Student in Korea

Learn the Korean Language in Korea

Master the Korean language and immerse in the vibrant culture through Korean university language courses. A comprehensive guide for international students to navigate the language journey.
Learn the Korean Language in Korea
Photo by ibmoon Kim / Unsplash

One of the options to study in Korea is to get language courses provided by universities. These are non-degree courses that students usually take before applying to Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees.

Advantages of Language Courses

  • Language improvement
  • First-hand university experience (classes on campus, living in dorms)
  • Cultural programs (included in classes)
  • Visa (D-4) to live in Korea while studies

Before we go further, I’d like to answer your question about the medium of instruction in Korean universities. Most of the programs in South Korea are taught in Korean or a mix of Korean and English. While you can find programs that are 100% taught in English, they are mainly in Liberal Arts, International Studies, Foreign Language and Literature, and Global MBA.

One last argument, if you apply to the Global Korea Scholarship (Graduate or Undergraduate) and you don’t have TOPIC results, then the government will sponsor your language courses. But there is a catch; you have more chances to get the scholarship if you already have any level of Korean proficiency.

Korean Language Centers

Most of the universities in South Korea have language centers on campus. These centers provide language courses for international students before or during their degree studies.

Language Centers Examples

The application process for language programs is basic for all universities. However, there may be some variations. I suggest checking the university’s language center guidelines to ensure you have all the required documents and certificates. You can also get my comprehensive guideline with all Korean language schools in Korea listed in one place.

Korean Language Courses Guideline [non-degree courses]
This comprehensive guide has been created to assist potential international students or expats interested in learning the Korean language or considering higher studies in Korea.The guidelines stress the importance of preliminary language courses before opting for full degree programs. We highlight t…
Get a guideline with all Korean courses and summer schools in Korean universities!

Language Programs

The Korean language courses are designed to improve students’ skills in Korean, and there are a few programs available at universities – general (6 levels) and academic (also called research) courses.

Courses timeline

One of the best parts about these courses is they run all year long. One course equals a season (3 months), and you can apply for any of four – spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Language levels

In general classes, students are divided from levels 1 to 6 based on their knowledge of the Korean language. You start at the level you have after the exam (or level 1 if you don’t know Korean yet).

Special activities

Every university includes field trips, master classes, and other cultural activities to mix studies with social integration. Note: extra activities may be canceled due to the COVID situation in Korea. Tuition FeesAdmission Fee: around KRW 60,000 – 90,000 (non-refundable)

Tuition per semester

  • General Course: around KRW 1,400,000 – 1,750,000/Semester
  • Tuition may depend on class time (morning or afternoon) and the university. For example, universities outside Seoul are cheaper than schools in the capital.


University may provide scholarships for their language courses. They don’t apply for the first course and are usually based on your previous semester’s academic excellence. For example, Seoul National University offers

  • Academic Honor Scholarship for a student in the top 5% of their class;
  • Consecutive Registration Discount if you are registered for more than 5 courses;
  • Volunteer Scholarship if student volunteers in the university language center.


Overseas Koreans or international citizens with a high school diploma or equivalent academic ability are eligible for the language courses.

Application Process

  1. Collect and notarize documents and certificates
  2. Submit documents to the university
  3. Get acceptance notice
  4. Pay for courses
  5. Get acceptance letter
  6. Go through the interview in the Korean embassy in your country
  7. Get a visa, enter Korea, starts courses, and have fun!
About the author
Sasha Smirnova

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