How to Study Nursing in Korea for International Students

There is more to studying abroad than just classwork. As you pursue your career in a foreign country, you get to understand things from different perspectives since you interact with people who have varied beliefs.

This factor is a crucial part of your learning, especially as a nurse, and that’s exactly what you get when studying in South Korea. When one mentions overseas learning, European and American countries are the first that come to mind. However, Asia also has a fair share of input when it comes to the education sector.

Are you looking to study abroad and aren’t sure of your destination yet? Well, South Korea is among the best countries to study nursing. Generally, nursing students in South Korean universities are equipped with knowledge in various disciplines, more so those closely related to medicine and the healthcare industry at large. In this article, we will expound on some of the nursing courses offered and what you’ll need to study nursing in South Korea as an international student.

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What Degrees are there for Nursing in South Korea?

Nursing programs in South Korea are offered at various levels. As a minimum requirement, one needs to hold an Associate degree in this field to become a registered nurse. Nonetheless, several schools in the country offer Bachelor’s, Masters and Doctoral programs in the field. For instance, Korea University College of Nursing offers a Bachelor (BSc) and Master of Science (MSc) in Nursing. Yonsei University College of Nursing also has Master of Science and Ph.D. programs on the same.

Cost of Studying Nursing

Whether you are an international or local student, the cost of your studies is always the priority. One of the best things about South Korea is the fact that both international and domestic students pay the same tuition fees in their respective courses.

On average, undergraduate programs cost between US$4,350 and US$6,500 per semester depending on the university and level. Some institutions such as Yonsei University College of Nursing offer financial support based on the student’s financial background and academic achievements. If you get the financial support, it will help you greatly to be able to study nursing in Korea.

The regulations set by the South Korean authorities allow foreign students to work part-time during their free hours. One requirement is you should have a relevant study visa – which, of course, is what you need to secure a position in any university in the first place.

Second, you’ll be expected to only work only 20 hours per week. However, you can extend these hours during the holiday period. The cash you receive from your part-time job can be used to offset any tuition fee arrears and accommodation expenses.

Requirements to Study Nursing in Korea

Requirements for studying nursing in South Korea depend on the level of education to which you are applying. It also varies with universities as each institution has its set of thresholds that a candidate must surpass for them to be admitted. If you’re aspiring to study for an Associate’s or Bachelors’s degree, then one of the general requirements is your high school transcript.

You might also be subject to performance tests in some Korean nursing schools such as Seoul National University. On the other hand, if you want to advance your studies, you will need a Bachelors’s degree or an equivalent qualification to apply for a Masters’s degree. Similarly, doctoral studies are offered to those who have successfully completed their master’s studies.

In What Languages Do You Study Nursing in South Korea?

Most courses offered by South Korean nursing schools are taught in English. For instance, Yonsei University requires the applicants to submit scores for TOEFL and TOEIC tests to prove their English proficiency.

Alternatively, one can go ahead and complete a written English examination offered by the institution. However, having basic knowledge of the Korean language and culture will go a long way in enhancing your stay in the country. In addition, some tutors or lecturers might throw in a hint of Korean here and there.

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Best Nursing Schools in South Korea

1. Seoul National University

Seoul National University is considered the most prestigious institution in South Korea. Founded in 1946, the university has grown both in physical structures and academics. It currently offers an array of courses in many fields including engineering, social sciences, and medicine. Seoul National University has a separate nursing school specialized in equipping nursing students with the required knowledge and skills in the field.

Bachelor’s degree runs for four years and aims to educate students on nursing as a discipline. It also equips students with up-to-date skills on the same. To graduate from SNU college of nursing, one should have at least 140 credits. Having successfully completed the bachelor’s degree, one can continue their studies by enrolling in master’s and then Ph.D. programs.

2. Yonsei University College of Nursing

Another quite famous institution in South Asia and across the world is Yonsei University. Found in 1885, it boosts as one of the best private South Korean universities aged more than a century. It has always ranked among the top institutions across the globe. In fact, the most recent rankings saw Yonsei University top the chat in South Korea and also became one of the top 50 universities in the world. Therefore, this explains why Yonsei University is considered to be one of the three most prestigious universities in the country collectively known as “SKY.”

Based on its size, it offers several courses in almost every field. In addition, Yonsei has one of the best nursing schools in Korea to offer all undergraduate and graduate programs in nursing and related disciplines. Yonsei University College of Nursing expects all applicants looking to begin their careers in nursing to submit their high school degree or transcript. This applies to both domestic and international students, with the latter required to submit equivalent qualifications based on their country’s education system.

The program is designed to introduce students to various aspects of nursing as well as prepare them to be productive in the industry. Successful completion of a bachelor’s degree allows one to dive deeper into their career through a master’s degree. You must, however, be a registered nurse to apply for this program; you can later go on and pursue your Ph.D. studies.

3. Korea University College of Nursing

For over 70 years, the Korea University College of Nursing has been the leading institution when it comes to nursing schools in Korea. The college’s main objective is to educate students and give them a chance of serving a diverse range of patients across various health care systems. Graduates also come out with the necessary skills to tackle present and future challenges. As a major health care provider, the institution recognizes that the most important asset in the 21st century is professionalism.

Therefore, apart from the basic knowledge in nursing, the degrees at KU College of Nursing equip students with the necessary professional skills. Infection management, aseptic techniques, and dealing with diverse communities are some of the skills nurtured at the undergrad stage. As for graduate programs, one is expected to come out with sharpened research skills and more mastery in the field.

To study master’s, one has to not only hold a bachelor’s degree but also have at least 3 years of clinical experience – usually for Gerontological Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists. As for those who want to study Ph.D., then a master’s degree is all you need to have.


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