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Crime, Safety, and Danger in Korea

October 18, 2012

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Wow! It feels like forever since we filmed this video! We made it before we went on our Mexico/California trip, because we planned on putting some stuff up while we were gone. Turns out that we put up our Mexico trip video instead, and wanted to save this (and another) video for the week when we got back from our trips, when we’d be jet-lagged and exhausted. Hooray! Turns out that it’s actually quite good timing, because now we’re getting over some nasty pink-eye as well, and if we had to film something now we’d look like vampires: not the sexy, True Blood kind, with pushup bras and six packs. More like, the dirty, just got turned into a vampire kind, with our eyes glowing red from hunger for blood. Except our eyes would be glowing red from pink-eye.

Side note: having pink eye makes looking at the screen as we type very, very difficult, so we’re typing most of this with our eyes closed. WE GOT SICK WICKED TYPING SKILLLLZZZZ. At the same time, if we have a lot of errors here, forgive us. We’re not really doing a lot of editing in our blog post this time.

Aaaaanyhow, CRIME IN KOREA! I think we mentioned before how completely safe we feel here compared to how we feel back in Toronto. Again, we don’t want to make it seem that because we feel so safe here that we didn’t feel safe in Toronto, or that anyone should draw the conclusion that because Korea feels safer to us that Toronto is a wild jungle of crime and murder and mugging. That’s not the case at all. We lived perfectly fine and content in Toronto. We just feel like there are things we don’t have to worry about here in Korea like we did in Toronto. Here in Korea, we haven’t seen any Rob-Me-Please ATMs. Don’t know what those are? Those are ATM machines in public that you feel like, well, maybe taking money out at this spot right here…maybe that isn’t the best idea. We don’t see vandalism here in Korea as well. Graffiti is barely anywhere. Things aren’t broken or smashed randomly. And we just never hear about gun-crime in the news, like a random person going into the mall and shooting it up. Sure, that’s exceptionally rare in Canada as well, but here in Korea, we just never hear about it at all.

I hope Canadians don’t get offended by this. We’re not trying to paint it in a negative light, though its contrast with Korea might make it seem that way. We still love Canada and all. We feel a lot safer in cars in Canada and don’t feel like we’re going to get mowed down every time we cross the street, like we do in Korea. And we’re sure there’s organized crime here in Korea that’s mega-nasty. We…just haven’t experienced anything like it at all here, and haven’t even seen traces of it in public.

Yeah! Hopefully that made sense. And if we said anything off, we blame the pink-eye! Also, we’re sure that your experiences are muuuuch different than ours, so let us know in the comments what your experiences in Korea or in your home country are like. Our own personal experiences are by no means definitive, but hopefully we can get a bunch of people here talking about what their experiences are like :D

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Crime, Safety, and Danger in Korea

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  1. HAHA, omg, I thought I was the only one that did the Wolverine key thing!

    2 years ago
  2. Since Halloween is coming up, do you have any good Korean ghost stories to share?

    4 years ago
  3. My and my cousin actually had this discussion with a mutual friend before who thought Korean entertainment was mostly the violent/disturbing movies… because that’s all they saw on Netflix. But actually most Koreans watch variety tv shows and dramas… not usually the dark and disturbing movies. The dark/disturbing Korean films are just what’s found a niche market in places like the US and grew popular.

    But recently, because of the Hallyu wave, more dramas are getting onto Netflix, so people are seeing more true Korean entertainment of what people usually watch on a daily basis. There are also a lot of comedic or sappy movies in Korea… like “Sunny” is a popular newer one. There’s a popular film industry in Korea that is thriving, but it seems like the main entertainment revolves more around variety tv & dramas.

    A great resource for looking up Korean movies & tv shows, actors, etc… is http://www.hancinema.net which is sort of like imdb for Korean entertainment.

    I’m not sure if you’ve seen any other Korean films or dramas or tv shows, but some great places to watch them are:

    http://www.dramafever.com
    http://www.viki.com
    http://www.dramacrazy.net

    And a Korean variety show that’s really awesome & super popular in Korea right now is called Running Man, which you can watch at http://runningmanclub.blogspot.com

    Hope I helped answer your question, even though I’m not Simon & Martina. Lol.

    4 years ago
  4. I live in Texas too! East Texas. We don’t own a gun either although we have begun talking about buying one. Aaaanywho…. where did you teach in Korea? Your kids sound so sweet! And how did you prepare to teach them? Meaning how did you prepare your curriculum and where did you find resources?

    4 years ago
  5. If I went to Korea, what would they think of me? I have freckles and I know that they are very concerned with their skin. Also, just curious, what do they think of gingers haha

    4 years ago
  6. Would you be able to talk a little about culture shock and homesickness..? It’s a depressing topic, but I find that it effects a lot of people moving to a different environment (myself included)… Do you know anyone who has felt this badly or know any good tips for adjusting to life in another country? =人=

    4 years ago
  7. I’ve felt very similar to Simon and Martina about the safeness of walking around outside, day or night. If you’re on the main streets by yourself you really have nothing to worry about in terms of getting robbed or feeling threatened. For women, I would put out the concern of drunken men, especially since I’m currently going to college where there’s a lot of bars and motels in the area. Just have street smarts and you’ll be fine. As for the not seeing graffiti broken bottles, etc, most places don’t have that. If you’re in the bar areas around universities such as Hongdae or Kondae, you definitely will. I’ve seen mixed reviews of Itaewon. I was really looking forward to going to the area when I came over however being there a few times, day and night, I really don’t care for the area. I only go to get a quick bite to eat, and not alone. I get a weird vibe when wondering the streets since it’s definitely an “alternative” place to go. At night, there are transgender bars, and prostitution happens in the back streets. You can definitely stay away from that, however, I’d much prefer other areas to club and as well as staying away from the military men.

    4 years ago
  8. you’re gangsters and Toronto is harlem! Got it!!

    hahah jk jk.. But I have been to Korea and I was out with friends at noraebang till 4am and then we decided to go to Dongdaemun (shopping district) and it was super safe.. Im from NY so I was like “ok middle of the night NY radar alert!!” but then i was like wait? there are people studying at coffee shops and old women getting vegetable stands ready.. this is super NOT NY alert mode.. needless to say i was confused. Only 1 incident happened to a friend who got punched by a crazy ajushi.. but im pretty sure he was a legit crazy person and it was the only thing i heard bad that happened on our trip.. i felt super safe.. way more than i feel in NY…

    4 years ago
  9. I actually feel exactly the same way as you guys, but trying to explain it to my family is so difficult. My home town is really quiet (Brisbane, Australia) but there’s still things I wouldn’t do: walk around by myself after 11pm, go down certain streets or into parks after dark, walk around with my wallet or phone hanging out of my bag etc. But when I’m in Korea all that goes out the window and suddenly I’m wandering around Hongdae on a Wednesday night at like 2-3am by myself and heading down tiny dark alleys being all “lalalalalaaaa”. And given that I’m a very small and clearly weak girl – that’s saying something about how safe Korea is.

    4 years ago
  10. I’ve never been to Asia, but I have traveled most of Europe and parts of South America, and there were some cities where I could wander the streets until o’dark thirty in the morning and not be bothered by anybody, while in other places the locals cautioned me not to even set my purse down by my feet under the table at a cafe because thieves were known to wander by and snatch them right up!

    Guess it all depends on where you are! The vibe was often different from city to city even within the same country.

    4 years ago
  11. I have noticed Koreans tend not to worry too much about crime when they come over to America to study. I worked in the library on campus while I was in college and it was always the Korean kids who left their laptops out on desks and tables out in the open for hours on end before they came back to get them. Some even left them there overnight.

    We’d often pick them up and put them behind the front desk for safe keeping, but it confused them as to why we did that. We’d always try to explain that it could have been stolen but they really didn’t grasp that concept.
    It is a fairly safe library in a small city but it was also open to the public and there was always the chance someone could have just walked in and walked out with a new laptop.
    On the other hand American kids always took their things with them, I never once had to hide their things behind the front desk.

