where you offer your services, your qualifications, and your level of expertise, will determine your earnings as a tutor. Depending on your tutoring intensity and the study level of your student, your hourly pay could range from 30,000 to 50,000 KRW.

Anyone interested in becoming an English tutor must ensure they meet certain requirements. To start with, they must have a strong command of the language and have the ability to communicate and teach effectively. Students may also have to meet certain academic requirements, which could be either a high school diploma or its equivalent, or a bachelor’s degree. These requirements may vary depending on the language institution or tutoring center. In addition, individuals with previous experience in teaching or those with a teaching certificate may be favored.

3. Retail Industry

Students are offered a variety of employment opportunities in the retail industry, which include work roles like customer service representatives, sales associates, or cashiers in malls, online platforms, or stores. Additionally, there is often a high demand for part-time or seasonal workers, allowing students to easily secure flexible work positions.

Salaries in retail positions depend on your position, experience, and location. Typically, students may earn the minimum wage or higher, with certain roles following commission structures and greater responsibilities offering much higher pay. General requirements for a retail job include a friendly attitude, good communication skills, and great teamwork, among others. Previous experience may be required by certain positions, like management or supervisory roles. Applicants interested in retail positions may visit physical stores, look up online websites and job boards, or inquire directly at stores.

4. Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry is also very popular among part-timers in South Korea. Opportunities available in the hospitality industry include roles in restaurants, hotels, or cafes. Common positions in the sector include front desk agents, housekeeping staff, servers, and bartenders. Your salary in hospitality would depend on the position, establishment type, and location. However, part-timers can expect a minimum hourly wage or higher.

Work requirements for hospitality jobs include flexibility in working hours, serving skills, customer service skills, and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment. Specific certifications related to alcohol or food handling may be required in certain positions. To apply for such positions, students may directly inquire at establishments of interest, visit websites of restaurants or hotels, or check online job portals.

FAQs About Working While Studying in South Korea

Is there a Work-Study Program in South Korea?

No, however, international students in South Korea can work while studying in the country. This then allows them to support their study expenses and gain practical exposure. The Korean government regulates these by setting restrictions and guidelines for part-time international students.

Regulations include allowing students to work only in specific industries and limiting the number of working hours allowed each week. Interested students must, however, obtain a work permit offered by the Korean Immigration Service to be able to work while pursuing their higher education.

Can You Work in South Korea While on a Student Visa?

Yes, South Korea does allow foreigners with a student visa to work part-time, albeit specific guidelines and restrictions must be followed. As stated by the Korean government, international students on a D-2 visa can engage in full-time work during the vacation period, and part-time for up to 20 hours per week during the semester.

In addition, students must adhere to regulations that allow them to work only in specific industries like manufacturing, services, and education. They must also ensure they obtain their work permit from the Korean Immigration Service.

What are the Benefits of Working While Studying in South Korea?

There are many benefits associated with taking up part-time work while studying in South Korea. To start, working while being an international student allows you to make money and, therefore, have some financial independence. The money can help cover tuition fees, additional study expenses, and living costs. The hourly salary rate for part-time jobs could range from 9,620 (minimum wage) to 50,000 KRW, with the amount varying between positions and industries.

Professional development would be another benefit of working as a student in South Korea. Work opportunities allow students to develop valuable skills, enhance their employability, apply theoretical knowledge in real-life situations, as well as create a solid resume for career prospects in the future.


There are numerous ways to work while being an international student in South Korea, like freelancing, internships, on-campus jobs, tutoring, and more. Each work opportunity has its distinct earning potential and benefits. Before selecting the job that best suits their interest, students are first advised to take into consideration their personal preferences, schedule, and skills.


Hopefully, this article will help you land a part-time job in Korea while studying. To learn more information about study options in the country, check out our Study in Korea and Open Courses 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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  1. Yogalakshmi March 9, 2024 1:02 am - Reply

    Hello, I want to do my Phd in biochemistry in South Korea. Is it possible?

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