South Korea, or Korea, as it’s commonly referred to, has one of Asia’s most vibrant cultures. The country is known for its hard working people, cuisine, and powerful economy. South Korea has long been a destination for foreigners, both workers and tourists, and with a growing economy provides many opportunities for full-time and part time work. Those who plan on relocating to South Korea, however, should expect some initial culture shock. Part of the backbone of the Korean society is their adherence to strict cultural rules and traditions. The native language is Korean, and due to a shortage of adequate English education, language barriers are common between foreigners and locals.
The lion-share of South Korea’s population is in Seoul, so I’d recommend there as a starting point for your moving abroad experience. The city is teaming with people, and can be overwhelming to a foreigner. However, Seoul has an energy unmatched by most cities in the west. Bright lights, traffic, crowded buses, and noise are a normal part of the daily routine for an urbanite Korean. Depending on what kind of work or lifestyle you’re looking for, you’ll find that Seoul may not be for you. But as a starting point, it will most certainly provide you with the most immediate opportunities.
The South Korean economy is made up mostly of high-tech manufacturing, as well as scientific and research based-technology firms, energy, and transportation manufacturing. The country also has a world-renowned educational system, which adds to the strength of their high-tech reputation. The public education is rigid and intense, yet has yielded a reputation as the world’s best in the areas of science and mathematics. Also, the government has set out an initiative to attract more foreign students by doubling the amount of scholarships given out to foreigners in recent years.
One of the most popular reasons for relocation to South Korea is to teach English. Currently there is a shortage of qualified, native-tongue English teachers in the country. The demand for English is high because of the growing amount of international business being conducted both in and out of the country. A full-time teacher can make upwards of US$1,700 per week, which is slightly more than the average Korean family lives off of in a month. On this salary, you can not only live comfortable, but save around 75% of your income annually if you go by the typical day-to-day, cost of living standard.
The climate in most of South Korea is similar to the northeastern United States. Winters can be bitterly cold, -7C to 1C (19F to 33F), and summers range from 22C to 30C (71F to 86F) at its peak.
Getting a work or tourist visa, while not necessarily difficult, is a very particular process which varies depending on which specific country you are coming from. Also, obviously, fees change based on the same distinction. Check out this great site for more comprehensive info on obtaining your work or tourist visas.
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