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Seoul for students

Long since labelled as an up-and-coming destination for students, Seoul is certainly making good on this prediction. Continuing to be one of Asia’s strongest representatives, Seoul maintains its rank of 10th in the QS Best Student Cities 2019.

South Korea’s capital scores well in a number of indicators used to compile the ranking. The city also rises one spot to claim the second-highest score in the rankings indicator (beaten only by London). This score is explained by the impressive fact that no fewer than 16 universities in Seoul are featured in the QS World University Rankings® 2020, of which the highest-ranked is Seoul National University, at 37th in the world.

Students and graduates of the city certainly rate their experience highly – Seoul comes 23rd in the student view indicator, and one respondent to our student survey said: “The diverse culture makes for a great experience, and everything is so convenient,” while another described it as “a city which has the possibilities of a truly metropolitan city without almost any danger”.

To share your own experience of Seoul or another city, take the survey.

Best universities in Seoul - QS Best Student Cities ranking: Joint 10th

More about Seoul

Study in Seoul Overview

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

Seoul National University (SNU) (37th in the world)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank


 To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

Why study in Seoul?

Home to 16 of the world’s top universities

Its highest ranked university, Seoul National University (SNU) ranks 37th in the world this year in the world university rankings.

Incredible food

South Korean culture includes many social gatherings which are based around its delicious food, such as marinated beef barbeque (bulgogi), bibimbap and kimchi.

Easy to travel

Seoul is close to many other countries such as China and Japan, making it cheap and easy to travel around Asia.

Amazing scenery

Around 70 percent of the Korean Peninsula is covered in mountains, meaning that there’s plenty of hiking that can be done just outside the city.

Excellent employer reputation

Seoul ranks sixth worldwide for employer activity this year, emphasizing how respected its universities are amongst employers in the area.

Cost of studying in Seoul

Ranking 73rd in the affordability indicator, Seoul is not a cheap place to live, although the majority of South Korea is quite affordable.

A one bedroom apartment in the city center of South Korea’s capital will set you back around 955,370 ₩ (approximately US$802), according to Numbeo. Although this sounds expensive, it’s around 34 percent cheaper than an equivalent apartment in Tokyo’s city center.


Tuition in Seoul will cost students around US$6,100 on average, which is significantly lower than countries such as the US and the UK.

Life and culture in Seoul

Life is never dull in Seoul. Whether it’s the sounds of night-market sellers, the atmosphere of the all-night tea houses or the cries of gamers at a ‘PC bang’ (gaming center), Seoul is as alive at 3am as it is at 5pm. The magic of this city is that boredom is impossible, with culture, history and creativity everywhere you turn.

If you need some more restful downtime from your studies, Seoul also offers many opportunities to find your inner Zen, whether at one of many Buddhist temples or in a traditional sauna or spa.

Further tranquility can be found less than one hour outside of the city walls, where you can explore South Korea’s mountainous landscape and charming, historic villages.

Careers in Seoul

Seoul scores incredibly well in the employer activity ranking this year, where it ranks sixth worldwide – reflecting the strong reputation of universities in Seoul among both domestic and international employers.

There are many opportunities to work in sectors such as IT, technology and manufacturing, with South Korea being home to household names such as Samsung, LG Electronics, KPMG and Hyundai.

You’ll need to acquire a work visa if you plan to stay in Seoul for longer than 90 days. There are several types of work visa, so look on the government website to choose the one that best suits you.

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Please I need a scholarship in a south Korean university 2020/2021 and how to apply for it. Am a high school O'level and looking forward to an undergraduate course in commication arts/ media.

Hi Okiyi, You can find out more about the scholarships available to students looking to study in South Korea here. You might also want to view the most recent world university rankings to study communication arts and media. You can also read our course guide here.  

I do love the country also but am looking for a fullfanded sholarship as i am an olphan ,i cant afford to pay fees

Plz help me to find a scholaraship in european countries in any course dealing wth animal health and production.Am a diploma holder in tanzania

Hi Elius, you might like to check out our listings of scholarships to study in Europe and scholarships for African students. Our complete guide on how to find scholarships to study abroad should also help, with info on where to look for scholarship opportunities and how to submit strong applications. Good luck with your search! :) 

I love the country but looking for an english speaking country

i also but no worry i can read and understand this lunguge to easiy.if i have chance i will go there

Awesome City :
"The magic of this city is that boredom is impossible, with culture, history and creativity everywhere you turn."