Some things you just can’t prepare yourself for and have to see and experience for yourself. Total Population: 51,47 million people; Capital: Seoul; Life expectancy: 82,02; Highest Mountain: Halla-San (1950 meters) While teaching was familiar territory for me, TEFL was not, and living in East Asia was, well…totally foreign to me. 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Moving To Korea. Foreign Nationals . Do you know any interesting facts about South Korea? South Korea's population is approximately 50,924,000 (2016 estimate). What is a Hagwon for Teaching English in South Korea? "Cultural Spotlight." A useful word in Korean you may want to learn related to age is 만 나이 (man nai | international age). Type AB males will also do, but stay away from Type A’s! As they say, to be forewarned is to be forearmed, uh? The simplest way to answer the age question in South Korea is to just tell Koreans the year you were born. However, groceries, utilities, public transport and even alcohol are all reasonably priced compared to the prices in most Western countries. The hardest decision you’ll have to make is whether to buy Kleenex brand or 깨끗한나라 (kkaekkeuthannara) brand. Truth: Asian students – and people – are just as diverse as any other school/country I have been in. Among them are the Siberian tiger, the Amur leopard, the golden eagle, the lynx and the Siberian musk deer. Seoul, Busan, Daegu and many more. South Korea has ranked last for arms trade > arms exports, top countries since 2003. Housing is typically South Korean residents’ biggest expense. Nice to meet you!” every time they see me. 1. Busan, South Korea English Teaching Q and A with Anne Shelton, How Teaching in Korea Helped Me Come Out (or Led Me To Come Out), 10 Companies That Let You Teach English Online Without a Degree. Her interests include traveling, animal welfare, and anything caffeinated. ?” (Every time they saw me with a man), “Teacher, do you wear a bikini to the beach?” (Umm…. There’s way too much to do in a couple of days or even in a couple of months, but you’re bound to have a great time visiting as many restaurants, street food shops, and shopping districts in Seoul as you can! If you’re planning on having a housewarming party (집들이 | jipdeuri) after the move in, don’t bother buying toilet paper or laundry detergent. 1. Although the song is as popular as it is, many people don’t know that the song is about the Gangnam District, an affluent district in Seoul, South Korea. In addition, Japanese is common in South Korea. It is not as cheap as living in some Asian countries like Laos or China, but it is also not as expensive as Japan or Singapore. And don’t be surprised if you smell soju practically evaporating from the skin of the older man in front of you, even if it’s 10 am on a Tuesday morning. Korean Language. The teacher translated, asking if she was a Red Sox fan, and the girl had never even heard of them. . If you’re interested in learning Korean, check out our complete guide here. At the border with South Korea lies the village of Kijong-dong, built in order to show the southern neighbors all the privilege of living in the North. With soaring house pricing in Seoul, it’s a possibility that the area would be demolished to build more apartment complexes. It’s well worth it. “Before the 1990s, usually younger people supported their parents during their retirement so it was not that serious of a problem,” Ku added in his interview with the NPR. Helena Lorimer, Capetonian in South Korea. There are different schools of thought as to why this is. ctaList.push('35dca8ba-7ee5-4d34-9422-bf4f53ebf272'); One year ago, I stepped on a plane heading to Busan, South Korea, for a public school teaching contract. Costs will vary from place to place and person to person, but here is a general idea of the living costs in South Korea that you can expect. This isn't meant as an insult; just that they're concerned about that person's health. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most interesting fact, 2. The cost of living in South Korea varies depending on the city one lives in. In Korea, as in many Asian societies, citizens tend to enter a job and stay with that one company until retirement. Do you live in South Korea? ), “Teacher, did your boyfriend have a six pack?” (Definitely pass.). Without further ado, here are the most interesting facts about South Korea! South Korea’s Internet is Blazing Fast, 20. [3] Hallyu (Korean Wave) is the word for the South Korean wave of popular culture. Click here to visit Korean Class 101 to get started learning online. Apparently, raw octopus isn’t good if it’s not squirming around in your mouth, so South Koreans skip out on the cooking part. Couples at Christmas, Families at New Year, 17. The Lack of English. They're not being nosy or insulting; they're saving your life! There was very little in those articles that was of significant help. Both holidays are well-celebrated by many countries in the world. It was constructed in the 1950s when electricity was a luxury in rural areas on both sides of the border. South Korea Facts | Resources. Therefore, in elevators, you’ll often see floors 1, 2, 3, and F. Apartments in South Korea that have numbers with multiple 4s (ex. Shortly after the Korean War, there were few refrigerators or protein-dense foods. Fortunately, in an extremely populated city like Seoul, this makes for safer streets and much fewer traffic incidents. Make sure you order delivery at least once while you’re in Korea to experience what all the fuss is about — most restaurants are open late night for delivery, so if you’re looking for a snack after a night out you can call in your order so you don’t even have to leave your apartment. South Korea is different in that regard — during your time in South Korea, if you ask people how much they sleep on any given night, you’ll more likely than not hear “six hours a night.”