43 Tips For Preparing To Move To Korea | 10 Magazine Korea (2023)

43 Tips For Preparing To Move To Korea | 10 Magazine Korea (1)

Moving to Korea can seem like an impossible endeavor. There is an endless list of things to do before you leave, and it can feel like there is no time to say goodbye to your friends and family and actually enjoy the build up to your departure.

The key to a smooth departure is plenty of preparation. Although it won’t seem like it initially, the list of things to do before you arrive in Korea can be a fun and exciting part of your travels rather than a burden. Here are some useful tips on how to prepare to move to South Korea, everything you need to organise before leaving and how to enjoy the process!

43 Tips For Preparing To Move To Korea | 10 Magazine Korea (2)


  1. Organise accommodation before you leave. You can sort out housing when you arrive but it is a good idea to do it beforehand as you never know what problems you may encounter in regards to language barriers or finance when you arrive. There is nothing worse than being in a foreign country with nowhere to stay!
  2. If you are offered accommodation by the company/university/school you are travelling to Korea to work with, prepare all the relevant documentation beforehand. You may be asked for certain health checks if you are living with other people, so do this well before your departure in case there are any complications.
  3. Research your living options before signing a contract. There are many living options in Korea at a range of prices. Popular options include Apartments, (comfortable and spacious but more expensive),Officetel (cheaper and smaller than apartments),Villas (located in residential areas and provide adequate living space) and Goshiwon (very small spaces, at cheap prices which are usually occupied by students)
  4. Stayes,Goshipagesand Craigslist aregreat for finding reliable housing in Seoul, which is especially useful for those who don’t speak Korean well enough to organize accommodation through a Korean estate agent in Korea.

Take a look at our article How To Rent A Place In Seoul for more information about accommodation and 3 Things To Keep In Mind When Renting An Apartment In Korea for more advice on housing.

(Video) Traveling to Seoul, South Korea (July 2022) - Tips, suggestions and things to prepare

43 Tips For Preparing To Move To Korea | 10 Magazine Korea (3)

Learning Korean

It is essential to learn some basic Korean before moving to Korea. Not only is English not widely spoken in the country, it is respectful to learn some of the language before travelling and it will be very much appreciated. This is especially useful if you don’t know many people in the country when you first arrive and if you aren’t staying in a large city like Seoul, where English is more commonly spoken.

  1. Learn Hangeul. The Korean alphabet is extremely easy to learn and will help you navigate the subway system and order food when you first arrive.
  2. Consider enrolling on a Korean language program before you travel or when you arrive.Read through our article on Where To Find Korean Lessons Around Korea for more information about this.
  3. If you don’t want to take a course or don’t have time, buy some beginners Korean textbooks and self study in your spare time.
  4. There are also many free resources online such as Talk To Me In Koreanwhich guides Korean language learners through videos and provides material to assist the lessons.
  5. Download some free Korean learning apps
  6. Listen to K-pop and watch Korean dramas. This will help familiarize you with the sound of Korean and expose you to some everyday words and phrases which you might not learn in textbooks and classes.
  7. Read our article How To Watch Korean Dramas And Movies Online With English Subtitlesto immerse yourself in Korean language and culture before you travel.

43 Tips For Preparing To Move To Korea | 10 Magazine Korea (4)

Passports, Visas and Insurance

  1. Your passport must be up to date before you travel so ensure you check this out well in advance as it may take some time to have a new passport issued.
  2. It is also important to take photocopies of your passport to Korea with you as they are often needed for administration purposes.
  3. Foreigners travelling to Korea for more than 90 days are required to have a Visa. Check which kind of visa you need to stay in Korea hereand, as with your passport, ensure you do this with plenty of time before your departure date in case there is something wrong with your application and it takes longer than expected.
  4. It may be difficult when you first move to Korea to locate places to photocopy documents so do this before you travel and find a safe place for it in your luggage where it won’t be damaged.
  5. Buy health insurance before you leave and make sure it covers you for the entire period you are away and for the activities you are likely to be doing. Health fees can be expensive in Korea so be prepared for emergencies by investing in insurance.
  6. If you are taking any valuable possessions abroad with you, make sure you insure them before you leave.

