Welcoming globalisation, Korean universities are expanding their international cooperation and exchange as well as actively inviting foreign students so as to improve their international competitiveness. To match this, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology formed the Study Korea Project (2004), under which it set the target of attracting 100,000 foreign students by 2015. In order to realise this objective, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is promoting projects for expanding government scholarships, improving study and living conditions for foreign students, building efficient administrative support systems, etc. According to the statistics on foreign students in Korea, there were 83,842 foreign students studying at 328 universities as of April 1, 2012. By country of origin, foreign students were from 171 countries. By area of study, there were 17,064 Korean language students, 43,709 undergraduate students, graduate students 16,291 and 6,778 other students.
Regular Semester Program
These courses involve attending classes in the regular semester program, together with domestic students over the regular spring and fall semesters. General courses are held in either Korean or a foreign language.
Exchange Student Program
Most Korean universities mutually exchange students based on exchange agreements with sister universities. These exchange student programs allow for study at foreign universities for a set period. Students chosen as exchange students need to have grades and foreign language ability above a certain level.
Vacation Period Programs
During the summer or winter break, foreign students may take classes, such as ordinary classes or Korean language classes.
Lectures in English
At present, universities with an interest in internationalising university education are conducting about 30% of their classes in English. The proportion of classes conducted in English is higher in graduate schools than in undergraduate studies. Some universities have established international faculties in which all the courses are taught in English.
Korean Language Courses
Many universities run Korean language lectures for foreigners in language schools that they have established as part of the university. Short courses of 3~4 weeks are run with the goal of improving oral communication ability intensively over a short time period. Courses spread over a longer 10~40 week period try to improve study results by improving communication ability through activities related to real life, and broadening the understanding of Korean culture through parallel cultural courses.