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11+ Pros And Cons Of Living In Korea (Expat Advice)

11+ Pros And Cons Of Living In Korea (Expat Advice)

We have spent a considerable amount of time in Korea.

This includes heading out to Mount Hallasan in Korea, checking out a few Korean spas, and even munching on Korean BBQ.

All of this was a lot of fun, but we are always on the lookout for what a country is all about when it comes to its residents. Is it worth living in Korea?

We have the answer for you here.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of living in South Korea.

Pros Of Living In Korea

Tremendous Culture

Let’s begin with the overall culture in Korea.

When you are living in Korea as an expat, you are going to appreciate its culture. There is a gentle, easy-going vibe that’s ideal for those who want to relax in a safe place.

You are not going to feel uneasy and the region has its traditions that have been passed down over the years. This is what makes it appealing.


The first thing you are going to notice when it comes to expats living in Korea would have to do with the cleanliness.

The streets, stores, and houses are clean.

This is a part of the aesthetic in Korea and it’s something they take seriously. You will also notice how clean the average person is because it’s taken seriously in this part of the world. You will also want to dress well when you are out and about!

Friendly People

The people are shy but they are friendly.

This is how you are going to see people as they are not going to come up to you to make conversation. However, when you do go up to them, they are more than willing to share their opinion and shed light on key details including what is the best food in the area.

We have learned a lot when we were willing to make the first move.

However, the average Korean is not going to come up to you and will remain reserved in that regard. This does not mean they are unfriendly, but they are going to hold back.

Good Food

The food is exemplary.

We have spoken about the Korean BBQ as mentioned before and it’s simply outstanding. The BBQ is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to eating Korean food.

When you are moving to Korea as an expat, you are going to begin to appreciate the local cuisine. It is outstanding and it is one of the biggest reasons for wanting to live here in the first place.

The food is going to blow you away.

Natural Beauty

We have hiked in Mount Hallasan and also taken the time to check out the various forests in the region during our trip.

It is excellent.

You are going to have a wonderful time just exploring the tranquility of Korea and all that it has to offer. Most people will associate the country with tech and/or busier areas, but there are pockets where it’s just natural beauty.

This is where we like to spend most of our time.


Expats moving to Korea are often going to take the time to mention the low crime rate.

It’s safe to live in Korea.

This is one thing they are serious about. The crime rate is low and you are going to feel safe when you are walking around. It’s common for people to walk around late at night in the major cities and you are not going to feel hassled.

Cons Of Living In Korea

Relations With North Korea

It’s not always going to be positive when you are living in South Korea.

For those who are moving to South Korea, you have to realize there is a North Korea too. The neighbor is one issue that doesn’t seem to go away and this creates the unnecessary risk associated with having a volatile neighbor.

The news tends to report on this and it is a real concern for those who live here.

Limited Space In Major Areas

When you are in the major cities in Korea, you are going to notice how limited the space is. This is a legitimate issue for those who are particular about having a bit of privacy.

While the people themselves are shy, they are still going to be all around you.

This can become a little tedious for those who want more open spaces to walk around in.

We found this to be difficult to do as the major cities are jam-packed with people. You are going to see someone everywhere you look including where you are staying in Korea.

Reserved Culture

This has been mentioned before and it is something you are going to have to get used to.

There are some parts of the world where people are more than happy to come up to you and get as friendly as possible. You are almost going to feel like they are one of your family members. This is not the case in South Korea.

They are far more reserved as a society.

This means you are going to have to adjust to this and not be nosy to them either. As long as you are friendly, they will be more than happy to help.

Tough Workplace Culture

Are you thinking about working in Korea?

This is a legitimate change for those who are used to a more laid-back culture. You are not going to find that as openly here in Korea.

Koreans work hard and that is the culture they are grown up in.

Long Waits In Healthcare

Healthcare is a concern for those who are going to want to receive treatment as soon as possible.

If you fall ill, you are going to have to deal with the longer lines. This is a real hassle because there are not enough doctors within each area and that begins to wear you down as time goes on.

You will want to be aware of these longer waits and ensure you are staying as safe as possible.

Final Thoughts

These are the advantages and disadvantages of living in Korea as an expat.

We do recommend it as a nation and find it to be appealing to those who want a safe, beautiful environment to live in. You will like how it is and it is easy to adjust as soon as you move to Korea.

We also recommend other living guides including moving to Pakistan, living in Lake Chapala, and moving to Japan.