Tertiary education in Korea can get very expensive, especially for private universities. Tuition fees in Yonsei are about SGD$17,000 (KRW 15,310,400) a year! Even in public universities like SNU, it costs about USD$12,000 a year…

But don’t worry if you cannot afford the tuition fees, there are scholarships awarded by the Korean government and the universities that will help you lighten your financial load.

1. Korean Government Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded by the Korean Government to encourage overseas students to study in Korea, and also as a signal of goodwill to countries that South Korea enjoys bilateral ties with. However, it is on the condition that the student will have to take his/her course in Korean. (I’ve tried asking via email last year, but they said that you have to take a Korean language course for the first year, then complete your undergraduate studies in Korean as well) They will cover your tuition fees, accommodation, allowance, etc. Each country has a quota for the number of scholarships that can be awarded, because only a total of 100 scholarships will be awarded each year. For Singapore, our quota is 1 T____T The full list of countries can be found here:

Also, they require you to start in Spring (based on my friend’s experience), so for Singaporeans, you’ll have to leave for Korea even before getting back your A Level results.. :/

2. Scholarships from the university

Many universities (in fact, almost all) offer merit-based scholarships for international students. Depending on the university, some not only cover the tuition fees, but also give allowance. For example, Yonsei offers scholarship to their international students based on merit, but it only covers the tuition fees. KU’s scholarship covers the tuition fees and they give allowance to the international student as well. On a sidenote, KU really does offer many scholarships with more detailed information about the requirements compared to the rest of the universities.

3. Financial Assistance

Most universities would also provide financial assistance, or some sort of work-study programme, or even a tuition loan programme. If you are really keen on it, you’ll definitely be able to find out more from the university’s website.

List of websites for scholarship information:

1. SNU:

2. Yonsei: , UIC:

3. KU:

4. Edae:

If you didn’t manage to get a scholarship on admission, don’t worry! Some scholarships from the university can be applied mid-term, so if you’re confident that you will do well in university then you can work towards getting those mid-term scholarships ^^

Some universities like KAIST award tuition grants to every student in the school, on the condition that a certain GPA is maintained (:


18 thoughts on “Scholarships

  1. ayeshn says:

    hi there, i wonder if you can help me ^^
    i was interested to apply to YU and i was wondering where i can found the list of the semester tuition fees. i already search the website and i found nothing :<
    i hope you can help me πŸ™‚ thanks!

  2. jas says:

    hi! I stumbled upon your blog while I was searching for some scholarship info to study in Korea. if you don’t mind, I would like to ask you some questions over email?

    I’m also a fellow Singapore and I want to apply for Spring’s intake. πŸ™‚

    thanks ~

  3. Alice says:

    Hello, thank you for all the info. I was curious though, how soon does one find out if they receive the admission scholarship? Will it be a few months after knowing about their acceptance?before the school year begins? &also, what about books?are they expensive? Are there ways UIC lightens the load of the book costs? Thank you for your time & please do forgive my many questions.

    • studyinkorea says:

      Hi! I got the scholarship letter about a day or two after I got the admission notice.. But I heard that my friend got hers a week later? But it wouldn’t be as late as a few months later and it’ll definitely be before the semester starts so don’t worry (: Some textbooks can be quite pricey but sometimes you can buy or borrow them from upperclassmen so it’ll be cheaper (: Not all professors use textbooks though, many of them provide readings which we will have to buy (: I don’t think UIC specifically provides any subsidies for textbooks but there are scholarships for living expenses that UIC would recommend and post on their websites, and that would help in the textbook costs I guess (:

  4. gingy says:

    Hi,i really appreciate your site,i learnt so much πŸ™‚ I have got a few questions though.I am graduating high school in Malaysia this year end πŸ™‚ Could i apply for scholarships with my IGCSE results?And is there any minimum age requirement to enter cos i am only 16 this year?Oh and one last one,if i get straight A’s for IGCSE , would there be a high chance for me getting a scholarship?I really want to study in Korea cos i have a dream to start a business there in the future so i thought might as well go earlier and learn about the people πŸ™‚ But to study there would cost A LOT more than studying in Malaysia.Oh and i have been studying korean language almost two years now but only once a week.But i am going korea to study korean for around two months soon.Hope you could enlighten me πŸ™‚ With lots of gratitude,thanks so much πŸ™‚

