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Can foreigners make friends in Korea?


Foreigners often wonder if they can make friends in Korea. The language barrier, cultural differences, and social norms can make it difficult to connect with locals. However, with an open mind and willingness to adapt, it is possible to form meaningful relationships in Korea.

The Importance of Language

Language plays a significant role in making friends in Korea. While many Koreans speak English, learning some Korean phrases can go a long way in building relationships. Language exchange programs and apps like HelloTalk can also help foreigners improve their Korean skills and meet new people.

Understanding Cultural Differences

Korean culture has its own unique customs and traditions. It’s essential for foreigners to be aware of these differences and show respect towards them. For example, showing respect to elders, removing shoes before entering a home, and bowing as a sign of greeting are all important aspects of Korean culture.

Joining Social Clubs or Groups

Joining social clubs or groups related to your interests is an excellent way to meet like-minded people in Korea. There are various groups available for different activities such as hiking, cooking, and language exchange. These groups provide a comfortable environment to meet new people and practice Korean.

Using Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are widely used in Korea. Joining Facebook groups related to your interests or following Korean influencers on Instagram can lead to meeting new people with similar interests.

Networking at Work

Networking at work is another way to make friends in Korea. Koreans value strong relationships with their colleagues, and socializing outside of the office is common. Participating in company events or after-work activities can lead to forming friendships with coworkers.

Participating in Cultural Events

Korea has many cultural events throughout the year, such as festivals, concerts, and exhibitions. Participating in these events not only allows foreigners to experience Korean culture but also provides opportunities to meet new people.


Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and meet new people in Korea. There are various volunteering opportunities available, such as animal shelters, environmental organizations, and community centers.

Attending Language Exchange Programs

Language exchange programs, such as Meetup or Tandem, provide an opportunity for foreigners to practice their Korean skills while meeting new people. These programs usually involve language exchange sessions and social events.

Trying New Activities

Trying new activities is an excellent way to step outside of your comfort zone and meet new people in Korea. Taking up a new hobby or sport can lead to forming friendships with others who share similar interests.

Being Open-minded

Being open-minded is crucial when it comes to making friends in Korea. Embracing the culture, trying new things, and showing genuine interest in getting to know Koreans can help bridge the gap between cultural differences.


Making friends in Korea as a foreigner may seem daunting, but it’s not impossible. By being open-minded, learning about the culture, and putting yourself out there, meaningful relationships can be formed. As with any friendship, communication and effort are key.

Is it easy to make friends in Korea as a foreigner?

Making friends in Korea is relatively easy as Koreans are generally friendly. By being outgoing and open to meeting new people, you should be able to make local friends quickly. Additionally, larger cities in Korea have a significant expat community, so there are many opportunities to connect with people from different backgrounds.

Is it hard for a foreigner to date in Korea?

For foreigners, dating in South Korea can be challenging due to the country’s specific dating norms, etiquettes, and traditions. It’s crucial to familiarize oneself with South Korea’s distinctive dating culture before pursuing a romantic relationship with a Korean individual to ensure a smooth experience.

Is South Korea immigrant friendly?

South Korea is considered an advanced industrial economy with a liberal democratic system and a high standard of living, making it an appealing option for international migrants. Because of its aging population and low birth rate, there is a demand for both skilled and unskilled labor in the country.

How can I get a Korean girl friend?

If you want to find a compatible partner through online dating in South Korea, there are several prominent sites you can explore, such as Korean Cupid, Tinder, and Bumble. These platforms are popular options for those seeking to date Korean women.

How do you know if a Korean guy likes you?

If a Korean guy is interested in you, he will make a conscious effort to spend time with you and suggest doing activities together. He may also try to impress you by being chivalrous and opening doors, pulling out chairs, or carrying things for you. All of these actions are done in an attempt to make you happy and show that he likes you.

What is the legal dating age in Korea?

In South Korea, the age of consent is 20 years old according to Article 305 of the Criminal Act. This is one of the highest ages of consent globally, as the previous age of consent in South Korea was only 13, which was one of the lowest in the world.

It’s important to remember that building friendships takes time and effort, and it’s not something that happens overnight. It’s essential to maintain contact and follow-up with people you meet, whether it’s through social media or in-person meetups.

Additionally, it’s important to be aware of boundaries when making friends in Korea. Koreans may have different expectations regarding personal space, communication styles, and social norms. It’s crucial to respect these boundaries and be mindful of cultural differences.

It’s also worth noting that the pandemic has made it challenging to meet new people in person. However, many social clubs and language exchange programs have moved online, providing an opportunity for foreigners to meet new people virtually.

In conclusion, making friends in Korea as a foreigner requires an open mind, willingness to learn about the culture, and effort to build meaningful relationships. By trying new activities, participating in cultural events, joining social clubs or groups, and networking at work, foreigners can expand their social circle and form lasting friendships with Koreans.

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