43 Tips For Preparing To Move To Korea | 10 Magazine Korea (5)

Health And Vaccinations

  1. Ensure you are up to date with important vaccinations before travelling and ask your GP for a print-out of all the vaccinations you have received to take away with you
  2. You may need vaccinations specifically for travelling to Korea such as Japanese Encephilitis. Check with your GP which vaccinations you need- this is especially important for those travelling to remote areas of Korea or for anyone who wants to go travelling/backpacking when they are away.
  3. Ask for a general health check before you leave- there is nothing worse than being ill when you are away from home so make sure you are fit and well before leaving
  4. Take an adequate supply of any personal medication you may need when you are away as it may be difficult to find the medication you are familiar with in your new city
  5. Get a dental check before you leave. Many people neglect their dental hygiene when they are away from their home country so get a general check before you leave.
  6. Research a local health center and hospital near to your destination before you leave.

43 Tips For Preparing To Move To Korea | 10 Magazine Korea (6)


  1. Moving abroad is expensive and so you may need to work out a budget before you leave. It is a good idea to decide how much you will be spending each week and month before you leave so you don’t end up completely broke at the other side of the world. Working out your finances before you leave means you can budget for trips away from the city you will be staying in and other fun activities.
  2. Decide how you will pay for things when you are away whether this means using cash or opening up a Korean bank account. Although it is important to have some cash when you first arrive in Korea, many people choose to set up a bank account which can be done at any large banks such as Shinhan, KB, Hana and Woori Bank.
  3. It may take a while for your bank account to activate so make sure you have enough cash to get you through the first couple of weeks.
  4. Take some time to understand how the currency system in Korea works and how this converts to your currency at home. This will help you work out what is cheap and expensive compared to your home country.

43 Tips For Preparing To Move To Korea | 10 Magazine Korea (7)

(Video) solo travel tips 🇰🇷 5+ ways to make friends in South Korea as a foreigner


  1. Do your research before packing. Consider what the weather will be like if you are only staying for one season, and pack a lot of warm layers if you will stay for a full year or more.
  2. Find out what you cannot buy in the country (such as your favorite home comforts) and what is likely to be extremely expensive so you can pack these rather than buying or importing them (such as deodorant).
  3. Read up on restricted items which are not allowed to be brought into Korea before packing.
  4. Don’t forget all your important and relevant documentation for what you will be doing in Korea. It is likely you will need items such as photocopies of your passport and photo id shortly after you arrive so come prepared with these documents.
  5. Try and not pack too much- it is likely you will want to buy a lot when you are in the country and don’t want to end up with more stuff than you can take back home when you leave Korea.

43 Tips For Preparing To Move To Korea | 10 Magazine Korea (8)

Flights To Korea

Flights to Korea can be extremely expensive and add to the already huge financial impact on moving abroad. The following tips will help you save some money on flights.

  1. Book your flights at least 2 months before you travel
  2. Consider choosing a route which has a stop over
  3. Browse cheap flights and flight comparison websites such asMomondo, Skyscanner, Kayak and Travel Supermarket

43 Tips For Preparing To Move To Korea | 10 Magazine Korea (9)


  1. Devise a plan of how you will use your mobile phone in Korea. Many people choose to buy a Korean sim so ensure your phone is unlocked.
  2. Alternatively, you can buy a phone in the country as there are many phone stores which have English-speaking staff and can help you out.
  3. Many people chose not to buy a sim card and use free-WiFi around the city, but this can be risky especially when you are lost and need an emergency contact!
  4. Download Korean apps including KakaoTalk, the Subway app and Naver Dictionary to help you out when you first arrive.
  5. Don’t forget to say goodbye to your loved ones properly. With all the chaos leading up to your departure, it can feel like there isn’t enough time to relax with your friends and family, but it is so important to do this as the time difference when you move abroad may mean you find it difficult to keep in regular contact.
  6. Agree a regular time at which you can contact your friends and family via Skype so you can tell them all about your adventures!
  7. Plan how you will get from the airport to your new accommodation or hotel. When you arrive in the country, tired and jet-lagged, you will not want to spend your time decoding the subway system or finding which bus to take. Print out the directions to your new home and have some cash to hand so you don’t have to unpack your bags in the middle of the airport.
  8. Buy a journal or start a blog and document your time abroad as you are about to have a life changing experience!