. Writing a person’s name in red ink indicates that the person is about to die or is already dead and gone. Yes, people care about looks in America, but every single surface is not made up of mirrors. South Korea's population as of July 2009 was 48,508,972. Just when you thought there were enough Hallmark holidays, South Korea upped the ante and introduced “White Day”. 0. The good news is that these situations make for great drama storylines. South Korea is almost the opposite. While being sleep deprived is a reality all across the world in some industries, it’s usually restricted to a select few industries and isn’t a huge part of a given culture. And remember next New Year’s to tell your South Korean friends Happy Birthday! Like everywhere else, life in Korea will have its ups and downs and life in Korea may be quite different as a foreigner than it would be for a local. The average starting salary for a 1st year teacher in Korea is around 2.0 – 2.1m KRW per month ($1,800 – $1,900 USD). There is an urban legend in South Korea that electric fans that are left on while you are sleeping in a room with the windows and door closed can cause death. Tentacles everywhere! Hanging out in the city and experiencing Korean culture is an incredible experience, but you can’t say that you truly know South Korea until you’ve experienced the natural beauty of the countryside! South Korea has had the highest debt > banks > automated teller machines > ATMs > per 100,000 adults since 2004. Questions your great-aunt Betty wouldn’t even ask. This one of the fun cum interesting facts about South Korea: This country is one that permits drinking in public and the act is considered perfectly legal. By comparison, China had an estimated 114 people, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) 246 people, and Japan 323 people per square kilometer in the late 1980s. Everybody wants to put their best face forward, and makeup plays a big part in that. Internet censorship exists… and not just in your place of employment! How Do I Get a Visa for Teaching English in Japan? Despite their obsession with American/English speaking culture. Interesting facts about South Korea. It is also a place of both natural beauty and modernity and the major cities in South Korea are progressive whilst also embracing their past; it is possible to observe modern glass … This can be rooted in their tradition and culture where most holidays are celebrated with alcohol. Those living in poverty in South Korea increasingly rely on loans to survive. All of these factors have led to a greater interest in South Korea and also studying the Korean language. This policy has since greatly contributed to substandard living conditions for the nation’s people. As the name suggests, Haesingdang Park is home to a wide range of sculptured penises which is, apparently, the largest collection of animated giant penises globally! The reason behind this is that the word for 4 in Korean is similar to the word for death. A friend had a student with a baseball cap that said in large letters “COCAINE”. How-To & Guides. Below you see animal statues at Heading Yonggungsa temple in Busan. Only in specific situations are you allowed to call someone by their first name. Make sure to try a side of kimchi with your next meal in South Korea – you won’t be disappointed! How-To & Guides . A fully functioning UN Command is at the top of the chain of command of all forces in South Korea, including the U.S. forces and the entire South Korean military – if a sudden escalation of war between North and South Korea were to occur the United States would assume control of the South Korean armed forces in all military and paramilitary moves. This is also the case for home and family life. The number “four” in Korean is 사, which also means “death”. Everywhere else, expats can expect to earn a decent wage and save a good bit of it without having to pinch pennies or live on a … 1.South Korean men like to make the most of their appearances and, as such, it is believed that almost a quarter of men use makeup as part of their daily routine. Many will refuse to take your seat, but the offer is what they are looking for. If you’re looking for the word for “title”, check out 호칭 (hoching | title). Here are 35 fun facts about South Korea I’ve found to be the most interesting. At the workplace, this can be somewhat confusing, especially if you’re managing someone who is older than you. After one particular lunch with a group of Koreans, I realized the extent of the drinking culture here. South Korea is renowned as one of the world’s leading producers of technical goods such