    4 years ago
  12. Damn, a free car AND a free baby? That’s pretty good.

    4 years ago
  13. Are fans crazier in Korea more than anywhere else?

    4 years ago
  14. Hello Martina and Simon. I’ve read and heard countless of rumors about the extent of discrimination in South Korea in terms of race, but more specifically the color of the skin. My first assumption about this would be that it is true, only because there is so much talk in Korea about how the fairer the skin, the more beautiful you are perceived to be. I was wondering if that really is the case in South Korea and how bad it really is if it is true? If so, does being a foreigner with darker skin make you more unacceptable in Korean society?

    4 years ago
  15. Well I am form the Netherlands and hearing that the crime rate is low in Korea, is nice to hear. The only thing I hear here on the news lately is students taking a gun to school and shoot you teacher and other students. Young people who murder or taking knives with them to school,, O_o” Guys where is the world going!? Is that the new kind of jokes? And you do not have to walk over the street here at night, or you see some gangsters walking around. So hearing that about in Korea, I wish it was the same here.

    4 years ago
  16. I think that anecdotal evidence isn’t really something to rely on in this case. Although you may not have the crime statistics memorized, they are a really quick google search away.

    Although it’s true that cases of robbery, burglary, and theft are higher in Canada than Korea, instances of violent crimes (intentional homicide, rape, and assault) are actually higher in Korea than Canada.

    I’m not trying to be contradictory, I just know from experience (although admittedly not in Korea) that sometimes living abroad can give you a skewed sense of safety. Sometimes a foreign country can feel safer because you are limited in what you are exposed to and can understand. That kind of false security can be dangerous, especially if you live alone! :D

    4 years ago
    • I think Majority of the violent crimes you mentioned are often crimes of passion and not directed to strangers (at least in Korea). The sense of safety is often related to the rate of random crimes. So Canadians should feel more concerned than Koreans to walk street at night.

      4 years ago
      • I wasn’t suggesting that Canadians or Koreans should feel less or more concerned while walking down the street. I don’t really care if Korea is “safer” than Canada, or vice versa I was suggesting that you should be careful no matter where you live, because it’s easy for people living abroad to fall into a false sense of security.

        4 years ago
  17. how about classical music training? I’m a professional “classical” musician in the States. I’ve heard teaching music in Korea is a possibility.

    4 years ago
  18. Wolverine key thing!!! Yeahhh!!!

    4 years ago
  19. i remember seeing my neighbor get water ballooned by random guys driving by while trying to be cool in their loud car

    4 years ago
  20. Can you cover about sport in Korea…I’m interested in finding out about ice hockey in Korea…do girls actively play too?

    4 years ago
  21. I’m only slightly qualified to answer this, seeing as I wrote a paper on it last year. There are quite a few factors but the ones I focused on were the educational pressures and the pressures to succeed. There’s a lot of pressure in SK to succeed, and sometimes the pressure becomes too much for a person to stand and something (a bad grade on a very important test perhaps or a coworker getting the promotion they expected) ends up driving them over that edge to suicide. That’s just a little insight, but I have statistics and sources and such. ^^

    4 years ago
    • Ah sorry, it was a paper for University so I turned it in and promptly…forgot about it until I stumbled across this question on the video. xD Sorry.

      4 years ago
      • Ah well, no problem XD I know I never keep my Uni essays so I can’t blame you haha

        4 years ago
  22. Did my study abroad for 6 months in Suwon and Seoul and I never felt unsafe whatsoever during my stay. And that is including my nightly routine of stumbling back to my dorm drunk at 4 am, across a totally abandoned and pitch dark campus. Not even when going out in Itaewon with all the foreigners around did I feel unsafe. For one, it’s because the streets are always packed with people. And there is always a 7/11 at every corner so I felt like I was never alone or at least help was always nearby if I need it.

    Secondly, there are just so many things to do when you’re out, so I can’t imagine vandalism or loitering out of boredom in Korea. Kids are always in them PC bangs and karaoke rooms. There are UFO catchers on the streets, stores stay open till late, plenty of entertainment. I just don’t see reason for Koreans to be dissatisfied about life to result to street violence. There is a lot of drinking and public drunkenness, but even so, I never witnessed a fight. Usually their friends would have stopped the argument before things could escalate or the drunks are simply ignored when they try to provoke ppl.

    As for the sense of crime.. Here’s my episode. It was my first week in Suwon and I was drunkenly finding my way back to the dorms after having lost my friends when a guy stopped in the streets. He was like “AYYY GUURRLL! What are you doing out here at 4 am, it’s dangerous. Let me buy you a drink!” (For realz. I’m not making shit up). So he just dragged me into a nearby alley and up a small shady bar. He was then on the telephone and 5 minutes later 4 other guys showed up. I was freaked out and tried to get the hell out of there, but they insisted that it was dangerous for me to go out alone and wouldn’t let me leave. 10 minutes later they suddenly dragged me out and there was a car waiting at the door. They pushed me into the car and all got on.

    To my surprise, a few minutes later I was dropped off at my dorm where all international students stayed, and the boys took off just like that. In a western country, the ending of that night would have been very different.

    The next day was actually Chuseok . A phone call woke me up at around 9AM and it was the Korean dude from last night. I guess I gave it to him when I was drunk. He said that he was in front of my dorm and told me to come down. Everything about this screamed ‘stalker!’ but I had to get rid of him so I went down.

    Man did I feel guilty when I saw him. He had brought fresh coffee and a bag with all kinds of Korean food his family made for Chuseok. He figured that since I was new in Korea that I wouldn’t know about the stores being closed on Chuseok so he brought me food just in case. (I’m never gonna think any bad about a stranger ever again!)
    I felt so sorry that I was hung over at that time and couldn’t invite him inside because of the dorm’s rule. Naturally, he became one of my best friends in Korea and we are now still in touch.

    Another story is the time I went to Busan. We went eating at this massive hall above the Jagalchi fish market where they serve everything fresh from the tank. It looked like they had 100 seating areas there. Apparently whole dining hall closes up at 8 or at least pretty early. So we just had our dinner served when the lady came by and asked us to pay. Within minutes the hall was completely empty, but no one had told us to leave. We could have trashed the place, we could have emptied the soju fridge! But being good Christians we just finished our dinner, placed the dishes in the sink and left. There was no security, no surveillance cameras as far as I can see; any one could have walked in or out freely. Korea is amazing!

    4 years ago
  23. Hi! Just wanted to throw my two cents in. I live in Texas too and perhaps it’s just where I live (in a suburb of Dallas), but my family does not/has never had a gun in our home and most of my friends and their families don’t either. (We’ve discussed it. Perhaps we’re all just weird? lol) That being said, there is still gun crime hanging around, but it’s mostly like you said like in a normal ghetto/gang area. Plus these things usually happen late at night, so no one I know walks around late alone. I’ve totally done the Wolverine Key thing, because even if there’s no gun involved, you WILL get jumped. It’s not 100% or anything, but it’s still common enough that I would NEVER walk around alone at night.

    4 years ago
  24. I don’t live in Korea (I live in Hong Kong) but I did visit Seoul during the summer and definitely agree with your viewpoint! I didn’t feel scared at all when I was out walking alone even though I was in a foreign city I’d never been to before. The only time I was a little nervous was walking back to my hotel from the subway past all these drunken business men, however I had been brandishing my umbrella so I felt protected. xD I live in Hong Kong and also feel very safe here, the only times I feel like “Oh goodness, I need to hold onto my purse” is when I’m in very crowded marketplaces or in little side alleys….or Mong Kok/Wanchai at night. To me, Asia feels very safe even though my city in the States was not unsafe, there were things to look out for (Coyotes eating dogs being one…) and gangsters and robberies, however since I’ve come to HK I feel so safe.

