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COMMENTS

So this is a question we get asked A LOT A LOT. And so we’re gonna try to answer it to the best of our abilities, based off of our experiences of trying to find a visa in Korea, to setting up our own business, to speaking with people who have non-teaching visas.

To begin with, we don’t work for Korean immigration, so if you have detailed questions about getting VISAs and getting hired in Korea, we really can’t help you at all, and I’m sorry if we don’t reply to your email! We get so many emails about how to get a job in Korea, but we have no answer to give besides, “I don’t know”. We only know what we’ve learned from friends who have different jobs, and even the jobs they got are very specific to their education, the country they’re from, and what they’re doing in Korea. There isn’t a single answer that can cover a question about jobs and vacationing in Korea because the VISA laws change even country by country. So for example, if you’re Canadian, you can vacation in Korea for up to six months, but if you’re from the USA you only have three months. Even basic steps regarding hiring teachers has changed in the past four years, so the steps we went through to be hired are totally different today. Korea is constantly updating, tweaking, and changing its laws towards foreigners, so I’m sure this TL;DR will become outdated within a year!

So most of the foreigners we meet are, yes, teachers. They’re either working at an after school tutoring centre, an elementary – high school, as professors at University, but there are exceptions. Most of the unique jobs we’ve experienced are from people who work in Korea for a year or so and then move to another country with their company, but it isn’t like they got the job by themselves; it’s a big company kind of deal. They usually have a family that comes with them, and kids that attend International schools in Korea.

To be totally honest, unless you’re married to a Korean or Korean born in someway, it is really difficult to just get an average job. You need to fit one of the categories immigration has laid out, and each category has specific regulations regarding qualifications. You need a company to sponsor your VISA and they have to prove that you are needed at the company and fit all the regulations, and that you specifically can do the job while a Korean person can’t. In order to do anything important in Korea (like get a bank card, a cell phone, get paid into your Korean bank account) you need to get your Alien Registration Card (ARC), and in order to get that, you need to be approved by Korean immigration so you can get the correct VISA status. You ARC number is your access to living in Korea (we’re not talking about just vacationing in Korea because you won’t get an ARC number for that), since even Korean citizens have their own number that they use to register for everything.

Our honest advice would be that in order to get a unique job in Korea, you have to be in Korea already. Attending a Korean university to learn how to speak Korean while having a part-time job would definitely help, if your school allows it, since you could build contacts and show why you’re valuable to a company. We know a couple of people who are students in university and interning at, for example, YG.

It would also give you the chance to really get to know Korea for real and to decided if you do really want to live here or not. We’ve heard from people who enjoy watching korean dramas and following kpop that they were surprised at what everyday life was really like in Korea: while some of them loved it, some of them left after a year. We’re not saying that you’re gonna come here and hate it. Clearly, as is our situation, we came here and loved it and want to make a life here. But our situation isn’t common. We don’t know anyone else blogging as a living here in Korea. We also don’t know anyone as weird as us, so maybe that’s why.

ps-> While we were registering Eatyourkimchi as a business in Korea and we made our announcement video for the Studio Fundraiser, we stumbled upon some angry threads from foreigners who are living in Korea. When they applied for their businesses the cost was lower and the rules were different, yet rather than thinking that, hey, things change constantly and maybe the process they went through is different than what’s current, they called us liars who didn’t know what we were talking about. Considering we JUST went through weeks and weeks of application at Korean immigration, actually yes, we do know what we’re talking about, but that’s just for now. If someone has a different story a year from now, we wouldn’t be surprised.

I’m not bringing this up to complain even though those people suck donkey farts for a living; I’m bringing this up to say be wary of advice from forums! There are lots of foreigners who have been living in Korea for a while and who are giving advice about VISA status and other things, but sometimes this advice is coming from someone who is comfortably living in Korea and has not recently had to go back to immigration to update anything. Thus, they might not know about all the changes in the laws. Even simple laws about traveling with cats and dogs to Korea have just recently changed, so don’t trust what someone says in a forum; look up the information for yourself from a real Korean government site or go to your local Korean embassy. You don’t want to risk getting into trouble because someone on a forum gave you outdated advice :D

So, TL;DR on this whole post: we’re just relating our experiences with Visas in Korea. Our word isn’t gospel, as the word on Visa regulations is likely to change. We can offer you an idea of what the process is like and what to expect, but we’re not the ultimate source. What can be said, for now, for sure, though, is that getting Visas in Korea is not easy. They’re not given out to everyone, so finding jobs in Korea that aren’t related to teaching is not a simple process.

If you have different experiences, please share them. We’re not even sure if we’re just talking about the Seoul area or Korea as a whole. Or, if you would like to ask some questions while we’re active on this thread, shoot away! Hopefully we can get a somewhat interesting discussion about a very boring topic going on. Woot!

ToFebruary
Gmarket
  1. Hello Martina and Simon,

    My name is Olivier and I moved to Seoul to live here with my beautiful Korean wife (yes I have a valid working visa).

    I have been looking for a normal job (normal income and if possible not being considered as a slave) for a while but so far without success.

    I speak French, English, good German and I am currently learning Korean (almost intermediate level) with a business management background.

    Do you have any suggestions that could help me to find a job?

    I thank you guys in advance for your help.

    Enjoy your kimchi and have a nice day.

    Olivier

  2. Hello,
    I am Claire a Ugandan and i love Korea so much that i would love to live and raise my family from there please advise.

  3. Hi! I am moving to Seoul this summer becuase my husband will be stationed at Yongsan. I would really like to find a job while we are there for two years. Am I delusional if I think I can find a job with a Korean company that is a non-teaching job? I’m in Business Development for tech staffing now and I really enjoy it, but I don’t know if I can do anyting like that over there.

  4. you guys are totally nuts. :-) I’ll be coming to Korea in early 2014 to join my husband who has taken up a (non teaching ;-) job over there. I’ll have a resident visa which will allow me to live there but I believe I won’t be able to work unless sponsored by an employer and while I have teaching experience (if teaching scuba diving counts) teaching is not what I am hoping to end up doing there. I am sure I’ll find something to keep myself busy. Learning Korean will be one of them for a start. I have already started here in London and I am enjoying it. Very informative thank you.

  5. People keep telling me it’s practically impossible for a foreigner to get a job in Korea. It’s depressing. And dampening my desire to live there little by little. I guess Korea isn’t as warm and inviting as I’d like to delude myself into thinking.

  6. I would like to find a job in korea. Unfortunately, I am 38 years old Singaporean with a diploma in Engineering holding a senoir position to procurement. But i dun speak korean.
    It there any apportunity to find a laid down job in country side.

  7. Wow, I found this video doing a google search and I have to say that this was one of the most difficult/uninformational videos I’ve seen. Too much nervous energy and I could barely follow what you were trying to say (which could have been done in about 2 minutes, not 7).

  8. You’d really need to be posted by a multinational company to Korea, already with a job.

  9. Do you know anything about coming to Korea with Working Holiday visas? Would it be possible to find jobs? Even something like waiting at restaurants?

  10. I’m Australian and getting a visa to work was pretty easy for me HOWEVER i’ve been here for four months and have no idea what i could do so i’ve been bumming on my savings.

  11. kpopfan123

    “When they applied for their businesses the cost was lower and the rules were different, yet rather than thinking that, hey, things change constantly and maybe the process they went through is different than what’s current, they called us liars who didn’t know what we were talking about.” How dare they?!! > . <
    I appreciate your work! (even though some don't…. I guess you can't have a world full of wizards…you must have muggles as well
    - . -')

    <3<3<3<3

  12. Well if you don’t want to join the military there are always US Department of Defense jobs and State department jobs in Korea. If you speak Korean you might have a better chance at getting a State Department job at the embassy. There are also teaching jobs at the DoD Schools on various military bases. Korea is quickly becoming an assignment where people are bringing their families rather than unaccompanied so I only see the teaching jobs increasing. There are also government contracting jobs but those are hard to come by as they are very popular and they usually taken by people with previous experience.

  13. What about interns? I will totally work for you guys without money…^^

  14. How does Korean citizens feel about American military being stationed there? Because I am scheduled to go into the Army soon and my job says after AIT I will be stationed in S. Korea, so I wanted to know if they feel like dislike or something to us being there.

  15. lostandconfusedinkorea

    I’m moving to Korea on an E2 visa to teach and be closer to my partner (who is a Korean national). While we’re both not financially secure enough at this stage – we have talked a lot about getting married, and starting a family. Can I stay on an E2 visa and still teach if and when we get married, or is it better to go on the F2? I read that you have to apply to renew it every year if you have no children together, but what happens once you do have kids? Can I apply for permanent residency and/or be a stay at home mum in Korea?

  16. I’m hoping too attend university too do a degree in Korean culture and language which will include living and studying in South Korea for a year . I already know how too read and write in Korean and I know a lot about the culture and customs due too studying and observing it a lot . Do you think having a degree in Korean culture and language would help in getting a visa ? As I’m looking into living in Korea for at least a couple of years in the future and also do you by any chance know how hard is it too get an intern position at one of the entertainment agencies ? Like YG or SMent for example , as I really want too work in the music industry . Thanks :).

