South Korea can be described both by its historic landmarks and its cutting edge cities. With abundant gardens, intricate temples, and towering skyscrapers, it holds the status of Asia’s third largest economy. Those who can associate with a strong work ethic and a work hard, play hard mentality will surely not be alone working in South Korea. With a love for the outdoors and four distinct, breathtaking seasons, those who obtain jobs in South Korea will be able to enjoy a nation that is both diverse and beautiful. Those who want to contribute to this Asian nation during one of its strongest points in history, will surely not want to miss the opportunity to work in South Korea.
Suwon. Long ago in Korean history, the Hwaseomun Fortress was built as the southern gate for the capital city, Seoul. During this time, Suwon also acted as the key location for military security. Currently, this city is a highlight for travelers and international workers alike. With easy access to historic landmarks this remains a hotspot for history buffs. Once a small town, it is now a highly developed city which is home to over ten universities. With a high value placed on education, Suwon is a perfect location for individuals interested in contributing to the academic community.
Busan. From mountains to beaches, South Korea’s second largest city is perfect for those who love city life with fewer crowds. Noran Mahura Park is sure to attract a crowd in the evening for a homemade Korean snack with a famous sunset view. While the more adventurous crowd can be found at Geumjeong Fortress for a hiking excursion. Even though job opportunities in Busan can be found across professions, the marketing industry is amongst the most desirable. If one can associate with a background in international relations, and is interested is automotive marketing and research, Busan is a great place to work in South Korea.
Seoul. This rapidly growing city never sleeps. With a constant flow of tourists and endless entertainment, incoming foreign employees will find that they too will be tempted not to sleep. Restaurants, clubs, temples, and parks are open for those fighting jet lag or who would classify as night owls.
Those working in Seoul surely won’t want to miss the Demilitarized Zone, the barrier separating North and South Korea. Those interested in historic landmarks won't want to pass up the opportunity to see Gyeongbokgung, known as the most extravagant palace in the city. Seoul is another melting pot when it comes to job opportunities in South Korea, however if teaching English as a foreign language is an area of interest, Seoul is sure to provide an unforgettable teaching experience.
Jobs in South Korea
Teaching. This is one of the greatest times in history to teach abroad in South Korea. The local people have a strong desire to learn the English language and the government is committed to providing benefits and funding for those willing to fill work as a teacher in Korea. Most teaching jobs in South Korea begin with a TEFL certification course. Once the course is completed, TEFL organizations will work alongside employees to prepare teachers for the Korean workforce and to assure they find the perfect job in Korea they desire!
Marketing. If marketing is your background, you may want to consider working as an Automotive Market Researcher. Through this job in South Korea, employees will work alongside many international automotive companies. Possible responsibilities include both research and data collection. Marketing jobs in South Korea will surely be a tremendous career opportunity.
Sports. As many know, South Koreans have a love for sports. With a desire to find the strongest players and teams, there is a great need for scouts. As a scout, individuals will be paid to attend sporting events and track real-time game statistics. If you have a background in media, sports management, journalism, or an overall interest in sports, landing this job in South Korea would surely be a home-run for you!
Salary & Affordability
The cost of living in South Korea is seen as high in comparison to the surrounding Asian countries, especially in regards to clothing and food. It is, however, comparable to that of Western nations. Cities such as Seoul and Busan are notably higher in costs than the suburbs. South Korea is known for luxury, offering a wide array of luxurious services in addition to being a leader in the Asian fashion industry.
Based on these factors, travelers come in anticipation of a higher end experience. The average water bottle costs $1, the average meal around $10, while the average cost of jeans is $85. The salaries given to those who work in Korea are created with the cost of living in mind. Average salaries will be able to cover costs required of a reasonable budget. Each employee should be aware of their spending habits and travel desires. For more spending and travel flexibility, one may want to consider bringing additional funds.
Accommodation & Visas
While not all of the jobs in South Korea offer all inclusive packages, many jobs do (especially TEFL positions). Accommodations are seldom offered. In the event that housing is not provided, employees will be directed to the best options in close proximity to their workplace.
The visa process for those looking to work in Korea is significantly more direct than that of surrounding nations. Based on the fact that most job opportunities in South Korea last more than 90 days, a work visa will be required. These longer term visas can be obtained through the Korean Consulate in an individual’s home country. Work visas are valid for an initial one year period. If an individual is interested in extending their stay, the visa can easily be extended at the consulate within South Korea.
During the application process, one should be prepared to submit original documents such as diplomas and college transcripts. The country has cracked down on photocopy submission as a way to prevent fraud. Even though this process is not difficult, adequate time should be set aside to assure completion before travel. Those who plan to work in South Korea should also be prepared to visit the immigration office upon arrival to complete their alien registration. It is crucial that employees carry their alien registration at all times while working in Korea.
Benefits & Challenges
- Safe Country. It is common for incoming employees to question the relationship between North and South Korea. Thankfully, safety is not seen as a concern to most foreigners. While it is always advised that expats take basic safety measures, there isn’t a need for drastic measures to be taken. If one is concerned at anytime surrounding unrest, they can consult the local embassy for direction and clarity.
- Large Expat Community. It is expected that expats will have periods of homesickness. Many employees find that the transition is easier based on the sizeable expat community. With the rise of English teaching jobs in South Korea, more native English speakers are calling South Korea home. Employees and tourists alike find themselves exploring together, enjoying comfort foods, and participating in familiar activities.