What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about studying in South Korea? Is it probably the acronym SKY? Well, SKY refers to the most prestigious universities in this country: Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University. These institutions represent some of the best universities locally and are home to many international students.
Today, I want to especially talk about Korea University. “Why?” you might ask, well, it is no other than the university I am currently pursuing my studies of Biotechnology in! As a proud KU student, I would like to give you an insight on the history of the university and its current position. So without further ado, lets travel back to 1905 when this university was first established.
A piece of history in present Seoul
During the beginning of the XX century, Emperor Gojong of the Korean Empire conceded a Royal grant to Treasurer of the Royal Household, Lee Yong-Ik. Under the motto “Education Saves the Country” he founded the Bosung College. It wasn’t until 1946 when, after the national liberation from the Japanese Occupation, the college’s status and name changed to Korea University.
During the following years until recent times, Korea University has stood tall as symbol of “the spirit of resistance, manifesting the conscience of the nation and critical intelligence.” This brings us back to 1960, when KU students stood up for democracy. They led to the April Revolution that changed South Korea’s history forever.
During the 1970’s, Korea University kept on with its expansion by acquiring Woosuk University, thus incorporating its College of Medicine and affiliated hospital. Korea University’s position as one of the leading global universities in science and other areas began around the 1990’s. The establishment of the Korean TechnoComplex and the School of Life Science and Biotechnology helped promoting collaborative research and studies in the bioscience area.
Korea University Campus
Nowadays, Korea University stands in 1st place in the 2020 QS Asia University Rankings among private universities in Asia which reflects the university’s ideal of excellence and leadership. Additionally, we can find Korea University in the 69th place among the QS World University Rankings 2021. Outstanding results were obtained in the evaluation of areas like academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty and international student ratio.
Some distinctive sites worth mentioning…
The Tiger Statue that stands near the Main Hall is a symbol of the university’s history. It embodies the “young, high-pitched spirit of the KU community”. The tiger is the mascot of Korea University and it represents KU’s spirit of courage, determination, agility and dignity.
Cherry blossoms in bloom
In the Science Campus, you can find a small hill known as the Site of Inmyeongwon. Historically, it used to be the tomb of King Jeongjo’s consort Won of the Hong clan in the Joseon Dynasty. It is the perfect place to visit during spring, the cherry blossoms are simply beautiful!
Additionally the university has its own history museum! According to the university’s website it is open from 10am to 5pm (Closed Sundays, legal holidays, and other holidays specified in the museum regulations). You can check the official website to have a quick insight on what to expect if you happen to visit.
Now it is your turn!
Now let me tell you some useful information in case you are up for applying to a university in Korea! A lot if international students have been granted the KGSP (Korean Government Scholarship Program), a unique opportunity to follow Korean language studies for 1 year and then start you major studies in the university you applied to. It might seem hard to get but it is not impossible.
I totally encourage you to apply and get a chance to get to know first handedly everything about Korea, its people and their beautiful culture. You can always consult with the Ministry of Education of your home country about possible agreements and scholarship opportunities they have with the university of your dreams – that is how I came to study here!- or you can apply straightforward to the university and directly be a candidate for the scholarships available for new applicants.
For further information
You can consult the official website of Korea University or the Global Services Center (GSC), branch dedicated to help international and exchange students.
As an international student myself I can tell you that Korea University is the perfect place for foreigners. With more than 2000 international students as off spring 2019, you will never feel alone. To finish, I invite you to apply to Korea University and be part of the international community of students in Seoul!
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