South Korea enjoys a very high reputation in the world as far as its education system is concerned. It has secured some of the top most positions in world rankings that put the education systems of different countries against one another. With a literacy rate that is very close to 100%, it’s no surprise that students from all over the world consider South Korea very seriously as their study destination whether for first cycle or second cycle studies. The country is also a very famous study destination for people looking to get their PhDs.
But as with any other country, South Korea brings forth some problems for its international students as well. It’s therefore a good idea to carefully assess any country that you’re considering traveling to for your studies.
The first thing to note is that the academic calendar of South Korean educational institutes is different than that of many western countries. The start of a new school year takes place in March and this semester goes all the way up to June. After this semester, you get a one-month break. On the flipside, the alternate semester starts from August and goes till December. After this period, you get a two-month break. So, essentially, the summer and winter breaks are swapped in Korea.
With that piece of some basic information out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of the South Korean education system so that you can determine whether or not it is a good place for you to pursue your studies.
Pros of South Korean Education System
- One of the first things you’ll probably notice when starting your studies in South Korea is that the textbooks you are required to get are very cheap as compared to other popular study destinations. Over time, this can amount to a big difference in the amount of money required to complete a degree, which is a serious consideration for every international student.
- A lot of the work done during the semester is done in groups, which means there is lesser pressure and much more collaboration and interaction with your peers, which is a pro in South Korean Educational System.
- In some universities and colleges, you are allowed to sit in classes which you haven’t officially joined. If you like the class, you can ask for permission from the professor and join it.
- You can find a lot of affordable food options around the campuses. This can make a big difference to the experience of students with busy schedules who don’t always have the time to cook and cannot afford expensive meals at restaurants.
Cons of South Korean Education System
- Students often find it hard to register for classes that they want. There are many reasons for this but one particularly frustrating one is that many universities prioritize having a larger number of native Korean students in the class than international ones. So at times, you may not be able to register for a class even if it has an empty spot simply because of the fact that it may not have enough Korean students.
- You can usually take or drop classes only in a specific period of time. You cannot simply stop attending a class you don’t want to take if you’re enrolled in it.
- It’s simply too hard to get into a class due to the sheer number of students who are interested. The process is therefore highly competitive and many students find themselves waitlisted and then dropped. whcih is a con of educational system in South Korea.
- If you’re coming from a particularly lenient education system, then you might get frustrated by the fact that you are allowed only a small number of absences from each class before you are treated with an ‘F’.
- Now, if you’re considering the pros and cons of public schooling in Korea, there are some more issues you should be concerned about. The main issue with schooling in Korea is that it is very lecture-oriented. Teachers don’t interact much with the students on a personal level and students are expected to learn everything based on such lectures. As a result, they end up having a lot of work to do when they get home, which involves memorizing texts and working on mathematical and other problems.
- This kind of education leads to a lot of mental stress in young students as well as college students. There is a larger focus on memorizing stuff rather than on nurturing and boosting creativity in students.
So, as you can see, education in South Korea has its own pros and cons. If you’re not bothered with having a lot of work to do and want to achieve excellence in terms of academics, then the country is a good place to go to for your education. However, you should be very well aware that the system prioritizes work over any other kind of creative experience so you may not be able to enjoy yourself as an international student as much as you may be able to in some other countries.
I hope that this article on the pros and cons of the educational system in South Korea was helpful! If you are interested, visit the South Korea Scholarships Page!