Immigration. Travel. Living.

Living in South Korea – Expat life 

Expats can enjoy an interesting lifestyle in a highly developed and sophisticated nation by relocating to Korea. One of the top producers of technological items including computers, televisions, and cell phones in South Korea. The major cities in South Korea are progressive while also embracing their past; one can see contemporary glass skyscrapers next to some of the fortresses, temples, and palaces that are now UNESCO world heritage sites. It is a place of both natural beauty and modernity.

Flag of South Korea

Except for a tiny Chinese community of about 200,000 people, the 49 million people who call Korea home are largely homogenous. The majority of Koreans come from the same cultural background. In Korean society, the family is the center of all activity and there is a very strong sense of hierarchy. The father of the family will often provide for the family’s needs while the mother stays at home. Koreans have a deep respect for people who are older than them and will determine their level of authority concerning others solely based on age.

South Korea is a location for expats

South Korea is not typically thought of as an expat destination, but this perception is changing. Preconceived notions abound that South Koreans are unwelcoming of strangers and have a very closed-off culture. This, however, is not always the case, and despite the language barrier, many expats manage to get by and find the locals to be incredibly warm and welcoming.

Is South Korea a Reputable Location to live

South Korea provides expats with a high standard of living at an affordable cost. Even though some living costs, including food and housing, may be higher than in your own country, these costs are countered by the lower costs of owning a car and using the transit system.

While crime does occur in South Korea, it typically takes the form of theft and assault, so long as residents use common sense, they are generally safe places to live. In large cities, the bulk of public spaces is under surveillance for security.

The written language used by Koreans is called Hangeul. The majority of signs and menus in Korea are written in this language, so expats who make an effort to learn it before moving there will find that it makes living and working there much easier.

Cost of living in South Korea

As in many Asian nations, expats in Korea confront high property expenses due to the country’s typically high cost of living. The major cities like Seoul and Busan have substantially higher property prices and rental expenses than the more rural locations, therefore expats should be aware that pricing does vary significantly depending on location.

Seoul used to rank among the top ten most expensive cities in the world, but over the past few years, it has steadily declined. In the 2012 Mercer survey, Seoul was ranked number 22, an increase of three spots from the year before.


Korean is the country’s sole official language, and it is widely used. While there may be some English speakers in the bigger cities, they will be in the minority.

The climate in South Korea

Summers are often brief, hot, and humid, and winters are typically long, cold, and dry. The seasons of spring and fall are delightful yet fleeting.

Expat job and career prospects

The majority of South Korea’s recent economic growth has come from export-driven sectors including electronics, telecommunications, and auto manufacturing. Although many foreigners work in these places, the majority of them had jobs lined up before coming to South Korea.

Currently, South Korea has a significant demand for native English speakers, leading many foreigners to choose employment as EFL teachers. For-profit language schools known as “hakwons” employ most of them.

A working grasp of the Korean language is almost a must for employment, and, aside from those who have a job lined up before moving to South Korea, it will be quite challenging for expatriates without these language abilities to obtain suitable employment.

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