Being an exchange student in Korea isn’t easy, especially in the beginning. You have to adapt to a different lifestyle and culture, as well as making sure your grades don’t slip. But, don’t worry too much, I’ll give you some tips and tricks based on my experiences that will help ease your adaptation to life in Korea.
Learn Basic Korean
Learning Korean, even just the basics, is essential for your survival and sanity. Many Koreans (especially people living in rural areas and the elderly) don’t speak English very well. Although most people in Korea can understand English, it is difficult for many of them to speak.
You will find that in places that you’d least expect, it can be difficult to find someone who speaks English. For example, you may find communication barriers at places such as the immigration office or even your university’s international student office. Hence, learning basic Korean is essential for daily life. You can access online courses on language learning sites, or search common Korean phrases on YouTube.
You can begin learning Korean by >>Clicking Here<<. Learn more about the 5 best apps for learning Korean.
Make Friends Through Language Exchange
Why not accelerate your language learning while making new friends? In every city, there are opportunities for language exchange where you can meet new Korean friends while teaching your native language in exchange for help with Korean. Plus, you can also meet other foreigners from all over the world.
I have met multiple life-long international friends through language-exchange meetups that have expanded my worldview. Most universities have their own language exchange clubs, but you can also check meetup.com for language exchange opportunities in your local area.
Understand the Local Culture
Korean culture is unique. It is important to learn as much as you can about the culture before you arrive to avoid embarrassment. Big and small, there are lots of things you will find yourself having to adjust to.
One unique aspect of student life in Korea is the drinking culture. It is normal to have school-funded trips that involve copious amounts of alcohol. It’s even common to go out drinking with professors. The drinking etiquette in Korea is strict and it can be easy to accidentally offend your classmates. >>Click Here<< for more information on Korea’s drinking culture.
Cook Your Meals
Eating is expensive, a meal in Korea will cost you 5000 won minimum! If you’re an exchange student in Korea, you probably have a budget to maintain. And so, it is far more affordable to cook your own meals everyday at home. You can cut costs by buying your vegetables and fruits at traditional markets or from street vendors. Additionally, you can stop by the supermarket shortly before they close for their end-of-day sales.
Saving money on food is important. Every won saved can go towards your travel fund! If you would like to save money on your trip to Korea, >>Click Here<< to learn more