South Korea has become an increasingly favored destination for international students pursuing higher education.
Korea is an excellent destination for studying, with prestigious universities, stunning landscapes, rich culture, advanced technology, a thriving economy, and the growing popularity of K-wave globally.
Fortunately, many scholarships are available for international students who like to study abroad in South Korea. These Korean scholarships range from full tuition coverage to partial tuition help and living stipends.
This article will discuss the best scholarships for studying in Korea and how you can apply for them with all the details.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Why Choose South Korea for Scholarships?
- Top Government And University-Based Korean Scholarships
- 1. Global Korea Scholarship (GKS)
- 2. Kyungpook National University Scholarship (KNUS)
- 3. POSCO TJ Park Scholarships
- 4. Seoul National University (SNU) Scholarship
- 5. Ewha Womans University Scholarship
- 6. Changwon National University (CNU) Scholarship
- 7. KAIST University Scholarship
- 8. Yonsei University Scholarships
- 9. Inha University Scholarships
- 10. GIST Scholarships
- 11. UNIST Scholarships
- 12. POSTECH Scholarships
- 13. Samsung Global Hope Scholarship Program
- 14. Korea University for International Students
- How to apply for a South Korean scholarship?
- 1. Available research scholarships
- 2. Meet eligibility criteria
- 3. Choose a scholarship and university
- 4. Prepare application documents
- 5. Submit the application
- 6. Follow up and wait for results
- 7. Accept the scholarship and visa process
- Final Words on Top Scholarships in Korea
Why Choose South Korea for Scholarships?
Many factors make South Korea an attractive destination for international students seeking a quality education and a rich cultural experience.
If you want to pursue your educational goals and dreams, South Korea is the ideal study-abroad country. Here are the top reasons why to study in Korea.
1. Cutting-Edge Technology
South Korea is a leader in technology, with many of the world’s leading electronics, biotechnology, and technology companies headquartered there.
This assists students in studying at the forefront of technological advances and gaining hands-on experience with innovative tech.
This means that students studying in South Korea will have access to innovative technology and research facilities.
2. Top-Ranked Universities
South Korea is renowned for its high-quality education system, top research, and world-class facilities. Many of its colleges and universities rank among the best in the world.
Its impressive higher education system reflects this, focusing on research and development. The institutions of higher education offer programs in various fields.
South Korea boasts several highly-ranked universities like Seoul National University (SNU), Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).
3. Diverse Culture
South Korea has a rich cultural heritage, blending ancient traditions with contemporary lifestyles. Thus, students can experience a unique blend of traditional and modern culture.
For example, traditional Korean music and dance, practices, temples, festivals, and street delicious K-food.
Studying in South Korea allows students to experience this unique culture firsthand.
4. Affordable Cost of Living
South Korea is relatively affordable compared to other developed countries, making it an attractive option for international students.
The cost of living, including housing, food, and transportation, is lower than in many developed countries. This allows foreign students to stretch their budgets further.
5. Global Network
South Korea has a powerful presence on the global stage, with a growing economy and influential companies like Samsung, POSCO, KIA, Hyundai, and LG.
Studying in South Korea provides an opportunity to network with these companies and build connections that can be invaluable in one’s career. And the Korean language helps with jobs.
Top Government And University-Based Korean Scholarships
Some of the top government and university-based scholarships for students in South Korea are:
The top scholarships are available to international students, and the details of these scholarships, including what they offer, how to apply, and the deadline.
1. Global Korea Scholarship (GKS)
The Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) is the most famous South Korean government scholarship program to promote mutual understanding and friendship between Korea and other countries. GKS, formerly KGSP, fostered global education and cross-cultural relations.
GKS is for international students who wish to study at Korean universities. It provides full financial support for undergraduate, graduate, research programs, and doctorate courses in South Korea.
The scholarship includes the following:
- Tuition fees.
- A monthly living allowance.
- Round-trip airfare.
- Medical insurance.
- Korean language training.
- A research allowance.
It is available to thousands of students from 155 nations interested in Korea and planning to pursue higher studies there.
