Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Florentine is studying Leisure and Tourism Management in Stralsund, a small town in Northern Germany. During her studies she had a mandatory semester abroad. However the study destinations offered by her university weren’t exactly what she was looking for. Therefore, she decided to find a way to apply to universities in Korea without her home university. So, she thought she had to figure out everything herself, including available courses, semester lengths, application procedures, costs, visas, scholarships, travel vaccinations, accommodation… the list goes on and on. Until she discoveres Asia Exchange! Finally, she applied to a Korean university via Asia Exchange. That way, she saved lots of time, effort and money. Now, she shares her application process from beginning to end. Moreover, she shares some tips and valuable insights for everyone interested in studying in South Korea!
HOW DID YOU FIND ASIA EXCHANGE TO APPLY TO UNIVERSITY IN KOREA?
To be honest, quite randomly. One day on campus, I talked to a friend about spending my mandatory semester abroad outside Europe, possibly Asia. Unfortunately, our university did not have any partner universities there at all. She told me about a fellow student one year above us who went to South Korea through Asia Exchange. I was curious, so I contacted her. A couple of days later, I coincidentally received an E-Mail from our study coordinator introducing us to a company called Asia Exchange. So, my plan was set, and I signed up for their next webinar. You can check out their webinar page to see when the next upcoming info events will occur.
Note: You can also do a gap year, summer school or full degree program in Korea if you prefer that!
You might also be interested in “Why choose Asia Exchange?“
SO, WHERE DID YOU GET STARTED WITH YOUR APPLICATION PROCESS?
If you want to apply to universities in Korea with Asia Exchange, you can choose between 3 different universities: Hanyang University in Ansan, Dong-A University in Busan, and Hankuk University in Seoul. Ultimately, I decided on the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea. Since I grew up in a small village and was studying in a relatively small town, I wanted to move to a big city for my semester abroad. South Korea seemed lively, fast, and colorful – and the language not that intimidating. However, I did not sign up immediately, although the process was easy. Since a semester abroad was mandatory, I had to look for substitute courses at HUFS. I looked for fitting courses through the course finder on the Asia Exchanges website.
A tip: Remember to set the year of the course finder one year back. The current course lists will only be released approximately a month before the semester start. Use the old course descriptions as a guide when choosing courses for your learning agreement. They will most likely not change much. Oh, and add as many as possible!
WHAT WERE THE FINAL STEPS TO APPLY TO UNIVERSITY IN KOREA?
After I gathered all the required documents, I filled out the online application form and attached them in the end. I did and received the initial acceptance letter shortly after. The invoice for the application fee of 75€ arrived a couple of days later.
With the initial acceptance, I could apply for the PROMOS scholarship. Because PROMOS deadlines are pretty early, I applied through Asia Exchange in November of 2022. If you are considering getting a scholarship, do not wait until the last minute to apply. Asia Exchanges deadlines might be late, but the scholarship providers typically are not!
Around 2,5 months before the semester started, I had to pay the tuition fee. Shortly after, my official Letter of Acceptance, the university’s Certificate of Admission, and Certificate of Business Registration arrived. The next step was to apply for a D-2-student visa at the Korea Visa Application Center (KVAC) in Berlin. Another benefit of applying early is that you will most likely receive your official acceptance letter early. Although the process usually only takes 2-4 weeks, it is nice to have everything settled.
However, the visa is only for entering the country. After I arrived in South Korea, I had to apply for my personal Alien Registration Card (ARC). There were several days when we could do that directly on campus. However, students who missed these dates had to visit their district’s registration office.
HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR THE SEMESTER ABROAD?
In general, you cannot be prepared too much. Getting to know a bit about the country and the language helps. Learning Korean is also quite fun! The Korean alphabet “Hangeul” was designed to be easy to learn. It feels excellent to be able to identify these foreign symbols quickly. Besides that, I researched student travel insurances, the different housing options, and a quarantine place. The university recommended the website “stay.14,” where I booked my quarantine hotel room.
Additionally, I already bought a Korean sim card online at Trazy.com. That was unnecessary since there is public Wi-Fi everywhere in South Korea. Nonetheless, I would recommend getting Korean Sim Card once you are there.
WHAT WOULD BE A PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH OTHERS?
Don’t worry too much! You will be guided through the process and receive all the necessary information. If anything goes wrong, keep calm and contact Asia Exchange, they will help. 🙂
Do you want to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea? Find out more information here!
Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students worldwide. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
The blog post was written by our intern and former exchange student, Florentine!