    4 years ago
  25. M

    Nah I have the same feeling about Vancouver as you do about the safety in Toronto. No offence taken.

    4 years ago
  26. Is it possible to live in Korea and not drink? I really want to look into a teaching job there, but I don’t drink alcohol and I’m afraid that since it’s such a part of the culture (especially in work situations) it would be really hard to do so and people would get offended, etc. Surely there have to be some people in Korea that don’t drink? Are they just considered social rejects? XD

    4 years ago
    • Hi! I don’t drink for medical reasons and I lived in Korea for 2 years and am going back again. A lot of the Koreans I knew didn’t drink and rarely was I pressured to drink. It’s pretty much like living anywhere else–people might ask why you don’t drink, but they’ll let you to whatever your personal choice is. There are a ton of things to do in Korea that don’t involve alcohol so don’t let that deter you!

      4 years ago
  27. KIwiS! hihi~!! thank for the video!

    4 years ago
  28. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcLNteez3c4&feature=relmfu Have you seen it? I cant decide if I like/dont like it… Can you explain why the vowels have changed…
    I really like psy’s enthusiasm… I dont know if I like Hyna’s sexy approach too much.

    4 years ago
  29. This is funny to me because I live in Chicago and to me Toronto feels like the land of safety. I was in Montreal for a few days this summer and was delighted to find I could walk back to my hotel at night and not feel like death was imminent. I’m not saying that Chicago is terrible, I love Chicago and I love living here, but by necessity I’ve become wary. I really notice it when I’m in a safer city. So if you Torontonians (?) feel safer in Seoul than in Toronto, I can’t even imagine how I would feel.

    4 years ago
  30. Hey Simon and Martina was wondering if your going to post the Kcon video soon and maybe a video of all the things you guys got. Also it was a pleasure meeting you guys! Martina you always look so pretty, and Simon i feel really bad that you were soooo sick! Thanks for wearing bright and smiley faces for us! I hope i get to meet you guys again in the near future! I hope you guys get well soon!

    4 years ago
  31. There is alot of pressure here to be the best and perform your job or duties extremely well and koreans feel like complete failures and it seems that the society is not as forgiving to people that may be slightly different (monoculture, not much diversity AT all especially outside of Seoul and Busan). As a foreign teacher who has taught at public school and hagwons (tutoring schools), the hagwons had that culture as well and I failed terribly to conform to what they wanted but thankfully I was brought up that it was ok to be different and moved on.

    4 years ago
  32. While it is true that most white people seen here (Philippines) can be believed to be rich, there are lots of well-populated places to hang out without feeling in danger of kidnapping :) And I think your mom’s friend is just being cautious–in truth, as long as you’re aware of your surroundings (something that applies to all places around the world, I think), you’ll be fine.

    I do know that because we have so much military unrest in the south (Mindanao), many would-be tourists and visitors think that the Philippines is a hotbed of war and violence :/

    4 years ago
    • Yeah. I had a great time there. We went to Cavite (I think it’s spelled that way?) because that’s where my mother grew up. I’m not sure if that’s a safe spot or not, but it was fun. And the food! I miss the food so much… my mother cooks Filipino food for us, but it’s not the same when you have to use American ingredients.

      4 years ago
  33. I got hit by a car when I lived in Korea…while I was walking on a crosswalk. Apparently I was really nice for not demanding money on the spot. Also a dirty old man felt me up once…I was told I was too kind in that situation as well because I didn’t get him fired. A mentally challenged girl also just randomly walked up and punched me in the stomach…while I was walking down the street in the middle of the day… Lol. And I still tell people Korea is a really safe place. I think I think I’m just a trouble magnet.

    4 years ago
  34. I had the same question (and trying to see how I could instill happy thoughts into my elementary Korean students’ minds)… and I came across this video being made by an American exchange student in a Korean high school. She talks with a lot of her fellow students and sheds some person light on those questions. Check out the trailer! It’s definitely worth it:
    http://koreanhighschool.com/

    4 years ago
  35. I’m currently studying in South Korea at a University on an exchange program. I have to agree I feel ridiculously safe here. I got to school in D.C. and the area I’m in is REALLY safe since it’s practically residential but if I go out to go to a club or something in a different part of the city I always have to go in a group. Although I’ve heard from my friends here that Itaewon can be kind of sketchy especially at night. I’ve never personally been so I was wondering if there’s any truth to that?

    4 years ago
    • A nigth out clubbing in Itaewon may be a bit intimidating, but I blame that on the foreigners. You just don’t know how they will behave when they’re drunk. Koreans.. I know they just lie down on the street and sleep it off.
      But you’ll mostly find the American people from the military base in Itaewon and most of the people I’ve encountered were pretty relaxed.

      4 years ago
  36. I also feel very safe living in Korea. This is my second year, and while I’m now living in a very busy area with a lot of clubs and bars, I’m thankfully a bit off the main drag, and don’t feel at all uncomfortable walking home even late at night. I do, however, keep a weather eye out for drunken ahjusshis, just in case they want to cause problems.

    4 years ago
  37. i live in southern californina, pretty close to the beach. and during the day i feel relatively safe. i could walk alone through the streets (not without some catcalls though) the park, and the beach no problem. but there are some places that make me nervous. like the street over from my house is called ‘Slater Slums’. theres a reason a police station was put around the corner there.. as for the park, you can NOT go in to the park when it gets dark. its a law that you cant go in after 8 but everyone knows better than to go in when it gets dark. druggies, muggers, and homeless people tend to wander the parks at night. anyway! i love my city regardless because its clean, people are nice, and has many options for fun (:

    Simon! Martina! this TLDR had me thinking. Is there catcalling in korea? have you, martina, ever experienced it? or have either of you seen it happen? ive experienced it many times and cant tell you how much i hate it. and i dont think id like it even in a different language >.<

    4 years ago
  38. i think this is in China not in korea ^^’ my teacher said this about China and how children traffic is there…

    4 years ago
  39. Really? Maybe it’s because I live in Old Toronto, but I always feel completely safe in my area, even after dark… And I haven’t even experienced half the stuff they said they had…

    4 years ago
  40. I don’t know about Korea, but Simon and Martina are absolutely right about Toronto. During the day, I would say you could walk anywhere alone, and even at night, most places are still completely safe. When they say that Korea is safer than Toronto, it means that they’ve seen NOTHING. I don’t know about the US, but Toronto is amazingly safe.

    Also, Simon and Martina, when you come back to Canada, please please please be the people who roll up to Tims blasting SuJu!

    4 years ago
  41. I Laughed so hard when you mentioned the wolverine key fits, i think i learned that when i was 10, yes 10 years old. ah good memories…

    4 years ago
  42. Simon and Martina what is it like when it is a weekend in Korea is crowded or not like in northamerica

    4 years ago
  43. I live in Daegu and I feel absurdly safe most of the time. I think I still have my North American paranoia, though, because when I walk home very late at night and some guy is walking down the street behind me I instinctively speed up. Nothing ever happens, I don’t get followed into my apartment complex – it’s just not very well-lit and my first reaction is to get nervous. The only thing that’s ever happened to me to make me feel anxious was when a guy on a bicycle told me I was beautiful and blocked the street I was trying to go down to get home, but I managed to get away from him. He wasn’t Korean, either. My Korean friends insist on escorting me home late at night; they think it’s really unsafe here, but clearly they’ve never been to the U.S. D:

    4 years ago
  44. Oh, and Martina, I love your mommy-bear ferocity regarding Spudgy. :3 “And If you ever ran over Spudgy… I would cut you.” I think all your fans would join you in the cutting. >_>

    4 years ago
  45. I totally agree. In America, if I am in a crowded place, I almost always have my hand on my pocket to deter theft. I also keep my eyes out more for unruly people. I still am vigilant when I am Korea, but I’m not nearly as on alert. I don’t worry about getting pick-pocketed, and physical threats are at a minimum. In fact, my rule of thumb in Korea is to stay away from foreigners and I’ll be good to go. Now, this isn’t to say that I haven’t had issues. I have had a drunk guy follow my wife and I and curse at us because I was a piece of crap American stealing his women and she was a hooker, so on and so forth. These kind of events are quite rare though.

