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How much money will I need to do a masters next year?
« on: April 18, 2014, 11:43:50 pm »
I'm a teacher at the moment but I'm thinking about doing a masters degree next year. I'm doing some basic research and can't find anything on how much it will cost me to live in Korea as a student in Seoul.

I would also like to know if it's possible to work and study at the same time?
Can I take 4 semesters a year as a part time student? This is what I have been told.
Does anyone know of someone who's graduated from a British university and is doing a masters here?.....I'm sure there are lots of people.

I know It's hard to answer any question on the cost of living because we all have different standards. An estimate would be appreciated. Or perhaps there is a student out there who would like to share their spending with us.


  • SpaceRook
  • Expert Waygook

    • 814

    • November 18, 2010, 11:54:36 am
    • South Korea
Re: How much money will I need to do a masters next year?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2014, 11:55:37 am »
There is no way we can possibly answer this question.  You need to research housing, visa rules regarding education and work, and how much you spend monthly on food and amenities.


Re: How much money will I need to do a masters next year?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2014, 01:35:51 pm »
OP, it is very possible to work and study at the same time, but it really depends on many factors.
1. What type of work are you planning on doing. If you're talking about teaching English in a public school then sure. It's very doable and I'm doing that myself.
2. What your major will be. I'm not doing Grad school at a Univ. here in Korea. I am doing it online from one back home in the states.
3. The Univ. you choose and if you want to live on campus. If you don't care about living in dorms then you can just check with whatever Univ. you are looking into to find out housing costs. If not dorms then good luck. I would say you will have to google for places in Korea. I only heard of some in Seoul through other Koreans who were looking for house mates, but that was last summer.
4. As I said it depends on what degree you choose, but there are several schools I've heard about that let you do classes part-time, but you also have to take into consideration finances and such. Be sure to check on the schools website. I have heard that Korea offers many scholarships to foreigners so be sure to look into that. :-)

Good Luck to you!
"To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances; to seek him, the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement."

- Raphael Simon


  • MJHanson
  • Expert Waygook

    • 502

    • May 02, 2011, 09:42:58 am
    • Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Re: How much money will I need to do a masters next year?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 10:33:38 pm »
These are very open-ended questions.  Is the master's part-time, regular, or intensive?  That will determine whether you can still work.  Check with your school about your 4 semesters question. 

On the cheap end: stay in a goshiwon, eat basic Korean food, and don't go out.  This could be 600,000 / month.

On the realistic end: get a roommate, eat reasonably, and go out once a week.  This would run you 1,000,000+

It really depends where you live.  Officetels near unis in Seoul are not cheap.  Everyone I know who did an master's at a Korean school either taught at the school or taught on the side. 


  • ohherro
  • Veteran

    • 99

    • March 10, 2011, 07:43:35 am
    • Daegu, South Korea
Re: How much money will I need to do a masters next year?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2014, 07:44:21 am »
If you have a good idea of what you want to study, then you can try for this program http://www.niied.go.kr/eng/contents.do?contentsNo=78&menuNo=349.

It sounds like you'll have to apply through the embassy in your home country.

It is very competitive, but most of your education and living expenses will be taken care of by the NIED.

Good luck!


  • doinmahbest
  • Adventurer

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    • August 30, 2013, 10:45:58 am
    • South Korea
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Re: How much money will I need to do a masters next year?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2014, 07:44:34 am »
Just a tip: Think about how your Master's from here would match up against the same Master's from a different college or university in a western country.

Even the best Korean universities get ragged on pretty hard by the international education community. I'm not saying it's deserved, I'm just saying there are some negative connotations that go along with a Korean degree. Think carefully.
Your only consistency should be unpredictability.


  • Space
  • The Legend

    • 2288

    • May 09, 2012, 10:11:12 pm
Re: How much money will I need to do a masters next year?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2014, 08:58:58 am »
Doinmahbest knows best. Korean Universities aren't worth that much to the wider international community. Online/distant learning from a good school (Open University: http://www.open.ac.uk/) would probably be more reputable.


  • qi
  • Veteran

    • 207

    • July 21, 2011, 12:16:33 pm
Re: How much money will I need to do a masters next year?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2014, 09:19:57 am »
Doinmahbest knows best. Korean Universities aren't worth that much to the wider international community. Online/distant learning from a good school (Open University: http://www.open.ac.uk/) would probably be more reputable.

