Why Study Abroad in Seoul: Top 3 Reasons

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Summer Korean Studies

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College Study Abroad

If you’re looking to discover a multi-faceted country with a rich culture, beautiful cityscapes and countryside, an incredible ancient history, and unique modern development, then consider studying abroad in South Korea.  

Let’s unpack why the “Land of the Morning Calm” is an incredible place to take your studies. 

Top Three Benefits of Studying in South Korea 

There are many reasons why studying abroad in South Korea may be the perfect opportunity for you, but we’ll probably convince you in just three.   

Reason #1: Discover South Korea’s stunning natural landscapes.  

South Korea is known for its breathtaking mountains, clear waters, serene countryside, and overall tranquil atmosphere.  

During a study abroad program in South Korea, you’ll want to check out some of the following sites so you can experience the country’s beauty firsthand, including:  

  • Jeju Island: A beautiful island with diverse topography including greenery, water, and volcanic craters  
  • Bukhansan National Park: Here, you’ll find yourself surrounded by magnificent mountain views from every angle  
  • Damyang: A forest lined with towering bamboo trees 
  • Seoraksan National Park: A perfect place in between the mountains and the sea 
  • Taean Coastal National Park: Miles and miles of coastline make this the ideal location to watch some of the most beautiful sunsets 
  • Yangpyeong: Feast your eyes on the beginning of the Han River in this stunning location 
jeju island south korea

Reason #2: Explore delicious Korean cuisine. 

Studying abroad in South Korea guarantees a gastronomical adventure. Known for its many street vendors and restaurants, indulging in Korean cuisine is essential.  

Check out a few Korean staples below that we consider must-try foods: 

  • Kimchi: A traditional Korean dish, dating back thousands of years, that typically includes a mixture of fermented cabbage, radish, carrots, garlic, and ginger  
  • Bibimbap: A blend of rice with mixed vegetables, protein, egg, and flavorful seasonings 
  • Chimaek: A delicious fried chicken dish usually served with beer  
  • Bulgogi: A tasty beef and vegetable dish  
  • Samgyeopsal: A pork dish with lettuce, perilla leaves, and onion   

With the amount of food vendors and delicious options, you’ll never run out of food to try in South Korea.  

Reason #3: Learn about traditional Korean culture.  

South Korea has a complex history and a fascinating culture. 

With CIEE, you’ll get acquainted with Korean culture by taking courses like Korean language, culture, business practices, history, and literature while also having the opportunity to go on several excursions. A perfect mixture of class learning and real-world experience, which is really the point of studying abroad, after all!  

Some of our most favorite excursions include trips to:  

  • The ancient Seoul City Wall 
  • Korean Demilitarized Zone 
  • Many palaces, such as Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, while wearing hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) 
  • Ancient temples 
  • Historic sites like Bukchon Hanok Village 

Diving into South Korea’s culture and learning more about the country’s history will enhance your global perspective and likely teach you history you might not have learned before. This will most definitely be an eye-opening experience!  

south korea study abroad students in hanbok at temple

Best Place to Study Abroad in South Korea 

We’ve already covered that during your visit to South Korea, you’ll journey to a ton of diverse landscapes: From the coast to the mountains, all the way to the city, and the countryside, there are a ton of amazing places to study abroad in South Korea. But one of our absolute favorites: Seoul 


The capital of South Korea, Seoul has a history that dates back more than two thousand years. It’s an incredible place. Not only is this bustling city an economic hub and a lively multicultural scene, but the city’s powerful Korean Wave and other global trends make this city an exciting place to study abroad in South Korea.  

All of our South Korea study abroad programs take place in Seoul. Here are some things to expect while you’re in this amazing city:  

  • Discover Seoul’s modern architecture, including unique high-rise buildings; this city is even known as a World Design Capital because of its many design accomplishments and innovations  
  • Visit some of the hundreds of fascinating museums and religious monuments throughout Seoul  
  • Get acquainted with some of the trends from the Korean Wave, like the K-Pop music scene; you’ll be glad you did 
  • Take a Taekwondo class with an expert in the martial arts field 
  • After deciding on your favorite Korean dishes, take a cooking class complete with a street food tour 

You’ll never run out of things to do during your study abroad in Seoul. We’re excited for you to check it out!  

seoul city sign with students posing

Best Study Abroad Programs in South Korea 

We offer an array of different study abroad programs in South Korea. Take note of some important details below as you get started on your Seoul study abroad adventure. 

Our Arts + Sciences program is designed for students who want to learn at a top-ranked Korean university, Yonsei University, and experience Korean life. We offer more than 1,000 courses taught in English across many disciplines including STEM, and you can even opt to take some Korean language classes. The possibilities are virtually endless!  

  • Program Length: 17 weeks 
  • Credit: 15-18 semester hours / 22.5-27 quarter hours 
  • Course Highlight: Intercultural Communication and Leadership  
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA 
  • Cost: $18,950 

Slightly different than a traditional study abroad program, our Summer Global Internship in South Korea offers real-world work experience in a booming economy and startup hub while also boosting your resume with a dynamic international experience.  

And don’t worry, we’ll work with you to help find the perfect internship opportunity that matches your skills and professional goals with our personalized placement process 

  • Program Length: Eight weeks 
  • Credit: 6 semester hours / 9 quarter hours 
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA 
  • Cost: $6,950 

Spending a summer in Seoul is a dream. Especially when you have the chance to dive into a variety of disciplines relating to Korean culture.  

  • Program Length: Six weeks 
  • Credit: 6-9 semester hours / 9-13.5 quarter hours 
  • Course Highlight: Korean Cinema  
  • Eligibility: 2.0 Overall GPA 
  • Cost: $8,650 
seoul ancient temple in the city

Scholarships for Studying Abroad in South Korea 

Funding your study abroad program may be overwhelming. That’s why we award millions in scholarships and grants each year – to help make as many study abroad dreams come true as possible.  

We award scholarships and grants based on three categories:  

  • Need-Based: These scholarships are based on students’ financial need.  
  • Merit-Based: These scholarships are based on academic standing.  
  • Other Funding: Scholarships based on alumni status or specific program choice.  

Take note of some specific scholarships and grants available for a study abroad program in South Korea:  

  • Wollitzer Merit Scholarships in Area of Comparative Studies 
  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence 
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants 
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant 
  • CIEE STEM Scholarship  

And more! We’re always available if you have any questions, too. Just contact us! 

To see all possible funding options you may be eligible for, fill out the Scholarships and Grants portion of your CIEE application. Pro tip: Be sure to also check with your school’s study abroad office to see if they know of additional scholarships, grants, and other funding options to help fund your international adventure.   

seoul calligraphy

Get on Your Way 

An incredible adventure in South Korea awaits – what are you waiting for?