Best Universities in Korea for International Students

20 Best Universities in Korea for International Students

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The top 20 best universities in Korea for international students that provide outstanding chances for students seeking a balance of academic achievement, cultural discovery, and technological innovation now find South Korea to be an alluring study location.

The Republic of Korea is well known for its high-tech cities and subtropical islands. Folk performances and other cultural heritage sites are evidence of its lengthy and illustrious past, which gave rise to a variety of traditions. Technology behemoths like Samsung and leaders in the auto industry like Hyundai are both from Korea. In addition, the world is still influenced by Korean popular culture, which includes fascinating cuisine options, fashion, and music.

Is Korea Good for International Students to Study In?

One of the most well-liked places to study in Asia and the entire world is Korea. Korea has historically ranked universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. scholarships and research funding are frequently offered by universities and government organizations.

In comparison to other wealthy nations, Korea has significantly lower living expenses. It provides reasonably priced mobile and internet services, as well as reasonable housing and lively culture. Through its charitable social behavior, contemporary Korea still displays Confucianism.

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The Attraction of Studying in Korea: Beyond its picturesque landscapes and vibrant culture, South Korea boasts a world-renowned education system that seamlessly fuses tradition with innovation. From state-of-the-art research facilities to a commitment to excellence, studying in Korea promises a truly transformative experience.

Can International Students Work in Korea While Studying?

Either a D-2 visa (complete study term) or a D-4 visa (language study or training activities with a 6-month duration) are available to international students in Korea. After gaining approval from their university, D-2 and D-4 visa holders can work part-time jobs. They can submit an application for a part-time job permit at the local immigration office.

The number of hours you are permitted to work is determined by your degree type and level of Korean. Students in master’s and doctorate programs may work up to 30 hours per week, while those in associate’s and bachelor’s programs may work 10 to 20 hours. On weekends and during school breaks, there is no cap on the number of hours that can be worked.

For more details, please see Employment Guidelines for International Students in Korea.

Overview of the 20 Best Universities in Korea for International Students:

1. Seoul National University (SNU)

The top university in the list of the best universities in Korea for international students is Seoul National University, which has been leading academic achievement in the nation since 1946. It is a member of the exclusive SKY universities, a trio of the best institutions in Korea. It contains sixteen colleges that offer a variety of programs in fields like engineering, medicine, and humanities.

Its professional graduate schools offer training in subjects including public administration and data science. Every year, there are more courses taught in English, numbering over 700. Additionally, SNU is renowned for its innovative research, particularly in the fields of engineering and natural sciences.

Leading the way in fostering democracy and peace on the Korean peninsula has been SNU. This mission encompasses cultivating global talent and worldwide relationships. Tours of SNU’s stunning, contemporary campus are available.

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2. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

In terms of inventions, entrepreneurship, and science & technology in Korea, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology is the best. It was the first public research-focused organization for science and engineering, founded in 1971 by the Korean government. Its research units have as their main areas of interest and advancement entertainment engineering and eco-energy.

Five colleges, seven schools, and 13 graduate schools make up this premier institution in Korea, which was founded with the goal of generating value for the entire world. KAIST is a multiethnic university in Korea that accepts over 600 foreign students yearly and it is also one among the best universities in Korea for international students. Additionally, English is used to teach almost 80% of the courses.

3. Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)

One of Korea’s top private universities, Sungkyunkwan University can not be left out when talking of the best universities in Korea for international students, having its roots in Sungkyunkwan, the main academic center of the Joseon era. The institution still occupies its original location while still being a major player in commerce and technology today. The research units at SKKU are supported by Hyundai, Samsung, and other governmental organizations, and they produce findings that are useful to businesses and society.

Students at SKKU have access to 3D printers, laser cutters, and other fabrication tools at the learning factory. A sizable library and sports facilities are additional advantages. The Confucian principles that underpin SKKU’s philosophy are reflected in the university’s academic community and educational objectives.

4. Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)

The private research university Pohang University of Science and Technology was founded by the South Korean steel firm POSCO. As a young university, POSTECH rose quickly and steadily in global university rankings, particularly in science and technology. With its 11 Sci-Tech departments and 73 research centers, it trains specialized engineers. POSTECH is home to cutting-edge facilities including the Pohang Accelerator Laboratory and the sole synchrotron radiation facility in the nation.

Many foreign students are admitted to POSTECH, one of the best universities in Korea for international students, particularly for master’s and doctoral degrees. Additionally, it works closely with national and regional organizations that have the same focus on innovation. For instance, the yearly Science War is hosted by POSTECH and KAIST as a forum for student knowledge sharing.

