Living Cost in South Korea for International Students

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Living Cost in South Korea for International Students

South Korea is quickly becoming a popular study abroad destination for a wide range of students, thanks to its excellent reputation, affordable tuition, and fascinating culture and language. The cost of living in South Korea is rising as the country’s star rises. Seoul, however, is still quite reasonable when compared to big American cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. Because the IT and business sectors dominate the economy, South Korea is also noted for having relatively higher incomes. The South Korean Won () is the country’s currency. Outside of Eastern Asia, finding Won can be difficult. US Dollars or Chinese Yuan can be exchanged for Won when you arrive. There are schools across the country, but many overseas students find themselves in Seoul. These charges will be reflected in the prices. Seoul’s average monthly cost of living is $1,260,000 ($1075). In South Korea, rent is usually treated as a separate expense.

How Much Does It Cost to Be a Student in South Korea?

In South Korea, the average rent for a student one-room apartment is roughly 500,000 won ($420). This is significantly less expensive than most other countries with equivalent educational standards. If a one-room is out of your financial range, there are still several wonderful possibilities.

Is It Expensive for Overseas Students to Study in South Korea?

Fees at a private institution in South Korea are projected to be around $5,800 per semester. The average annual tuition rate for undergraduate students at Seoul’s 16 competitively acclaimed universities is US$6,500.

Tuition Fees & Scholarships:

In South Korea, tuition fees for degree programmes vary. In South Korea, both international and domestic students are required to pay tuition fees, however, these rates can vary greatly.


Goshiwon is home to the majority of international and South Korean students. Goshiwon is a type of shared housing. Students may have their own room, but they may also share a room with up to four other students. You’ll always have to share a kitchen and, sometimes, a bathroom. In the United States, this sort of lodging is referred to as dorms, while in Europe; it is referred to as halls or corridors. Your school, a contractor approved by them, or private landlords can rent Goshiwon to you. In South Korea, the private renting sector is well-regulated. Doctoral students in South Korea have a variety of housing alternatives, ranging from basic to expensive.

Types of Lodging Include:

As a Ph.D. student in South Korea, staying in a university dormitory will usually be the most cost-effective alternative. The cost will be determined by the number of persons sharing a dormitory and other services provided, such as food. In most university regions, student-specific private housing will be provided. However, the cost is significantly greater than typical university housing, with some landlords requiring considerable personal deposits. One alternative form of private accommodation is a kind of boarding house that usually includes two meals in the rent. The university should be able to offer you some information and advice on the arrangements for its own accommodation as well as the cost and quality of nearby other private options.

Private Accommodation:

The cost of your lodging in South Korea will vary widely based on the location and size of your room, but if you’re well-organized, you should be able to find something reasonably priced. According to the Korean government, the following are some typical prices:

Per semester, university dorms cost between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000 (USD $845 – $1,270). 200,000 to 1,000,000 per month (USD $170 – $845) at a private boarding residence.

Living Costs:

The bulk of South Korea is affordable to live in, yet costs in Seoul can be significantly higher than in other parts of the country. On most campuses, economical catering is available, and dinner from these establishments can cost as little as 2,500 ($2.10). In general, traditional South Korean cuisine will be less expensive than food from Western restaurant chains, but both should be affordable. For students who use university catering, the monthly meal expenditure is around $300,000 ($250). Monthly access to South Korea’s world-class high-speed internet services costs roughly $26,000 ($22).


Students in South Korea have access to personal banking, which is usually free. You will need to present your passport, as well as your residency documentation, in order to open an account. Larger establishments, as well as some ATM machines, usually accept major international credit and debit cards. Chip-and-pin and contactless bank cards are widely accepted across South Korea, especially in more remote locations. There are also a lot of ATMs. You’ll still need cash, though, because market stalls and street food vendors rarely accept credit cards.


South Korea is easy to get around due to its small size and great transportation links. South Korea’s public transportation is very reasonable, so you’ll be able to take advantage of everything the country has to offer no matter where you study.

Rail Travel:

The country’s transportation system includes a world-class high-speed rail system, as well as a variety of bus, metro, and ferry lines. The high-speed rail from Seoul to Busan, in the south, takes only two and a half hours. Korea’s national railway company is known as Korail.

Air Travel:

Air travel is available from a number of international and domestic airports in South Korea. Incheon International Airport, located near Seoul, is the largest.

Inner-City Transportation:

Seoul has one of the world’s most comprehensive and efficient subway systems. The fares are low, and it is the quickest method to move about town. Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, and Daejon are four more cities in South Korea with rapid transit systems.

Is It Safe for International Students to Study in South Korea?

Studying in South Korea will provide you with a wide choice of job prospects. Employers all across the world are eager to hire graduates from Korean colleges. Furthermore, the South Korean economy is exceptionally solid, ensuring that you will have a financially secure future after graduation.