To be eligible for the GKS, applicants must meet specific criteria. The requirements for the program include many things. For instance, excellent grades, participation in activities outside of school, a fascination with Korean culture and society, and fluency in Korean and English.
To apply, you must complete an online form, submit supporting documents, and have an interview with the Korean consulate or embassy in your home country.
To apply, candidates must be under 25 (GKS undergraduate) or 40 (GKS graduate) years old and boast a minimum GPA of 80% from their prior university.
Embrace the essence of Korean education and culture through the GKS Scholarship Program.
The Global Korea Scholarship provides full financial support from the South Korean government to international students who wish to study in Korea and immerse themselves in Korean culture.
2. Kyungpook National University Scholarship (KNUS)
Kyungpook National University in South Korea offers international students the KNU International Graduate Scholarship. It provides a full tuition fee waiver for eligible courses in both master’s and doctoral programs.
The scholarship is awarded to the deserving and most exceptional students accepted into an approved program. It gives a fantastic opportunity for affordable education.
Here are some scholarships available at KNU (Kyungpook National University).
(i) KNU Global Scholarship
This is for international students newly admitted to KNU. It includes a full tuition waiver, dormitory fee waiver, and a monthly stipend of KRW 500,000 for undergraduate students and KRW 700,000 for graduate students.
(ii) KNU International Student Scholarship
This is for students enrolled in KNU. It provides a tuition fee waiver for one semester and a monthly stipend of KRW 500,000 for undergraduate students and KRW 700,000 for graduate students.
(iii) KNU Global Challenge Scholarship
This scholarship is for international students with outstanding academic performance and/or excellent leadership skills. It gives a tuition fee waiver and a monthly stipend of KRW 1,000,000.
(iv) KNU-KIST School Joint Scholarship
This scholarship is for graduate students enrolled in the KNU-KIST School of Converging Science and Technology. It offers a monthly stipend of KRW 1,500,000 for two years and covers the full tuition fee.
KNU Academic Scholarship: This is for domestic students with outstanding academic performance. It gives a tuition fee waiver and a monthly stipend of KRW 300,000 for undergraduate students and KRW 500,000 for graduate students.
KNU offers various scholarships for ASEAN countries, North Korean defectors, and international exchange students.
Eligibility and application requirements vary for each scholarship, so it is recommended to check the KNU website for more information.
3. POSCO TJ Park Scholarships
POSCO TJ Park Foundation offers the scholarship to support talented individuals pursuing graduate studies in science and engineering at top universities in South Korea.
The scholarship gives financial support for tuition, living expenses, cultural activities, and language exchange opportunities.
Here are some key features of the scholarship:
POSCO TJ Park Scholarships is a scholarship program for Asian students who are studying in Korea. It aims to support students in their academic and personal growth and promote cultural exchange between Asia and Korea.
Applicants must be citizens of the following nations: Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Mongolia, Nepal, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
They must also hold a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering or be expected to receive one by enrollment in graduate school.
The scholarship covers full tuition, living expenses, and round-trip airfare for degree programs. In addition, scholars receive a monthly stipend of KRW 1,500,000 and are eligible for additional research and travel support.
It also seeks to support the development of Asia’s future leaders and offers a monthly stipend of $900.
Applicants must first apply and gain admission to a graduate program at one of the designated universities in South Korea.
Candidates can apply for the TJ Park Scholarships through the POSCO TJ Park Foundation website. The application includes several essays and requires letters of recommendation and academic transcripts.
The scholarship selection committee evaluates applicants based on their academic excellence, research potential, and leadership potential.
It checks their commitment to contributing to their home country post-studies.
Applicants must hold a Bachelor’s degree from any country and undergo two selection rounds, including a document review and an interview. Successful candidates must have been accepted into their preferred university and will be recognized as a POSCO Asia Fellow.
Eligible students are enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program at a Korean university and have a proven academic record and financial need. The application process typically includes submitting transcripts, essays, and recommendation letters and may also involve an interview.