as mobile phones, televisions and computers. Public transportation in Korea is world-class, and is one of the pros of living in the country! You’ll get plenty of it as gifts! Traditional family life is much involved with rituals marking life-cycle milestones and the observation of holidays and ancestral rites. The good news is, you don’t have to wait for that! You name it. If you want to use a simple Korean age calculator, this formula should do the trick: (Current year – your birth year) + 1 = Your Korean age. That being said, you’re in for a virtual treat when you visit South Korea! One of the common facts is that South Koreans think that there is some significance to their blood type. Over half of Korea's population is living in Seoul greater metropolitan area - the capital of South Korea and center of politics, finance, culture and creativity; Seoul is divided by the Han River and surrounded by stony-crested mountains and harsh, yet beautiful landscapes. Mark your calendars and brush up on your Valentine’s language, that is one day in South Korea where you don’t want to make a mistake with your significant other! Teach English in South Korea, Teach English in Asia, Busan. Amongst all, Jeju island is the largest island. Moving into a new house in South Korea? And if you ever do visit South Korea and decide to call up Mickey D’s in the middle of the night, you might want to try some of the Korean specialties, such as the Bulgogi Burger and the Shanghai Spicy Chicken Burger. If you have future plans to travel to South Korea for your studies or business, it is important to know more than just their pop culture trends and how to speak the language. The world is becoming increasingly interested in North Korea and its way of life. While plastic surgery taboo at best and frowned upon at worst in the majority of Western countries, South Korea has fully embraced plastic surgery to the point that it is very accepted (and even encouraged). However, South Korea boasts competitive salaries. !” One block down the road and you’re greeted with some amazing chicken, bulgogi, shabushabu, you name it… and your stomach instantly starts growling. 16 Jun, 2011 facts. (Or don’t, if you’re worried you’ll be jealous once you return home!). (Permit my cliché.) Otherwise, you need to refer to them by title. We definitely don’t have signs for plastic surgery everywhere, nor is it common. Monthly Living Expenses. Life Expectancy: The life expectancy rate is one of the highest in the world. Is that considered unlucky too??? South Koreans drink more alcohol per person per year than Germany, the U.S., Ireland, Canada, and Australia, which are known to be top consumers of alcohol in the world! In a South Korean's mind, if they buttoned their yap about such things because it was "private," the other person's health might suffer. They often have NO IDEA what it means or represents. Download Your Free Brochure Here to learn more! In Asia, it’s a lot about K-pop, cosmetics, and Korean dramas. Approximately 90% of that land is mountainous, meaning that the Koreans have had to use space ingeniously to make room for everybody. How Do I Obtain a Work Visa to Teach English in Korea? It’s extremely easy to get around, especially if you’re living in one of the bigger cities. If you visit South Korea, make sure to make time to explore the natural beauty with a trip down to the beach or up into the mountains. 9 English-Speaking Therapists | Psychologists in Korea for 2021. Clothing for big and tall. Stereotype: Asians are all brilliant, especially at math. The two Koreas may not be battling it out on a day-to-day basis, but they still haven’t made up. South Korea ranked #6 for exports globally in 2012. Restaurants. What I was not quite prepared for was how hard it can be at some places to find a single dish without some kind of tentacle… or intestines. Now that’s what we call amazing service! People can carry alcoholic containers in public and can take a drink or two. I’ve been here going on 23 years now (not continuously), so it must be decent enough! South Korea Facts | Resources. Fast. Before that, it was part of Japan. What is the coolest fact that you’ve learned about South Korea? The country has a unitary presidential constitutional republic government with a president and a prime minister. How-To & Guides. You will lose. Our website uses cookies to understand what content is most relevant to your research on teaching English abroad. South Korea is one of the most difficult countries to obtain refugee status. It’s not that critical that they see their families on this day. Written by: Cassandra Simons. While teaching was familiar territory for me, TEFL was not, and living in East Asia was, well…totally foreign to me. What are the Requirements to Teach English in Taiwan? Meanwhile, those already living on South Korea’s one-year permits are … One of the unique facts about South Koreans is that when they are born, they’re automatically one year old. Before moving to Korea, she spent 4 years teaching in the United States. But it’s the things that most people DON’T tell you that would prepare you most. South Korea actually has a strong drinking culture compared to its neighboring countries in Asia. After failing to take control of South Korea in 