    4 years ago
  46. As much as I agree with your video being from New York City, Foreigners who look different however, as in whose skin tone is not like Simon and Martina might feel different.

    Sexual crimes are also seemingly increasing. I’ve once encountered a masterbator with his junk out at 4 pm on a sunny saturday afternoon. As many safe nights as i’ve had i’ve had an equally disturbing amount of unsafe feeling nights.

    4 years ago
  47. I live in Daegu, South Korea and i completely agree with this video. I come from a very small town (sydney) in Nova Scotia. And that is a pretty safe place as well. However, again, like you said, you still do things like keep your purse closed and close to you, don’t walk down scary alleys at 2am, etc. However, I have totally done that stuff in Korea and all is good. I am quite worried when I go back to Cape Breton that I will do something foolish because I am not used that kind of environment anymore. ^_^

    4 years ago
  48. Simon and Martina,
    I live in Pyeongtaek, and I completely agree with you 100%. I was just talking about this yesterday. If I am at a coffee shop and have to use the restroom or get up, I can leave my computer, phone, etc. and feel completely fine. I joke that I could probably give my wallet to a random Korean and tell them to hold it for an hour until I get back, and they would make sure nothing happened to my money. I feel as if respecting one another, especially elders is a hugeeee aspect of Korean culture.
    However, due to the close proximity of the Osan Airbase, I have noticed prostitution, etc., is MUCHH more prevalent in these areas, and I don’t feel as safe. It might be due to the fact that illegal activities seem know their markets…catering more in an area which will use their services, etc.
    Compared to America, I think Korea is safe, especially for women. I LOVE this aspect of Korea! :-)

    4 years ago
  49. Hi Becky!
    I am Korean myself and so was going to answer it but ASK A KOREAN answered so well..The spoiler is…..Korean health care system ROCKS just like Canada’s! much different from U.S. (sorry my dear Americans, U.S. rocks in so many aspects but health care and gun crime…)
    read: http://askakorean.blogspot.ca/2010/01/healthcare-system-in-korea.html

    4 years ago
  50. I believe Korea is a seemingly safe place because the streets are usually lit at night and you can’t really go many places in public without seeing someone else on the street at any time of the day or night. However, in my experiences, and the experiences of my Korean female friends and other foreign friends, people tend to get fooled by this false sense of security. My first year in Korea I was attacked in my apartment by a neighbor with a knife at around 9:30 in the morning. Luckily I was able to fight him off and nothing disastrous came of it. The worst actually came in dealing with the Korean police and prosecution system, both of which encouraged me to forgive the man in exchange for bribes from his family while accusing me of being a liar. Unfortunately among my friends and acquaintances, similar situations have happened. To be clear I’m not saying that Korea is more dangerous than America or Canada or anywhere… just that the same things can happen here.

    4 years ago
  51. Canada & Korea both definitely seem a lot safer than the US. I live in Northern California, and I don’t feel safe here at all, even in the relatively safe neighborhood that I live in… especially because where I live, you have to drive through unsafer parts to get to it. I have a friend that lives in a scary neighborhood nearby always telling me horror stories about people getting shot or mugged. FREAKS ME OUT! Honestly, after I graduate I have the choice of either going to South Korea & trying to make something out of myself there, or going to Los Angeles… and because Korea seems safer for a single lady trying to move her way up in the world, I think I’ll go there. Lol. There are nice, safe parts in LA, but only if you have teh monehs… which I do not have. ~_~ So instead I will have to live in survival-world-LA. Not really feeling that.

    But yeah, thank you so much for bringing up the issue of crime, safety, and danger in Korea!! I actually just recently had an argument with my mom over it. Sometimes she confuses me because she’s Korean, just went to Korea last summer, and actually thinks that crime there and crime here are the same. Me & my cousin (she’s Korean, too) kept telling her she was wrong! I think she drank the ex-Korean-living-in-the-US-married-to-ex-military-man nationalism kool-aid. o_O Now I have to show her this video. Hehe.

    Thanks for sharing~

    4 years ago
  52. ok, here in Brazil, you can’t walk without looking behind you because someone can be following you, and NEVER, mainly at night, stay with your phone visible while you walk, babys? if you let yours in the street you can be sure, he is not going to be there after 1min u.u and every corner, expect someone is going to assault you >< and be careful!!!

    4 years ago
  53. When it comes to violent crime and theft, I feel safer here in Korea than back home in the US. I feel much less safe in traffic, though. :P

    Also, and it might be partially because body language is different here and I don’t know when someone’s creepy like I do back home, but I have never been sexually harassed so much as in Korea. While most of them were weedy or drunk and I felt confident to take them down if necessary, the fact that someone could put his hand up my skirt in a bus and get VERY LOUDLY slapped and called a pervert with NO ONE looking over to see what was wrong, makes me feel very unsafe in that way. X|

    4 years ago
  54. Heh, I did it too, as well as other women I’ve talked to about it before, but I live in the US.

    4 years ago
  55. I have experienced crime in Korea. One of my good friends had her apartment broken into and her laptop, camera and accessories, jewelery and DVD player stolen. The police showed up and did dust for prints but we never heard from them again. I also know of two rapes that occurred here. In both cases the reaction of the police was very negative. In one case the police was implying that the lady in question had somehow been too friendly (she was walking home from work) and may have accidentally given the wrong impression that she was “available” through her dress or her body language, then the police implied that she was beaten up by a jealous lover and was too embarrassed to tell her bf the truth. There is plenty of crime but it’s seldom reported or make the statistics due to blood money, which often the police help negotiate. Blood money is basically a payoff or compensation to the victim out of court. My friend was driving and was hit last year by a drunk driver who tried to leave the scene of the crash. The police came, he was over the limit. The result, he paid her 1 million won -$900 usd and was given a caution. Crime does not get treated the same way so never make the official statistics.

    4 years ago
    • There are a lot of crimes that never make official statistics all over the world, though, in my experience. I’m not arguing, just felt like I had to point that out. For instance I live in the US and I was in a 3 car accident before and although there was minor damage, the driver in fault didn’t have insurance and was ready to pay cash up front to me and the other driver that were involved. Because we felt sorry for him and the amount was an acceptable amount, we agreed to his negotiation because in the end, it was a good settlement that benefited all of us without having to taken any legal action. This was a “crime” that was never reported.

      Likewise, I have a friend who has been assaulted sexuality a number of times, and either she was mistreated by authorities as it being her fault, or she never reported the crime. I think after it not being taken seriously by authorities, she gave up even bothering to report anymore.

      Truthfully there is no place on this planet that is completely 100% crime free, so all we can do is rank different areas of the world from the most dangerous areas to the least… whether it be continent, country, city, province, or street.

      I hope most peoples’ experiences in Korea will be more fortuitous than unfortunate… and that if unfortunate things do happen, that they are able to recover & have more fortuitous experiences following their unfortunate ones.

      4 years ago
  56. btw it totally does suck (i live in the u.s) i had to pay 125.00 for a dr. visit for a sore throat.

    4 years ago
  57. Now I live in the very bottom of Utah in the ‘burbs almost two hours out of Las Vegas. A good majority of Utah is pretty conservative/religious so it’s fairly safe so safety isn’t an issue where I live. Every summer though I live in Las Vegas (near North Las Vegas) , and lemme tell you in certain parts you really wanna watch your ass.

    4 years ago
  58. Really? Every girl I know, including me, does this lol. I just think its such a common thing in North America that it isn’t mentioned because its like the norm.

    4 years ago
    • I guess it’s good to know self defence is popular! We just thought it was weird because no one ever told us to do it, and we’ve never seen/ heard about it in movies or on television, so everybody kind of just picked it up on their own while thinking no one knew about it, so we never shared it with anyone.