Scholars must maintain good academic standing and partake in the POSCO TJ Park Foundation’s various events and activities. They are also expected to complete their studies within the designated timeframe and return to their home country to contribute to its development.
The TJ Park Scholarships are highly competitive and prestigious. It has helped many talented individuals from developing countries achieve their academic and professional goals in science and engineering.
4. Seoul National University (SNU) Scholarship
Seoul National University (SNU) offers various scholarships for international students to help them finance their studies. Some scholarships available at SNU include:
(i) SNU Global Scholarship for international students
This scholarship is awarded to highly talented international students with excellent academic performance and leadership potential. It covers tuition fees, housing expenses, and a monthly living stipend.
(ii) SNU BK21 PLUS
It supports graduate students pursuing research-oriented degrees in areas of strategic importance to South Korea.
(iii) SNU Graduate Scholarship for Foreign Students
This scholarship is for outstanding international graduate students conducting research at SNU. The scholarship provides a monthly stipend of KRW 1,200,000 and covers the full tuition fee.
(iv) SNU Language and Culture Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to international students interested in learning the Korean language and culture. It covers tuition fees, housing expenses, and a monthly living stipend.
(v) SNU Scholarship for ASEAN Countries
This scholarship is for undergraduate and graduate students from ASEAN nations. It provides a full tuition waiver, dormitory fee waiver, and a monthly stipend of KRW 500,000 for undergraduate and KRW 700,000 for graduate students.
Other scholarships are available at SNU, such as the SNU Undergraduate Scholarship, the SNU Medical School Scholarship, and the SNU Law School Scholarship.
Eligibility and application requirements vary for each scholarship, so it is recommended to check the SNU website for more information.
5. Ewha Womans University Scholarship
The Ewha Womans University in South Korea provides the Ewha Global Partnership Program (EGPP) scholarship for international students seeking undergraduate or graduate degrees. It covers tuition and housing expenses and provides a living stipend.
The program aims to foster global talent and promote international exchange. Applicants must meet the university’s academic requirements and show strong English proficiency to be eligible.
The application process typically opens in late fall and closes in early spring. For more detailed information, please visit the official website of Ewha Womans University.
- Programs offered by Ewha Womans University, including Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees, are eligible for the scholarship.
- Ewha Womans University is a private institution in Seoul, South Korea. Bachelor’s degree semester fees start at about $3,300 (242,036 INR), while graduate semester fees are $4,700 (346,143 INR).
- The Ewha Global Partnership Program (EGPP) offers complete tuition coverage for 8 semesters (Bachelor’s), 4 semesters (Master’s), or 6 semesters (doctoral).
- However, the EGPP covers all tuition expenses for undergraduate and graduate studies and provides awardees with a dormitory and living stipend. It’s important to note that the compensation does not include insurance coverage.
- Women from financially disadvantaged countries can apply for the EGPP, awarded based on academic merit and leadership potential. Annually, recipients must verify their eligibility and renew their awards.
6. Changwon National University (CNU) Scholarship
Changwon National University (CWNU) Graduate School Full Time Research Scholarship is a scholarship program to support full-time graduate students’ research endeavors at CWNU.
Students may receive a financial award to cover research expenses, such as tuition, living costs, and materials.
For the scholarship, students must be enrolled in a graduate program at CWNU and engaged in full-time research activities.
For other eligibility criteria, the application process, and accurate information, visit CWNU’s official website or the graduate school’s page.
- The CWNU Graduate School in South Korea offers a full tuition scholarship to international students pursuing a Master’s or Doctoral degree.
- The eligibility criteria for the scholarship are strict and require either a published paper or first authorship for Master’s candidates and one publication for Ph.D. candidates.
- Art majors may substitute their work for the research requirement. The awardee must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 to continue receiving the scholarship.
7. KAIST University Scholarship
KAIST (Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) is a prestigious research-oriented university in South Korea.
It offers various scholarships for international students. It includes KAIST International Student Scholarship (KISS) and the KAIST Global Scholarship (KGS).