  17. Talking about living In Korea, getting a job… I’d like to know how did you guys learn the Korean language ??How long did it take to learn the basics ?? Is there any difficulty you had to face ?? Thanks ;)

  18. Just as an extra tidbit of information on the topic Korea actually has a Working Holiday Visa if you’re under 30 and have sufficient funds to support yourself for 3 months. I havn’t done it myself but in my search to travel I’ve found that it’s an option for several countries. http://www.exploringkorea.com/working-holiday-visa-korea/

  19. Talking about living in Korea, getting a job… I’d like to know how did you guys learn Korean ? How long did it take to get the basics ? What is (are) the main difficulty(ies) you had to face ? Thanks ;)

  20. A few weeks back, I was watching a Music Core video, and what went through kinesiology student mind was “Wow, they’re gonna need some spine/back interventions when they get older,” and then “heyy, maybe I could get a co-op job in Korea for Kpop artists!” (a dream that is unlikely to come true, but still possible… maybe :’D)

  21. You guys give me hoooope! I’m not kidding!
    I’m about to graduate from High School, and probably going to either France or the U.S. and major in something very specialized… and new… So by the time I get my Master’s degree there’s the tiny possibility that job offers might be waiting for me in Korea!!! :D
    Thanks for finally doin’ this TLDR, I’ve been seriously waiting for like a year and a half for it :3
    ~Izzie

  22. Ok so…my hope is to learn some Korean before I go to Korea. I’m going to graduate with my bachelors degree in a science field (and I can get a job right after school and after I take a board exam)…after that happens I’m probably going to work and maybe get a minor or major in Korean somewhere (if I can find a school that offers it)…so…do you think I’d stand a chance at getting a job in Korea in that science field that way? I think that if I went I’d probably keep going to school there to learn more Korean and more science stuff, but…I don’t know if they’de even hire me in the first place since I’m not Korean…I’m not even Asian…though I want to learn the language really badly and I’d love to live there for a few years…maybe life I don’t know…

  23. Hey I’m a high school student from the Uk and Im wanting to start a website for kpop fans in the UK as we really dont get that much information over here, no magazines, hardly any blogs that relate to the UK and recently alot more people here have started getting interested. Do you have any suggestions on how I can get started?

  24. Annyeong! I am a student (17 years old) and i’m interested in becoming an english teacher in Korea. However, since i’m from Romania, Europe, would it be possible for a person who is not from an english speaking country to be hired?
    I would be very grateful if you answered ^^
    Thank you!

  25. What do u know about sasaeng fans? Have you had any of your own or come into contact with idols sasaeng fans? >scary horror music in the background lol

  26. At home do you guys still have more american habits or have you gotten korean habits? For example, at home, do you eat more korean food or the food you used to have in Canada? And do your families, when you visit them, think some of the habits you guys got from Korea are strange?

  27. Does anyone know what the opportunities are like for an interpreter/translator in Korea? Or in what employment areas in Korea an interpreter can enter? I was wondering because I’m going to university next year to get a bachelor of arts majoring in Korean to become an interpreter and I’d like to get a feel for employment opportunities in Korea. Thanks!

  28. I just wanted to say that Martina is wearing an awesome sweater. Sweater love.

  29. Hi Simon and Martina! Thanks for your insights about foreigners and getting non-teaching jobs in Korea. I have never really been to Korea except for their older airport during a stopover to the Philippines years ago. All I remember is that the people who worked at the airport didn’t really speak English and their money has different colors, unlike US bills, which are all green (lol). On a serious note, I would love to go to Korea and vacation. Have you both vacationed in Korea prior to living and working there?

  30. The advice / comment about studying Korean at a Korean university is a good step for people who would like to live in Korea and get involved beyond English teaching. If you read the blogs and messageboards you’ll find a lot of negative reviews about life in Korea, though most of this comes from English teachers or former English teachers, many of whom unfortunately didn’t go beyond that clique and never have meaningful relationships outside that world. That’s not to discount some of their gripes, but learning the language and meeting a wide variety of people (not just English teachers) will give you a broader and more authentic look at the country. It’ll also let you meet people doing the things you want to do. In my experience the smartest, most interesting people aren’t the ones active online; they’re too busy living in Korea to brag (or complain) about it.

    Also, it’s important to have a skill or a talent. Sounds kind of silly, but what exactly can you do, what exactly can you offer that can’t be done by hundreds of thousands of people already here? If you don’t have a skill or an area of expertise, start building one. Practically everyone thinks they can write, proofread, edit, and translate (tip: they can’t), so unless you’re exceptionally good and have a long track record of it, you’ll need a skill in another field, and the talent and drive to set yourself apart.

    Diligence is important as well. You’re not going to walk off the plane and into a job. You’ll need to spend months and years working for it, and for some people that’s a shock.

  31. So… Simon said you can’t get the job unless you’re born in Korea or you’re marred to someone there…
    OHOHOHO :D
    You wanna see the list of my 169 celebrity husbands in Korea? :3

  32. At like… exactly 7:26 when the fram changes… Martina is pulling the most random face imaginable

  33. so long story short i think all 200,000 likers on Facebook would love to work for Simon and Martina but as they said they have to hire 5 Korean’s first before the hire a foreigner. Plus think about this if they did hire someone not who wasn’t from Korea they would go broke just trying to get the person to Korea to work for them. With paying for the Visa, maybe finding a place for them to live, paying for them and flying them there.

    However on another note, I hate how it has to be university only thats the only way you can get a job in korea is with university and or if it what they said. like a flim student could be the best in his class at a college but if someone in korea wants him or her they can’t work they have to go to university. it’s bloody stupid. and Korean’s can’t go to canada or the usa to study in college they have to go to university other wise the country wont give them a School Visa. I just plan to marry a korean even thought i am koreanized already i just need to marry one to prove it. Simon and Martina my question is if you know any some what smart and not to bad looking korean guys let me know. I’ll fly to korea to go on a blind date :P

  34. Instead of this, I need a “How To Get A Job With Simon & Martina But You Don’t Live In Korea” tutorial please. :3

  35. Some countries have Working Holiday agreements with Korea, which allows young people to obtain a one year open work visa. For example, Canadian citizens can get a one year Working Holiday visa (which actually specifies you can NOT teach English). This visa would allow those interested in just experiencing life in Korea and seeing the country to work to support their travel. It is not meant for career experience or as a path to stay in Korea long term. Just for those interested in traveling around Korea for up to 1 year. However, how easy it is to get casual work in Korea without speaking the language I don’t know…perhaps there are jobs in Tourism where languages other than Korean are useful?

    As a side note – Korea is a wonderful country, the people are friendly, good food, wonderful sights etc. but I think people considering locating there for the long term should do their homework. Just like North America is not like ‘Gossip Girl’, Korea is not like K-dramas.

  36. lets say that im a veterinarian and i want to go to Korea would it be hard for me to get a job as that over their?? would i need to gain citizenship first??

  37. Oh man, I had been wondering if you guys would ever tackle this question. I got into the film business because I wanted to travel the world (well thats obviously not the only reason) but things change. Now I get to hear stories from all of my seniors about all of the places they’ve been but in reality it doesn’t happen anymore (just like shooting on actual film doesn’t happen anymore). Its easier to hire a local crew (plus tax breaks) unless you’re working on a documentary they just don’t spend the money to travel. For instance, I worked for 14 days in Toronto on Kickass 2 but the rest of it is being shot in England. So now, only the highest members of the crew get to work at both locations (because of their specific qualifications).
    I’d love to experience the life korea (and other countries) but I know deep down it just wont be a reality. It’s not worth it to step away from my real dream that I’ve been working so hard towards (unless I fail which could still happen at this point!) to try working vacations plus I’m already 27 and most of them only work until 25!
    I’m grateful to your videos, specifically the non-k-pop ones for allowing me to second hand experience this culture from a Canadian perspective and just hope one day I can save up enough money to visit. I’m sad that I’ll never get to see the simularities and differences between a kdrama crew and our Canadian ones though! That interests me more then anything and it’s something that is impossible to show only experience first hand. :(

  38. This is awesome. Very informative. Thanks guys!!

  39. LOL u guys got a brick wall! CONGRATS!

  40. irritablevowel

    I would also add, it’s not that easy to move to a different country period. Not just South Korea. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Montreal, but you Canadians also won’t just hire an American if a Canadian can do the same job. OF COURSE you can find a Canadian who can do the same job. So even though many of us threaten every four years that we are “Moving to Canada!” it’s too much of a hassle to actually do it (and the Canadians all give each other a knowing nod as if to say, “and that’s why we keep it complicated folks.”)

    • In many provinces if you go to university there you can apply for Permanent Residence, which makes you almost a citizen. I’m not sure if you are in uni or finished, but just an idea :)

    • Agreed, moving to another country is a massive life change. Generally you’re leaving your friends and family behind, and either going alone or with a partner. Simply the social aspect of building a new group of friends can be difficult, if you’re unlucky. Add to that a country that doesn’t speak your native language? It’s a tough thing ><

  41. YAY~! I could get hired because I have a BFA from a 4 year university where I majored in Animation and film editing. ;-P Finally! I’m hireable, lol!!

