The university is located in Jinju, a regional centre in southern Korea with about 400,000 inhabitants. Jinju is about 3.5 hours by Express Bus or KTX from Seoul, and 1.5 hours by bus from Busan. A small airport serves the city with daily flights to Gimpo (Seoul). While all the modern conveniences are available, Jinju has a more relaxed and rural feel with a pace of life that is less hectic compared to the bigger cities. For international visitors, it feels distinctly Korean and more “foreign” than the globalised big cities like Seoul or Busan. This allows for greater emersion in the Korean lifestyle to gain a better understanding of Korean culture. The city also offers great access to National Parks for hiking and skiing. The southern islands with their beautiful coastline and beachesare also close. The foreign community not only consists of students and language teachers, but also workers from South and Southeast Asia.
The GNU International Office and the Department of Political Science strive to bring Korean and foreign students together and offer a number of cultural programmes and trips. These include a buddy programme and the Global Café as a meeting place. Moreover, regular trips to local beaches and mountain areas are arranged, including a popular overnight stay at a temple. There are students from five continents at the university, ranging from exchange students to regular undergraduate and graduate students. They have their own association to keep in touch and to provide assistance.
Students live in the dormitory, in privately rented rooms outside campus or with their parents. Fees are around 1,000,000 won in the dorm for a shared room with meals during the semester (excluding breaks). Private accommodation is generally more expensive and often requires a deposit and monthly rent. The International Office can assist with questions regarding accommodation and all other questions regarding settling in Jinju.
The department offers a number of small scholarships for teaching assistance. The department supports applications for scholarships, in particular from the government-run NIIED. In the last years, several students have received such scholarships. The university offers full-time and part-time Korean language courses.
Since 2018, there is also a full-time registered graduate studentship, which covers the whole tuition fees during your study. This studentship is available for all full-time graduate students, either foreign or domestic.
The visa regulations for a student visa allow foreign students to work for a limited amount of time. It is quite possible to supplement your income this way, especially if you are a native English speaker. (This information may change, so check with the International Office and the Immigration Office prior to taking up such work).
The department is happy to welcome exchange students. We offer a number of classes in English, at all levels of study. The curriculum is similar to international courses, but often focuses East Asia, thus providing insights into familiar topics from a different angle. With only a small number of foreign students, it is easy to gain close contact with Korean students. This sets GNU apart from the more famous international programs in Seoul where many foreign students just spend time with other foreign students. Through this emersion, a deeper understanding of contemporary Korean society can be gained.