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What are the best universities in South Korea 2023?

South Korea offers more than just its famous cultural exports like K-pop, K-drama, and K-beauty. It has emerged as an exceptional destination for international students seeking academic excellence.


Whether you have already made up your mind or are still uncertain about studying in South Korea, this article aims to provide valuable insights.


Korean universities are highly regarded by companies worldwide, making graduates from these institutions attractive to employers in various industries.


Degrees offered by South Korean universities have gained international recognition and respect for their excellence in education.


Let us introduce the top universities in South Korea which welcome international students.


Top-rated universities in South Korea

The universities listed below, recognized by Times Higher Education, enjoy widespread fame not only within South Korea but also among students worldwide!


Seoul National University (SNU)

World Rank: 56

National Rank: 1

Location: Seoul

Established in 1946, Seoul National University is highly regarded among Korean universities for international students. Despite its competitiveness, it attracts global learners due to its extensive offering of English-taught courses. As part of the prestigious SKY universities, SNU provides a wide range of programs in humanities, medicine, data science, administration, and engineering.


Yonsei University

World Rank: 78

National Rank: 2

Location: Seoul

As the country's oldest institution, Yonsei University is a member of the esteemed SKY universities and is known for its appeal to international students. With a global interest and a campus that even attracts tourists, Yonsei University offers various study fields and research departments, focusing on interdisciplinary tasks related to pressing global issues such as climate change. However, admission rates are highly competitive due to its high rankings.


Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

World Rank: 91

National Rank: 3

Location: Daejeon

KAIST is renowned for its emphasis on innovation, entrepreneurship, and science and technology performance. Established in 1971 as the first public research-oriented institution for science and engineering in South Korea, KAIST is actively engaged in research related to entertainment, engineering, and eco-energy. With a focus on creating global value, KAIST offers courses primarily taught in English and has a diverse student body, with approximately 600 international students each year.


Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)

World Rank: 163

National Rank: 4

Location: Pohang


Established by POSCO, a Korean steel company, POSTECH is a young private research university that consistently achieves impressive rankings, making it one of the top Korean universities for international students. It excels in the fields of science and technology, providing students with an excellent education in these areas. POSTECH fosters innovation and maintains strong relationships with national and international institutions. The annual Science War, held jointly with KAIST, promotes knowledge exchange among students.


Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)

World Rank: 170

National Rank: 5

Location: Seoul

Sungkyunkwan University is dedicated to an academic society and education inspired by Confucianism. With a rich history dating back to the Joseon dynasty, it has evolved into a modern institution known for its pioneering work in business and technology. SKKU receives sponsorship from companies like Hyundai and Samsung, as well as government agencies, for its research departments. This university has a significant impact on Korea's industry and society. International students can take advantage of state-of-the-art equipment, including 3D printers and laser cutters.



Available courses in Korean universities

Degree Program:

International students have the opportunity to enroll in degree programs alongside Korean students during regular semesters. These programs are conducted either in Korean or English, and upon completion, students are awarded a degree.


Exchange Student Program:

Many higher education institutions have established student exchange programs through academic agreements with universities abroad. These programs allow students to study at partner universities for a certain period.


Summer/Winter Program:

Universities in Korea offer summer and winter programs that include regular courses as well as Korean language courses. These programs are designed to provide students with additional learning opportunities during their break periods.


Courses Taught in English:

With a focus on internationalization, a significant proportion of courses in Korean universities are taught in English. Some universities even have dedicated Departments of International Studies that deliver all courses in English.


Korean Language Course:

Numerous universities have Korean language institutes that offer language courses specifically for international students. These courses vary in duration, ranging from short intensive programs lasting three to four weeks to more comprehensive programs lasting 10 to 40 weeks. These courses aim to enhance students' communication skills and provide insights into Korean culture through practical assignments and cultural activities.


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