Overview of foreign students studying in the Republic of Korea
Foreign students studying in the Republic of Korea refer to foreigners with the status of sojourn for study or training in the Republic of Korea.
To study or engage in training in the Republic of Korea, one should first obtain admission information and then apply to a school of choice. Once admission is granted, he should receive a visa to enter the Republic of Korea and enter the country.
The government runs Study in Korea (http://www.studykorea.go.kr/) and e-Government for Foreigners (http://www.hikorea.go.kr, ☎1345) to help foreign students to adapt to life in the Republic of Korea.
Definition of foreign students
Foreign students studying in the Republic of Korea shall refer to foreigners with the status of sojourn for study or training in the Republic of Korea (Article 19-4.(1) of the 「Immigration Control Act」).
People who can obtain sojourn status for study or training are as follows (Article 10.(1) of the 「Immigration Control Act」, Article 12 and attached Table 1 of the 「Enforcement Decree of the Immigration Control Act」):
Qualifications for sojourn status
Persons who intend to take regular programs of education or pursue specific studies at junior colleges or higher educational institutions or academic research institutes
General trainee (D-4)
Persons who intend to receive education or training or engage in research at educational institutions other than educational institutions and academic research institutes falling under D-2 status, companies, organizations, etc. [Persons who receive remuneration exceeding sojourn expenses from the training institute or fall under industrial training (D-3) status shall be excluded]
※ Industrial training (D-3) status shall be granted to persons who meet the training conditions set by the Minister of Justice and wish to receive training at a domestic company.
Requirements and preparations to study in the Republic of Korea
Preparations for admission
- Any person who intends to study or pursue training in the Republic of Korea should obtain information on and consider the curriculum, academic term, required credits, school expenses, sojourn expenses, etc. in order to choose the most suitable school.
- Any person intending to enroll in a regular program, not a course in Korean language or a short-term program, should determine whether he fulfills the prerequisites for entering the school of his choice. To enter a university in the Republic of Korea, for example, an applicant should have completed high school and provide proof thereof, and some universities may require a certain score in a Korean or English proficiency test.
- Once the above is satisfied, one should submit an application for admission and relevant documents to the intended school.
Entry into the Republic of Korea
- Once admission is granted, a visa to enter the Republic of Korea should be acquired. One can apply for a visa at any ROK diplomatic mission in his country or a third country. Depending on the specific purpose of entering the ROK, a student (D-2), general trainee (D-4), or general short-term (C-3) visa is issued.
※ A student from a country which concluded a visa waiver agreement with the ROK can enter the ROK without a visa if he intends to enroll in a course in Korean language. The countries that concluded agreements on the waiver of visas with the ROK are listed at this [link
- Once entering the ROK, one should register with the head of the Immigration Office or head of the branch office of the Immigration Office having jurisdiction over his place of sojourn within ninety days of entry and obtain a foreigner registration certificate. A foreigner registration certificate has the same effect as an ID card in the ROK.
Life in Korea
- Foreign students may experience difficulties obtaining housing, opening bank accounts, and using mass transportation, telecommunications, postal service, medical service, etc. due to unfamiliarity with the environment.
- To help them when problems occur and adapt to life in the ROK, each school has staff dedicated to assisting them, and they can find useful information at Study in Korea(http://www.studykorea.go.kr
) and e-Government for Foreigners (http://www.hikorea.go.kr
, ☎1345), run by the ROK government.
Completion of study
- Upon completing their studies, foreign students can return to their home countries, obtain employment in the ROK, or go to higher educational institutions such as graduate schools. If they wish to get jobs in the ROK, they should obtain the status of sojourn that is appropriate for the job type. When going to a higher educational institution, the status of sojourn should be changed or extended.