Within the past few years, the world has set their eyes glued to South Korea.
As one of the world’s capitals for technology, recently South Korea has been gaining a lot of attention for their music, dramas, movies and food. This huge influx of interest has driven a lot of people with interest in the culture to make the big move to Korea to see what it’s all about.
When someone moves to South Korea, most times you’re either an English Teacher or a Student. Within the student category, you can be either an Exchange Student or a Korean Language Student.
Or you can be a regular University Student.
If this is what you’re aiming for, then there’s a lot of things you need to take into consideration..
1. Finding A University
Pretty obvious point but if you’re not fluent in Korean, finding a University with good English Communication takes a bit of work. While the staff and administration may be able to communicate well in English, most classes are going to be in Korean, depending on your major. Some Universities to consider are
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
Ewha Women’s University
Sookmyung Women’s University
Make sure you check the schools’ deadline dates as some schools have an extremely early deadline while some run really late into the year.
As with any university you need to get all your documents for application together. However if your University transcripts are in another language other than English or Korean, you’ll need to have a Translated copy of them sent with your documents.
3. TOPIK Score
And this is where things become a bit complicated. The Test of Proficiency in Korean is one of the biggest hurdles you’ll have to overcome when you apply as a regular/ transfer student within Korea.
There are two sections to this test.
TOPIK 1 and TOPIK 2
TOPIK 1 covers Level 1 and 2 (Beginner Level)
while TOPIK 2 covers Levels 3, 4, 5 and 6 (Intermediate & Advanced Level)
Most Universities require you to have between a TOPIK 2 Level 3 or 4, but if you’re lucky most art majors only require a TOPIK 1 Level 2.
The TOPIK exam is held 6 times per year. For information on the dates and process you can visit their site at http://www.topik.go.kr
4. Interviews and Acceptance
After you submit all your documents, in most cases you will be invited to the University for a final Interview or depending on your major, a practical exam. This is usually really easy and like any other interview, where you talk about your interests and why you chose that particular University.
Next you will be required to submit your TOPIK Score. However depending on when you take the exam, sometimes you may not receive your final grade. In that case you will get a Conditional Acceptance. At this point, you need to accept and submit your enrollment confirmation by the deadline date given to you or else your Conditional Acceptance will be rejected. Although, even if you accept the enrollment but fail to receive the required grade of TOPIK, the school can also reject your enrollment or require you to take Korean Language Classes while you are enrolled.
Finally, there are other parts to this, such as Student Housing, Working as a Student and Entertainment Culture in Korea (Specifically Seoul) which I’ll talk about in Part 2.