  42. I am half Korean and my Korean mother left me when I was very young so I was raised by my American father. I always wanted to go to Korea to see the other half of my culture but my father said that I would be considered a mud person. According to him I would be treated worse than most foreigners because I am only half Korean. My mother recently came back into the picture and she had got remarried to a traditional Korean family so I am being hidden from her in-laws but she does not speak enough English to tell me why this is and if this has something to do with her getting divorced or having children with a non korean. Can you help me figure this out?

    • Years ago people that were only half Korean were treated worse but I don’t think that’s the case as much now. Koreans are getting used to people not being full Korean and many half Koreans who go back to Korea find a place in society and sometimes even end up with jobs on TV shows, modeling etc because in some cases the half Korean look is quite desirable. Your father saying that you would be treated badly is a huge generalization and probably not true these days. People aren’t as closed minded these days. I’m married to a Korean man and there are no concerns or prejudice from his family about the fact that our children will be half white. It’s not that big of a deal. While your father may have experienced being mistreated at some point years ago due to prejudice, him saying you will be considered a ‘mud person’ is a prejudice in itself about Korean people. If you want to go to Korea, don’t worry about what he says.

      From what I know about Korean culture I would say your mother’s actions are probably due to the conservative nature of Korean society. It may not even be about the fact that she had a child with a non Korean but just the fact that she has a child from a previous marriage. While in Western society this is no big deal, it is seen as a big thing in Korea and perhaps dangerous to the cohesive unit of a Korean family. It must be very difficult for you though… and even if your mother does want to see you, perhaps she is wrestling with the thought of her position with her new family being damaged because of the stigma of being divorced and already having a child. This is just my speculation, but I hope it can help a little bit in understanding.

  43. irritablevowel

    So many things about this that I’m glad you discussed.
    First, I’m glad that you brought up that people shouldn’t teach unless they WANT to teach. I’m a teacher of some years of experience (how many years will not be revealed here!) When people who have no background in education just decide they’ll pop into a classroom and “teach” as if it doesn’t take any kind of skill, that really chaps my ass. It’s not an easy job when you WANT to do it and are prepared to do it and are trained to do it. So it’s definitely not easy if you’re not really into it.
    Second, what is the motivation for moving? Wanting to move to a country because of their pop culture is not…advisable. Wanting to move to a country without ever having visited is even less advisable. I actually think Simon and Martina responded so well to Korea because it was a surprise to them. From their earlier videos they had previously stated that the master plan was never to move to Korea. It was to spend maybe a year in Korea and then pop off to another country, then another country etc. But their lack of preconceived notions worked towards making Korea a pleasant surprise (same thing happened to me when I visited Turkey) and they stayed because they wanted to know it better. I was watching a travel show the other day (The Layover if you must know). They were in Paris and they were speaking to a local who said that when people show up with their beret and their striped shirt, they’ve already closed their mind to the real charms of Paris, because they want it to fit into their *idea* of Paris. He said that people need to come to Paris naked (figuratively…I hope) and let Paris dress them. Now, aside from making me want to hop a flight to Paris immediately, I found that statement to be excellent travel advice in general.

    • “their lack of preconceived notions worked towards making Korea a pleasant surprise”

      I very much agree. I had never even tried Korean food before going to Korea as an exchange student, so I was totally caught off guard by how much I would like Korea. Of course there was an adjustment period and culture shock and all that. However, after my exchange I travelled in Southeast Asia for an additional 3 months and found myself homesick for Korea :)

  44. How does Korean schools deal with children who have learning disabilities or mental handicap?? Do they have a special education??

  45. Hey!! I have a question for next week’s TL;DR!

    How does humor differ in Korea? Like, do they appreciate sarcasm? Puns? Knock knock jokes? Riddles?

    You guys are pretty funny, so I figured that you would probably be cracking jokes all the time with your Korean friends, but sometimes social and linguistic differences can change how humor is perceived… The reason I ask is because I’m going to Korea as a high school foreign exchange student in February, and I tell jokes all the time in English, but I don’t want to offend my schoolmates or family. Thanks!!

  46. this is really interesting!

    I regularly heard people from my program (industrial/product design) talk about how they want to work abroad and preferably in Europe for car companies and the what nots. Once our teacher asked us “well how will you get that job, knowing that the European design market is way more competitive then the north american/ Canadian one?” most had no idea, but I had a pretty simple way; work for a company that has offices in your country and abroad. If you work hard and show your interest for what’s happening in the offices abroad, sometimes transfers can happen, and if you play your cards right, you could get to work all around the world!

    Also, working at embassies. I have a friend how’s mother works for the Canadian embassies/immigration. She has regularly moved out of the country for 2 to 3 year long periods to various European countries.

    I don’t know for Korea, but in Japan you can obtain a 1 year working holiday Visa without having an employer sponcering you. You can thus go to Japan and search for a job once you are there. Their some restrictions, like age (between 18 and 30). This is specifically an agreement between Canada and Japan, and I have yet to find something similar for Korea and Canada.

    Also, for those who are already living in the country and speak well the local language, places that have a lot of tourists have a higher chances of employing you. I had a friend who is Brazilian, living in Japan who speaks Japanese, English and Portuguese who worked at a hotel receptionist and an apple store(at different times). These places were looking for someone who could help with growing the foreign clientèle.

  47. If I wanted to study in the Korean University but I am from Canada going over there to study, which things could I study over at Korea..?
    Because I do love Korea overall and I want to go to Korea for the experience. I don’t know the language nor could I write it.

  48. I think this was really informative. I’ll admit that you guys got me interested in teaching English, but I’m hoping to teach in Spain, and work on my Spanish at the same time, or Germany, although Korea is always an option it’s definitely not my first choice. Anything can change in 3 years though^^

  49. May I work as the one who oils Rain’s body for his music videos when he returns?
    I’m not planning on moving to Korea anytime soon, so sorry for not that clever comment, but I just wanted to say that: your sweater is lovely, Martina!

  50. So ..if you guys aren’t technically Korean citizens..How are you able to live there? Are you guys trying to get a visa?? I really do hope to move their someday. I do love kpop but also the people,language, culture and everything about it. I only like korean music, dramas / shows, and guys. After college I do hope to be fluent in Korean and obtain whatever I would need to live their permanently.. and with all sincerity my dream is to be an American kpop singer, or maybe even Japanese or Chinese as well. I think the main issue with this would be the general public not accepting a foreigner like this?? Well, I intend on working hard every day and making my dream come true. ^^

  51. Sooooo when you say 4 years degree… I’m British so only have a 3 year BA in Film and TV Production with Music Video, would a foreign company be able to employ me?

  52. When do we get our perks from the fundraiser? I know you guys had to wait till the money transferred and you are busy getting you new studio ready but I just wanted to know if you guys even started sending them out yet or if you even put together the Polaroid pictures, CDs, and stickers.

  53. Question! Question! really don’t know how much anyone would know about this, but has anyone met a foreign medical doctor in korea? I’m a medical doctor and in medicine specializations, teaching, and practice it’s very open to international input, especially from countries that have some sort of the upper hand in technology or new statistics, etc. (I could go to town talking about that stuff) but! has anyone met a foreigner who practices medicine or teacher anything having to do with medicine while in korea? I know japan does.

  54. Thank you for warning people not to go there based on their dreams and their own views of the country :) Some eople really need that slap-to-the-face kind of thing. I have a friend who loves drams and K-pop and thats why she wants to go do nursing there, DOES IT MAKE SENSE?! XD – Hahahaha, I would love to go too but having done my research, its much better to go there to study, but All I have found are only exchange programs, I am hoping to land one of those exchange programs to study Architecture/Design – as asia is way above America in that field :)

  55. I hope you become millionaires & EYK studios becomes the biggest company in korea. :D I will love love to work with you guys. I love your videos & the way you are. I will be living in korea next year with my US military friend, the army will send him to Seoul & I will go with him, I wanna get a job. it’s sad that it is so difficult. I will love teaching but I have no experience & if I teach I wanna do it right & my english is basic level. I dont wanna live there and do nothing maybe I ended up studying another bachelor or doing a master degree in korea. one thing I’m sure is that i wanna meet you guys, I feel like this nasty here is part of eyk family and sudgy and meemers are my brothers haha I saw your videos everyday, it’s like my dose of laughter. you are so funny<3 haha

    Love you guys!

    sorry for being so naaaasty.

  56. I do have a question. I’m actually studying Korean and looking to study abroad in Korea in the spring of 2014. Now I’m a finance major who works for a financial planning company, mostly within the realms of asset relocation planning. I actually have a US securities and insurance license. I’m having a hard time deciding on which university to attend or rather attempt to attend. My choices are either within Seoul itself or a university outside of Seoul. The one in Seoul is more prestigious but won’t give me any internships or tutoring/work experience in Korea, while the university outside of Seoul is more obscure, but I’ll be tutoring English as well as having an internship. Do Korean companies really go with prestige over practical experience. From what I understand all relationships in Korea are more networking oriented than actually what college you went to, seeing as how many students already have jobs lined up by the time they enter university. I could be wrong. What is your opinion?

