The fortunes of North and South Korea could not have been more different since splitting in 1948. While North Korea retreated within itself to become one of the most isolated nations in the world, South Korea has developed into a modern, global powerhouse that has seen extraordinary economic growth. Its GDP is now the 12th-highest in the world and it is considered a world leader in the fields of education, technology, and transport. Meanwhile, the so-called “Korean Wave has seen South Korean film, television, and music become enormously popular across the globe.
Investment in education has been a key government strategy over recent decades, which means the country is now home to a number of world-class universities and business schools. With cutting-edge campuses, international faculties, and globally-renowned teaching standards, the number of international students in South Korea has increased dramatically. From just over 12,000 international students in 2003, the government now looks like it will meet its target of having 200,000 international students by 2023. It is symbolic of the growth of South Korea as a whole, which has seen it transform into one of the most prestigious study destinations in the world.
With the government’s aim to host 200,000 international students in the country by 2023, there are considerable financial incentives for international students to study in South Korea. The cost of an MBA in South Korea varies between schools, but rarely exceeds EUR€40,000. When it comes to living costs, international students should budget around ₩652,000 (US$519) per month, excluding rent.
If you plan to do an MBA in South Korea, you will need to apply for a D-2 Student Visa at the Korean Embassy in your country. You will be asked to provide a valid passport and evidence that you can afford your studies in South Korea. Application fees vary based on the country you are from. Visa fees for US citizens are around US$65 and are subject to change based on current exchange rates. As soon as you arrive in South Korea, you will be required to apply for an Alien Registration Card (ARC). You need to have your ARC ready before you start your studies at the university.
South Korea has a burgeoning reputation in higher education, with six of its schools featuring in the top 100 of the QS World University Ranking 2021. Korea University Business School and Yonsei University School of Business are two of the country’s most prestigious business schools, while SolBridge International School of Business is the youngest school ever to receive the prestigious AACSB accreditation.
Although the country’s economy has seen unprecedented growth since the 1960s, the rate of job creation since the 2008 global economic crisis has been slow. Acquiring a basic grasp of Korean, identifying the country’s skills shortages, and securing a postgraduate qualification are all essential for standing out in a crowded job market.
In 2019 there were 160,000 foreign students in South Korea and that number has been on the rise since the turn of the century. To achieve the government’s aim of 200,000 foreign students by 2023, several universities have opened international campuses, expanded scholarship programs, and offered financial incentives to study in South Korea.
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