08 January 2024

South Korea is one of the most affordable study abroad destinations among developed countries. This article is the ultimate cheatsheet to make the most bang for your buck while studying in Korea!


1. Choose to Study Outside of Big Cities

The first tip would be to choose a university outside of the capital, Seoul, especially if you do not have any preference on where you want to reside. Tuition fees will be at least 10-20% lower, with the opportunity to save up to 50%, compared to universities in Seoul. The cost of living on the outskirts of Seoul, or in other cities such as Incheon or Busan, would also be cheaper. Combined, it can easily save you a few thousand dollars for each year of your studies! 


2. Opt to Eat at School Canteens

To reduce your meal expenses, eat in school canteens or purchase Bento boxes from convenience stores. A regular meal at the school's canteen will cost you just US$4 per meal. Alternatively, you can grab a Bento box (a.k.a Dosirak) from any convenience store for a similar price. Convenience stores can be found on every street in Korea and there is usually at least one on the school campus itself. These Bento boxes usually come with rice and at least 6 different side dishes consisting of meats and veggies. These bento boxes are well-balanced, delicious and affordable, perfect for students who are tight on time and on a budget!


File:Korean Dosirak.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Example of a Korean Dosirak. 


3. Save on Transportation with the Right Accommodation

While public transportation is cheap in South Korea, you can reduce your expenses further by staying within walking distance from the school. There are usually many Goshiwons (or one-roomtels) as well as studio apartments for rent around the university area. We at Flying Chalks usually help our students find a clean and affordable place within walking distance of the university. 


4. Shop at Discount Stores / Platforms

Next, get your homeware, kitchen accessories and other essentials from one of the many Daiso outlets that can be found around Korea. Every item costs no more than just a few dollars. Alternatively, you can shop online and have them delivered to your place on the Coupang platform. 


File:Daiso Busan-yangjeong branch 20180403 104428.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Daiso Outlet in Busan, South Korea. 


5. Work Part-Time 

International students can legally work part-time while studying in Korea to earn an income while reducing expenses. Korea has a minimum wage policy in place at US$7.50/hour in 2024. To learn more about working part-time in Korea, check out our article on "Comprehensive Guide to Working in Korea for International Students"

To further reduce your tuition fees and expenses to study in Korea, check out "How to Get a Scholarship in Korea".

Want to learn more about studying abroad in South Korea? Here at Flying Chalks, we are here to help! From securing a university spot for you to settling your Student VISA and accommodation, our education experts will help you from start to finish without you worrying a single bit. We also have an English-speaking team in South Korea to assist our students should they encounter any problems.


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