  57. living and working in Korea is probably one of those dreams of mine that i would be fine with not achieving in the long run (: but FOR SURE someday when i save up enough i will go visit Korea as a tourist!! its a must!! as a food lover and chef-in-training i drool over your food adventures~ ooh mah gosh T.T

  58. Thank you for posting this video! I think it brings a reality check to some of those who think that working in korea will be all ‘flowers and rainbows with KPOP idols sprinkled on top’ lol. Ever since I found you guys on the internet, my passion for teaching has increased. I would have never thought before to be teaching english as a second language, but I loveeeee learning about new cultures as well as languages, and working with kids. Not only am I going to school for education, but also graphic design. So if you need a graphic designer (when you hire those 3 other koreans by building a korean animal armada ^^) I’ll be done in 4 years! lmfao. Hopefully Korea will be a lot more open to foreigners, and it’ll be easier for us to get a job because Korea has a lot to offer ^^ But do you have any advice on becoming an english teacher in korea? I would love to hear it.

  59. Minty

    I was planning to continue my studies in Korea , well a french University is in touch with others Universtities in Korea and that’s awsome !

    I would be soOooOoOo Happy to work for you in some years ! I’m Funny and I love making videos and all that stuff…. And I’m a Magical french ! YES ! French are magic ! Hum hum… Bye !

    PS: You need me but you don’t know it yet !

  60. I think you guys really did a good job with this video. I’ve seen many people on forums say “Oh I wanna live in Korea and work for SM/YG/JYP and my life with be GLORIOUS” when it really isn’t that easy. I myself want to live in Korea/Japan as well but do not want to go as a teacher considering that really isn’t my passion. I want to go as an engineer once I get my degree and learn the language a bit better (Because I’m sure just being able to translate the symbols to english letters and understanding “Hello/I love you/Water/ and a few other phrases” won’t get me ANYwhere). Once I transfer over to uni in england (Currently studying here In good old ‘murica (I’m american btw :3 )) I plan on taking some courses to learn korean history/culture a bit better as well.

    But hay, if you need an electrical/electronic engineer at EYK in a few years, I’m your girl :P

    • Which English University were you planning on? :DDD I didn’t know you could study specifically korean history! Mine just offers East Asian Civilisation and Japanese or Chinese Modern or Premodern~~ Suppose the whole history is kind of unavoidably linked with China’s anyway XDD

    • Korean chebol companies send out people to prestigious college/univ. to recruit engineers who can speak English and some level of Korean… usually they make contact with Korean student clubs and hold close door recruitment event.

  61. Thank you guys so much for uploading this video and answering this question! :) When I meet people who are interested in Korea and living there, they all assume that they have to become teachers, and they don’t really take it seriously. They’re kind of like, “Well, I love Big Bang and 2ne1, so I think I’ll love everything about Korea without even doing the proper research! And even though I hate children I’ll get a job teaching them English!”
    I mean, when I first started getting interested in Korea, I was kind of thinking about going the teacher route, but then after thinking, I came to remeber that I don’t actually… uh… like children, or want to be around them for 8 hours a day. Not that I hate them, but let’s be honest… children can be a bit creepy :)
    So I really, really appreciate this video because I didn’t want to do a job that I didn’t enjoy or have any passion for when I do go to Korea, and I kind of hope that the whole process becomes easier and a bit more… forienger friendly :)

  62. really nice video! thanks EYK^^ Well as I know from others living in Korea too finding a steady and serious job is really difficult cause there is big competition! So people study really hard and have an awesome degree,master etc with good recommendations and then you can find a job! study study study! ^____^~~

  63. Hi! I was wondering if you knew anything about how to get jobs in places like lotte world or everland as a performer? I currently live in the US but plan on moving with my older sister who will be an english teacher over there:)

  64. I went through the whole process to teach in Korea (twice actually) only to decide it was probably a bad idea because the South Korea we see in the media is not a good reflection of the country as a whole. The same can go for Japan. Daily life is pretty much mundane and the same as ours (except in another language of course). My boyfriend is Chinese and he was looking into working in Hong Kong a few years ago. Ultimately, he decided it was not worth it. It’d be longer hours, smaller space, and less pay. All of that on top of being thousands of miles away from his family and friends. When I was considering the teaching jobs, I often asked myself if going abroad was going to help my career (my degree is in Graphic Design).

    Trust me, I know how many younger people want to go to South Korea because they love kpop and kdramas and want to find a charming South Korean boyfriend straight from a kdrama (been there, done that). However, I think a better idea would be to vacation in these countries for a while and befriend foreigners who live there to get their take on things. Why jump through all those hoops when you might not even like the country after all? I have Korean-born friends who live in North America now who hate their country. One who moved here a couple years ago and hates Korea so much he was desperately trying to renew his VISA so he wouldn’t be shipped back.

    Also, last time I applied (a year ago), the teaching jobs for public schools were getting scarce and harder to get. Hagwons were still hiring normally, but I know a lot of them can be shady. I mean, I don’t want to be a debbie downer here, but I think a lot of people who say they want to live there are living life with rose colored glasses on.

    • Well, maybe your’re right that a lot of people want to go to Korea to have a drama-like life and you wonder why to go there knowing that a lot of people found that daily life is hard.

      In my opinion, if they follow your advice, they might think “Well, maybe I should not do it, maybe it’s not a good idea…” but even if they don’t like the experience of living there (even for less than a year), if they stay, they might be regretting not have gone for the rest of their lives, because they’ll never know what would have happened.

      To me, I think that if you try and you don’t like it, you’ll always have the chance to come back or to go somewhere else and you would have lived a new experience and been in contact with a culture completely different of yours.

      And that there are Koreans that now hate their country, I’m pretty sure that there’re also Americans that hate the US, this happens everywhere. Just because you’ve been born in a country, that doesn’t mean that you have to like it. For example,I’m Spanish and my country is known as a country which likes bullfighting. I consider that it is to kill (in a very painful way) an innocent animal and it should be banned.

      • I’m not saying people shouldn’t do it because it’s great to experience different cultures. However, people shouldn’t go into it having the expectations that it’s gonna be some fairy tale. That’s why I think it’s somewhat better to vacation in the country ahead of time. You still experience it but don’t have to commit to it.

        And about my friend, he specifically commented about the pressures of living in their society. Having to be the best at everything, their education system being very corrupt, along with society being somewhat closed minded about things (women’s rights, gay rights, etc). He likes that at least here he can speak his mind. That’s not to say SK is bad, like every country it has its pros and cons.

        Like Simon and Martina are saying, people need to be realistic about the outcomes.

    • The teaching jobs are getting scarce? That’s sad. I still want to try going there to teach though. I figure at worst I won’t like living there and after the year is over I will come back to the US and work. Since I want to be a translator, I figure this can only beef up my resume since I actually lived and worked in the country for a little while.

  65. I feel like this video is just what my girlfriend and I were looking for! I’m currently getting my degree in English education to become a teacher, and teaching ESL in Korea and/or Japan is something that has really interested me for years (so your blog has been a wonderful resource for me). But my girlfriend is worried about getting a job for herself as she, understandably, doesn’t want to feel “useless” while I’m working for at least a year so we’ve been trying to figure out what sort of job options are available to her as a foreigner who is not interested in teaching. She half-jokingly, half-seriously talked about thinking of working for you guys since we thought you might be more likely to hire foreigners, haha. Thank you for this video! Hopefully things will work out in our favor however many years down the road it takes! =)

  66. omg you guys I’m planning to go to university in Korea, but I had been counting on getting a part-time job… how are you expected to pay for college with no job omg why would they do this

  67. well, this is what I have to ask…
    I’m studying to be a professional baker…do you think that if I moved there and opened my own space I would be lucky or would I fail horribly?

    • Could be lucky, but you’d have to get your own business visa and what not first, right? It’s a huge investment!! :O

      P.S. Must be awesome to be a professional, can make yourself amazing cake when you want =w=

    • Location location location. Seriously, that’s really important here. you could get lucky if you find the right spot. but, keep in mind there are a ton of chain bakeries here, so your product better be special. There’s an American baker here in Itaewon that specializes in organic pies. They’re expensive, but good. Good enough, that he recently opened a second cafe just next door to the original.

  68. Seems like a tough thing but well, yes, understandable. Why hire a foreigner if a local can do the job? Makes sense, and it is the same in almost all countries I know. So option 1. is that I gotta marry a Korean, and it will be a difficult task to find one here in Hungary, lol, 2. gotta finish my Korean studies and make use of my ability of speaking 4 languages. I guess that’s a specialty Korean companies could utilize in a globalized world like this? :)

  69. I’m really interested in working for you guys!! I’m a Korean born in America but am planning on moving to Korea soon. Is there any specific things you are looking for when hiring people? Is there a certain place where we can actually apply to work for eatyourkimchi? Thank you!

  70. This video was really informative! Thank you for answering that question!

  71. Hm…after hearing this useful information , I wonder how it is in Japan… *goes to research *

  72. So if you guys are not teaching anymore what visa are you using in Korea?? I wonder if I can get a type of visa like you guys have.. Just sharing.. I’m a US Military in Korea so we have different status we don’t need any visas we only need is our military ID. Love Korea so much..

  73. I’ll be going to study abroad in Korea next year and I study korean here in the US I wonder if I would be able to get a part time job at my university or at a coffee shop or something.

  74. After running into all the problems and
    Korea making it as difficult as possible for foreigners to live there, I started looking into the possibility of beginningwith a working holiday visa (allows you to find jobs that aren’t entertainment or other places that could “corrupt morals” while living/traveling in Korea, 18 months for a US citizen), so my question is this… If you can already legally have a job and don’t need to be sponsored, do you think it would be easier to be hired? Do the employers still have to prove they need a foreigner if they don’t have to sponsor the visa? I e-mailed the Korean embassy and never heard back, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get your opinion and just see what you guys think, haha.

