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Old 06-11-2008, 08:37 AM
Location: New York City
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I'm currently considering a one-year position in Seoul. Housing and health insurance would be provided. I currently live in New York City so I'm used to large cities, public transportation, etc. I've never been to Korea and I've searched the Web but have not found much on daily life for expats in Seoul. Any advice, tips, information would be greatly appreciated. Particularly interested in cost of living, amenities, culture, etc. Thanks.
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Old 06-14-2008, 05:53 AM
Location: Macao
15,687 posts, read 34,675,136 times
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I lived in Seoul for about seven years, and I also lived in New York City for 2 1/2 years.

It is completely different from NYC.

Seoul is incredibly safe. It is however, very homogeneous. Predominately Koreans, and the expats you will see are predominately American military soldiers and quite a few English Teachers (often times from Canada, but some from the US, NZ, UK, Aus, etc.)

Seoul is very busy and crowded, even moreso than NYC. It is also much dirtier and such.

Culture-wise, there are things happening, but nowhere like Manhattan. It is just as busy though, just not culturally diverse by any means. What does happen in Korea, is DRINKING. I think they are one of the largest consumers of alcohol in the world, and the streets are filled with bars absolutely everywhere. Most Koreans love to drink. If you dont like drinking, you will probably find it boring. Koreans also love to sing, so singing is popular among Koreans after they drink.

Korea is also significantly better with technology than the United States. Cellphones are MUCH SMALLER and has many cool stuff - you can take video, photos, etc., and send them from phone to phone very quickly and easily. Text messaging and girls taking photos of themselves with their cellphones is VERY COMMON. Korean women also love mirrors, so if you see any shiny objects - windows with a reflection, etc. - you will be sure to see Korean women standing around it looking at themselves. Its almost comical.

HIGH HEELS and skirts are very common in Korea. Nearly every woman wears high heels ALL THE TIME. With jeans or skirts or shorts, they will wear high heels.

Other things you will see would include INTERNET CAFES everywhere. There are easily 10,000 internet cafes in Seoul, possibly much much more. It is one of the most wired countries in the world, and highest broadband network in any country in the world. Most of the time they are gaming though - so they have very high graphics and incredibly fast computers just so they can be some of the best gamers in the world. But internet cafes are EVERYWHERE. They are $1 an hour, usually.

The subway is very very extensive just like Manhattan. So you will never need a car, and the subways run all the time. They cost $1. However, they close around 12am, and open up again around 5:30am. I guess the strange thing is that everything is 24 hours and lit up all night and people everywhere and everything is 24 hours, but strangely the subway closes for a few hourws like that. Unlike Manhattan however, it is pretty cheap to jump in a taxi - like it would cost you about $10 to be in the taxi for 20 minutes going across the city.
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:57 PM
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If you've never been to Korea before then I would say that you would probably experience culture shock when you first arrive.

I have a small amount of Korean blood in me and a family member invited me to Seoul for a few weeks in 2005. I've traveled to Asian countries before but this was my first time in South Korea. It was a little dramatic for me. Nothing like I was expecting but it was subdued after about a week.

When I was there the one thing I clearly remember was that bakeries and all things bread are a huge thing. I saw them everywhere. I've never seen so many different types of bread in my life before. Sweet, savory, plain, filled with stuff, etc. There's one chain called Paris Baguette that I fondly liked.

Anyways, I wasn't as informative as the person who posted before me but I hoped I gave you a little insight.
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:12 AM
Location: Macao
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The sad thing about those bakeries is that they pour WAY too much SUGAR or put bean pastes or sugary-type substances in the middle of them.

It isn't very often, unfortunately, to just get pure regular bread that you'd be comfortable with anywhere else in the world.

It's really strange too, as Koreans don't generally have a sweet tooth or into desserts, but they definetely pour the sugar into and kind of breads.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:35 PM
1 posts, read 4,421 times
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You can check the site below for getting some fair idea..
Cost of living in Seoul, Korea Just Another Indian in Korea
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