(i) KAIST International Student Scholarship (KISS)
The KISS scholarship is available for both undergraduate and graduate (master’s and doctoral) programs at KAIST.
It includes financial support for selected students. The benefits include:
- A total tuition exemption.
- A monthly stipend for living expenses.
- Health insurance.
- A research assistantship.
(ii) KAIST Global Scholarship (KGS)
The KGS scholarship is available for international undergraduate students at KAIST.
It provides the total cost of tuition fees for the undergraduate program, monthly allowance, and health insurance coverage.
The KISS and KGS scholarships are highly competitive. The selection process is based on scholarly merit, potential, and other factors the scholarship committee determines. So, the number of awards yearly may vary depending on the funding.
To apply for the KAIST scholarships, follow the regular application process for admission to KAIST. Plus, you can carefully scrutinize the scholarships during the application period.
It’s essential to carefully review the eligibility conditions and guidelines on the official website for the most up-to-date and accurate information.
Some scholarships may be available for specific programs or students from certain nations. Visiting the site or contacting the KAIST Office for detailed information, including any specific requirements or application deadlines, is advised.
8. Yonsei University Scholarships
Yonsei University, another prominent institution in South Korea, offers several scholarships for international students.
(i) Yonsei International Scholarship (YISS)
The YISS scholarship is available for students participating in the Yonsei International Summer School program. Scholarships are rewarded based on educational achievements and financial need.
(ii) Underwood International College (UIC) Scholarships
Yonsei’s UIC offers scholarships for international students enrolled in its undergraduate programs. These scholarships include full tuition coverage or partial tuition waivers based on academic performance.
(iii) Graduate Scholarships
Yonsei University provides scholarships for international students pursuing graduate programs, such as master’s and doctoral degrees. The specific scholarships available may vary depending on the graduate school or program.
(iv) Korean Language Institute (KLI) Scholarships
It is for international students studying the Korean language courses. Depending on the applicant’s qualifications, these scholarships can provide tuition fee discounts or full scholarships.
It covers total tuition fees and a monthly stipend for undergraduate and graduate programs. It is also vital to note that scholarship availability, eligibility criteria, and application procedures may change.
For the latest information on scholarships, such as requirements and deadlines, it is best to visit the Yonsei University website or contact the Yonsei International Admissions Office.
9. Inha University Scholarships
Inha University provides scholarships for international students, including the Inha International Scholarships (IIS) and the Inha Graduate Scholarships (IGS).
These scholarships cover tuition fees and provide a monthly stipend. Here are some scholarships available at Inha University.
(i) Inha International Scholarships (IIS)
The IIS scholarship is available for undergraduate students. It provides financial support through tuition fee waivers and monthly stipends based on academic merit and financial need.
(ii) Inha Graduate Scholarships (IGS)
The IGS scholarship is available for graduate students pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees. It offers financial help through tuition fee waivers and monthly stipends based on academic achievements and research potential.
(iii) Inha University Foundation Scholarships
This is for both undergraduate and graduate students. These scholarships are granted based on academic performance, leadership potential, and extracurricular activities.
(iv) Inha Research Scholarship
This scholarship is available for international students enrolled in research programs at Inha University. It provides financial support for research-related and living expenses during the research period.
(v) Inha Special Scholarships for ASEAN Students
This is for students from ASEAN countries. These scholarships provide financial help for tuition fees and living expenses.
10. GIST Scholarships
The Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) offers scholarships for international students. For example, GIST International Scholarship (GIS) and the GIST Graduate Scholarship (GGS).
GIST offers several types of scholarships, including the following. It covers total tuition fees and provides a monthly stipend.
(i) GIST International Scholarship (GIS)
This scholarship is designed for international students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree at GIST. It covers total tuition fees, provides a monthly living allowance, and offers additional benefits such as round-trip airfare.
(ii) GIST International Students Scholarship (GISS)
This is for those admitted to a degree program. It covers partial tuition fees, offering a 30%, 50%, or 70% reduction, depending on the student’s academic performance and other criteria.