  75. Now I know what are my chances and what should I do to get a job in Korea. Now i have to think about it. I just graduated from University but I don’t have experience in the field I studied for. I would love to work in some laboratory and later I would love to teach chemistry in high school but first I need to learn korean. Is there a chance to get scholarship at a university for learning korean, even if I didn’t have great marks?

  76. I think Simon and Martina summed it up really well: you have to be very specialized or koreanized. I’m currently a business exchange student (only a semester) at Seoul National University, and I’ve met some people with interesting backgrounds. I’ve seen a few expats that are just sent over by their company, and occupy good positions here. I’ve also talked to a few full time students who plan to stay here at the completion of their study. I tried to get an internship here, but it’s indeed quite complicated, even with a relatively strong resume. Things that would definitively be improve your chances are:
    - Have a strong background: Koreans are nuts about education, so if you don’t have some serious work experience or a famous university, it will be more difficult. Some big chaebols do indeed recruit international students/young professionals, so then, your resume will matter a great deal
    - Be in Korea: It’s hard for a recruiter to recruit someone who says that he “loves” the country but has never lived in Korea. And being there as a student is better. And the better the university, the better your chances…
    - Use your network: contact professors (if you’re an exchange student), your local embassy or chamber of commerce, alumni from your home university living in Korea, companies from your home country doing business in Korea.
    - Be proactive: if you’re just waiting for a miraculous offer and sitting around it’s downright impossible to find. So get ready to call people, send emails, go to places…
    - Learn Korean: that’s really an option only if you stay here long term. If you’re “just” staying here for less than a year, you won’t have a professional proficiency (except if your major is Korean language maybe). But knowing Korean will open up a lot of doors for you.
    - Luck: There are obviously some companies that are looking for non-koreans, and you might very well fit the bill. The thing is that you have to know about it and they have to know about you. And sometimes, it just comes down to luck…

    I actually had a few leads for internships here (through managers from my home university and from my professors here at Seoul National), and I do know some students who found internships without speaking Korean. But it’s hard, so you’ll have to put a lot of effort into it, and have fallback options, because you can never be sure you’ll get an offer in Korea.

    But, really, the best advice if you want to live in Korea is to do what Simon and Martina said: get a full-time degree here and/or learn Korean (which takes a while and requires a full commitment).

    • Thank you so much for posting this! I am currently a senior and will be going to university next year. I study under the IB(International Baccalaureate) and I’m planning to study in the UK. However, recently I’ve added the option of studying my whole undergraduate degree in Korea as I am a foreigner and it’d be easier for me to get into one of the SKYs. But after thinking about it more and more, I felt like a UK degree will do me way more good than a korean degree. The main reason I want to study in Korea is I’ve visited Seoul cause I really liked korean culture and had some friends there, and i’ve got to say I really liked the city and I really would like to live there at some stage of my life. Thanks to your post, I realized a exchange student program isn’t a bad idea and I researched UK universities with exchange programs to Korea and I found out that actually some of the schools i’m interested in actually do have exchange programs to Korea. I’m going to study business too, and I’m planning to maybe go to Korea after I get my undergraduate degree in UK to either study a postgraduate degree or a language program. I currently am able to speak Chinese and English fluently at mother tongue level, and one of the universities i’m interested in has business programs that require students to study a language, and i’m planning on to study japanese. I was thinking if I’m able to speak Chinese, English, Korean and Japanese, I’d definitely be able to find a job in Korea.

      THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THIS POST! it just opened up a whole new gate for my future! Once again, Thank you.

  77. haha awesome,

    there is a good chance for living in korea for a year: Working Holiday. I am going to Seoul January 2013 for Working Holiday, so i am rrrrrrrreally looking forward to it, (i am 192cm tall girl so it will be interesting lol). I used to live in Japan for one year as well (Working Holiday my best friend muhahaha) and everyone, really everyone told me its impossible to get a job in Japan and i got one after 2 days :0 never give up!

    Martina & Simon, you guys are awesome :D <3 <3 <3

    • omg 192? I’m 1.83 and that is really tall for a girl here in Spain. I feel your pain.. -_-”
      Where did you work in Japan? I’m applying for a scholarship to go there next year but it’s really difficult to get it… >-<'

      • yes, but i love being tall. in japan the people took photos of me without asking. ahah 1,83 is tall. arent you happy with that? lol
        i used to work with handicaped people for 6 months, but i didnt like it so i stopped. then 2 weeks later i started working in a german restaurant as a waitress (i couldnt speak any japanese… and there were only japanese customer….) and as a bartender in a foreign bar (so in total… i was working 7days/week). OSAKA!

        really?scholarship? where in japan? sounds fun!

        • I’m really happy with my heigh, it makes me unique ;)
          wow you sure have lots of stories to tell!
          I want to apply to the Vulcanus program for next year. it’s for egineering-technical-etc students in europe and if you are chosen you get to live in Japan for one year: ~4 months intensive japanese course + 8 months working in a company ;) it is an amazing oportunity but it is also really difficult to get it, because a lot of people apply and there are few positions…
          Could you tell me how did you find the jobs in japan?Any website? or were you actually in Japan at the moment?I

  78. YES YES YES FOR THE BUNNY ADDITION TO THE EYK FAMILY!!!!

  79. Simon and Martina I’m so happy for you guys congratulations! Hmm I think that’s all that I have to say but anyway take care! :D

  80. Another question, for the visa they require 4 years and a degree. What about a diploma instead of a degree?

    This was kind of disheartening. I want to move to Korea and work in corporate/editorial design, but now it seems close to impossible now….. I’m pretty passionate about this idea, though, so I WILL EVENTUALLY MAKE IT HAPPEN! ^0^

    • I know I’m pretty disheartened too. However, may I recommend a different route than what they talked about? I’m in my fourth year in college and I’ve come to realize that I would never be able to get a direct job IN Korea, like Simon and Martina said. But there are opportunities to establish your career, say, in American company branches and show them you have interest in learning the language and living and working in Korean someday. Procter and Gamble has a program where they teach languages and ship their employees on a 2 year minimum abroad for projects. They also have advisors for you to help with the move to a new country such as culture shock and moving your family. In fact, PG looks for potential employees based on their desire to travel a lot. Samsung I’m sure does the same — in fact a lot of their communications and marketing positions require you to know Korean. It’s a different approach. It will take longer to prove yourself at an American company and then have them ship you abroad. The only other issue with this is gender. Even a lot of American companies don’t ship females executives abroad because other countries, including Korea, are still uncomfortable working with women. But that can change :D Just look for those companies with Korean origins or branches (LG, PG, Johnson and Johnson, Samsung, Loreal, ect.)

      • Thank you for this information! I was actually planning on trying work for Samsung here if I couldn’t get to Korea. I’ve done many mock projects for Samsung at school. Your comment definitely made me feel better about this!

  81. I had a look at teaching programs that were posted in my uni (I’m currently studying in the UK atm), and apparently I need to be a citizen from English speaking countries (eg USA, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ, etc). So I can’t teach in Korea even though I speak English fluently because I’m a Thai citizen. Owwwwww D: I guess I might have to do another degree in Korea if I wanna live there :P

  82. Hi! I was really happy when I saw the tittle of this, but then the video content came…. *sigh*. I really wanted to go as an English Teacher there, I really love languages and I’m graduating from English Teaching (I’m Chilean, so Spanish is my mother tongue). I reviewed your videos about teaching a long time ago, and even went to the webpage you had to contact so to go there, BUT they only accept people who are native speakers of English (it doesn’t matter if I can prove that I’m fluent…). So I was already thinking about studying in Korea and get my masters in linguistics there, so I started looking for scholarships; I found a really good one provided by the Korean government, BUT they asked to graduate with a 5,5 and I’m graduating now with a 5,3….. *sighs again*

    So with this video I kinda surrender already, though I still wanna go to Korea. I’m going in 2014 on summer time (for me winter time) with a friend from the States that was here in Chile for 8 months….

    Hope you read this~ I really love you guise~ <3

  83. I graduate in a year and a half with a marketing degree and an information technology minor. maybe you’ll be able to hire meeeee by that time ^.^ hehehe. just kidding, I’m going to go teach English~

  84. This may be a bit different :P

    My wife has become a bit obsessed with Korea, and I’m beginning to like the idea of going over myself. I however want to go across and play rugby for one of the clubs in Korea. Play it in South Africa at the moment and figured it would be a great experience. But for the life of me I can’t seem to get into contact with anyone who can give me an idea of how to play for a Korean club.

  85. What colleges and universities are available in Korea that have courses that could teach me how to be a TESOL teacher and also teaches Korean to foreigners?

  86. Hey! I was wondering how Korea has changed within the past couple of decades, how it is currently changing, and how it it expected to keep…changing, hahaha. I’m thinking immigration patterns, relations with other countries and how those potentially effect Koreans, maybe big pieces of legislation that passed that effected parts of Korean society on a large scale….or whatever really :).