      4 years ago
      • Oh, haha I gotcha. The fact that no one ever told you and yet you still did is very strange (because you’re right, it isn’t shown in movies/on TV.
        My older sister told me about it when I learned to drive and therefore would be more likely to be in places like parking lots, all alone, at night lol.

        4 years ago
  59. I’ve never had anything happen to me in the US, but I have heard of my friend’s sister who escaped getting raped because she was in the track team and managed to outrun the guy, other girls getting raped even in broad daylight, a dead body found in the bushes outside my brother’s apartment, my friend’s cars getting smashed and things stolen, thousands of dollars worth of stuff getting stolen out of the apartment above mine, and it’s generally a given that you never leave anything unlocked. So yeah I don’t feel nearly as safe as you are describing, and I’ve never even lived in the really large cities.

    4 years ago
  60. How do Korean animal shelters work? Are there many petshops that sell (puppy mill) puppies?
    I’ve seen the video in which you got Spudgy, but I wondered if you talk about the shelters (or the Korean pet culture) in more detail. I visited the animal rescue site and I saw that some of the adoptable animals were in the deathrow. I live in a country where all the animal shelters have a no-kill policy and it makes me really sad that there are animal shelters who euthanise animals (and the fact that I can’t help them). I also came across a site of an American rescue group that rescues ‘death row dogs’ and there were highly adoptable dogs of all ages (some as young as 9 or 11 months old) who all are going to be killed if there not rescued in time.
    The reason why I asked these questions is that I thought it would bring more awareness to people who don’t (much) about it and I thought it could convince people to adopt a shelter animal (and save a live) instead of buying a puppy at a petshop.

    4 years ago
  61. What about the roads? It seems like there are a lot of car accidents. Is that the case?

    4 years ago
  62. I’m confused by the Korean age system. I’ve been told that a 20 year old Korean may actually only be 18 by Western standards. Can you explain?

    4 years ago
    • 1. Everyone, at the moment of birth, is one year old.
      2. Everyone adds an age at New Year’s Day. (Either on the solar one or lunar one, depending what people celebrate.)

      So more than likely unless they specify that they are 20 by western age, they are meaning they are 20 in Korean age which would make them 18 in western age.

      it also depends on the time of year in which you are asking the person their age. for example: if the person is 18 in western age, and its BEFORE the new year they will tell you they are 19 yrs of age, but if you ask them AFTER the new year then they will say 20 yrs old.

      hope that makes more sense. :)

      4 years ago
      • In addition, it’s not just Korean but pretty much all ASIAN (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam…etc…)

        4 years ago
        • Not all of Asia. Most of East Asia though. For example, Singapore and Malaysia i am 110% sure use the Western age system.

          Asia (the continent) is pretty big, and i think most people tend to forget that Asia also includes places like Indonesia, Philippines and India.

          4 years ago
      • Yup, basically add 1~2 years. Makes me feel so much older. -___-

        4 years ago
    • Koreans count the time in the womb as well, so when a person is born, they are counted as 1 year old. Where as Western system counts time of birth as age 0. So that’s why if someone is 20 in Korean age, they are actually 19 in Western
      standards. The Chinese also use this age system :)

      4 years ago
  63. I LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO AND I DO THE WOLVERINE KEY THING. So I totally lol-ed when you said that. lol.

    4 years ago
    • I live Brisbane, Australia and I do the wolverine key thing too. BWAHAHAHAHA it’s a global thing! Except for in Korea

      4 years ago
  64. I am very confused by the Korean age system. I’ve heard that if someone tells you there are say, 20, they may actually be 18 in the West. Can you explain?

    4 years ago
    • Koreans are 1 year old the day the are born. Then on New Years, instead of their birthdays, they age another year. So someone who was born in November, like say Kevin of UKiss, in January of the next year would be considered 2 years old in Korea, while in the US he would be considered 3 months old.

      4 years ago
  65. Not asking when you are having children, but if you did have children do you think you would stay in Korea and have them go to Korean schools or would you go back to Canada for their education?

    4 years ago
  66. Whilst I do believe that Korea is super safe, if something DOES happen, I have little to no faith in the law enforcement. I was in a situation where I had to call the police and it took them over an hour to get to my apartment after being on hold for 10 minutes and then finally leaving my address (after being hung up on). Not a single person will move for an ambulance with it’s sirens on, and foreigners are often looked at differently when there has been a crime involving them (a friend of mine was a victim in a beating and she has been treated extremely poorly by the law enforcement).

    Yes, it’s safe here, but I know I’m screwed if something does end up happening.

    4 years ago
  67. I live in Japan since about one year ago, and I feel the same thing.
    Sure I live in a small city, but it’s feels like super safe here in Japan.
    The only thing that have happened to me is that the removable light that I had on my bike was stolen. And that’s it.

    If I go somewhere, like to school or the konbini, I don’t even lock my door. And nothing has happened.

    In my homecountry I would almost shit my pants sometimes when I was walking home from my friend. And it’s like a 5 minutes walk.. But here; I took a 2 hours walk one night, drunk, and nothing.
    But yeah, the streets was kinda empty, but still. Haha.
    It’s still such a difference. Like a 2 hours walk back in my homecountry feels like Im going to get raped or mugged or something everytime I turn a corner or go by a park or something like that. But here it just feels peacefully.

    4 years ago
  68. student study so much they wanna die, and also if your not pretty the chances youll be judged is high

    4 years ago
  69. Dear Simon and Martina,
    With the presidential election coming up, do majority of Koreans pay attention to American politics? If they do which candidate (or political parties) do you see them supporting? Have your political views changed by living in Korea?

    4 years ago
  70. I lived in Japan, and I’d describe it just how Simon and Martina describe the sense of safety they feel in Korea. If you’re eating in a restaurant, you can get up to go to the bathroom and not feel concerned about leaving your purse behind. Coming from America, I hang onto my purse like it’s attached via an umbilical cord, so it feels weird to not have to watch your personal belongings so carefully. Also, I could go out food shopping at the grocery store at 1:00, 2:00 am and not be worried about being jumped in an alley. The only thing that you have to watch out for is your umbrella, lol. Most of the time there are racks outside of stores and classrooms for people to leave their wet umbrellas. Rain can be sudden and strong, so sometimes people caught out without an umbrella would take a random one from the rack. These umbrellas are basically all of the $1 variety, so your wallet doesn’t take a hit, but now you’re the one stuck in a torrential downpour without even a hood (Japanese clothes usually don’t come with practical hoods because everyone carries an umbrella). It’s been years and I’m still miffed at the person who took my umbrella, lol.

    4 years ago
  71. You don’t hear of any gun crime cuz all of the gangster use metal rods DUH!

    4 years ago
  72. lol….what you guise said about Canadian teenagers are so true. No lie. I’m from Mississauga and there’s always some people huddled up at Heartland blasting music from their crappy old cars…it’s so ridiculous!

    my question to you guise is : What are the national holidays in Korea? And what do they do for each celebration/holiday?

    4 years ago
  73. what you guise said about the teens here in Canada are so true and it’s just so ridiculous how retarded people can be at night blasting their ‘gangster’ music from crappy old cars….(btw….im from Mississauga so i totally get this too…hahaha)

    my question to you guise is : Have you guise watched the Olympics this year? and if so, how do you guise feel about the things that happened to both the Canadian and Korean teams in the sports of soccer(Canada) and fencing(Korea)? Do you guise have any comments about the achievement of the Canadian team?

    4 years ago
    • lol when I was a teen driving around I usually blasted J-pop, musicals, and classical music. And no matter what anyone says I was totally gangster (j/k).

      4 years ago
  74. Do you see a Korean and a foreigner as couples on the stress ?