(iii) GIST Research Assistantship
This program financially supports students working as research assistants under faculty supervision. Research assistantship positions may offer tuition fee waivers and a monthly stipend in return for assisting in research projects.
11. UNIST Scholarships
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) offers scholarships to international students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or research programs. These scholarships cover tuition fees, living expenses, and research expenses.
These scholarships aim to support talented students and provide them with financial help in pursuing their studies. Here are some scholarships offered by UNIST.
(i) UNIST Scholarship for Undergraduate Students
This scholarship is available for outstanding undergraduate students enrolled in a degree program at UNIST. It covers tuition fees and delivers a monthly stipend to assist with living expenses.
(ii) UNIST Graduate Scholarship
This scholarship is designed for exceptional international students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree at UNIST. It covers full or partial tuition fees and offers a monthly stipend to support living expenses.
(iii) Global Ph.D. Fellowship Program
UNIST takes part in the Global Ph.D. Fellowship Program, which the National Research Foundation of Korea offers. This program subsidizes outstanding international students pursuing a Ph.D. at UNIST. It covers tuition fees, living expenses, research funds, and other benefits.
(iv) UNIST Brain Korea (BK) 21 Scholarship
The BK 21 Scholarship is a government-funded program that supports graduate students at UNIST. It provides financial grants to talented students in various disciplines, including science, engineering, and technology.
12. POSTECH Scholarships
The Pohang University of Science and Technology offers scholarships for international students.
The POSTECH Graduate Fellowships provide full tuition coverage and a monthly stipend for master’s and doctoral programs. These scholarships are worth considering for any student aspiring to attend POSTECH.
(i) POSTECH Graduate Fellowships
This prestigious scholarship is for international students pursuing master’s or doctoral programs. These fellowships cover total tuition fees, provide a monthly stipend, and may include additional benefits, such as research funds and housing support.
(ii) POSTECH Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA)
The GRA program allows international graduate students to work as research assistants under the supervision of faculty members. These assistantships offer financial support through stipends or tuition fee waivers, allowing students to gain research experience while receiving the financial allowance.
(iii) BK21 FOUR Program Scholarships
The BK21 FOUR (Brain Korea 21 Phase IV) Program is a national research scholarship program in South Korea. It supports outstanding graduate students in various fields of study, including those at POSTECH. This offers financial support, including tuition fee waivers and stipends.
(iv) External Scholarships
POSTECH encourages international students to apply for external scholarships from government agencies, organizations, or foundations in their home countries. These scholarships can provide extra financial support for studying there.
13. Samsung Global Hope Scholarship Program
The program subsidizes talented and motivated individuals pursuing higher education and impacting their communities.
Samsung Global Hope Scholarship Program is a great initiative that provides financial support to students from low-income families. The program has been in place since 2012, and it has helped thousands of students worldwide pursue their dreams of higher education.
Samsung aims to invest in the future by granting scholarships to help students achieve their educational goals and realize their aspirations.
This South Korean scholarship program will help students access quality education, gain valuable skills, and create meaningful connections with industry professionals. With its generous funding, Samsung is helping to build a better future for everyone.
14. Korea University for International Students
Korea University, one of the top universities in South Korea, offers various scholarships for international students. Here are some notable scholarships available at Korea University:
(i) Global KU Scholarship
The Global KU Scholarship is available for international undergraduate students at Korea University. It covers total tuition fees and provides a monthly stipend to support living expenses. The scholarship is awarded based on academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and personal qualifications.
(ii) KU International Scholarship for Graduate Students
This is for international students pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees at Korea University. It provides full or partial tuition fee waivers and a monthly stipend. The selection criteria include academic excellence, research potential, and other factors.
(iii) KU Dream Scholarship
The KU Dream Scholarship is designed for outstanding international undergraduate students at Korea University. It offers financial support through full or partial tuition fee waivers based on academic merit and financial need.
(iv) KU Study Abroad Scholarship
This is for those participating in study abroad programs at partner universities or institutions. It covers some of the tuition fees and includes extra travel expenses.
