Tips and advice to thrive in South Korea


When living in a foreign country, you have to adapt to a new environment, various cultures and different social codes.

How did you manage to adjust to South Korea?

How long does it take to feel at home? Would you say it is an easy process?

According to you, what is key for a successful integration process in South Korea?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience!


Respect the culture, the traditions and values of the indigenous people.  Learn their language, listen to their music and strive to accurately understand their history.  Discard any prejudices you may have indigested and any arrogant assumptions of superiority.  Try different cuisines and make native friends and your perceptions of the world will be vastly improved and broadened.

Korean people is very smart and love the foreigner, they are not racist  , you just have to understand their tradition and know how to act with them , they will be happy if you learn their language, but they can connect with you by their hand signals and will understand you.

One of the first thing I did was to enrol in a Korean language school to learn how to read and write Korean. I use this skill everyday to read all sorts of signs such as bus, subway, stores, bulletins, flyers, etc. Online shopping is a must in Korea, and it is much easier if you can read the language.
My Korean language skills are basic. Yet, it helps me everyday.

The amount of time it takes probably depends on the person, but flexibility and an open mind go a long way. Ultimately, there's no replacement for finding out yourself! :)

My year in Korea was a challenge, but I knew it wasn't going to be "easy." That's part of the reason why I moved there in the first place; to challenge myself, to learn about a new culture, and to grow.

Echoing some of the replies above:

- Definitely learn to read and write in Korean (Hangul)! I found  this site to be the best for learning the characters in a logical way. (It looks like a '90s site, but don't let the appearance fool you—the content and organization are fantastic!)

- Eat Korean cuisine (it's delicious!). Here's a great beginner's guide to Korean food and restaurants.

- You'll naturally notice "surface" differences right away between your home culture and Korean culture (the tip of the iceberg). As time goes on, try to learn the history of -why- things are this way.

Best of luck!

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