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SOUTH KOREA - ISEP Korea University

2005 marked Korea University’s 100th anniversary as Korea’s foremost university of higher learning. Asiaweek Magazine ranked KU 14th overall in Asia. The university’s reputation for quality is based on excellence in teaching and research, as well as service to society. Eminent faculty, outstanding students, and internationally recognized research programs all contribute to the university’s academic fame. A major comprehensive university of 33,000 students, Korea University offers a rich variety of courses in the liberal arts and sciences, as well as in professional fields of law, medicine and business administration. As a global university, it is comprised of numerous international programs and international faculty.


This program is best for a student that is independent.  A student must be comfortable with advocating for themselves on campus and comfortable with the local language to thrive in this location. Please be aware that there may not be the same access to internet or amenities to which you may be accustomed.  Student services and especially class registration may not be at all similar to what is done at the College and may be difficult for some students to adjust.


For more information about ISEP Korea University click here.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75.  

Students applying to ISEP must apply for an Exchange option (in any country) as a first choice but may apply to a Direct option as a back-up. Direct options may have an additional cost (see a financial section for more information).


Located in South Korea’s capital of Seoul, Korea University’s 128-acre campus provides students with an opportunity to meet others from across the globe. Korea University boasts an International One-Stop Center to assist students with academic inquiries, cultural excursions, and exciting club opportunities. Students seeking an unforgettable experience, including interactions with top world diplomats, will find Korea University to be the perfect international experience.

To learn more about the visa process for this country, please visit the ISEP Country Handbook for South Korea. 


Courses in English

Students may take courses in Agriculture, Architecture, Area Studies, Biology, Business, Communications, Engineer, English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. 

Note: exchange students are not permitted to register for Medicine, Nursing, Philosophy, Education, Law and MBA courses.

For more information on courses click here


Please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.

The social aspect of university life for Korean students is very important and students enjoy socializing with peers on campus when they are not attending class. While some students may have negative opinions regarding school study, Korean students generally agree that the most difficult part about university life is passing the entrance examinations.     

Students are generally required to take a midterm and final examinations.  Other tests, presentations, research papers, and projects may also be expected of students.  A student‘s performance in a course is determined by the results of examinations, class attendance, and participation of the student. Student performance is usually graded on a 100 point scale. 

Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm.  Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.

All courses/modules may have prerequisites.  Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it.  Be aware of these limitations.


Korean credits are equivalent to US credits. Three hours of class work per week for 16 weeks is equal to three US credits. Eight hours of class lecture per week for six weeks (summer session) is equivalent to three US credits. 

To Earn 4 Lake Forest credits, students must take 15-16 US semester credits.

To Earn 3 Lake Forest credits, students must take 12 US semester credits.

The number of credits listed here is estimated, and GEO will work with you, your advisor, and the registrar to ensure you are earning enough credits to keep you on track for graduation.


Please review the ISEP country handbook for more information on the education system, grades, class hours, and classroom etiquette.

Student Life

Clubs and Organizations

There are 180 clubs (such as Taekwondo, basketball, tennis, bible study club and more) for international students to join. There are also a number of special events planned throughout the year including:

  • Student welcome party
  • International networking dinner
  • Sports day event
  • Ipselenti festival (KU festival)
  • Various field trips
  • Korean language program
  • Farewell party
  Internship Opportunities
Exchange students have the opportunity to intern while studying at Korea University. Once students arrive on campus they are free to visit with the designated staff at the International One-Stop Service Center(IOSC) for more information on possible internships.
Volunteer Opportunities
International students can participate in volunteer opportunities through the KU Social Service Organization. Once students arrive on campus they are free to visit with the designated staff at the International One-Stop Service Center(IOSC) for more information on volunteering and possible internships.
Housing and Meals

Exchange students have the option to live in residence halls or live off campus. Students receive a monthly stipend for the month’s meal at the university’s dining hall.

Resident Halls

All resident hall rooms have a standard twin size beds/bunk beds, desk(s) and chair(s), bookshelf, closet space for each resident, telephone for incoming calls only, air conditioner and heater, curtains, wastebasket, broom, and dustpan. 

All resident halls also have a lounge/TV area, laundry room with coin-operated washers and dryers, kitchen facilities equipped with a refrigerator, microwave oven, gas range oven, water purifier, table and wastebasket.

Note: Individual student rooms are not equipped to accommodate the electrical and sanitary demands of cooking.

CJ-1 House

CJ International House is an air-conditioned, suite-style facility for 230 men and women. CJ International House offers doubles and singles and has semi-private baths. Bathroom facilities are connected to the suite and are shared by the suitemates.


Anama Global Home

International House is an air-conditioned, coed home for 406 men and women. Anam Global House offers triples, doubles, and singles and has semi-private baths. Bathroom facilities are installed in the room and are shared by the roommates.


For more information about Housing click here

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for a semester with the ISEP Exchange to Korea University includes orientation, on-site director, university fees, housing, and the equivalent of 19/meals per week.

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2019/Spring 2020 programs:

Budget Item


Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost for Southern Hemisphere programs, as that starts a new academic year.


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College


ISEP Confirmation and Application Fees


ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance (estimated, $90/mo)

Note: Some countries require national insurance, which may be instead of, or in addition to, ISEP insurance. Check ISEP


Additional Meals


Estimated Airfare

*Students placed on ISEP Exchange may be eligible for up to $750 airfare award


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)


Total Expected Out-of-Pocket Expenses




Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of March 2019. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.

Deposits to other programs, if required, are paid by the student to the host program, and will appear as a credit on your study abroad term bill from the College.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

  • Contact:

    For Questions About the Initial Application Process:

    Alexandra Olson
    Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office