Korea University

Walk into history at Gyeongbokgung Palace, originally built in 1395 and reconstructed in the mid 1800's.

Explore the modern shopping mecca of Myeong-dong, or visit Insa-dong instead for a more traditional food and shopping experience. Founded in 1905, Korea University (KU) is considered one of the country's oldest, largest and top-ranked universities (#3 in Korea and #83 worldwide, QS 2020), and makes up one of 3 of Korea's SKY universities.

Located in the heart of Seoul, KU currently has a student population of more than 30,000, with over 6,000 international students.

Key information


English, Korean


Fall, Winter, Academic year

Program type


Application information

Application status



2023-2024 applications

Winter 2024 only

First come first considered for limited  spaces until full or October 10, 2023

University-specific additional requirements

No academic reference required, Min GPA 2.5 - see the Eligibility section below.

2024-2025 applications

Open November 1, 2023

Student experience

Click the image to read Ivan's blog, "5 Places You Need to See in South Korea"!

Ivan Nguyen

Program details

Korea University offers more than 40% of their courses in English across a diverse number of subject areas. 

Areas of study: Architecture, Archaeology, Art history, Asian studies, Biology, Chemistry, Computer science, Earth science, Economics, Engineering (biomedical, chemical, civil, electrical, environmental, mechanical, industrial), English, Environmental science, European studies, Food science, Geology, Graphic design, Health science, History, Journalism, Linguistics, Literature, Math, Neuroscience*, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Political science, Sociology, Statistics. 

*highly limited, courses not guaranteed in Business, Media/Comms, and International Studies/Relations. If no business courses are approved in the initial application to KU, none will be allowed to be added during the add/drop period at beginning of term. 

Closed programs: Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Law, Education, Division of Information Security (Dept. of Cyber Defense), Art & Design, and all courses at Sejong Campus. 

To search for courses, start from the Office of International Affairs page to understand how the system works. The link to the course catalogue is there.  Click on "English" at the top, then select the course search to access a database of courses. English-taught courses will have "(English)" next to the course title, and courses available to exchange students will have a check-mark in the "3)X" column. Make sure that you are searching for the proper semester - either "Fall" (same as Fall at UCalgary) or "Spring" (same as Winter at UCalgary). Note: As course selection at KU is competitive, it is strongly recommended to be flexible in your course selection - please plan backups for all courses as you wish to take. 

Course information: One UCalgary Half Course Equivalent (3 units) = 3 KU credits. Students must take a minimum of 12 KU credits to a maximum of 19 KU credits per semester (about 4-6 classes). 

Student Tips: "One class “Introduction to Plant Factory” had a field trip to two different greenhouse facilities in Korea which was very interesting. I also took a Korean language course and another on contemporary Korean society both of which were very interesting."
"I had a professor for both semesters that was a renowned immunophysiology and pathomicrobiology researcher in South Korea. There was a lot of interesting specific courses to take [in my area of study]."

The regular academic year is divided into two semesters.

  • Fall Semester runs from early September to late December
  • Spring Semester runs from late February/early March to late June.

There is also a summer program available at Korea University.

  1. Costs

    Exchange students pay their tuition and academic fees to the University of Calgary. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. 

    NEW: Students must pay an application fee directly to Korea University ($50 USD) for their application. You do not have to pay this until after your University of Calgary advisor nominates you to the school. Ask your University of Calgary Global Learning advisor for details if you have any questions. 

    Korea University provides the following cost of living estimates (monthly expenses):

    • On-campus Accommodation KRW 210,000 - KRW 500,000
    • Off-campus Accommodation KRW 300,000 - KRW 350,000
    • Food/Meals KRW 200,000 - KRW 400,000
    • Local Transit KRW 20,000 - KRW 60,000
    • Personal Expenses KRW 300,000 - KRW 300,000
    • Academic Costs/Textbooks KRW 200,000 - KRW 200,000
    • Total Monthly Estimate if living on-campus: KRW 1,015,000 - KRW 1,560,000
    • Total Monthly Estimate if living off-campus: KRW 1,120,000KRW 1,560,000

    Most students consider living in Korea to be much lower in costs than living in Calgary, with movie costs being about 5000 won for cheap Wednesdays, coffee from around 3000 won, and local transit costing 3000 won RT. Also, remember to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations etc. in your budget planning.

