Everyone cannot say they're living out their dream, but our 25-year-old narrator, who has been living in Seoul, South Korea, since 2019, can say.
"Living in a foreign country is great because you get to experience a whole new culture, customs, food, and meet incredible people," said our narrator, who has been living in Korea for the past 3 years.
At the beginning of every journey, one has to be strong and should have strong willpower, and in our narrator's case, she is a huge K-pop, K-drama, and overall K culture fan who has always wanted to explore South Korea since her teenage days. Who finally got the opportunity to settle in Seoul.
Let's dive into her story of living in South Korea for the past 3 years:
South Korea can be a wonderful place to move to. If you are someone who loves Asian culture and loves to explore a new country or simply want to experience K-pop, K-beauty, K-fashion, and K-food for real, then adjusting to a country like South Korea won't be difficult for you.
Living in Seoul as a foreigner is great for the first couple of years. Korean people are highly hospitable and generous, and usually, they are very kind too.
"For me, it was challenging to make friends at the beginning, as I came here for work purposes and not as a student." said our narrator.
Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is an ultra-modern city with a vibrant nightlife. If you love partying, then you should definitely explore Korea's nightlife.
Koreans like to spend social time together in their own community and aren't shy about partying. But most people stay busy in their own life; they hardly interfere in someone else's life (which is a good thing, isn't it?).
Korean people don't really interact with foreigners in the first place. However, It is not that Korean people don't want to interact with foreigners at all, but they just don't have well-developed mechanisms to do so.
"But I managed to get a lot of Korean friends, It took time, but I did it, haha," said our narrator.
Living Expenses In South Korea:
Korea being the 1st world country, the expenses are a bit high, but one can easily manage if they spend wisely.
Here's a look at how our narrator typically spends her money as of July 2022:
- Apartment Rent $550
- Food: $391 for groceries and dining out
- Discretionary: $193 for entertainment, travel, and shopping
- Utilities: $154 for electricity, heat, water, and Wi-Fi
- Transportation: $108 for a subway pass and cabs
- Health insurance: $73
- Phone: $61
- Apple Music: $10
- Total= $1479
To live a comfortable life in Korea, you need to spend $1000 to $1500 per month.
Even though our narrator arrived in South Korea learning very little about the language, she says the experience has been life-changing: "Living in Korea had changed the way I look at my future," "Before, I was super afraid of the world, super shy. I wasn't really sure about what direction I was going in."
In the last 3 years, as she's lived independently and learned a basic level of the Korean language, her confidence has skyrocketed. "It's allowed me to grow up a lot. I 100% rely on myself here." said our narrator.
Pros and Cons of Living In South Korea:
- A beautiful country with incredible natural beauty,
- Food is cheap yet delicious,
- Free beauty item samples
- good public services and a low crime rate
- Safest country for women
- Job-seeking is a challenge for expats
- Political instability
- Foreigners are not welcomed properly
But things and scenarios are changing with time.
"I love Korean people, and you probably would too. Overall, I highly recommend Korea, at least for a couple of years, maybe more, depending on how you are doing then." said our narrator.
South Korea is a charming and beautiful country, and its capital is a whirlwind of sights and sounds that will delight you. But it is not for the faint-hearted. Its language is challenging, the traffic is terrifying, and societal attitudes are unusual.
Expats often remark that they are curious about locals, who will stare at anyone who is not obviously Korean.
The best approach is to dive deep into it: appreciate the culture, savor the food, and enjoy the experience.
Seoulmates, we hope you got a brief idea about a foreigner girl's life in South Korea, but this won't be the same for you. So until you are visiting Korea and starting your new life, we would highly recommend you to get acquainted with Korean culture first!
Unbox Korea With Seoulbox: Happiness
AUTHOR: SUJI SOHN
About the author: Suji was studying in London in the year 2019 and, although being separated from her family, her passion for Korea was growing. She noticed that a lot of her close friends loved Korean culture, food, music, and dramas and gradually started to fall in love with Korea, but there weren't many opportunities to actually "experience" this wonderful nation!
Suji was aware of what she needed to do to introduce Korea to her friends' lives and, conceivably, to those of everyone else who was curious about a piece of Daehan Min-guk.