    • studyinkorea says:


      By high school do you mean Secondary school? I heard that Malaysia has 5 years of secondary school or something.. There is no minimum age to enter UIC, but you definitely have to graduate from high school.. So if I’ll check with my Malaysian classmate about this cos I’m not too sure about Malaysian education system ><

      If you can enter UIC based on IGCSE, I'm sure straight As would be a really good advantage.. But I think the school would also want to look at your school activities or volunteer activities too for the scholarship (:

      I think if you know Korean well there is a high chance of getting a scholarship for living expenses from other companies.. There are many scholarship opportunities but they usually always require at least TOPIK Level 3/4 ): So it will definitely be an advantage to know Korean too (:

      I'll let you know again about the IGCSE thing after I talk to my friend! (:

      • gingy says:

        πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ thx sooo much for replying πŸ˜€ i cant believe there are still people like you,you’re so nice πŸ™‚ if i really make it to Korea,i would like to meet you once,i could even bring you some M’sia/s’pore foods πŸ™‚ Yep,we have 5years secondary and M’sians take SPM(our national exam)but i am studying at an international/home school so i am studying the IGCSE syllabus and i get to graduate a year earlier.Its just like O levels or it is i think cos its also called GCE O Levels.However,i am planning to take business marketing and i dont think they have that in UIC?i am actually planning to go to Yonsei business school or just any other Korean university but preferably one that is well known in business which i heard Yonsei was but the problem is that the living expenses there is really expensive cos i have to rent dorms.So,i MUST get a scholarship.From your blog i know that we might get scholarship after a semester but i dont know their standard so am quite worry i cant get any.Oh and do we have to take any entrance test to enter the korean universities?However,if i cant get any scholarships,i would consider getting a part time job.Do you know of any student jobs?but as i am 16/17 next year i dont think i will be hired.For my korean,i think i at around next year,my level would be around the standard of TOPIK level 4 πŸ™‚ Thx so much for even making the effort to ask your friend about the IGCSE πŸ™‚ BYE πŸ˜€

        • studyinkorea says:

          Keke I would love to meet you too! And my Malaysian friend as well haha πŸ˜€

          Unfortunately my friend has never heard of IGCSE D: But I think if the IGCSE is only O level equivalent, it’s not sufficient to enter UIC, because UIC requires high school certificate or equivalent, which in the case of the GCE would be the A Level.. But it would really be best if you could just email the UIC office because they are the ones who know for sure (:

          I’m not so sure about requirements at regular Yonsei though, it could be different.. If you’re looking at Yonsei’s Business school you can go here for more information:

          As for the scholarship, have you considered the KGSP? I think many Malaysians receive it every year. Only problem is that you need to spend one year studying Korean and then taking your course in Korean.. Since you said that you’ll be around TOPIK Level 4 (that’s usually the minimum they require for you to take a course in Korean..) by next year.. However if you decide that you want to do your undergraduate studies in English then you could look at a Econ major in UIC and a double major or minor in Business (it’s possible :D)

          Admission scholarships are the easiest to get and maintain.. The merit-based scholarship is really competitive and sometimes even those who score a GPA 4.0 and above may not get full tuition scholarship.. So I would always advise to have good grades and a good portfolio to increase your chances of getting the admission scholarship..