Depends on the university and/or program. A masters in engineering at Pohang or Kaist would probably look ok for example. It's more about what you know with these programs, not where you went, internationally speaking. I do agree that the online approach is fine, provided you already graduated from a reputable Uni. Otherwise, it might look bad.


If you have a good idea of what you want to study, then you can try for this program http://www.niied.go.kr/eng/contents.do?contentsNo=78&menuNo=349.

It sounds like you'll have to apply through the embassy in your home country.

It is very competitive, but most of your education and living expenses will be taken care of by the NIED.

Good luck!

Right, and with the caveat that it's Korea, so by competitive it will mean you are connected and going for an MBA or something like that.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 09:22:36 am by qi »


  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2468

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
Re: How much money will I need to do a masters next year?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2014, 09:35:48 am »
I am personally attending APU (American Public University) right now. I like the program, but the classes do seem a bit easy, but you can't just totally BS your way through, either. I am doing the public administration program, and the entire cost of the program, minus textbooks, is just over $12,000. I am right now in my fourth class, out of 12.

It probably isn't the best program if I want to be super competitive among big money making businesses, but I am hoping to get my foot in the door with a career in the federal government, and since all accredited degrees are valued the same legally, I should be ok. I am hoping that it helps me get into an internship first, though.

Unless you are studying Korean language or Korean law or Korean economics, your degree might not mean much, depending on what kind of job you hope to get. The more closely related to humanities, the more your degree is worth in comparison to degrees back home (meaning that they just aren't valued back home). If you study medicine or science here, people back home would probably scoff at you when applying for jobs, unless you were at a fabrication engineering university like KAIST. In those cases, you might want to learn Korean, and learn it well. Those schools are super ultra competitive, more than Seoul National University.


  • Space
  • The Legend

    • 2288

    • May 09, 2012, 10:11:12 pm
Re: How much money will I need to do a masters next year?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2014, 09:50:57 am »
Doinmahbest knows best. Korean Universities aren't worth that much to the wider international community. Online/distant learning from a good school (Open University: http://www.open.ac.uk/) would probably be more reputable.

Depends on the university and/or program. A masters in engineering at Pohang or Kaist would probably look ok for example. It's more about what you know with these programs, not where you went, internationally speaking. I do agree that the online approach is fine, provided you already graduated from a reputable Uni. Otherwise, it might look bad.

Just like studying shipbuilding in Ulsan would, to us, look okay. I disagree, however, that to the wider international community that it's as valid as a shipbuilding degree in a different country. I know this as I read a government report on degrees, where they come from, and their equivalence in other countries. I needed to get my Honours verified for an American Masters course and stumble upon it and was engrossed.

A Korean degree, of any sort, is not worth much and admittance offices know this.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 12:34:15 pm by Space »


  • qi
  • Veteran

    • 207

    • July 21, 2011, 12:16:33 pm
Re: How much money will I need to do a masters next year?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2014, 10:07:29 am »
Doinmahbest knows best. Korean Universities aren't worth that much to the wider international community. Online/distant learning from a good school (Open University: http://www.open.ac.uk/) would probably be more reputable.
Depends on the university and/or program. A masters in engineering at Pohang or Kaist would probably look ok for example. It's more about what you know with these programs, not where you went, internationally speaking. I do agree that the online approach is fine, provided you already graduated from a reputable Uni. Otherwise, it might look bad.

Just like studying shipbuilding in Ulsan would, to us, look okay. I disagree, however, that to the wider international community that it's as valid as a shipbuilding degree in a different country. I know this as I read a government report on degrees, where they come from, and their equivalence in other countries. I needed to get my Honours verified for an American Masters course and stumble upon it and was engrossed.

A Korean degree, of any sort, is not worth much and admittance offices know this.

Bait taken!

Korean universities are improving in the international rankings. Ultimately though, this is probably due to the decline of Western Universities, more than the assession  of Korean ones, but they are improving.


Re: How much money will I need to do a masters next year?
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2014, 10:30:25 am »
I studied at Yonsei University GSIS.. For tuition alone you will need at least $6000 for one semester (though a 30%-50% scholarship is almost a given being a foreigner). Seoul University and Korea University are a bit cheaper.

As far as housing, you can get a cheap goshiwon for about 450,000, no deposit... Or a small studio with a 5mil deposit and about 500,000 per month.

You can get a work permit on the D2 visa for part time. I worked part time at a kindergarten while taking full semesters of classes and its not impossible, just extremely tiring.

Keep in mind transportation costs. When you are going to work AND school everyday (essentially getting on the subway four times per day), taking the bus or subway really adds up.