    • For example, I know NAFTA was something that affected many people living in Mexico when it got passed. A lot of small businesses closed in light of the new big business competition coming in from the States, a lot of people in the state of Veracruz got sick because of the way new pork companies from the States were disposing the pig excrement, some people have a hard time finding work while others work for minimum wage at these companies, which doesn’t cover daily living costs. I was wondering what were some big events in recent history that formed Korea into what it is today and how it is expected to continue changing.

  87. Well in two and a half years, if you need a foreigner with a degree in multimedia and a specialization in animation and film editing (and a minor in Korean studies), I’m your girl! Like, I’m serious. That’s what I’m in Uni for AND I’m in Hong kong so I’m pretty close!

  88. I just want to work for EYK. I could be your North American office :-)

  89. I have lived and taught in Korea for one year already and about 6months into my teaching, I discovered the amazingness of K-Pop and EYK. I’m returning back to Korea in February to teach in Seoul. I graduated a 4-year college and have received my Bachelor’s in Linguistics. Would you guys happen to know if I would be able to have any side jobs with my E-2 visa or like iN THE FUTURE do something for EYK?

  90. Speaking of the average job thing- my younger brother lives in Japan and had a job at a convenience store BUT he is fluent in Japanese. It’s rare to see a foreigner in that type of job so Japanese people would be surprised to see him behind the counter and would try to start speaking in English. He’d always have to say to them, “Please speak Japanese. I can speak Japanese, otherwise I wouldn’t have been hired.”

    My other brother is thinking about getting a job in Korea- but he is a mechatronics engineer, which is quite specialized so there would be good reason for a Korean company to hire him.

    One area that Korea definitely needs English speaking foreigners is for reenactment scenes in history TV programs! My husband will watch these TV shows and the actors are terrible! They are often cast just because they are white- even if their English is quite bad. I always cringe when I see the bad acting and bad English. So if you are an actor and want to live in Korea, maybe that is a possibility.

    • Ha! I remember watching “Americans” in Korean dramas, and cringing at their horrible English. They are clearly not American. However, the average Korean citizen probably can’t tell the difference, so the Korean companies probably just find someone who looks white and they can pay very little money to.

  91. Please, please, please can I have the job as Spudgy’s assistant?! I am willing to work bonus hours petting Meemers also!

  92. i’m happy for you because you found something you want to do with your life and it actually works out. but i also envy you because not only do i not have a job, i don’t even know what job i want…and i’m your age.
    I hope it keeps working out for you guys, really!

  93. I think about this issue every single day since I decided that i want to live and study in Korea. I know it’s not going to be easy at all, but i really want to go there. I’m from Portugal and parents dragged me all the way to Germany because our country it’s in a complete crisis. More than ever , I want to go to Korea to achieve my dreams! Yeah saying it like this looks like it’s a fairytale but hell no , even if i have to clean a ballroom with a toothbrush i don’t care! Ok done with my history XD Now my question~~
    I want to graduate myself in Multimedia (Editing videos blabla just like you guys XD) and really wanted to know a good university in Korea (No specific place) that has international courses + Korean Learning Classes….do you guys know any?

    P.S- Thank you for every single video you do !! <3 FIGHTING!!!

  94. I didn’t really think of this when I met my husband, but I guess I wasn’t really thinking of ever living in Korea at that point… now though, I’m glad I’m married to a Korean so it will be easier when we live there for a few years. He got his Australian residency through his marriage to me, but we would still like to experience living in Korea together sometime- we are thinking from 2014. While he will probably just work a normal job, I am hoping to be earning a living by blogging by then too :)

    That is frustrating about other foreigners giving out information about work visas and such when their information is out of date, and even worse that they are accusing you of lying! We all know you guys are lovely and honest, so hopefully no one believed that crap.

    • When you live in Korea, what kind of Visa will you have? I ask because my boyfriend is Korean, and we have talked about getting married after we both graduate from university, but if we moved to Korea I’m not sure what I would do..

  95. I actually want to become a English Teacher in Korea my Japanese friend influenced me to do so, it’s such a joy answering questions about English. I’ve made two friends from Korea University, I will definitely contact them for help when I go to Korea. I want to find a internship at least, while I’m studying abroad. I think it will be very helpful. Any background experience in Korea, I think will strengthen my abilities.

  96. lol funny thing is there is a sweat whipping job! when i went to see the music shows like music bank, there were these people who would wipe the sweat off the idols faces and make other minor adjustments.

  97. LOL, for the record I asked a similar question a few weeks ago, and my degree is not in sweat wiping, but Speech Pathology…..so I can help the idols of Korea with that horrid slack jaw problem :P

  98. I did some research on korean universitys because I wanted to become A full time student there, but as far as I am aware that there is no korean university that is actually USA accredited school. Meaning if you ever did want to come back to the states it would be very hard to find a job. So my question is did I over look something do you know of a school that is accredited? As much as i want to study/live in korea I dont want all those years and money to be conciderd a waste in the end (just in case). I only found 2 asian schools that are conciderd usa accredited uni.s and that is 1 in Taiwan called Ming Chuan Uni, and 2 one in Japan called Temple uni. I know to become a student at a korean uni you have to study korean for a year for have level 3. [this is a rule in all korean schools by law if your not an 'exchange student' and your wanted to be a full time student all four years there. As well as a bank notice for $10,000 or a scholarship funding note [this is to prove you can live one year in korea with suffent fundings]. So can you tell me how others do it? I hear of people studying there not just for korean study; are they just all exchange students?

    SOrry for such a long comment>< Just really want to find out if there is anyways I even emailed schools but there info was kind of vague.

    • That is definitely a problem. I’ve thought about studying abroad, but like you said there are a ton of problems sometimes with getting credits to transfer, or having your degree count if you get it there. In the end I’ll probably just graduate here, and hope that there’s someone who needs a korean/japanese/english translator.

    • There is also a university in mitaka, Tokyo, Japan called international Christian university. It’s a US accredited school^^ I went there for a while, and loved it to pieces :)

    • The University of Hawaii has a “Korean for Professionals” program that includes one year of language study and internship at Korea U. You can get a Bachelors or Masters degree, but the program is pretty intensive – so you need to be into the language. The good thing is that its easy to dual major, most students end up getting jobs in Korea, and the program is actually recommended by the US Government, so you will end up speaking at a pretty high level.

    • Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe USA accreditation for universities only applies to American schools. I know Temple University is an American school and the Japan campus is actually a branch campus (their main campus is in Philadelphia). I can’t speak for the other schools mentioned, but it may be the same case as well.

      I would say studying abroad at a Korean university while still being officially enrolled at your home institution would be the best option for obtaining an education and experience in Korea while graduating from an American school. I can’t speak for other schools, but my school requires that all classes a student wants to take abroad to be pre-approved by the department heads to ensure they will transfer back properly. That way before a student even leaves the country they know for sure if the classes they take will be applied to their degree program or will be considered electives. If your school doesn’t require that it probably wouldn’t hurt to ask an advisor how a class would transfer back if you can get your hands on a syllabus for it. The downside to all of this is that it can be more expensive than staying in the US and you typically would only be able to stay up to a year unless you choose to go through the entire application process again.

      The only other option I can think of would be to apply directly to a Korean university and attend full time for three years. After your third year you could transfer to a US university for your senior year so you can graduate from an accredited US school. This does take a lot of careful planning and things might not necessarily transfer over. However, if you know what US school you want to graduate from you may be able to get help from their advisors and admissions counselors to help plan your classes around their graduation requirements. At least this way you would have three years of living in Korea, quite a bit of Korean studies under your belt, and hopefully have built up a network of Korean friends (or non Korean friends with jobs in Korea) that could help you land a job in Korea after graduating.

      As for the requirements you’re talking about:
      - The language requirement is if you want to take classes taught solely in Korean. It’s just like how students who aren’t native English speakers have to take the TOEFL in order to take English taught classes here in the US.
      - The $10,000 bank statement/scholarship is for obtaining your visa. It’s to prove you have enough funds to live in Korea. There’s different visas and the bank statement requirements seem vary on what type of education you’re pursuing and for how long. There’s 2 types of visas students can get the regular student/exchange visa and the language institute visa. The first is for exchange/study abroad students. The latter is for students only attending language institutes (i.e. Yonsei KLI and Sogang’s Korean language institute/program) meaning you can’t take any other classes. The visa requirements can actually vary by what area you live in even in the States. For example, where I live (Washington state) the regional Korean consulate’s website says it doesn’t require a bank statement at all, while almost all of the other regional consulates do. There’s a lot of visas but those are the two main ones for students I think there’s another one for graduate students and definitely another one for grad students who want to do their research or fellowships there.
      - Students can become exchange students without knowing any Korean. I know Yonsei, Ehwa, and Korea U accepts exchange students who want to take classes taught in English and their Korean language classes. Yonsei even has a college on the Sinchon campus called Underwood International College where all of the classes of many different subject areas taught completely in English. I believe most of the international students are attending Korean schools through semester/quarter or year-long study abroad or exchange programs. Informational about those programs can easily be found at your university’s study abroad office or website (or a simple google search).

      I’m not an expert on this at all, but I thought I’d share my two cents (especially on the accredited schools thing) and throw some ideas out there. I haven’t been to Korea yet, but I’m currently in the process of applying for a study abroad program to attend Yonsei next fall so I’ve been doing lots of research. Anyway, sorry for rambling and I hope it helps!