    4 years ago
  75. In America most teens try finding Jobs by the time they’re either a sophomore and junior in high school while still attending school regularly. Do the students in Korea get jobs while still in school or are they like usually completely focused on school…does that make sense?

    4 years ago
    • Leo

      In the words of most Asian parents, “Why you duh need duh money? I duh pay por alleady. You jobu iz duh studee. You duh student.”

      4 years ago
    • I’m not sure about in the cities, but out here in the country, a fair number of my students actually work as delivery people for local chicken joints.

      4 years ago
    • korean and japan are the same. teens in japan and korea are not allowed to work. they have to finish school and get their cert, after that, only they are eligible to work. finish high school are very important in korea and japan. but there are some who work part time, but not many.

      4 years ago
      • Umm… actually the Korean law clearly states that teens over 15 can work (of course with a cert). However it is very true that school work is much more important for Korean students and their parents, and normally they don’t work.

        4 years ago
    • Their Real Job is studying until midnight so that they are better/smarter than anyone else so that they can get into the right university and get the right job and so have/live the right life.. Even little school kids are under this pressure 6½ days a week…The pressures are so high on young Koreans that suicide is the major cause of death.

      4 years ago
  76. What is Korea’s view on facial piercings? And I know they’re kind of conservative, so what about like, bright skinny jeans and etc. (I’ve only seen them in shiny and u-kiss videos, kekekeke)

    4 years ago
  77. I’m not sure if anyone asked this before or not, but if it was asked, I apologize. However, how did your parents handle your choice to become teachers in Korea? How did they handle the move and your stay there? Were they accepting? Upset? How did they warm up to the idea?

    I ask because I am applying to become a teacher, and I fear my parents’ reactions. Do you have any tips on how to soften the blow?

    4 years ago
  78. I GOT PINK EYE AND I DIDN’T EVEN GO TO SEE YOU GUYS!!!! I LIVE IN LONDON, UK!!! I DON’T KNOW HOW I GOT IT!!!! ¬_¬ Did you guys like send the pink eye virus through your videos! =O

    4 years ago
  79. I felt the same way about walking alone at night when I was in Korea. I don’t particularly like walking around at night by myself on my campus in the US, but I felt pretty safe when I was in Seoul.

    4 years ago
  80. Korea is NOT safe when it comes to fraud. In north america you don’t think about it. When you think crime you think violence. But there are so many fake products, so many fake business, so many fake everything.

    4 years ago
    • Yeah, definitely not really a safety issue, but still something to watch out for! Although fraud is everywhere. Honestly daily life in the US feels like fraud anyway. -___- Can’t even get my asthma meds because I don’t have insurance & can’t afford the thousands of $$. But I think I can protect myself from fraud much better than physical violence.

      4 years ago
  81. hahahahah OMG! SIMON!!! my boyfriend got egged while biking home from school too!! you made me laugh so hard!! and I completely agree with many of the points you said about crime in canada, so no offence here! ^.^

    4 years ago
  82. lol I’m like that with my friends, when I’m doing something “bad” I try to do it as secretly as possible :P

    4 years ago
  83. What…I live in Canada and I never got egged or seen anyone or anything egged. where do you live? lol, but there are those teenagers and the condoms on the ground.

    4 years ago
  84. I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately, so I’m glad you talked about it! When I first mentioned my desire to go to Korea a few years ago, my parents were really worried. I was like 18 at the time and they thought Korea wasn’t very safe. They even encouraged me to go backpacking through Europe instead, which I now find funny, because I’ve heard how safe Korea is (and we’ve also seen the movie Taken, so now my parents are paranoid about Europe xD).

    Honestly, sometimes I get really worried about my safety here. I live in Colorado, which a lot of people have probably heard about this summer. A gunman shot up a theater full of people at a midnight movie showing, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others. They say he would’ve killed many more but his gun jammed. Not only that, but recently a little 11-year-old girl named Jessica Ridgeway went missing. There were posters of her up everywhere and everyone was talking about her. My work (I work at a Target deli) even made sandwiches and coffee for a team of volunteers who were out looking for her. Unfortunately, they found her body and we couldn’t save her. They are also saying there have been other disappearances or attempted kidnappings. The kidnapping of Jessica happened in my city, and I actually live in a pretty safe area! I have a friend who lives in a bad neighborhood and they hear gunshots every night. She said they have neighborhood kids who are like 10 and come and smoke weed in front of her house. By contrast, we leave our house unlocked, even when we all go out for a few hours. Even so, I’ve always been taught to be careful and wary of strangers. If I’m out late walking and I see a stranger coming along, my guard goes up. I always have to wonder if this could be someone who would hurt me or even possibly rape me. I don’t like having to be suspicious of people who probably would never do anything like that, but I know it’s necessary to always stay on your guard and be ready.

    Lately I can say I’ve been getting more and more concerned about my safety. People are getting very worked up about politics these days, and I fear one day a bunch of people might just snap. I think it would be nice to live in a place where I didn’t really have to be afraid. Korea sounds really nice in that way. I also think it would be nice to someday raise my own children in a place where I don’t have to worry they might get kidnapped and murdered like poor Jessica Ridgeway, or shot up in a movie theater. Even though these happenings are rare, they still make me worry.

    4 years ago
    • I live in Colorado too, I work and grew up in the town that Jessica was taken. I’m moving to Korea in a month to teach, and while Colorado has had some terrible things happen this year, I hope that you try not to be afraid :/

      4 years ago
  85. Haha I remember learning about the Wolverine thing during high school. In contrast, I haven’t heard anyone I know being egged in Toronto or the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). Though, I think my area is pretty safe as well. Super Junior!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4 years ago
  86. I think Japan is safe … at least from what my teacher told me…and an elder classmate ^^ He once lost his wallet and when he went back the other day to try and find it, it was laying on the spot where it fell the day before xD And my teacher once did an experiment like that with same results (she only used something different than a wallet)…
    I am not sure if it’s really safe but, from what I heard ,Japan seems to be safe.
    Maybe it’s the same as Korea when talking about safety…

    Well, at least it is much more safer than my country. Even during the day I watch out for any suspicious people -.- I don’t even go out during the night…

    4 years ago
  87. I’m from Lithuania and two weeks ago i finally joined our Korean Culture Club (which is going to be changed into an official Center in a couple of months). and I was already told many stories about the korean exchange students comming here. (our club takes care of them, helps them, tries to introduce them to our own culture, etc.) the main complaint that I heard from most of our old-members was that Koreans just Keep Loosing their belongings. like constantly. one lost his phone, the other his wallet, other even his passport. though my guess is that they didn’t loose them, as in left them somewhere, but they got them stolen. pick-pocketing is rather widely spread here and since these students came here from a country where such things barely exist, they must have become victims of this type of crime wthout knowing it.

    i guess it’s much better to grow up in an enviroment where you know how to be alert of possible crimes, than in an almost absolutely crime-free enviroment. i mean this becomes useful if you move to a country which is the other way around in this sphere than yours.

    4 years ago
  88. You mean I DON’T need a rape whistle and pepper spray wherever I go in Korea? And I DON’T need to worry about wearing red or blue in certain areas? LOL

    4 years ago
  89. I always felt safe walking around in Korea and left my purse in my seat while off elsewhere with no problems. That said, I had money stolen out of my guesthouse room while we were sleeping (There was a small outer room with a bathroom and a storage place, and a larger interior sleeping room – they broke into the outer room, but didn’t come into the room where we were actually asleep), and had an ipod stolen out of my backpack (while I was wearing it) – I suspect at least the latter crime was committed by a foreigner.

    However, a friend of mine had three or four bicycles stolen from the entryway of our officetel by high school students (I saw them hanging around, looking at the lock on the last bike one day). Also, some of the kids from school stole our enormous iron school sign to sell for scrap. I have no idea how they got the bolts out of the concrete, but it was too heavy to carry away all the words – they only got one before we caught them.

