Where technology meets tradition

Seoul is one of Asia’s most modern and developed cities. It is considered the flagship city of the Asian Tigers, the miracles of Asian economic development. In Seoul, cutting-edge technology meets ancient traditions: it is home both to the technology giants Samsung and LG as well as several UNESCO world heritage sites. It has also been voted as one of the top 10 student cities in the world, getting praise for its diversity of activities and opportunities while scoring points for its safety and convenience as well.

Studying abroad in Seoul, South Korea allows you experience life at the forefront of Asian modernization and enjoy Korea’s excellent educational standards. You can apply to study abroad for one or two semesters at one of Korea’s leading private universities, the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Your placement will be confirmed already within a week.

Why study abroad in Seoul, South Korea?

  • Study at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, which is considered as one of the best international universities in Korea, especially in Languages and Social Sciences.
  • Combine studying with living in one of the most modern and diverse Asian countries.
  • Get familiar with the excellent academic standards of the Korean education system.
  • Great selection of courses with Master’s level courses available as well.
  • Central location in East Asia. There’s plenty of things to see in Korea, but other Asian cities are also easy to reach from Seoul.

Study Abroad in Seoul, South Korea - Seoul city view

Study abroad in Seoul - Night time street restaurants in Seoul, South Korea

The Twenty-Four-Hour City

Seoul is sparkly, clean and beautiful, divided by the gorgeous Han River and enveloped by mountains. In contrast to the downtown high rises, there are also multiple UNESCO world heritage areas with ancient temples, palaces and courtyards for you to explore.

Even though Seoul is a vast capital city, it embraces its new residents quickly and warmly. Getting around is fast and easy when you get used to the metro map and identifying the stations. Koreans are very polite and friendly, and even though making closer acquaintances takes a while, once you become friends, the generosity and loyalty bestowed upon a new friend is everlasting.

Seoul offers excellent shopping opportunities from luxurious shopping malls and department houses to underground shopping markets with hundreds of stalls filled with quality finds for next to nothing (when you bargain a bit).

Another favorite past time in Seoul, or the favorite past time, is eating. There are innumerable eating opportunities and you will find your own Korean favorites quickly.

What makes Seoul unique as well, is the history of the Korean peninsula. With the border to North Korea only a drive away, the past has never been put to rest in Korea. The country is very safe in general, as is Seoul, but the contrast between the capitalist south, with all that it has become in half a century, to the communist north, is ever startling.

  • Key facts

    Full name: Republic of Korea
    Government: Republic
    Population: 49 million (9,8 million in Seoul)
    Capital: Seoul
    Major languages: Korean, English (taught in junior high and high schools)
    Major religions: Christian 31.6% (Protestant 24%, Roman Catholic 7.6%), Buddhist 24.2%
    Life expectancy: 83 years (women), 77 years (men)
    Currency: South Korean Won
    Main exports: semiconductors, wireless telecommunications equipment, motor vehicles, auto parts, computers, display,
    home appliances, wire telecommunication equipment, steel, ships, petrochemicals
    Time Zone: GMT/UTC + 9

  • History

    Korea was an independent kingdom for most of its long history but started the 20th century under foreign occupation. Following the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, Japan occupied the entire peninsula. Korea didn’t regain its independence till the Japanese surrendered to the United States in 1945. Korea was freed but divided into two zones of occupation roughly along the 38th parallel: North for the Soviet troops and South to the American.

    Political chaos and infighting followed and broke into a full-scale war in 1950. China backed the North Koreans, while the U.S., the UK and the UN backed the South. The war between communism and capitalism lasted for three years and the Western super powers won the first round of the Cold War. Technically the two Koreas are still at war with each other since only an armistice agreement was signed in 1953.

    Park Chung-hee’s regime from 1961 to 1979 kick started the South Korean economic miracle, and the country has now the 12th largest economy in the world.

  • Geography

    South Korea is a gorgeous peninsula west of Japan, surrounded by the South China Sea and bordering only North Korea, its notorious other half, to the north. The capital city Seoul was largely rebuilt after the Korean war (1950-53) and has become a staggering triumph to capitalism and prosperity.

    South Korea is both geographically and culturally often pecked as the halfway between China and Japan. In fact, Seoul is often called the new Tokyo; it has all the culture, shopping and excitement but is less hectic and much more affordable.

    Even though South Korea might first bring into mind its urban glory, it has a vast and stunning rural side. There are a number of outstanding national parks and the terrain is very diverse. You can hike, mountain bike, ski, golf, or enjoy the sun and waves at the beach. The north is more mountainous and hosts wildlife such as deer and bears. The south of the peninsula, in contrast, is lush and tropical – the “ginseng country”.

  • Experience

    The Seoul Tower

    1,200-foot tall shiny tower on top of the Namsan Park offers superb views over the city.