The availability of scholars and their eligibility criteria and application processes may be subject to change. So, verify on the site or contact them for the latest news, like specific requirements and application dates.
How to apply for a South Korean scholarship?
It would help if you first chose the scholarship you hope to apply for and then checked the eligibility requirements. You must follow a specific process to apply for a South Korean scholarship.
Once you have confirmed the requirements and conditions, finish the online application form and submit the required supporting documents. Some of the generic supporting documents are mentioned below.
It is vital to carefully read the instructions and guidelines provided by the scholarship provider and to submit a complete and accurate application.
Only complete or accurate applications will be considered. The scholarships available to international students make it an affordable and accessible destination. The application process is straightforward and well-defined.
Here are the broad steps you can take.
1. Available research scholarships
Start by researching the scholarships available in South Korea. The South Korean government, universities, and other organizations offer various scholarships. Visit the official websites of universities and organizations to uncover the scholarships they offer.
You can also check with your country’s government or education ministry to see if they have any scholarship programs for studying in South Korea.
2. Meet eligibility criteria
Read the eligibility criteria carefully for each scholarship you are interested in. Ensure you meet the requirements regarding academic qualifications, age limits, Korean language proficiency, and any other specific criteria the scholarship provider sets.
3. Choose a scholarship and university
Once you have recognized the scholarships you are eligible for, select the one that aligns with your academic goals and interests. Also, research and choose the university where you want to study. Look into the university’s reputation, curriculum, faculty, and other relevant factors.
4. Prepare application documents
Prepare the documents for your scholarship application. The specific requirements may vary depending on the scholarship and university, but you will need the following:
(i) Completed application form
Complete the application form for the scholarship program you are applying to. You can usually find the form on the official website of the scholarship provider or the university.
(ii) Academic transcripts and certificates
Prepare your high school or university transcripts and relevant academic certificates.
(iii) Recommendation letters
Request recommendation letters from professors, employers, or teachers who can attest to your academic abilities, character, and potential.
(iv) Personal statement or essay
Write a compelling personal statement or essay highlighting your academic and career goals, explaining why you want to study in South Korea, and showing your qualifications for the scholarship.
(v) Language proficiency test scores
If required, provide official scores of language proficiency tests such as TOEFL, IELTS, or TOPIK (Korean proficiency test).
(vi) Passport-sized photographs
Prepare passport-sized photos as per the specifications mentioned in the application guidelines.
(vii) Other supporting documents
Some scholarships may require additional documents, such as a study plan, research proposal, or financial statement.
5. Submit the application
Compile all the required documents and submit your application by the specified deadline.
Pay attention to any instructions the scholarship provider or university provides regarding submission methods, such as online application portals or postal mail.
6. Follow up and wait for results
After submitting your application, keep track of any communication from the scholarship provider or university.
They may contact you for additional information or an interview. Then, wait for the selection process results, which may take some time, and be patient.
7. Accept the scholarship and visa process
You will receive an offer letter or notification if you are selected for the scholarship. Follow the instructions to accept the scholarship and proceed with the visa application process.
The scholarship provider or university will guide you through the visa application requirements and procedures.
Research and carefully follow the specific application guidelines provided by the scholarship provider or university you are applying to. Good luck with your scholarship application!
Final Words on Top Scholarships in Korea
Are you passionate about studying abroad and experiencing a different culture?
If so, South Korea could be the perfect destination for you! It offers excellent opportunities for international students, including scholarships, to help fund their studies.
Scholarships in South Korea offer excellent opportunities for international students to pursue their academic goals and experience the country’s vibrant culture.
Students can receive financial support for their tuition, living expenses, research funds, and language training through many scholarship programs offered by prestigious universities and government-funded initiatives.
Besides enriching study-abroad experience and pursuing your academic ambitions, you can immerse yourself in a rich cultural experience.
With careful preparation and a determined mindset, you can boost your chances of securing a scholarship. As a result, you can enjoy a rewarding educational journey in South Korea.
Good luck, or as the South Korean says, 잘보세요!
You can share your views or questions in the comment below.