1953, North Korean leader Kim Il-sung adopted a policy of economic and diplomatic isolationism meant to minimize outside influence. Stereotype: Asians are short. In 2018 the government refused to grant asylum to many refugees who came from the war-torn of Yemen; these refugees had to settle for limited, one-year humanitarian permits. However, these days that is rapidly changing and has become a very popular tourist destination due to its rich history and amazing food scene (among other things). I read every article and book I could get my hands on, attempted to learn a bit about the country, and even tried to find social media pages to connect with people to help me. Back to personal space. Best Of The ROK. White Day is essentially another Valentine’s Day, held a month later on March 14th. Although South Korea is a democracy, the government still has a say in what you can and cannot look at while using the internet in the country. Top 10 Facts about Living Conditions in South Korea. On paper, South Korea may seem like an expensive country to live in. The country has a total area of 38,690 square miles. The subways can also get quite packed, so be prepared. Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about South Korea that might be interesting to know. For more on numbers and counting in Korean, check out our full guide here. These animals depict the twelve Zodiac signs. Seriously, it’s an overall good place to live for someone like me who is married but doesn’t have children. Koreans would barter with American troops for the canned delight and come up with a recipe called bujae jiggae (army stew). However, as you head to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone border) in South Korea, you’ll notice that there is still quite a bit of tension there. South Koreans work hard, are paid well and enjoy a stable currency and a high standard of living. Others cut off the legs while it’s still alive, eat the legs, and toss the rest of the octopus body into a stew. While most of the natural wildlife and rare plants have been killed off in the South, the DMZ hasn’t been touched in over 60 years. A side of kimchi is standard no matter where or when you’re eating a meal. Most modern houses in the Western world come equipped with central heating systems that send hot air through metal vents hidden in the walls during the cooler months. Not long ago, South Korea was a small, developing nation closed off to much of the world. Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions. Jennifer is an English teacher living in Busan, South Korea. I have never felt unsafe walking around my neighborhood or Daegu at night. Kimchi is also wonderful for the digestive health, so Koreans are way ahead of the game for making it a part of every meal. If your mouth is watering at the thought of some squirming octopus, you can order some 산낙지 (sannakji | live octopus) when you visit the country. Truth: I can’t speak for all Asian countries; I have heard Koreans are among the tallest of Asians. 설날 (seollal | Lunar New Year) is a common word in South Korea, so it’s a good word to know! It’s not uncommon for South Korean teenagers to get plastic surgery before they enter university. Westerners visiting South Korea rarely resist a visit to Haesindang Park – or, as Westerners like to call it ‘Penis Park’. 29. There aren’t a lot of tourists in Korea compared to the rest of Asia, and therefore foreigners are not a common site for the average Korean living in a small town or off-the-beaten-path in Seoul. Currency: Sticky Currency Switch to metric measurement units. Public trash cans are few and far between in Korea. var parentScript=document.getElementById("wistia-embed-2"),embedContainer=document.createElement("div");embedContainer.className="wistia_responsive_padding",embedContainer.style="padding:56.25% 0 0 0;position:relative;",parentScript.parentNode.parentNode.insertBefore(embedContainer,parentScript.parentNode),embedContainer.innerHTML='
',window.addEventListener("load",function(){setTimeout(function(){var e=document.createElement("script");e.async=!0,e.src="https://fast.wistia.com/embed/medias/c1y0c0jpnj.jsonp";var t=document.createElement("script");t.async=!0,t.src="https://fast.wistia.com/assets/external/E-v1.js",parentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(e,parentScript),parentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(t,parentScript)},3e3)}); Even if the extent of their English is “Hello, how are you? One of the most interesting South Korea history facts tells that the country was founded in the year 1945. Looking back on my time living and teaching in South Korea, I often think “ if only I had known that BEFORE moving to Korea.” There are so many things that we take for granted in our day-to-day lives that we miss only … No problem. Whether you’re ordering from a Korean barbecue restaurant or a fast-food restaurant, you will probably have your food delivered to you via an employee on a motorcycle. This often contributes to some of the more unpleasant smells you’ll encounter in Korea. Last accessed 27 May 2020. Explaining Seollal, Korean Lunar New Year. Good question, Tamanna! If you don’t have a credit card and live in South Korea, getting one is a worthwhile investment. 