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Things You Must Know Before Moving to Korea

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

It has been around 1 year since coming back from Korea and I was feeling nostalgic about the amazing time I had there. At the same time, I learned so much about the culture and wanted to summarize what helped me adapt quickly to settling in Korea. For those who are considering in moving to Korea, check out what you should know before moving there!

1) 눈치 or "sense"

As a collective society, Korean people love interacting and collaborating with others (compared to Western society's more independent culture). Because of this Koreans are more sensitive to the feelings and thoughts of others, comparing to completely just expressing everything you want at anytime. I would say this word is very unique to Korea and there is no word or phrase that fully encompasses the meaning, but I guess you need to pick up the skill of being able to read between the lines.

2) 정 or "attachment"

Don't be offended with what may appear to be very personal questions such as "What's your age" or "Do you have a boyfriend" or "What do you do for a living." It' just Korean people's way of wanting to know you. Also, as a country that uses honorifics, age is a way to determine the appropriate level of language.

3) 술 문화 or drinking culture

I'm sure you are aware of Korea's number one alcohol - Soju. Not only is Soju easily accessible and affortdable ($1.50 soju, restaurants mark up to $4), I would say drinking in general is the main bonding hobby among Koreans. There are a ton of drinking places or bars in Korea, from pochas to fancy lounges. There is even different levels or "chas" that you would have, such as first level casual drinking, then maybe more drinks at a different place, and finally go to karaoke.

4) Technologically advanced

Korea is number one in terms of technology, and you will be able to immeditely identify that it is very connected. For example, there are wifi on subways and every restaurant would provide wifi. But this is almost unnecessary since unlimited data phone plans are very affordable.

5) Delivery Heaven

Online shops such as coupang (ie. Korean version of Amazon) has insane delivery. If you order groceries before midnight, you can get them by 7am the next morning. There is also two hour delivery, and next day delivery. . You can even get food delivery to middle of park, like anywhere along the hangange river.

7) Fine Dust and Weather

One thing that took me by surprise and that I had a hard time getting used to is the environment there. Fine dust is a major issue in Korea, to the point it can cause respiratory problems. Air purifiers in homes as well as wearing masks on really bad days are common. In addition, as someone from Vanacouver, I'm more used to mild weather. In Korea, I would say spring and fall are the best times - though its really short (only two weeks each). Whereas the winter (really cold) or summer (really hot and humid) stretches out for months.


Check out my video for more info!

#movingtokorea #koreanculture #한국문화

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