Thinking about moving to the land of Kimchi, Soju, and Squid Game? Then chances are you’re wondering how to find work in South Korea as a foreigner. With the South Korean Working Holiday Visa, you will be able to achieve your dreams of living and working in South Korea for up to a year. So, if you want to ride the K-wave, read on to learn how to find a job in South Korea…
We cover the South Korean Working Holiday Visa in depth in this Korea Working Holiday Visa guide, however, to summarize, this visa allows you to work for pay up to 25 hours per week to help fund your travels.
Although working in South Korea as a Canadian can be tricky as most of us don’t speak Korean, there are still plenty of English-speaking jobs. The most popular English jobs in Korea for foreigners on a Working Holiday Visa include:
New businesses are consistently opening in metropolitan cities, meaning South Korea is full of hospitality opportunities. This includes hotels, restaurants, and cafes in busy tourist areas where English is used more frequently. In some businesses, you may even be able to work in exchange for accommodation, which will offset your expenses significantly!
Large retail chains and other businesses in tourist areas also need staff who are able to speak English. However, having conversational Korean would typically be required for most positions so you can assist local Korean customers.
Although there is a separate visa for English instructors, a part-time, casual position at language cafes does not require the strict qualifications that a traditional school or academy does. Language cafes only need native English speakers who want to have fun with young Korean children!
There are job opportunities for Canadians in Korea if you know how to find them. There are several sites that focus specifically on jobs for international workers. Plus, employers that post on these websites have experience hiring foreigners and don’t expect applicants to speak Korean.
Be sure to start your job search by being open, flexible and managing your expectations. Remember that finding a job in a foreign country is not as easy as finding a job in Canada, which is why it is important to consider lots of different types of jobs. This means applying to as many positions as you can to increase your chances of getting an interview.
When it comes to finding work in South Korea, it can be difficult to figure out where to start your search. In almost all cases, you will not be considered for a position until after you have arrived in Korea. At Stepabroad, we provide the resources you need to help you find a job faster. We go over which industries are easier to find jobs in and which websites are best to help in your search.
Sharehouses are a common type of housing for foreigners in Korea because it gives them the opportunity to meet locals and other expats alike. They also help new arrivals to build a sense of community and tend to be cheaper than finding a long-term private apartment. Monthly contracts provide the stability that you need to continue to save, while also allowing the flexibility to move to other parts of Korea if you wish!
Stepabroad provides resources on where to find accommodation opportunities in Korea, from housing agents to Facebook groups!
Seoul needs no introduction as the capital and the biggest city of South Korea. You will never be out of things to do here, from nightlife to palaces to hiking spots!
Busan is a beach city tucked in the southeastern province of the peninsula. It has a laidback vibe, but still boasts 3.4 million in population size! If you’d like a warmer climate with pretty beaches and a casual atmosphere, Busan is a great city to live in!
Incheon is the third largest city just 30-60 minutes from Seoul via metro. It is cheaper than Seoul and also home to the Incheon International Airport. If you would offset your living expenses while having close access to Seoul, Incheon may give you a little more authentic experience of living in Korea!
Just like in other countries, the cost of living in Korea depends entirely on which city or town you settle in. The capital of Seoul is the most expensive place in Korea, but also the place where you can find more opportunities and many other expats. Here is a breakdown of the average cost of living per month in Seoul:
RENT: $700 CAD
For your rent, let’s assume that you are living in a room in a shared house. As a rule of thumb, the cost of rent will range from $500-800 CAD. For a private apartment, budget $1,000 CAD.
TRANSPORTATION: $50 CAD
Once you get your transportation card, your transportation costs shouldn’t be too high – as long as you don’t take taxis all the time! South Korea has one of the best public transportation systems in the world, so take advantage of the very punctual, clean subways, buses, and trains.
GROCERIES: $300 CAD
Eating out can be relatively cheap in South Korea, with a hot bowl of rice and soup costing around $7 per meal. Groceries are a bit on the expensive side, due to inflation.
FUN: $200 CAD
From sightseeing to entertainment, South Korea has tons of things to do throughout the year. Simply taking public transport and walking around is a great option if you’d like to save.
We’re giving one intrepid traveller the opportunity to participate in a trial program for the South Korea Working Holiday Visa. Click to learn more about the program and how you can apply today!
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