  99. I have a bit off topic question, but I will be doing a work study program this summer in Korea, and was wondering if you were going to have a meetup this summer? In my work study I will teach at a after school program while completing two courses. I have taught english in China (which I loved) and I currently work with Korean ESL students at my university (the they are super excited for me to come visit them) So I am looking forwards to this work study. I love teaching and want to get a Masters in ESL teaching

    • irritablevowel

      Can I just tell you as someone who is in the schools now, GET THAT ESL CERT! There are a lot of schools in need of ESL teachers, especially in urban areas with large immigrant populations. Many schools are paying for their classroom instructors to go back to school to get it, just so that all of their teachers will be ESL certified. My school is not one of those schools unfortunately. I really wish I had done it when I was still in school, but I foolishly didn’t think about how valuable it would be later.

  100. ..Hey. Is a B.A. in Media Sciences and English enough to get a Visa? xDDDDDDDDDDD
    If so, contact me if you ever happen to need a 6th foreign employee ;)

  101. Are there website that specifically have jobs for foreign speaking students? And do you happen to know how you can get to cameo in movies/dramas? I think that’d be awesome to put in your CV. XD

  102. PunkyPrincess92

    “i work for a Dorito factory and i want Taemin to be all over me yo” bwahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i’d love to work in Korea! not just for kpop but cos i love the country!! i’m studying as a graphic designer now and slowly learning the Korean language but i’m not sure of moving to Korea and being a GD’ll (haha no not THAT GD!!) be a good idea…it’s already hard enough in England!!
    but i wanna start my own brand so i’ll see if i can ever sell stuff in Korea!! (and have kpop idols wearing my stuff hahahaha) that’d be awesome!! but yeah that’s way ahead into the future!!

    oh i can’t wait to see Spudgy and Meemers working at the company!! i wanna see Spudgy sitting at a CEO-like desk with his own engraved nameplate and Meemers at a large desk with a laptop and wearing a bow-tie!!

    • Waaa! Your dream seems really interesting^^! I hope you’ll do it girl!! And GD wear your brand one day ;P

    • I am in interior Architect and I have a minor in GD, if you want to make sure you are always provided for with that degree you have to go to Japan, they are advertising geniuses there. I am not sure about korea though, with GD I find that being a freelancer is much better :)

      • PunkyPrincess92

        oh thanks! yeah i thought if i did move to another country to work as a GD, Japan would be the best place!
        also it seems like i good idea cos i’m really inspired by Japan!! ^^

    • 6 months late for the win.
      i also do graphic design (dont study it but i self taught myself since i was 13) and kinda throw around the idea in my head of going to korea, since my sissy is there now. ^_^

  103. Do you guys get paid to interview K-pop idols and how do you contact the companies to get an interview with them?

  104. Hey guys! I love this one, because it totally fits my situation! I actually started wanting to live there because i saw your guys’ experience, don’t get me wrong, i know that every experience is different, but i really appreciate the culture, the country, and want to live there. I knew that immigration and stuff was going to be difficult, but whew! Good thing I have time to get that all settled while I’m in school! So anyway, i have a pretty good idea of what i’m going to do next. I want to go to a university here at home and learn Japanese and Korean,(there is only so much I can do myself) I would major in Japanese and minor in Korean. As far as professional jobs besides teaching/tutoring, which i am totally for, what about translators for newspapers or magazines? Or something similar that has to deal with writing? I really am serious about this, and I am researching it, but I value your opinion, or anyone else who has a similar situation, please let me know!

    • I have an upperclassman who’s now a translator in Taiwan~ He did a 4 year Chinese degree and finished with very high marks soooo, I think if you do the degree you’re planning on and can achieve a very high standard of language, translator may be possible :DD Just bear in mind the huge number of Japanese and South Koreans learning english, but I’m sure you can do it! You sound really passionate =w=

    • That was what I was thinking of as well! Except I want to major in Korean and double major in Japanese, or just minor in Japanese. The thing I am most worried about is finding a translating job somewhere, either in the US, Korea, or Japan. I don’t want to graduate with a useless degree. I was thinking that maybe I could get a teaching job, which would also be interesting, and then while I’m in the country look for a translating job eventually. (I like the idea of teaching, but I don’t know I want to do that the rest of my life). The Visa’s forbid you from getting a second job while teaching, but I don’t think they forbid you from looking around for another job you could take when your current contract expires.

  105. Martina~ Please show us all your hair accessories next TLDR! Where did you get all those nice hair accessories?
    And Simon, where do you find those interesting T-shirts?

  106. My gosh, Thanks you guys for injecting some reality into this!! == I often see people posting about about going to live and work in South Korea and I always feel like I have to bite my tongue… it’s reeeeally not an easy thing hahah I’m currently in my third year of a Chinese and Linguistics degree, doing my year abroad with full time studies on weekdays and working every weekend to fund it, in the hopes of qualifying myself for the possibility to live here in the future… Guys, living abroad isn’t a holiday, as wonderful as it is here, it’s not all flower boys and love stories in South East Asia :P You still need to work darn hard for a living!! Your advice about studying is definitely a great one, I feel it is the best way to discover for yourself if the future you are preparing yourself for is actually going to make you happy XDDD

    • What country are you at for studying Mandarin and Linguistics??

    • drykabioni

      “I don’t want to ruin anyone’s dream of becoming an idol and eating doritos in SHINee’s dorm jacuzzi!” LOL

    • I couldn’t agree more.

    • Oh man, I agree with this hardcore. Living in Korea, specifically, I would like to point out is not all ‘flower boys and love stories’. Korea can be a really harsh and demanding place if you’re not used to the culture, and new cultural hurdles will present themselves everyday; even when you feel like you must’ve conquered them all by now.

      • Yeah, I think there is only so much you can prepare yourself for from reading the internet etc., everyone is bound to get hit by some sort of culture shock and/or homesickness, although some people seem to naturally be able to handle it a lot better than others. You can go to the greatest place in the world and still be a bit disappointed in some respects… maybe you can’t get the food or items you suddenly miss… or the people around you aren’t as friendly as you thought.. you can only talk to your parents at specific times of day.. or you’re so busy working or studying that you don’t actually have much time to go ‘immerse’ yourself. I would encourage anyone to study abroad, in any country you have an interest in, it is a wonderful experience that makes you grow, and you can learn so much about the world… as for those who actually want to move abroad and basically start life from scratch, well.. I really admire their bravery, I’m too much of a wimp to go alone hehe XDD

    • Out of curiosity, what do you plan to do with your Chinese and Linguistics degree? I was interested in pursuing one myself but I’m not sure where it’ll lead me later in life!

      • Haha, long answer, apologies in advance. Personally, I’m not sure yet, as I don’t really have any one dream job, I’m doing my degree simply out of interest. My boyfriend is Chinese, so obviously the degree is very useful to me practically, in terms of communicating with his family, and if we choose to move their together, its made a lot easier by my being able to speak the language :) He also is training to be a diplomat, so chances are we will be travelling a lot in the future, and it suits me quite well to try a few different jobs, I think there are many I’d enjoy. I’m not very career orientated and would just like to find something I enjoy and am good at (although doesn’t everyone :P) If we can earn enough money, in the future I would love go into charity work~~ but thats just a dream -w-
        SO ANYWAY. Here’s a list of possible jobs:
        Teaching (popular route in Asia, I do weekend speaking practice with young students here, which is fun and fulfilling, although obviously not suited to everyone)
        Further study and academia
        Speech technology (for example text-to-speech speech-to-text technologies)
        Speech therapy
        Forensic Linguistics
        Business and marketing (Chinese ability is quite sought after with the country’s growth)
        Translation and Interpretation
        Journalism/writing/proofreading

        And more~ theres a lot of jobs that open simply by having a degree in general, the content matters little haha Linguistics can lead to very specialised jobs though, when you start your degree there will probably be a few semesters of essential classes in Phonology, syntax, morphology, sociolinguistics, psycolinguistics, L1/L2 acquisition semantics etc etc. you gradually find where your interests lie, then it’s easier to look for jobs you may be interested in after graduation :D Also speaking Chinese to a high level simply opens up the Chinese workplace to you much easier, if you make the right connections you can find all sorts of jobs there :) Hope this helped XDD

        • WOW thank you so so much for this in-depth response! Do you think that you’ll be pursuing a masters/phd after you finish your Bachelors?

        • Hahah no problem, I tend to enjoy rambling… :P The ideal situation is that my boyfriend’s internship and exam will get him an entry job in the UN so we can move to New York or another post after we both graduate. What I do will depend on where I go, in that case :P Probably not masters or phd, since I’ve been in school long enough I think, would like to go earn some money and get into the ‘real’ world~ Could be teaching (although thats hard if I’m going to be based in the USA hahah), Or I’d love to find a job in speech technology somehow! So what sorts of degrees are you considering just now? Are you still in high school?

        • Ah! That sounds really exciting :D I was wondering, would it be okay if I emailed you some more questions about earning a linguistics degree? If it is, leave me a message on my formspring http://www.formspring.me/pococurante

        • Sure =w= Sent you a message~~

  107. “I work for a dorito factory. And I want Taemin to be all over me.”