          Since we’re international students, we wouldn’t have to take the Korean entrance exams πŸ˜€

          Student jobs are easy to get as long as you’re very proficient in Korean. Once you tackle the Korean problem you can find jobs as easily as any other Korean. But if your Korean proficiency isn’t that high then it’ll be more difficult ><

  5. gingy says:

    πŸ™‚ well,im gonna say my final thank you πŸ™‚ in Malaysia,igcse is taken at the last year of secondary school,we also graduate secondary school that year itself and egt our high school certificate.But i guess i would take your advice to ask the office.Hehe i actually didn’t know that i could take business in UIC.Thats another option.I actually done like lots of research before this but asking you its much better.(i should have done it from the start)I also actually saw the KGSP but for undergraduate,only one person can get 😦 thats a really low chance but nevertheless i am going to try.OH and i really appreciate you comparing between admisssion and merit scholarship.Luckily you told me that merit is competitive because i thought otherwise.Knowing that is really important to me πŸ™‚ So yeah,thank you so much,im glad to have encounter your blog.Once again,thank you πŸ™‚ I promise if i come to Korea to study my degree,i will get your contact and we will meet up πŸ™‚

    • studyinkorea says:

      Oh there isn’t a business major in UIC.. It’s just that you have to take a UIC major as your first major but for a second major you can take it from other colleges in Yonsei (: So you have to take a first major from UIC (maybe Econ or smth) and then you can take a second major from School of Business in Yonsei (: I thought that for Malaysia there were 7 in my year!! D: But I heard that there other scholarships too, some given from the Malaysian government or something? Not too sure about that >< Yes I do hope that you will be able to come here and let's meet up when you do!! :DD

  6. Byeolx says:

    Hi I’m a Singaporean and I stumbled upon your blog on education in Korea and would like to ask more about it. I’m already holding a BA(Hons) degree so I’m looking to attend graduate school in Seoul. Do you have any information on it? Is it a must to hold TOPIK Level 6? I’ve missed the registration dates twice and now I’m scared that I can’t get my TOPIK certification in time for graduate school (should I want to apply) next year (Aug-Sep 2015). May I contact you via email?

    • studyinkorea says:

      Hello, it definitely depends on which school you are applying for. Most graduate schools of international studies do not require English proficiency, but if you wish to enroll into Korean degree programme then the TOPIK level that they require varies depending on the schools. Most of them require a TOPIK Level 4 at least though. Feel free to contact me via and we can talk more via email too (: Also the deadline for application to enter in Fall 2015 would be sometime February 2015 so you still have some time ^^

  7. SeungRi Guillen says:

    μ•ˆλ…•ν•˜μ„Έμš”, μ €λŠ”Victor(λΉ…ν„°)μ΄μ—μš”.

    I’ll start by saying that I have recently stumbled upon your website and I really appreciate your effort in helping people answer their questions/doubts, in which I thank you for.

    I might have a question that might be a bit way too personal, in the financial side. I hope you could answer my question.

    I’m an American, born and raised in Los Angeles. I have a huge interest in the Korean culture and especially seek to become an English teacher in Korea, in the near future. The downfall is that I didn’t grow up in a wealthy background, so I am not financially stable to pay the full tuition- upfront. My question to you is… In the process of your enrollment, did you pay the full tuition, before heading to Korea? To be a bit more clear, on the Yonsei website, I read that I must have a bank account with a certain amount on my balance. Can you explain this for me, considering your experience?

    • studyinkorea says:

      Hello, I think it depends on which department you are applying to. I’m in underwood international college and I received full tuition scholarship so I didn’t have to pay. But when you enroll for the first semester you should pay the tuition for the semester about one week before the semester starts. You can apply for installments though to be paid I think 3 times in the semester ^^

      For the bank account, it should have enough to cover the first year of tuition fee plus living expenses (as they will inform you later in the enrollment process) to facilitate your student visa application. I’m guessing they have this rule because they don’t want people taking student visas but coming to work instead of studying..

  8. Liz says:

    Hi! You mentioned that KGSP scholars must take their undergraduate courses in Korean. Do you happen to know if this applies to graduate scholars too?

    There are some graduate programs that are offered fully in English and they are included in the list of universities participating in the KGSP.

    A little confused here. Thanks!

    • studyinkorea says:

      Hi, not sure if this is too late but KGSP for undergrad and grad students are different. Undergrads have to take courses in Korean but grad students do not have these requirements.

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