    So there is petty theft, vandalism (especially if you count graffiti), but very little visible violent crime. There is a fair bit of domestic violence, but a foreigner is not terribly likely to deal with that personally.

    Just my two cents.

    4 years ago
    • Hi Jolene, I’ll be going to South Korea soon and staying in a guesthouse as well. I’m just wondering whether your belongings locked
      up when the money was stolen out of your belongings? I was going to
      bring in my bag with any cash I had into the sleeping quarters and keep
      it close to me (like under my pillow).

      4 years ago
  90. thank you for covering this issue! maybe this will put my family and friends more at rest when I finally do move to Korea.

    4 years ago
  91. Women traffic and forced prostitution are still endemic in Korea. But I’ve never heard of the “mafia” operating by kidnapping foreign children in the streets!

    4 years ago
    • The thing is, if a child gets kidnapped in korea, people think “the parents must be rich and want a ransom” not “the child must be used for pedos and cannibals” I mean, why on earth a kidnappers want a noisy child that’s not even their own?

      4 years ago
  92. I thought Korean gangsters were kkangpae?

    4 years ago
  93. Hahaha…Sounds about how I felt when I lived in Okinawa. I would be completely drunk off my face, I would be alone, and it would be 2am. Still felt pretty damn safe compared to the States….And to definitely here in Turkey. D: I don’t even feel safe going out with a group, completely sober, and in the afternoon.

    4 years ago
  94. so let me get this straight…is it safe for me to be a criminal in Korea?…What do you mean that’s not the point?

    4 years ago
  95. I live in Winnipeg which is apparently the murder capital (per capita). Everyday there seems to be news on a new shooting/murder/pedo getting released. Korea sounds billions of times safer. Hell, I even live in a better’ neighbourhood and still got chased 4 blocks by a drunk guy and it wasnt even that late :/

    4 years ago
  96. We just moved back from Korea after living there a few years with the U.S. military. I felt it was the safest place I’ve ever been. I grew up in a small town where no one locked their doors and it still did not feel as safe as Korea. I would love to move back and stay forever so I would not have to worry about my children’s safety. It seemed so strange when we first got there and saw 5 yr old children walking alone to school down the street from their home. I would never in a million years let my son walk home from school and he is 6. Can’t trust people here in America like that.

    4 years ago
    • I live outside Washington DC, and I still see little kids walking home by themselves from school. I don’t know what’s wrong with people. I know far too many kids that ended up as victims to ever feel safe letting a child of mine do that. Actually, I know enough minors that were raped and assaulted that if I ever have kids I will probably end up watching them like a hawk, and feel terrified every time they leave my sight.

      4 years ago
  97. Here is a overview from a more formal point of view (US Dept of State): https://www.osac.gov/Pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=12050

    A lot could be contextual safety – very safe in the day to day normal activities, but less if you go places where the shadier things happen, or esp. if you git involved in the unsavory activities directly.

    4 years ago
  98. OH – and Simon’s shirt is soooo gangsta! Gotta have an eye out for care bears with ill intentions.

    4 years ago
  99. In Korea, what jobs/careers may foreigners have/be able to do, besides teaching? This was asked before and I was hoping it would have been chosen so I want to ask it again in hopes of this question being picked.

    4 years ago
    • Kay

      I see a lot of postings for 3d artist jobs in Korea for non-koreans who can speak English as least. So if you are good at what you do in the other countries, korean companies want you there as well! Bunch of modeling jobs as well… best way to live in korea would be work as foreign consultants, if you don’t want to be a teacher. Like… if you see global companies, check to see if they have korean branch, etc.

      4 years ago
    • Leo

      Koreans are very serious about their education. There’s more than a surplus of qualified to-be employees (yes, that even includes the lowest of the low jobs in terms of pay, janitor and clerks and various other similar jobs). So the only jobs that foreigners have a remote chance with is English teaching. Unless you are fluent in Korean, you will just be competing with the natives for jobs then. Of course, that’s incredibly difficult since they’ll be like, “What’re you doing here foreigner? We don’t need to start conflict in our job environment by hiring a foreigner.”

      4 years ago
    • How about job opportunities in Communication Design?

      4 years ago
    • I’m also still curious about this, but regarding jobs in the entertainment/media industry in Korea.

      4 years ago
    • Unless you are a fluent Korean speaker and are filling some kind of international role, I don’t think the prospects are very good.

      4 years ago
    • Yeah. From what we heard, it’s really quite difficult…

      4 years ago
    • Unless you’re a wanted specialist in a certain field, not many. I doubt you can go just for a normal desk-job, for example.

      4 years ago
  100. How does Korea handle health insurance? How expensive is it, compared to other countries?

    4 years ago
  101. I was just partying in Toronto for the weekend, and the only trouble that came my way was in the form of spilled beer on my pants by a drunkard who had a bit too much. Of course, after apologizing profusely (as we Canadians do) and offering to by me a drank, all was forgotten. It’s kind of nice to hear that you guys feel relatively safe where you are, because I’m planning a trip to SK to visit my friend in Ansan (obviously we’ll be hitting up other places as well), but still… takes the edge off. :)

    P.S. I used to be one of those rebellious teens blasting rambunctious music outside of Timmies when I was in high school… Oh man. If only I could erase 2005 from my memories haha

    4 years ago
  102. Also, one random story of when I was in Korea. A friend and I stayed with a host family and we all went out for some Korean BBQ one night in Hanok Village (Jeonju, SK) and there were some foreigners (like us) who were totally wasted out of their minds at a street food stall. They saw us and were all, “Aww hey whatupp girls? Come and drink with us!” A total “Ooh hay gurl lemme buy you a drank” moment. Our host family was horrified because they had never seen drunk people call out to strangers like that before, but we explained it to them and they were like “Omo. So rude. I can’t beweive it!” Haha.

    4 years ago
  103. This made me think about safety in my country…and here it’s bad, really bad! 4 months ago police found part of human body in a bush under my window ;__; I wish my country was a lot more like Korea.

    4 years ago
    • Croatia…well it’s not like there are dead people found every day, but lately there have been more and more murders, people disappear, there was big scandal when mexican tourist was brutally killed. I don’t even watch news anymore. I was never afraid to walk alone at night on streets until this year. :(

      4 years ago
  104. How does Korea handle health insurance?

    4 years ago
    • http://askakorean.blogspot.ca/2010/01/healthcare-system-in-korea.html
      It’s universal health care..very similar to Canada’s.
      Korea is not perfect but Korean health care system definitely ROCKS and it’s one of the best in the world.

      4 years ago
      • As a foreigner, unless you have
        national insurance provided by your employer/university, it can be expensive.
        For Koreans, the things that are really expensive, such as Cancer treatments,
        are not covered by the universal health system and are known to bankrupt
        families. Also, Korean doctors are known for over-medicating and giving courses
        antibiotics for virtually anything. I personally don’t trust them, and would be
        inclined to see a Western doctor at Severance Hospital.

        4 years ago
  105. I was thinking about this theme… it’s very weird to me, cause here at Chile is very easy that someone assault you on the streets if you are not alert. Thanks for the video! ^^
    I don’t know f you guy talked about this before, but I want to know how is the Korean health system…

    4 years ago
  106. I’ve never been to Korea (hoping to someday) but I was in China last year. I spent time in 10 cities, mostly in the northern region, and I must say everyone was super nice. The only time we experienced crime was in Bejing while sight-seeing. Two men tried to rob us. Luckily, we were able to get agressive with them and we ran away without them chasing after us. On a side note – my favorite city was MaAnshan.
    I live in Phoenix, AZ. Crime here is so so. I’ve lived here 19 years, so I’ve learned the do’s and dont’s. Due to our proximity to the Mexican border there is much drug/people smuggling going on. The zip code I live in is #1 in the USA for identity theft. The saddest part is, due to the open border many people, mostly Mexican people, are getting hurt. Sad but true. And most the hard-core drug gangs are from central America.
    BUT, after all, I like living here. People are kind and generous and the weather is superb from Oct. – May! (there is no winter here!) AND there is a great blend of people from all over the world, so the food is great! There are a few great Korean places, and TONS of middle eastern (may fave food) places to eat! Okay, I’m getting off topic and hungry. Adios!

