Are you planning to study in Korea? Are you curious on what is it like to study in Korea and what to expect? Then this article is for you. Studying abroad might your dream due to various reasons but before you decide to study in Korea, here are some of the of the things that you should take into consideration.
Academic and Career Goals
Before deciding to study in Korea you must have clear academic and career goals. Why do you want to study in Korea? Will it be helpful in your academic goals? Does studying in Korea necessary for your career goals? What do you want to achieve in getting education from Korea that you cannot achieve in other countries? These are some of the questions that you should ask yourself. Doing your goals will help you make a plan in order to achieve them. It will also be your motivation all throughout your academic journey in another country.
For Hallyu fans, I am aware that living in Korea and having higher chances of seeing or interacting with your favorite Korean artists can be part of your goals and your motivation. However, if this is your sole reason for studying in Korea, you may encounter some dilemma along the way. What if you suddenly lost your interest in Hallyu? What if Korea is different from what you usually see in Korean dramas? If there’s be a pandemic that limits your chances to see Hallyu celebrities, what will feel about it? Specially when you apply for scholarships in Korean universities, you must prove to them that your academic and career goals are in line with the program that you are applying for.
Speaking of scholarship, next on this list is your financial capacity to support your studies in Korea. If you can or you have someone to finance your studies even without a scholarship, then you should still consider the cost of living in Korea. The tuition fee ranges from 4,000,000 to 8,000,000 KRW while a monthly dorm fee can range from 300,000 to 600,000 KRW. If you will stay in big cities like Seoul, the cost of living can even be higher. If you are planning to apply for scholarships, then this cost could be lessen depending on what the scholarship will cover. Although there are still students with scholarships who have to take part-time jobs in order to support themselve especially those who have other financial obligations or those who are supporting their families back home. But note however that having a part-time job while studying in Korea requires you to apply for a permit to work.
Ability to Adapt to Other Culture
Another factor that you should consider is your ability to adapt to other culture. You may have known Korean culture from watching Hallyu contents but when you start to actually live in Korea, things may not be as you thought they were. Living in a country with a language and writing system that is different from yours is not that easy. In addition, the food, the customs, and generally how the locals interact with foreigners are some of the things that you should be able to adapt while living in Korea.
Food Preference or Diet
In connection to the previous list is your food preference or diet. It takes time to acquire a taste and it also applies to Korean dishes. Do you like spicy food? Do you eat vegetables? What do think about Korean food in general? Even though there are non-spicy food that you can eat in Korea and variety of fast food chains, it would be best to consider your prefences in your diet. Rememeber that the food that you eat is a vital factor in your health. You wouldn’t want to end up being sick just because you are not eating healthily while studying in Korea.
And lastly, and most importantly is your emotional well-being and preparedness. Will it be your first time to live away from your family and close friends? Do you have the drive and motivation to pursue your studies in Korea under any circumstances? Are you emotionally prepared to face difficult situations that may come your way? Health is wealth, and that also includes your mental health. Studying in another country can be very challenging that is when things get tough, you must go back to your goals on why you are doing it in the first place.
Disclaimer: This list is based on my personal experience as an international student in Korea and does not intend to generalize everyone as I believe that we all have unique life experiences.
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