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What do foreigners do in Korea?


Foreigners in Korea are a common sight, and with an increasing number of expats living and working in the country, it’s interesting to know what they do. From teaching English to studying martial arts, foreigners in Korea have a wide variety of activities they engage in. In this article, we will discuss some of the most popular things that foreigners do in Korea.

Teaching English

One of the most common jobs for foreigners in Korea is teaching English. Many schools, both private and public, hire native speakers to teach English to Korean students. Teaching hours vary depending on the school, but most teachers work around six hours a day. Some schools offer free accommodation, while others provide a monthly housing allowance.

Studying Korean

Many foreigners living in Korea take classes to learn the Korean language. Learning the language helps them integrate into Korean society and communicate with locals better. Some universities offer intensive language programs, while others offer part-time courses.

Exploring the cuisine

Korean cuisine has gained popularity worldwide, and living in Korea gives foreigners a chance to try authentic Korean food. From kimchi to bibimbap, there is a wide variety of dishes to try. Many foreigners also enjoy trying street food, which is cheap and readily available.

Participating in cultural events

Korea has a rich cultural heritage, and there are many traditional events that foreigners can participate in. These include events like the Boryeong Mud Festival, which attracts thousands of visitors every year. Other events include the Seoul Lantern Festival and the Busan International Film Festival.

Traveling around Korea

Korea is a small country with excellent public transportation, making it easy for foreigners to travel around. Many expats take weekend trips to places like Jeju Island or the DMZ. There are also many hiking trails and national parks to explore.

Joining sports clubs

Korea has a large expat community, and there are many sports clubs that foreigners can join. These include football, basketball, and volleyball clubs. Joining a sports club is a great way to meet new people and stay active.

Studying martial arts

Korea is known for its martial arts, and many foreigners come to study them. Taekwondo is the most popular martial art, but there are also schools that teach Hapkido and Kendo. Studying martial arts is a great way to keep fit and learn more about Korean culture.

Working in other industries

While teaching English is the most common job for foreigners in Korea, there are other industries that expats work in. These include IT, finance, and marketing. Many multinational companies have offices in Korea, making it easier for foreigners to find employment.


Many expats in Korea volunteer their time to help others. There are many charities and organizations that need volunteers, from animal shelters to community centers. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and meet new people.

Attending concerts and festivals

Korea has a vibrant music scene, with many K-Pop concerts happening throughout the year. There are also many festivals celebrating everything from food to fashion. Attending concerts and festivals is a great way to experience Korean culture and meet new people.

Engaging in social activities

There are many social activities that expats in Korea engage in, from pub quizzes to language exchanges. These events are usually organized by expat groups or community centers. Engaging in social activities is a great way to make friends and feel more at home in Korea.


Foreigners in Korea have a wide variety of activities to engage in, from teaching English to studying martial arts. Korea is a welcoming country with a rich cultural heritage and plenty of opportunities for expats. Whether you’re interested in trying new foods, exploring the countryside, or making new friends, there is something for everyone in Korea.

What is South Korea like for foreigners?

South Korea is a sought-after location for foreigners due to its blend of lively city culture and serene countryside, affordable living expenses, and relaxed lifestyle. However, when relocating to this country, there are various practicalities that need to be taken into account.

Is it good to live in Korea as a foreigner?

Expats in South Korea can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with decent salaries and affordable living expenses. They will also be welcomed warmly by both locals and other expats.

Is South Korea good for American tourists?

Although there are worries about potential conflict with its neighbor to the north, South Korea is generally a safe destination for tourists. Visitors typically have a positive experience, and any incidents of crime are usually minor acts of theft such as pickpocketing.

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

Making friends in Korea is not difficult as Koreans are generally friendly. You can easily make local friends by being outgoing and social. Moreover, there is a significant expat community, particularly in major cities.

Do they speak English in Korea?

The official language of South Korea is Korean, but many people also speak and understand Japanese, English, and Mandarin.

Do a lot of Koreans speak English?

South Korea doesn’t commonly use this language. However, if you visit popular tourist areas like Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, and Hongdae, you are likely to find locals who can speak English.

Learning about Korean history and culture

Korea has a rich history and culture, and many expats take the time to learn more about it. There are many museums and historical sites to visit, such as Gyeongbokgung Palace and the National Museum of Korea. There are also cultural experiences to be had, such as attending traditional performances like Nanta or visiting a Korean spa.

Starting a business

Korea is known for its entrepreneurial spirit, and there are many expats who start their own businesses in the country. From opening a restaurant to launching a tech startup, there are many opportunities for entrepreneurs. The Korean government also provides support for foreign-owned businesses.

Adopting a pet

Many expats in Korea choose to adopt pets, either from local shelters or from other expats who are leaving the country. There are also pet stores that sell a variety of animals, from dogs and cats to rabbits and hamsters. Adopting a pet is a great way to have a companion while living in Korea.

Learning about Korean fashion and beauty

Korean fashion and beauty have gained popularity worldwide, and living in Korea gives foreigners the chance to learn more about it firsthand. From visiting beauty stores like Etude House and Innisfree to exploring the fashion districts of Myeong-dong and Gangnam, there are many opportunities to learn about Korean fashion and beauty trends.

Participating in outdoor activities

Korea has many outdoor activities available for expats, such as skiing in the winter or surfing in the summer. There are also many parks and beaches to explore. For those who prefer more extreme activities, there are options like bungee jumping or paragliding.

Learning about traditional arts and crafts

Korea has a rich tradition of arts and crafts, such as pottery, calligraphy, and silk weaving. There are many workshops and classes available for those who are interested in learning more about these traditional arts. Some expats even take up these crafts as a hobby or start their own businesses selling handmade crafts.

Participating in language exchange programs

Language exchange programs are popular among expats in Korea, as they provide an opportunity to practice language skills while making new friends. These programs pair Korean speakers with foreigners who want to learn the language, and they often involve activities like language cafes or cultural exchanges.

Joining a book club

For those who love to read, joining a book club is a great way to meet people with similar interests. Many expat groups and community centers organize book clubs that focus on both Korean and international literature.

Participating in charity events

There are many charity events that expats can participate in, such as charity walks or bike rides. These events raise money for local charities and provide an opportunity to give back to the community.

Attending university

Korea has many universities that accept foreign students, providing an opportunity to study abroad. Many universities offer courses taught in English, and there are also opportunities to learn the Korean language while studying in the country.

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