    Samcheong

    The hipster area in Seoul that is also the antithesis to the skyscraper horizon in Seoul. Samcheong is an old neighbourhood, dotted with one-story hanoks which are small, traditional houses with pagoda-style roofs. The hanoks have been quicky turning into Italian and American-style cafes, restaurants and wine bars in recent years. There are also art galleries and little shops in the area.

    Apgujeong

    The shopping district that can be described as the Beverly Hills of Seoul, complete with a Rodeo Street. The area is also where the most famous product of K-pop (Korean pop) was shot, the music video for Gangnam style.

    Cheongdam and Itaewon

    Cool areas to check out, and they can surprise you with how Western they are. Starbucks and boutiques line the streets and young Koreans are often as well educated in Western show business as they are in everything else. Hongdae is the college area, packed with shops, coffee places, laptops, ambition and excellent street food.

    Hongdae (Hongik University)

    The artistic area in Seoul. Known for street artists, trendy pubs and cute cafes.

    Shopping

    Tales and stories about the wonders of shopping in Korea circle the globe but you won’t get it till you experience it yourself. They have everything you could want and lots of things you didn’t know you wanted. Luxury brands in both cosmetics and clothes are much more affordable than in the West and the diversity is mind-boggling.

    Subtropical Jeju

    Korea’s largest island. It’s the result of a volcanic eruption and offers magnificent scenery that includes waterfalls surging into the turquoise sea. The entire island is stunning, and very romantic – Jeju’s nickname is the Honeymoon Island.

    The Baekdu Daegan

    the longest stretch of uninterrupted hiking path in South Korea; it runs for 460 miles.

  • Transportation

    Traffic is something you need to always factor in in Seoul. The subway system is the saviour element, it’s clean, cheap (0,8 EUR per trip), extensive and runs from 5.30 am to at least 1 am. You can buy monthly cards which take you everywhere for very little. Taxis are also cheap for short distances but it is good to have the destination address in Korean as the drivers rarely speak English.

  • Food

    Rice is the central element of all dishes. A typical meal consists of rice and soup, accompanied with sides of delicious and exotic vegetables, fish, chicken, meat, eggs and sea plants. One of the favourites is a marinated beef barbeque dish bulgogi. Bi bim pap is a bowl of rice, topped with vegetables (and anything you wish) and a sunny side up egg. Tempura, deep-fried vegetables and seafood, rivals much unhealthier Western fried foods and mandus, the Korean dumplings, are will steal your taste buds. Real, hearty Ram eon soup is the student’s best friend and an unimaginable upgrade from cup a noodles. Kim pap is the Korean equivalent for sushi and you can afford to have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Most popular Korean beers are Hite, OB and Cass.

  • Currency

    The currency of Korea is the Korean Won (₩ KRW). One euro is approximately 1 300 KRW depending on the exchange rate at the time.

  • Make a note of

    Halluyu

    A popular culture movement that encompasses music, films, TV soaps, video games and cartoons has been a growing influence on the overall culture since the 1990s and can now be seen and heard everywhere in Seoul. Its economic influence is huge as well: halluyu contributed more than £2.3bn to the South Korean economy in 2011 alone.

    Baseball

    Popular sport in South Korea with the season lasting from April to October. The games get really loud with the crowd cheering for their favorite team. Tickets are affordable at around 10 euros for one person. Beverages and fast food such as burgers and fried chicken are sold around the stadium and can be brought inside.

    Baseball game in South Korea, Seoul

    Kimchi

    The spicy, crunchy and fresh version of sauerkraut; delicious super food served with almost everything you order.

    Shoes

    Take them always off before entering a private home.

    Table manners

    Burping at the table is fine; it showcases how much you liked the food. Sneezing, though, is a no no. If you don’t want to be served a second (or third, fourth, fifth…) helping of food, leave a little bit of your dinner on the plate to signify that you’re full.

    Pali pali

    I.e. hurry up; Koreans do not waste time, not necessarily because time is money but because Koreans get stuff done!

Number one global university in South Korea

Our partner university in South Korea offers students a wide variety of higher education courses in both Bachelor and Master levels. The university also offers International Summer Session in Korean and East Asian Studies to deepen your understanding of Korean society and current trends. The intensive Korean language program offers chance for those, who are interested in seriously developing their Korean language, and it is recognized as one of the best Korean language programs in South Korea.

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

university

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies has been continuously ranked as the best international university in Korea. The ranking encompasses the areas of exchange student ratio and satisfaction, curriculum and teaching staff, and international cooperation and networks.

Founded just after the Korean War, in 1954, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies has strived for reconstruction, development, internationalization and peace-building since its establishment. These qualities have come to define the university as the most international university in Korea, with an extensive network of governmental bodies and organizations both in Korea and abroad.

  • Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in brief

    In addition to Hankuk University’s status as the best institution teaching internationalization in Korea, it is widely considered to be the best private university in the country, especially in Social Sciences and Languages. It is currently teaching 45 foreign languages.

    In addition to graduating the largest groups of Korean diplomats in the country, the university is recognized as one of the institutions producing the most CEOs of the top 100 companies in Korea.

