study in South Korea

Korean University vs. Swedish University, Key Differences and Similarities

Differences and Similarities: Korean University vs. Swedish University 

Are you planning on studying abroad in South Korea but are unsure whether a Korean University is the right choice for your semester abroad?  Korea is becoming increasingly popular for many reasons, including studying abroad. The reasons are apparent as Korean education is among the best in the world. Studying in Korea is especially interesting for many Swedish students, despite the significant differences in university education.

University Education in Sweden

Generally, education in Sweden is mandatory for children between the ages of 6 and 17. After the compulsory school years, many Swedish students decide to enter university and begin their journey toward their bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The higher education system is very similar to the rest of Europe. The Bologna Process standardized the system, where for instance, they divided degrees into three cycles: undergraduate level, graduate level, and post-graduate level. There are two degrees available in each cycle of different lengths. However, Swedish universities have no tuition fees for Swedish citizens or students from the European economic area. On top of that, CSN student aid is available from the government and is considered the best student aid worldwide.

Education in South Korea

Koreas and Sweden (or most other countries in Europe) have different academic environments. In Korea, they take higher education very seriously, academics are very competitive, and teachers receive the utmost respect. Students are extremely serious about their studies. Out of this mindset, numerous highly prestigious universities, such as Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and Hanyang University, quickly climbed the ladder of University rankings worldwide. Hankuk University of Foreign Studies is currently ranked 410 and Hanyang University 157 in the QS world University ranking (2022). Another strong argument for these universities is their location, as most are in Seoul. Attending one of the universities was a prerequisite for success in Korea, but today, it is a door opener to a successful career worldwide. There are numerous fields of study available for international students in Korea, with the most popular areas being arts and science, closely followed by business and management-related courses. Enrolling in a South Korean university in any field is worth it, no question asked.

Do you want to know more about how to apply to Korean Universities? Click here!

temple south korea seoul

Korean vs. Swedish University Education: Similarities and differences

So, the question is: Is Korea the right choice for me? Both Korea and Sweden offer excellent education systems. Significant similarities between South Korea and Sweden are the focus on knowledge, internationalization, and class content. Both curricula emphasize the importance of character skills, such as creativity and confidence, as well as cognitive skills, such as problem-solving skills and mathematical knowledge. However, there are also differences in certain subjects. For example, mathematics is divided into algebra and geometry courses in South Korea. In Sweden, they are combined into one course. Sticking to the example of mathematics, in Sweden, they have a few more advanced topics, but in Korea, they use fewer calculators.

Furthermore, ethics courses are not very common in Sweden, although they are often part of religious education. In South Korea, on the other hand, they consider ethics a vital element of higher education. Moreover, moral education is not a mandatory element in the Swedish curriculum, but again, it plays a vital role in South Korean education.

Is a semester abroad in Korea the right choice for me?

The answer is clear. Yes, it is!

Korean vs. Swedish University Education: Korea is a rising star for many reasons. It offers a unique cultural experience, the chance to live in one of the most modern cities worldwide, and one of the best education systems worldwide. With a slightly different education, you will receive endless possibilities to broaden your mind while getting used to new ways of learning. On top of that, South Korea is considered one of the “Four Dragons of Asia,” together with Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. Don’t miss out! Apply now!

Did you know you can study abroad in another Dragon of Asia as well? Learn more about Taiwan.

Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. 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 usWe’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

The blog post was written by Hannes, Business Development Manager & Chief Representative at Asia Exchange!
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