    Additionally, South Korea mandates all students be enrolled in a national health insurance service. This will be applied for at the time of application to your host university, and costs about $60/month. As the coverage is not comprehensive and doesn't include places outside of Korea, students should also seek their own medical insurance in addition to the coverage in Korea.

  2. Funding

    Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange? Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

    Our office administers several awards, including the Global Access Fund (based on a funding-first model where students apply prior to committing to a global learning program) and the Global Learning Award (students apply after being accepted to a global learning program; the amount varies year-to-year as the money is split among chosen recipients). Students may only receive these awards once. Please see the funding page, linked below, for more information.

After acceptance by Korea University, students will receive an ID number which is used to apply online for student housing. For Fall/Full-year students, the applications typically open in June, for Spring students, the application typically opens in December. 

KU has 3 smoke-free dormitories - all buildings have kitchen facilities, wireless internet, common rooms, fitness center and laundry room. Students are able to purchase meal plans for the central cafeteria, which provides 3 meals a day. 

  • CJ International House is co-ed (separate floors for male/female students) with doubles and singles, with bathrooms shared between suitemates.
  • Anam Global House (est. 2013) is co-ed (separate floors for male/female students) with triples, doubles, and singles, with bathrooms shared between suitemates.
  • Anam Hall 2 is male-only, with triples and community bathrooms (cleaned by staff weekly).

See more info here and also here. Housing is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Single : KRW 2,000,000 per semester (4 months)
Double: KRW 1,580,000 per semester (4 months)
Triple: KRW 940,000 (KRW 840,000 for Anam2 triples) per semester (4 months)

Student Experience: "I lived in Anam Global house in a double room. The room was surprisingly spacious and updated. There is a desk and a single bed on each side of the room and two floor-to-ceiling closets. The bathroom is shared between roommates. Only a mattress protector is provided, so bring bedding. If you’re cooking, just buy pots/pans/cutlery here, as it’s cheap. There is a cafeteria attached to the dorm, and laundry available."

Off-campus Housing

For students that prefer off-campus housing or aren't placed in on-campus housing, the Global Services Centre at KU will provide information and assistance in finding off-campus residences near the campus at reasonable rates. 
Off-campus accommodation information can be found here. Options generally include Gositels, Private studios, and Korean Homestay. Estimated costs are KRW 350,000 - 350,000 per month.

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at UCalgary, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Students in their first year (not completed 10 courses) must apply for Winter only (not eligible for Fall). 

Do I have to speak Korean?

No prior knowledge of Korean is required for this exchange. Korea U offers a selection of courses in English. However past alumni recommend learning how to read a bit of Korean hangul and a few phrases before going abroad. 

What resources are available for new students?

Korea University has a buddy program called KUBA. 

Student Experience: "Yes, the Korea University Buddy Association (KUBA) planned lunch and dinner every Tuesday/Thursday respectively with exchange students as well as weekend activities on Saturdays. Some activities included skating, hiking Namsan Tower, seeing the cherry blossoms, and going on a city tour bus. There were a lot of study spaces and large libraries that were open late (or 24/7). More space than UCalgary! There were also lots of cafes on and around campus that let students stay and study. There are a lot of recreation facilities with basketball courts and tennis courts and indoor gyms."

"The buddy program arranged activities for exchange students, some of the activities included were: Seoul City tour (included Nanta performance), International students festival, Lotte World, Ice Skating, Han river picnics, Museums."

Have questions?

Global Learning 101

Please watch this short YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment. In these videos, you will learn much of the basics about Global Learning, which may answer your initial questions.

Watch Global Learning 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how this program might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Global Learning Advising

If you have questions, please reach out to our office! We offer drop-in advising for general inquiries, and if you have questions about this specific program or any others, you can book an appointment with the responsible advisor.

Please use the link below to find the most up-to-date information about our current advising options.

View the Global Learning Advising page

The exchange advisor for this program is: Flavien Niederst

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular global learning program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Global Learning Advisors will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

If you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Global Learning Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.

Please note: All participants must adhere to COVID-19 and other vaccination-related requirements for the destinations visited on this program. Failure to do so may have consequences such as being denied access to accommodation/housing, program activities, or to the host country itself.