    The Hankuk University of Foreign Studies is divided into two campuses, one in the city centre in Seoul and one about 45 minutes away (Global campus), with a third one under construction. Asia Exchange students study at the city centre campus. Altogether there are 10 colleges and 74 departments at the university. There are approximately 650 members of the teaching staff; third of which are professors from foreign countries.

    Fittingly to its highly international focus, Hankuk University has international exchanges with over 550 universities in 82 different countries. The number of international students hovers around 1,300 and the ratio is the highest in Korea. Exchange students have also ranked the university as the best in Korea for exchange program execution. Local students also go on exchange, almost without exceptions. The 7 + 1 Study Abroad Program supports students to study at least one of eight semesters abroad.

    In addition to language studies, the university has a strong focus on both global markets and global governance. The university facilitates this agenda through internship programs in organizations such as KOTRA (Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency) and Korean Embassies all around the world.

    Hankuk University also actively cooperates with the United Nations. It was the first university to organize a dual master’s degree program with the UN mandated University for Peace (UPEACE). In addition, the Model United Nations (MUN) General Assembly is one of the oldest traditions at the university. It was first introduced in 1959.

    The Harvard MUN Organizing Committee is partnering up with Hankuk University in 2015 to organize the next Harvard World MUN in Seoul. Hankuk University is the first institution in Korea to host the conference which is the world’s largest and most renowned annual collegiate model UN conference, joined by over 2,000 university students and professors from some 70 countries around the world.

    Other internationalization projects include the Graduate School of International and Area Studies’ cooperation with government officials from developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America who the school invites to participate in the university’s master’s degree programs every year.

    Read more about studying at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.

  • Courses and studying

    Study Languages, International Relations and Politics, Business and Economics, Social Sciences and Law. There are both Bachelor’s and Master’s courses available.

    Find out more about studying at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and how to apply.

  • Semesters and application periods

    There are two semesters available in Hankuk University of Foreign Language: Autumn and Spring.

    The university also offers shorter Summer School program.

    Spring: February–June
    Application deadline: End of October

    Autumn: August–December
    Application deadline: End of May

    Summer school: July August
    Application deadline: End of May

    See the exact semester dates and application deadlines here.

  • Fees

    Tuition fee: 1990 EUR / semester

    Tuition fee (summer school):

    1790 EUR / semester

    Application fee: 75 EUR.

    See what’s included in the fees.

    Are you from outside of Europe? See the fees here.

    Benefits when applying via Asia Exchange

    • Confirmation within one week
    • Asia Exchange Guide with lots of information about studies, visas, accommodation and other tips
    • Orientation days
    • 100 EUR discount when applying for two semesters.
  • Accommodation

    The university provides plenty of dormitory options for students. There are currently 3 different dormitories for you to choose, and they all are located within 2–3 minute walk from the campus.

    You can choose your preferred accommodation option in the application form for Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

    Find out more about the accommodation options in Seoul.

Apply to Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

What students have said about Seoul

Here’s what some former Asia Exchange students have said about studying abroad in Seoul, Korea:

"The months in Korea were certainly some of the best in my life"

The months in Korea were certainly some of the best in my life. In between a vivid nightlife, extraordinary food, deep conversations, a great number of wonderful friends from different cultures, a very special football club and the exchange life itself – this is what shaped me most within the last few months.

Niklas, Germany https://hankukandme.wordpress.com/

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“I love the atmosphere of my new home”

The smell of cotton candy is laying in the air paired with laughter. It’s the first day of school at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and the college clubs try to recruit new members. I love the atmosphere of my new home; busy students walking around, the smell of the metropolis and the excitement about something new that’s laying in front of me.

Antonia, Germany https://seouloved.wordpress.com/

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“Going abroad has opened up my eyes”

Korea and HUFS was a culturally enriching experience that gave me profound insights on many new things. I established friendships that will hopefully last for a lifetime and I felt like I really infiltrated the Korean culture – I got into it. I’m extremely grateful for the entire experience. Going abroad has opened up my eyes and allowed me to see that there is another world out there besides the world I live in. I have put to rest my prenotions. I cannot wait to travel to back to Korea and experience new things and meet more people.

Michael, USA

 

Blogs from Seoul

SEOULOVED

Antonia is a 21-year old public relations student reporting from her exchange period in Seoul Korea. Her blog is a mix of beautiful photos and stories about the South Korean lifestyle.

Check the blog

Hankuk and me

Niklas spent the fall semester 2015 in the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. In his blog he writes about both his studies as an exchange student and his personal insights from the city of Seoul.

Check the blog

Become a blogger

Do you want to write a blog during your study abroad semester? We’re always on the lookout for good bloggers. If you’d like to write a blog and have us link to it from this page, let us know! Check out our hints and tips for bloggers.

Want to read more student experiences?

More blogs from Seoul

Study Abroad Reports from Seoul

Spring 2018 Application Deadline: October 31st

Seoul, South Korea - Lotte tower

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