How Can the Living Cost in Korea as a Student Be Managed?

The cost of living in South Korea may differ significantly from that in your native country. It depends on where you’re coming from and what part of South Korea you live in to see how it compares. As a foreign student in Korea, particularly in Deagu, it is understandable that everyone is curious about the expense of living in this nation. In general, Daegu’s living costs are more affordable than those in Seoul and other major cities such as Busan and Incheon, despite the fact that many of the same amenities are available. Here are some major expenses that you should be aware of.


As a student, you may have a variety of housing options, including one-room, dormitory, two-bedroom, and home-stay. The cost of these types of rooms varies depending on their location. You should anticipate spending roughly $300,000 per month for a new one-room 20m2 near universities, plus a deposit of at least $1,000,000, which will be returned when you move out. You have a private kitchen, toilet, and some furnishings in this room, so you can cook at home. A dormitory is a wonderful option if you don’t want to be too far away from your school. Normally, the cost of living in a dorm is roughly $170,000 per month; however, you must share a room with another person and are not permitted to cook in the dorm. As a result, you have another option: a two-bedroom apartment. It’s ideal if you can find a wonderful roommate with whom you can split the rent and care for each other; this room may cost around $350,000 each month. Home-stay is also highly popular among students. A room in a local resident’s residence can be rented. The proprietor will set up a small kitchen and a separate bathroom for you. You can either stay alone or share a room with a companion for roughly 170,000 and 240,000 dollars, respectively.


Utility expenses vary depending on the payment method and the homeowner. You do not have to worry about gas, electricity, or internet expenses if you live in a dorm. If you stay out, though, keep in mind the cost of gas in the winter and electricity in the summer. During the winter months, from December to March, your gas bill can exceed $100,000 per month due to the heating system. Other times, when gas is primarily used for cooking, the cost drops considerably to roughly 20,000 or 0 if you only use electric appliances. In the summer, especially from June to August, you’ll need air conditioning to keep cool. The higher the cost, the cooler you get. The internet is dependent on the contract or package that you have signed for your home. If your house lease does not include internet and water, you should expect to pay around $15,000 per month. Another crucial point to note is that each student has their own cell phone.

Food (Meal/Snack):

The amount of food you consume depends on your circumstances. If you live in a dormitory, you won’t be able to cook and will have to eat entirely out. If you eat in the school cafeteria, you will spend at least $15,000 per day on food, or $450,000 per month. Of course, this cost will be significantly greater if you eat outside in a nice restaurant. Normally, a lunch of fried pig or chicken with free refills costs between 6000 and 7000 yen. Cooking at home and sharing with a friend will save you money. You can eat whatever you want and prepare it whatever you want; you also have the opportunity to practice local cuisine or execute your own country cuisine in South Korea.


Coffee, milk, milk tea, soft drinks, fruit juice, ice cream, and other beverages are eaten by students on a daily basis. The price varies greatly depending on the shop. In an automatic machine, it can be less than 1000 per cup of coffee or fruit juice. Prepare to pay at least 5000 if you go to a coffee cafe with a beautiful view. To summarize, you spend a minimum of $30,000 every month on drinks.


The bus and metro fares with a Tmoney card are 1,250 each time you check-in. Important: If you transfer from bus to bus or bus to metro within 30 minutes, you will only have to pay once. The green bus ticket is $500 cheaper than the red bus ticket. Of course, the cost of a taxi is larger than that of a bus, but in some cases, it is more convenient and comfortable. The open fare is 3000 yen, with each additional mile costing roughly 1000 yen. If you’re traveling in a group and only need to go a short distance, a cab is an excellent option.

Other Expenses:

In addition to the fundamental expenses listed above, there are some other expenses to consider, such as clothing, cosmetics, entertainment, travel, health care, and so on. For these goods, you should make a budget. Each season, you’re supposed to spend $200,000 on clothing. Cosmetic items are highly popular in Korea, and you can get them almost anywhere. A set of skincare products costs roughly 80,000 won and you may use it for three months. It’s worth noting that the pricing in the store is higher than the price you’ll find online. On the other hand, you can get a nice deal on your things during sales events.


In terms of its educational system, South Korea has a strong international reputation. It has achieved some of the highest rankings in world rankings that compare the educational systems of various countries. With a near-100 percent literacy rate, it’s no surprise that students from all over the world are considering South Korea as a study destination, whether for first-cycle or second-cycle courses. If you are unconcerned about having a lot of work to do and want to attain academic brilliance, the country is a fantastic place to pursue your studies. As an international student, you may not be able to enjoy yourself as much as you may in other countries because the system prioritizes work over any other form of creative experience.

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Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.