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Why South Korea should be an option for higher studies

It has good universities, scholarships, work opportunities, and a stable economic environment
BY Braingain Staff Writer |   26-07-2016

Generally, when Indian students think about studying abroad, they consciously or subconsciously think of the UK, US, Australia, Canada, or maybe a European country. South Korea is not generally at the top of the list, or even anywhere on the list. But when you really think about it, there are some good reasons to consider studying there: it’s Asia’s third largest economy, and the world’s 13th largest, and this is due in large part to investment in education and research.

Above: Flowers at Yonsei University (photo by Michael Sean Gallagher, used under CC BY 2.0 licence)

“Koreans take education – particularly higher education – very seriously,” says H.P. Singh, founder of Tomorrow’s India Global Summit, a Delhi-based initiative that works to promote knowledge-based, cultural and business ties between India and other countries. Tomorrow’s India’s event in South Korea, scheduled for September, includes a five-day visit for students from India.

Singh says Indian students should consider Korean universities as an option because of the quality of education, and fees that compare well with what one would pay in Europe. South Korea has several reputed institutions, many of which are in Seoul, the capital. The top three are Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University, he says.

Above: Library at Yonsei University (photo by Michael Sean Gallagher, used under CC BY 2.0 licence)

Funding

The government offers scholarships to promote diversity in academia. As a result, international students in South Korea can benefit from scholarships at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, says Singh.

The Korean Government Scholarship Program seeks to promote international cooperation in education by inviting talented international students to Korea for advanced studies, especially research students at the master’s and doctoral level. The Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s scholarships for higher education cover tuition fees, a monthly allowance, medical insurance, and round-trip airfare.

Additionally, some companies offer scholarships. For example, Samsung has a Global Scholarship Programme that provides scholarships through select universities, to cover tuition, monthly allowance, dormitory expenses, and an internship and employment in the company.

Above: Seoul National University (photo by J. G. Marcelino, used under CC BY 2.0 licence)

Work opportunities

Studying in South Korea can open up a wide range of employment opportunities, says Singh. Graduates of Korean universities work all over the world. The South Korean economy is stable, offering a secure future after graduation.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Korea has helped create more opportunities, he says. He adds that language may be a barrier, but by learning Korean, Indians can contribute significantly towards building on these opportunities and bridging the cultural gap. 

Above: Autumn at Korea University (Photo by Lee Mei, used under CC BY 2.0 licence)

He says the student group participating in the September event in Seoul would have the chance to interact with professors in classes and workshops, network, and attend counselling sessions. 

Above: Student participants at the Tomorrow’s India global summit in Singapore earlier this year

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