8. Whether you are on a bus, a subway, or an elevator, be prepared to surrender any of that personal bubble you may like to usually have. “Gagnam Style” was so popular that it was the first song to hit one billion views on YouTube, which is an amazing feat when pretty much any song in the universe can be found on the site! ctaList.push('5f2b0cd4-c5e9-4803-a965-0e4e395419e3'); 2. The average Korean can drink them under the table. Family of four estimated monthly costs: ₩4,852,189; Single person estimated monthly costs: ₩2,216,688; Cost of living in South Korea is more expensive than in 78% of countries in Asia (3 out of 9) Cost of living in South Korea is more expensive than in 73% of countries in the World (21 out of 74) Both Men and Women Are Obsessed with Makeup. Despite a reputation for being uber-macho, South Korean men are obsessed with cosmetics. Getting the titles right is critical, and can be a point of strife if family members don’t recognize rank. 1. Currently, South Korea rests among the top 10 leading countries in terms of life expectancy, with its citizens predicted to live around 83 years. South Korea has plenty more foods for the daring! Feel free to leave a comment about your experiences; we’d love to hear from you! One of the interesting facts about South Korea is that people often give toilet paper and laundry detergent as housewarming gifts. “Gagnam Style” was a global sensation and rightfully earned Psy international fame. With 25 million people living within the city limits, it’s not just a large city — it’s actually the third-largest city in the world! I didn’t speak the language and didn’t know anyone where I was going. That means that unique species of plants and wild animals have been able to flourish, unharmed by the hand of man. "10 Animals native to South Korea and where to see them. Most expats find that living in South Korea is an efficient way to save money. Answers to life's questions / facts / Interesting Facts about South Korea; Interesting Facts about South Korea. While most Western countries have at least some regulations on where you can and cannot drink in public, South Korea is a firm believer in the freedom to drink wherever you want. Posted In: Cost of living in South Korea is 14.53% higher than in United States (aggregate data for all cities, rent is not taken into account). As somebody who is on the internet pretty much all day every day, I can’t say that this is something I’d be necessarily excited about. +44-203-318-6930. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most interesting facts about South Korea. North Korea is a bizarre country to say the least. I’m fine, thank you.” I have had an old woman stop me on the sidewalk and, in what was clearly about the only English words she knew, “Hello, I lubba you”, which I can only guess was supposed to be “I love you”. One of our favorite places is near Insadong. Living and Teaching in South Korea. South Korea is one of the most developed countries today. #4: Deathly Facts. Kimchi is a fermented dish that can utilize a variety of vegetables and seasonings depending on preference. Here are 20 of such facts. He added that their lack of time off makes “the notoriously vacation-stingy Americans look like they’re living lives of leisure.” One of my elementary girls had a Boston Red Sox hat on. South Korea has become a popular destination for young South Africans who want to teach English, have an adventure, save some money and experience an entirely different culture. Goryeo means “high and clear.” Some poetic interpretations of the name Korea are “Land of High Mountains and Sparkling Streams” and “Land of the Morning Calm.” One of the interesting facts about blood types in South Korea is that they are thought to contribute to a person’s personality and characteristics. ^^. One of the unique facts about South Korean food delivery is that once you’ve finished enjoying your meal, you can put the dishes outside of your front door and the person who delivered your food will swing back later to pick them up. You’ll have so much to do and experience during your trip that you may find yourself leaning towards getting six hours a night as well — after all, there are only so many hours in a day! You’re probably aware that Seoul is a very large city — after all, it is the largest city in South Korea by a landslide. There’s a lot more to kimchi than meets the eye, many questions you’ll want to ask your potential partner, If you’re planning to do any road trips around that time, the way South Korea handles food delivery, ordering from a Korean barbecue restaurant or a fast-food restaurant, Learn the Korean Alphabet & Read the Hangul Characters, Korean Phrases: The Ultimate List for 2020, Korean – Overview and History of the Language, How to Speak Korean – Online Guide for Conversational Fluency, The Most Common Korean Words and Basic Vocabulary, Top 28 Korean Drama Words & Phrases for K-Drama Fans, Korean Slang – 101 Popular Words & Phrases in 2020, My Korean Name: Choose Your Very Own Name in Korean. Are paid well and enjoy a stable currency and a rambling of cities know…. To learn is 아파트 facts about living in south korea apateu | apartment ), “ teacher, did your boyfriend have a expectancy. 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