South Korea or known as The Republic of Korea, is one of the developed country among eastern Asia. The only land border it has is with North Korea. As per July 2020, the current population is 51,271,209 (Worldometer - UN’s latest data). Though it is comparatively not a big country, South Korea hold its pride to become the 13th most widely used language in the World. There is one biggest island in South Korea beside the Mainland, which well-known as Jeju island. And here are 5 most populous cities in South Korea ; Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Daejeon. Fact : If we look at the bigger picture of Korea land (North and South Korea) we can see a depict of Tiger. Back then, the land of Korea was once home to a large tiger population which why it is know as the “Land of Tigers”.
Climate and Weather
South Korea has a four distinct seasons. Winter lasts around December – February, Spring starts around March - May, Summer starts from June - August, Fall starts in September - November. During winter, weather are much more warm in south part of the island especially Jeju Island. During summer, city like Daegu which is far from the sea and is flanked by mountains can be extremely hot compared to other cities. Which why korean people came up with the idea of “Daefrika” (Short term for Daegu-Afrika).
South Korea has one time zone (GMT +9) and it shares the exact same timezone with East Indonesia Time. Means that South Korea is two hours ahead of Jakarta and one hour ahead of Bali.
People in South Korea
South Korea and North Korea are among the world's most ethnically homogenous nations. As of July 2019, here are the top 5 list of foreign population residing in South Korea : China (1,092,622), Vietnam (219,076), Thailand (203,343) , US (161,875), Uzbekistan (73,445). Indonesian are on the 12th row with 41,574 people living in South Korea
Transportation in South Korea
- Korean Train Express = High-speed train
- ITX = A slightly faster train
-Mugunghwa = the oldest passanger train. It stops in smaller stations that KTX and ITX bypass
- AREX (Airport Railroad Express) = A commuter rail line that links Incheon Intl Aiport with Seoul Station via Gimpo Intl Aiport
Divided into 2 routes : 일반 (ilban/regular) or 직행 (jikhaeng/straight). The regular one will have a number of stop-overs while the straight one will go directly to its destination
You can find subway in major cities in South Korea. If you live in Seoul, beware that some stations name might sounds the same
General Taxi (Usually Orange)
Deluxe Taxi (Black) = This one give a special service with a special price too (more pricey)
Kakao Taxi = This one is like Uber, you order it through an App
1. Asian country, Less culture shock
For those who wants to go far from home yet avoid culture shock while being away, South Korea is one of the excellent study overseas destination.
2. Part-time job
Have you even wonder how to do (alba/ korean terms of “part-time job”) in South Korea like what you watch inside the Korean drama? You can experience it by yourself while study in South Korea as an international Student. The approximate salary for part-timer is KRW 8.000/hour. KRW 8.000 is enough to buy you 2 meals a day.
3. Free kpop concert
The perks of studying in South Korea is you can join a free k-pop concert in your university and also in other universities if they open it for public. Each university held a free k-pop concert at least once a year after the final exam, for free.
4. (“Hurry up” culture) and a supportive study environment
People in South Korea grow in such a culture. They are used to “hurry up” culture with the thought of “if i finish something faster, i’ll more time to finish the other thing and i’ll not have to bother others”. Besides that, they are well-supported in terms of pursuing education and being the best in their field. Every year on the day of University entrance exam, government will literally stop all the activities in the country, including airplane flights. So in between those hours of university entrance exam, people will go to work late so students can freely use public transport and not be late for exams. For international students, what you will learn is during you exam period every semester. Especially if you live inside the campus (dorm), you’ll see korean students study until late night, or they’ll stay in the library until dawn. You’ll be surprised how South Koreans taking their study seriously and being exposed to such an experience will gain you a good traits, hard-working and to be a strong-willed person.
5. Graduate with the ability to speak in 2 language
Living in South Korea and graduating from Korean university means you’re exposed to foreign language beside english. If you practice your korean daily, you’ll graduate with the fluency of 2 foreign languages.
6. Competitive price for a high education standard
South Korea is one of the top country that are known for their education standard. But compared to other country, South Korea is pretty much a good deal considering from the tuition fee and living cost.
7. Explore South Korea , China and Japan
South Koreans, they study hard and play hard. They are not only good at studying but they know well how to have fun. They spend time outside but once they get home, they sit down and study seriously until late night. While studying in south korea, you have the chance to explore inside the country and also the 2 nearest countries, china and japan. South koreans also like to explore their own country.
8. Exposure to Trend and Technology
For those who loves K-drama, living in the country will get you easier access to whatever you see in K-drama. From the newest fashion trend to the newest technology as we all know South Korea is home to international company, ex : Samsung, LG, Hyundai etc
South korea is a remarkably safe for international students. People in the bigger city are more exposed to foreign people, so they are more than welcome to help. But we also dont suggests you to go out late night by yourself. You always have to be careful and wisely keep yourself from potential danger. Also, looking from the recent data, South Korea positioned in the top 10 world’s safest country during the pandemic. It means that you could feel at ease knowing that the Korean government will take care of people living in South Korea.
Living Cost and How to gain pocket money in South Korea
Compared to other popular destination for overseas study, living cost in South Korea is pretty much affordable. Ranging from KRW 900.000 – KRW 1.200.000/month. Don’t forget that International student have the right to do a part time job with the salary around KRW 8.000 / hours (If you’re lucky you can get a part time job with much higher salary per hour). Indonesian international students in South Korea usually work as customer service, part-time tour guide, work in Indonesian restaurant, and you can also find a job inside the campus if there is any available job from doing a kitchen hand or a customer service in the international lounge. One of the trend that Indonesian International student do while studying in South Korea is to maintain a youtube channel sharing their daily life as a Student in South Korea since nowadays there is a huge interest on South Korea. Another brilliant idea to gain money is by selling a wish card that you took picture in South Korea, this is not a mere idea, this is already a real business by one of Indonesian student in South Korea. All you need in a good handwriting and a famous landmark in South Korea as the background. You can sell a piece of paper with “Semangat Eyun, kamu pasti bisa ke korea” on it for like 20.000 rupiah. Not to mention that South Korea are well known for it’s clothing stlyle and skincare products. Everytime you are planning to go back to Indonesia, you can get another penny by opening a hand-carry service, either on skincare products or any famous korean snacks. There are many opportunities laid out for international students in South Korea, as long as we make an effort to find it.
- A filled in visa application form (Form #34)
- Your passport in original with a copy of the photo page (The passport must be valid at least 6 months after the planned entry to South Korea)
- 1 passphoto
- Acceptance letter issued by the university\
- Visa documents from a Korean university
- Financial proof
- Family registration card (only when you parent’s financial proof is submitted)
- Sejong University
- Solbridge International School of Business