Your Complete Guide to Living in South Korea!

So, what’s it like living in South Korea?

 

Situated in East Asia, South Korea is a country for those expats and travellers who want to experience rich culture and heritage alongside a vibrant lifestyle. On the one hand, here you’ll find lots of captivating architecture, traditional festivals and fascinating history. Whereas on the other hand there’s plenty of modern amenities, tall skyscrapers and futuristic cities. That’s why South Korea is one of the top destinations in Asia for expats and travellers. There are many awesome things to see and do in South Korea. If you are thinking of moving here, reading this article will show what you can expect from this amazing country.

Culture

Without experiencing the culture, your trip to South Korea will not be completed. The culture in South Korea has a long history and the people here are really proud of it. Hanbok is the national dress of South Korea and during your time living here, don’t forget to wear it if you want to get a taste of the culture. There are many festivals as well that you should definitely experience at least once. Boryeong Mud Festival, Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival, Seongsan Sunrise Festival and Jeju Fire Festival are some of the must-sees in South Korea.

Food

Japchae (잡채)

Kimbap (김밥)

Samgyetang (삼계탕)

Kimchi Jjigae (김치찌개)

South Korea is a heaven for food lovers. The dishes are simply delectable and full of flavour. Kimchi is one of the most popular dishes in South Korea and a must-try while you’re here. But apart from this that, you’ll get to taste so many other mouth-watering delicacies as well. Whether it’s the tasty Japchae or the sumptuous Bibimbap, the dishes are absolutely delicious and worth trying. So, during your time living in South Korea, don’t forget to try the local dishes if you would like to have something new to eat. 

A list of dishes that you should try while you’re in South Korea:

Kimchi (김치)

Bibimbap (비빔밥)

Bulgogi (불고기)

Samgyeopsal (삼겹살)

Places of Interest

South Korea has plenty of things to offer its visitors. It has beautiful mountains, scenic coastlines, captivating landscapes, astounding architecture, vibrant cities and much more. While living in South Korea, you’ll never run out of places to explore. 

If you love mountains, then a view of Hallasan is all you could wish for. Situated on Jeju Island, Hallasan is a volcanic mountain and the tallest point in South Korea. From the capital city, Seoul, you can also enjoy the mountains. Located in the northern part of the city, a trek to the tallest peak of Bukhansan, Baegundae, is a must if you are passionate about trekking. 

With many amazing coastal cities, South Korea is also a perfect place for travellers and expats who want to enjoy picturesque shorelines. Busan is the second-largest city in the country and a perfect coastal destination for an unforgettable vacation. And apart from that, Jindo, Sokcho, Changwon, Suncheon and Geoje are some of the perfect cities for beach lovers.  

Another best part of South Korea is that you’ll get to explore the fascinating architecture. Whether it’s the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul or Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, the architectural wonders here are simply breathtaking. So, if you’re planning to visit South Korea, experiencing these captivating sites is something that you can’t afford to miss.  

Here are a few places of interest that you should visit while living in South Korea:

  • Sungnyemun Gate
  • Gyeongbokgung Palace
  • Changdeokgung Palace
  • Hwaseong Fortress
  • Jeju Island
  • Bukchon Hanok Village
  • Gamcheon Culture Village
  • Haeundae Beach
  • Gwangalli Beach
  • Seoraksan National Park
  • Naejangsan National Park
  • Hallyeo Haesang National Park

 

Cost of Living

Living in South Korea is cheaper than living in Japan. But if you compare the cost of living in South Korea with Vietnam or Cambodia, then South Korea is much costlier than those countries. Although the monthly income that you’ll get here will be higher than in Vietnam or Cambodia, so there’s still plenty of opportunity to save. If you are able to stick to a budget then you can save money at the end of the month and your accommodation is provided by your employer (which it usually is), then saving money will be much easier for you. Among the cities, the capital, Seoul is the most expensive city in the country, so if you choose to live in the city centre of Seoul expect to pay heavy rent. If you want to cut the cost, living on the outskirts is a great option.  Around US$ 1500 – US$ 1700 per month should be sufficient if you don’t party too hard or eat too fancy in South Korea. An apartment will cost you around US$ 600 – US$ 900 if you live in the city centre, whereas if you choose to stay on the outskirts, the amount ranges from just US$ 350 – US$ 550. Utility bills typically cost somewhere between US$ 100 – US$ 150 and for groceries, US$ 100 – US$ 130 should suffice. Depending upon the type of restaurant, a meal will generally cost you around US$ 4 – US $7, though you’ll find many restaurants where you may need to pay more than this.

Friendly People

Local people make your trip to any country more memorable and in South Korea they thrive on it. People in South Korea are respectful, friendly and helpful. You’ll always receive a warm welcome from them. During your initial days living in South Korea, if you ask people for directions to your destination, they will definitely help you in any way they can. So, living in South Korea will not be difficult as the local people are always there to help you. 

Things to Do

While living in South Korea, there are many awesome things that you can do. Starting from enjoying K-pop to observing the beauty of nature. Are you a K-Pop fan or someone who loves to experience different types of music? If yes, then attending one of these concerts will definitely be worth your time. Another magical thing that you can’t afford to miss while you are here is enjoying the cherry blossoms. There are many places in South Korea where you can observe the surreal view of bright pink cherry blossoms. The best time to observe the cherry blossoms is during spring, as you can enjoy the sheer beauty of them in full bloom. Apart from these, there are also many other things to do in this wonderful country. South Korea has a huge coastline and astounding mountains. So, if you like adventure, you can do water sports activities or mountain trekking as well. 

A few festivals where you can observe the beauty of cherry blossoms:

  • Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival

START YOUR JOURNEY TODAY!

English Teacher's Life in Vietnam

Get certified

Find out more about TEFL and how to get certified.

English Teacher's Life in Vietnam

Packages

See what packages we have available for you to start teaching abroad.

English Teacher's Life in Vietnam

Got questions?

Send me an email with your questions and I’ll get back to you with answers asap.