    4 years ago
  107. i should move to Korea and be one of your friends from ENGLAND!!!!!!! (weird thing to say i know!!!)
    seriously i should totally tell my parents to move to Korea cos it’s safer then here!!! my mom is one of those moms who are constantly way too worried for their children, she’s SO scared of the world!! haha!!! aww!! she just doesn’t like us being out in the dark and stuff!!! (me too though, you should see the area i live in….not nice)
    wow i’d love to walk around at night not feeling scared!! so i’m guessing you definitely don’t smell weed around in random areas?
    and eewww i hate seeing used condoms, ‘specially in school!!

    4 years ago
  108. One thing though. I don’t think Korea will be more rebellious and the crime rate go up. I mean, it’s more like the crime rate has been going down and down till what they have now.
    This episode is hilarious!

    4 years ago
  109. I actually feel safe…ish when walking around in Chicago, but of course, it’s a certain part of Chicago and I’m never alone… and I’ve only been in Chicago at night, like, twice. xD And this is despite the “flash mob” attacks by teenagers and such. I just feel like I don’t look vulnerable/weak, so no one really wants to mess with me. Plus, I’m a big girl, so it’d be difficult to kidnap me. Lawl.

    In Korea, it was just awkward walking around with the drunks late at night and during the day. They were more likely to approach us in our personal spaces, and… they did. xD;; One man got all up in my sister’s face with his finger pointing at her at Busan’s train station for some reason. He didn’t even say anything, so it was weird and kind of hilarious – not so much for my sister. So yeah, I only felt nervous, but I never felt like I was ever in possible danger. When I was a kid (4-6 years old) in Korea, though, I must’ve felt super safe because there were plenty of times when I just walked into random people’s homes and shops by myself in different towns/cities – not just my home town. I think about it now and think I totally lucked out in not being abducted. ^^;;; But maybe that’s accredited to Korea’s safety?

    4 years ago
  110. Another danger I noticed is no one buckles up in the back seats of cars. So dangerous..

    4 years ago
    • People HOLD their infants in the front seats while they drive around. THAT scares me…I wonder if they’re not a culture that enforces car seats for infants/toddlers/children.

      4 years ago
  111. HAHAHAHHAHAAHHA THE THING ABOUT THE TIMMIES CARS AND GANGS IS SO TRUE. So ridiculous. “Look at me and mah donuts, so g”. I live in the GTA, and I don’t feel safe at all. I’m going to Yonsei next year, so hopefully I’ll feel much safer in Korea :3!

    4 years ago
  112. You talked a lot about kids/teenagers and safety, but not much about skeevy adults. I know that a lot of times I’ll cross the street to avoid especially shady looking beggars/homeless people/loiterers because I don’t feel safe. Do you find that there are fewer of those in Korea?

    4 years ago
    • Yes. Homeless people in Korea are harmless. Also unless you actually know where they live/hang out your interaction with them is very limited unlike other big cities (Europe/North America)

      4 years ago
    • There were homeless people there when i was there (i came back about 2 weeks ago?) and i mainly saw a few in Seoul. Not to the extent that i see them in NYC, but i didn’t go everywhere. While we were there, i only “met” one guy who gave me the not good shivers, and we out walked him. lol.

      4 years ago
  113. Thanks for answering this guys! I felt super safe when I was in Japan, but I was wondering if it was the same in Korea.
    I admire your tenacity, doing this for us when you’re sick. Please get better soon. Pink eye sucks.

    4 years ago
  114. Hey you two!! I just wanna say y’all are amazing! You guys have me laughing so hard at almost every vid you post!! Thank you for the levity! By far you guys are my fave peeps to follow!!

    4 years ago
  115. It’s like you know my life! Taking off for Korea literally right now.

    4 years ago
  116. Only because you type faster than me. :D great comment!

    4 years ago
  117. Great video!~ I loved Simon’s shirt, haha.

    4 years ago
  118. How did you prepare for moving to Korea? How much money did you have to put aside? I’m really curious about that. Please reply to this question.

    4 years ago
  119. Yeah, in the U.S we have a lot of graffiti, though its mostly on abandoned buildings and usually only in the poorer parts of town, at least it is in Connecticut. We have a lot of gun crimes too, especially after the Batman movie shooting, but aside from that there’s really nothing else. And I haven’t seen a Rob-Me-Please ATM yet, but I’ll be on the lookout, lol.

    4 years ago
  120. The Wolverine key thing! I totally do that.

    4 years ago
    • Ha! It seems like a lot of people do that. We didn’t know it was such a common thing :D

      4 years ago
      • They teach you in
        first year University… at least they did at Wilfred Laurier ^^ I’m from
        Vancouver but when I went to Ontario they taught us that >.< for the
        first few months I walked all over Waterloo with keys in my hands terrified… I
        didn’t have to be lol everyone was so nice ^^

        4 years ago
      • Yeah I learned to do that too in my rape defense class in high school

        4 years ago
  121. I just came back from a long vacation in SK. I felt super super safe there, and when i go back (hopefully soon lol), i will not be worried about going there alone.

    4 years ago
  122. wow coincidentally, I was just wondering about this the other day haha

    4 years ago
  123. I wish I could feel that safe here in Brazil. I just bought a new phone and I’m afraid to leave the house with it :-P

    4 years ago
    • I live in São Paulo and have only lived here, so I can’t talk about Rio de Janeiro (although I don’t think it’s so different). I don’t even know how the security will be in 2 years, but, well, let’s talk about how it is now:

      When walking in the street, if you’re a woman it’s good to always hold your purse like in your shoulder. If you carry it unconcernedly, swinging it in your hand, probably someone will just pass by running and steal it hahaha
      When in the bus or subway, watch out pockets from purses that may not be turned to you, someone can quietly open it and steal something as well.
      If you’re in a cafe or any place like that, don’t leave your things in a table to go somewhere, carry it with you unless there’s someone you know that will be there to watch out.
      Clothes too, if you’re wearing those showy necklaces, rings… :)
      Of course there are neighborhoods that are safer than others, but this is complicated and actually you can even find favela and richness in the same neighborhood, so in this case my warning is to trust your feelings :)

      So there’s no need to be neurotic with it hahaha just be aware and you’ll be fine. I’m 21 and have been robbed just once. By kids :/ (although that may sound ridiculous, but there were 4 of them and I couldn’t see if they’re carrying a gun)
      Other brazilians, if you remember more things, please!

      4 years ago
    • Well, it’s not like if you’re walking on the street here you will be robbed for sure, see favelas and stuff like that. I live in a normal neighborhood here in Rio and I never experienced something like being robbed, never stepped on a favela before and I always see people holding iPhones on the buses all the time. You just have to watch out the areas that you’re going. If you have any other doubts you can ask :)

      4 years ago
      • Look, I live in Brazil, but I live in Rio Grande do Sul, in the south of
        the country (look in the map). Over here we don’t have that kind of
        violence, I never experienced something like that, and I really don’t
        like to know that Brazil give this image to the foreigner people….. I
        feel realy bad about that… The thing is, you can’t go out (crazily)
        showing everybody that you have a phone or notebook (etc), just be
        careful with your things and that’s all. And, at least in my city, we
        don’t see favelas or police, crazy war people and guns, I never saw
        something like that…. So…

        4 years ago
        • Just, the important thing it’s to be careful and don’t look like you have no idea about were are you going and look like you are lost, or looking like you are not paing atention to the people that are around you.
          You have to look like you live here or know about Brazil and behave with confidence. I think that if you look lost or if you look like you are not paing atention, you can be a potencial target for robbers or even some guy that could try to sell you something unreasonably expensive….

          4 years ago