5. Korea University (KU)

One of Korea’s oldest universities is Korea University. Being among the best universities in korea for international students, with 81 academic departments, it offers high-quality education in practically all fields of study. The college has particularly well-known programs in business, law, and medicine. In recent subject rankings, KU excelled in the fields of engineering and technology, natural sciences, and social sciences & management. In addition, KU incorporates ethical values into all of its academic endeavors.

KU is a member of the prestigious SKY universities in Korea. At Korea University, there are currently around 4,000 international students, and that number is rising. The newly founded Graduate School of International Studies promotes increased intercultural exchange.

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6. Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST)

Young Research University for Science and Technology is called Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology. In response to the rising need for experts in Ulsan, Korea’s industrial hub, this elite university was founded in 2007. The university has quickly established a worldwide reputation across numerous academic fields and it is also one of the best universities in Korea for international students. UNIST offers four specialized graduate schools, a business school, and 13 science and engineering departments. Its current research is concentrated on next-generation energy and innovative materials.

UNIST promotes interdisciplinary education in which professors and students pursue two areas of specialization. International students are aggressively sought after by UNIST. The only university in Korea to do so offers every subject in English.

7. Yonsei University

The oldest university and one of Korea’s most esteemed universities is Yonsei University. It is a member of SKY universities, has extremely stringent admissions standards, and consistently ranks highly in global university rankings is also one of the best universities in Korea for international students. In practically every field, Yonsei University offers extensive graduate and undergraduate programs. Its 153 research institutions carry out interdisciplinary research on current global concerns like inequality and climate change. Yonsei promotes the values of honesty and independence among its student body.

Over 4000 overseas students have benefited from Yonsei’s significant international partnerships and programs. Its campuses, especially the Sinchon campus, are famous worldwide for their beauty and comfort.

8. Kyung Hee University (KHU)

The academic system that offers education from kindergarten to graduate degrees includes Kyung Hee University, one of the greatest universities in Korea for international students. In traditional Korean medicine and other Asian medical specialties, KHU’s College of Medicine is renowned. The top university in Korea for physical education, sports medicine, coaching, and taekwondo is KHU’s Dept. of Physical Education. The top-ranked program at the university is hospitality and leisure management.

Numerous international partnerships exist at Kyung Hee University. The UN Academic Impact program on human rights and conflict resolution is just one example. Over 400 sister universities throughout the world collaborate with KHU.

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9. Sejong University (SJU)

Private Sejong University was once the Kyung Sung Humanities Institute. It was given a new name to recognize Sejong the Great’s contributions to the development of the Korean alphabet, or Hangul. In the fields of hospitality and tourism management, SJU is well regarded. The college is also proud of its animation, dancing, and rhythmic gymnastics programs. It contains nine colleges offering programs in many different fields, including the liberal arts, technology, and biological sciences.

The university’s research centers are mostly concerned with astrophysics, climate change science, and green energy. Internationally renowned academics and researchers from SJU include Dr. Jaewoo Lee, the first Korean to use NASA’s Hubble Telescope.

10. Hanyang University (HYU)

Leading STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) institutions in Korea include Hanyang University. It began as an engineering school in 1939 and has a reputation for organizing the campaign for independence in Korea. HYU currently provides graduate and undergraduate degrees in a variety of subject areas. Numerous university ratings place its engineering programs among the best in all of Korea.

Hanyang University has a number of STEM research successes and works together with government agencies on a variety of projects. Globally, HYU partners with more than 700 universities. It accepts 3000 foreigners and helps Korean students who desire to participate in exchange programs, it is among the best universities in Korea for international students.

11. Kyungpook National University

Private Kyungpook National University may be found in Daegu, South Korea. It was founded in 1946 as Kyungpook National College of Education and has since developed into one of South Korea’s most prestigious colleges.

Due to the numerous chances for international students to participate in exchange programs or study abroad, Kyungpook National University enjoys a positive reputation among these students. The campus offers a welcoming environment that gives students a sense of natural comfort. While attending classes here, students can take advantage of the university’s well-built facilities.

12. Chonnam National University

Chonnam National University or CNU is among the best universities in Korea for international students. It is a public university. For its potential for internationalization and research, Quacquarelli Symonds has put it among the top 100 institutions in the world. More than 12,000 international students attend the institution and study there in person or online.

International students can choose from a large selection of English-taught courses at Chonnam National University. The school also offers a variety of resources to aid in student’s success, including support groups for international students who may require additional assistance transitioning to life abroad, career counseling services, and tutoring services.

13. Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology

The Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology is one of Asia’s top technology universities and the top research university in South Korea. It was created to foster intellectual cooperation between local and international universities and to educate students who can contribute to the advancement of science and technology.

Three campuses make up the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, all of which are found in Gwangju City, Gyeonggi Province: the Gwangju Campus, Sauna Campus, and Dong-cheon Campus. Both undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at the university in a variety of fields. The university’s scholarships and other programs are also available to its international students.