    — MWAHAHAHAHAHA. I cannot stop laughing. I can’t breathe. I knew it! I knew it! THE DORITO THING WILL COME UP!!! :D

  108. I’m looking at doing a study abroad program in Korea in the next few years. I think it will be a good way for me to get a feel of Korea and help me decide if I want to stay there after i graduate from college :D

  109. Looking past the obvious legal and other issues, the question is the same no matter where you go: what is it you do that is worth someone else paying you money? Flip it around – you’re suddenly the boss, looking at you – would you pay this person to be on your team?

    The ‘average job’ here, like an office job, requires a *minimum* of conversational Korean, a reference from a previous boss, and the ability to prove you can do something the locals can’t. Looking past all that, the pay is usually less than you’d make as a teacher, for easily 2 or 3 times the work.

    Starting your own business, however, can be a completely different story altogether. Again, that starts with combining something you enjoy doing / making / being to something that people are paying money for.

    • I haven’t actually met any foreigners here that do “average jobs.” Then again, we’re just hermits with internet connection. Have you met any? Just curious, really, because I only met super-specialized foreigners working here.

      • A lot of the companies down here in Ulsan have maybe one foreigner on staff simply to handle foreign clients. However, often these jobs are better handled by a gyopo just because they can speak Korean and English. For the most part they got them by being in the right place at the right time. That place usually being in Korea and possibly teachering at the company and then getting promoted to a more permanent position. I have met people who are copywriters and consultants for different companies too, but that is getting into that “super-specialized” area.

      • i follow another blog about a westerner who works for the korea times. i think its good to mention other jobs in the english field too – english play groups, child cares, camps etc.

      • I met one Russian girl, once, who worked at a convenience store. But she was married to a Korean and had excellent Korean speaking skills.

      • The ‘average job’ looks like an office job, either at a Korean company / government department, or perhaps a larger foreign company. A cog in the system – with that said, they run in very different circles than English teachers…

        For anyone else looking at how entrepreneurs have got their start in Korea, please take a look at February’s issue of the Groove. I’ve interviewed a number of expat entrepreneurs to hear their story, and put together some of the common elements from them. Clearly Simon and Martina have done a wonderful job developing themselves – and there’s plenty of ways to make it work with what you know / who you know / what you like to do.

  110. Stop making me smile stupidly at my screen! :D

  111. I’m planning to study at Seoul Uni for a term or two next year. Is it possible for a foreign student to just get a part time job while studying? Or are there jobs where English speakers would have an advantage? (I’ll look into the visa stuff myself). Or.. Do you guys need help with anything? :P I’d be happy to volunteer for you guys and get paid in the form of happy funny fun times and Spudgy & Meemers kisses. Haha. Okay, so the first part was actually a serious question. :D

    • Students are required to complete one term before being any to legally work part-time (20hours max)

    • really the only job you could get would be a private tutoring job, and it’s actually illegal. Many people do this anyways. As for other jobs, most likely, you won’t be able to find anything besides a teaching job even after you first term, as most other places will a) want a korean speaker and b) don’t want to go through the hassle of making sure your visa is valid, or have to worry about sponsoring it.

  112. I’m a recently naturalized US citizen and I came back to Korea for a year to be with my parents so I had to get a F4 visa (which is when you have family members who have Korean citizenship) since, like you said, US citizens can only stay for 3 months without a visa. F4 is pretty easy to get…Just have to prove that you’re related to your family, that you have different citizenship, and that’s about it. My card came in about a week.

    But yeah….you need that identity number for pretty much EVERYTHING. (even to register for an account on websites…)

    As much as I am Korean to the bone, I’m still having to adjust to living in Korea….I have like Korea 울렁증 or something when people try to talk to me in public….haha
    But!! I’ve now mastered taking the subway (which is something I’ve never done in the States….) thanks to my trusty smartphone subway app…..hahahahahahhahah

    I’m still hoping to run into you guys sometime soon!!!! :D
    Stay warm and congrats on the studio!!!!!

    • Really Americans can only stay 3 months wow i feel lucky to be Canadian we get to stay in Korea for 6 months as long as are passport doesn’t expire before the 6 months is up.

      • But can you really find the time to be away from whatever you’re doing to vacation for 3 whole months, let alone 6? Is there no school, or no job? I’m not trying to put you down or anything; I’m just stating it thw way it is, realistically. Three months is pretty average, and six months is WAY MORE than enough to be away from home.
        (I’m Canadian, too.)

        • I don’t know….3 months sure seem to fly by….
          If you were looking to really submerge yourself in the culture and really get a feel for it, I would say 3 months is way too short! There’s just too much to get used to and it’s not enough time to really dig into everyday life…I think you would be leaving just as you were getting used to it….I don’t know – this is just my opinion hehe

        • It’s true; 3 months IS too short. However, once again, this still calls into question when you can get enough time to leave whatever you’re doing for more than 4 months. The longest break I can think of would be one off-term for university students, when we get 4 months. There is no way you would be able to realistically spend more than 6 months at another country unless you were able to hold down a job there, or there was family there, or something like that. Otherwise, unless you got the money for it, there is no way and/or no reason you could be living in another country.

        • A lot of students take a year off after graduating from college before going on to graduate or professional schools. I think people should take an opportunity to travel when they can because it’s going to be that much harder after you’re older. 20s is an important decade and 20s is still plenty young to try the things you like and want. This was just some of my feelings as I graduated from college and decided I’m still really young and my life isn’t over if I don’t go to graduate school right away. I still have plenty of time to do other things and try out what I like before deciding something life-changing.

    • however if you where born in Korea and then went to the united states you can become a dual citizen. I know you can do that if you are Canadian. You have to be born there and have leaved there for more then a curtain amount of months when you where born there. I don’t know how things work for the states

      • I was born in Korea and got naturalized. For this situation, one would have to give up Korean citizenship. (Trust me, I know about this process….I was pretty upset when I found out I had to give up my Korean citizenship…..ㅠㅠ )

        HOWEVER, if you were born in the US but you have parents who have Korean citizenship, you can apply for dual citizenship before your 22nd birthday – after that, you are not eligible for dual citizenship. This dual citizenship situation only applies to women at this point…it’s a bit more complicated for males because of the army service.

        My friend has a younger brother who was born in the States but has Korean parents. He is eligible for dual but can only stay in Korea for 3 months at a time until he is 30 years of age. (So pretty much before he is 30, he really isn’t a dual citizen…just American)

        • Wow. This makes no sense at all! A person born in Korea has to give up Korean citizenship but a person born in the US can apply for dual citizenship? *scratches head*

        • That’s because the US has weird laws…haha
          Since you’re APPLYING to have a US citizenship, they feel it obligatory that you give up all other citizenship and be “loyal” to just the US.
          If you’re born in the US, you’re automatically given a US citizenship, but if your parents have citizenship to another country, you are eligible to apply to have that citizenship as well (dual-citizenship) since there might be a situation in which you have to go live with them.

          Hope this helps?

        • I see now. So it has to do with US sense of insecurity and emphasis on loyalty. This reminds me of the issue of allegiance to the US of Korean Americans around WWII that I learned in my Korean American history class. The US thought it wasn’t enough for Korean Americans to join them in fighting the Japanese and had to be loyal too. Despite the fact that America is multicultural, there is still one distinctive American character. America is still more multicultural than other countries though.

          Why did you give up your Korean citizenship esp when you have family there?! Korean/Chinese familism seems to be breaking down more with more young people studying and working in the US or another major country. I myself would also like to move to the US even if I have to leave my parents behind because I fit in better in America than in my hometown! I speak better English than Cantonese and most people think I ‘m from America rather than Hong Kong. I have no problem giving up my Hong Kong/Macau citizenship! Korea is nice though and pretty globalized and I would be hesitant about giving up my Korean citizenship if I were Korean! Maybe the US can give some countries some leeway esp Korea, since Korea and America have closely-tied political and educational relations.

        • Well, I was applying to med school and so it’s a lot more advantageous to be an American citizen when applying for med school.
          And only my dad has Korean citizenship now. My mom and brother both got naturalized with me.

          As for dual citizenship, it’s not just Koreans who have to revoke their citizenship, its anyone who wants to be naturalized as an American.

        • I know. I was actually saying that Korea should be given special policy since it has such close political and educational ties with America and SO many Koreans are moving to America but also have a strong sense of cultural identity. It looks like most all middle class(or above) Koreans have been to the states at some point!
          Speaking of med school, I was reading the Kyung Hee U grad school course syllabus out of curiosity and found out that most professors in the different departments got their degree in the US(some in Germany/France/Japan/China/other country) but in the medicine department specifically, most professors got their degree in Korea! I was kinda surprised since I thought the west is good for studying western medicine, so it would be make more sense to obtain a degree in medicine from the west, then say a degree in some region-specific fields like sociology or political science, where most professors got their degree in the west even if they specialize in Asia. There’s just one medical field I can think of that Korea is better than the west – plastic surgery.

        • It’s near impossible to get into medical school in the States if you’re not a citizen. Most med school don’t even allow international students to apply. It’s kind of the “why bother spending all this money educating you if you’re not going to stay here and be a doctor?” mentality. Also, just because you’re an MD in the States doesn’t mean you can practice in Korea and same the other way around.

    • What is 울렁증?

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