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14. Yeungnam University

In Daegu, South Korea, there is a private institution called Yeungnam Institution (YNU). The institution provides a wide range of services for overseas students to make your transfer to campus easy and hassle-free. They have everything you need to excel in your studies, from eating options and student groups to academic counseling and orientation programs. Each year, the university enrolls roughly 15,000 new students.

Over a million books are housed in the YNU Libraries, which are regarded as among South Korea’s best. On the main campus, there are six different libraries, while the satellite campus has three different libraries.

15. Chung Ang University

Chung Ang University is a private research university in South Korea that was established in 1946, one the best universities in Korea for international students. It is the nation’s first Christian university. The campus, which consists of 14 buildings and 35 classrooms, is situated on the south bank of the Han River in Seoul’s Guui-dong district.

The school offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and 60 graduate programs. It also has an international exchange program with 23 universities worldwide, including New York UniversityYale University, and the University of Melbourne.

16. Ajou University

One of the best universities in Korea for international students is Ajou University. It contains numerous divisions, including those for business, engineering, law, and the humanities. The main goal of this university was to give students a top-notch education that would equip them for the future.

Through its Office of International Affairs, Ajou University offers lodging to foreign students. International students have a variety of accommodation options to select from, including apartments with private bathrooms and kitchens or traditional Korean-style rooms shared with other roommates. The university also offers online courses so that students can study wherever they like, including at home.

17. Inha University

Incheon, South Korea’s Inha University is a private institution of higher learning. Dr. Chae Changho, a prominent educator and the architect of Korea’s contemporary educational system, founded the Inha Technical College in 1948. The university’s enrolment increased from 114 students when it first opened to over 25,000 students now, making it one of the most esteemed institutes of higher learning in Korea.

Undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and postgraduate programs are all available at Inha University for both full-time and part-time students. The college now has six schools. This top-notch university in South Korea has produced several local and foreign graduates throughout the years, demonstrating the caliber of both its teaching and research. Incheon, South Korea’s Inha University is among the best universities in Korea for international students.

18. Catholic University of Korea

Korean Catholic University is the only international university in South Korea that was established by the Vatican in South Korea (CU), and it has a Catholic ethos. The institution first welcomed students in 1951, and today it includes campuses in Seoul and Busan.

At the Catholic University of Korea, international students may anticipate receiving a top-notch education while obtaining practical experience in a setting that is culturally varied. Being one of the best universities in Korea for international students, they have many foreign students from 88 different countries, and they provide them with a range of activities and programs to assist them in enhancing their abilities as they get ready for their future jobs.

Additionally, students can take part in exchange programs with colleges in Asia and Europe.

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19. Konkuk University

As a university of education when it was founded in 1946, Konkuk University has since grown into a complete research institution with a distinctive liberal arts program. The campus is close to Seoul National University and Yonsei University in the city’s core. Modern school buildings are there, but the site is also very lush and green with many trees.

Konkuk University is becoming more globally connected in terms of internationalization. They have a number of collaborations with universities abroad.

20. Sogang University

Private Sogang University can be found in the center of South Korea. It has received top rankings from a number of South Korean universities, including Kyunghyang Shinmun, Dong-A Ilbo, and Joongang Ilbo as one of the best universities in Korea for international students

Drs. Lee Sang-Yun and Sang-Hoon established Sogang University. All international students can socialize and meet one another in the college’s global community. Even though you’re far from home, it wants to make you feel at home. Regular activities like movie nights and language exchanges will take place in the global village. On campuses, you can also get assistance locating resources like housing information or academic support.

International Programs and Support: Understanding the unique needs of international students, these universities have crafted inclusive environments. Language programs, cultural integration initiatives, and student organizations ensure that every student feels at home while pursuing their academic journey.

Research Opportunities and Faculty Excellence: The universities on this list are powerhouses of research and innovation. Renowned faculty members lead groundbreaking research across various disciplines, providing international students with unparalleled opportunities to contribute to global knowledge.

Campus Facilities and Resources: Immersing oneself in the learning process requires access to cutting-edge resources. These universities provide state-of-the-art facilities, well-stocked libraries, advanced laboratories, and a plethora of student amenities to create an optimal learning environment.

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Application Process and Admission Requirements: For those aspiring to join the ranks of these esteemed institutions, understanding the application process is crucial. Details regarding required documents, deadlines, and any specific requirements for international students ensure a smooth application journey.


These 20 best universities in Korea for international students serve as beacons of academic excellence and represent the transforming journey that pursuing higher education entails. They equip foreign students with the means to sculpt their futures, whether it is through developing global citizens or by expanding knowledge.

As you analyze your options, take into account the distinctive advantages of each university and choose the one that best suits your goals. Your educational journey in Korea is waiting.

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