43 Tips For Preparing To Move To Korea | 10 Magazine Korea (10)

See also

(Video) Korean Resume Tips | How to Get a Non-teaching Job in South Korea

Hopefully this will be helpful to those of you who are moving to Korea and are worried about the extensive list of things to do. And for anyone interested in moving to Korea check out our list of 3 Nontraditional Ways To Travel To South Korea for some inspiration for your travels!

(Video) Vlog #1. Tips when Travel Alone in South Korea

43 Tips For Preparing To Move To Korea | 10 Magazine Korea (12)


How do I prepare to move to Korea? ›

Moving to Korea Checklist
  1. Open up a Citibank bank account (in the USA and Korea for easy transfers)
  2. Unlock your phone.
  3. Preorder a sim card and pick up at the airport.
  4. Tell your bank you're leaving.
  5. Join Facebook groups. ...
  6. Get an international driver's license.
  7. Learn a couple of Korean phrases.
15 Jun 2020

How much does K-ETA cost? ›

K-ETA can only be applied from the K-ETA official website(www.k-eta.go.kr) and mobile app(K-ETA). The Government of the Republic of Korea has not designated any application agencies for K-ETA. The K-ETA fee is 10,000KRW (additional fee excluded) and does not charge any extra fees.

How long does it take to get a K-ETA? ›

☞ If there are no issues, generally the application will be automatically approved within 30 minutes. ☞ If any issues arise, the K-ETA official will check and determine the traveler as 'Selectee*' or 'Not OK' within 24 hours.

Is Korea easy to move to? ›

In general, moving to South Korea is easy as long as you are prepared before your arrival. Although the country has a long history of not preferring foreign migration, those sentiments have changed as Korea has started to welcome more and more international companies through its borders.

Which job is best in South Korea? ›

The highest-paid job in 2021 is a corporate leader (CEO) who will make an average of about 140 million won(110,000 USD) per year.

Can I enter Korea without K-ETA? ›

K-ETA is required for foreign nationals who intend to enter the Republic of Korea for tourism, visiting relatives, participate in events or meetings, and business purposes other than profitable activities.

What happens if my K-ETA is denied? ›

If your K-ETA is denied, you will need to apply for a visa which will take more time and documentation. Please be informed that the approval of K-ETA or Visa is not guaranteed.

How many times can you use K-ETA? ›

valid for one-time use only. The K-ETA will no longer be valid after the person's departure from Korea. nationals of 49 countries/regions where visa-free entry is available are eligible for K-ETA. From September 1st, K-ETA required foreign visitors must apply for K-ETA and pay for the application fee.

How can I speed up my K-ETA application? ›

Want To Apply For Your K-ETA In The Blink Of An Eye? If you do, you should use Atlys. This app helps you through the application process faster than you can say "travel." The app also has amazing tool you can use for free!

Who are eligible for K-ETA? ›

The nationals of visa-waiver countries/regions (B-1) and designated visa- free entry countries/regions (B-2) are eligible for K-ETA (112 in total). However, due to COVID-19, currently only the nationals of 50 countries/regions (refer to Q1) can apply for K-ETA.

How do you take a photo of K-ETA? ›

Passport photo of the traveller

The haircut is not important. Ideally, photos should be more than 500px wide and high. You can take your own picture, as long as you respect the constraints listed. We use your documents to obtain your K-ETA only.

What jobs are in demand in South Korea? ›

9,000+ Jobs in South Korea (122 new)
  • Business Analyst. ...
  • Executive Assistant, Content - Korea. ...
  • PR & Contents Executive. ...
  • BALENCIAGA Assistant Project Manager. ...
  • New Business and Marketing Assistant. ...
  • Digital Promotion Specialist. ...
  • Associate, Growth and Partnerships Strategy & Analysis - Korea and ANZ.

Is Korea a good place to live? ›

With an easy way of life, bustling city culture mixed with laidback countryside, and a reasonable cost of living, The Land of the Morning Calm is a popular destination for foreigners from across the globe. When moving to South Korea, there are many practicalities to consider.

How much money do you need to live in South Korea? ›

Cost of Seoul housing

The average cost of living in Seoul for one person is 1,600,000 won ($1411), with around 743,000 won ($657) of it falls under the Rent & Utility category. Seoul is included in the top 30% of the most expensive cities in the world, ranked 2788th out of 9294 on Livingcost.

Can I move to Korea without a job? ›

How to move to South Korea without a job? The best way is to get an F visa such as the F-4 (overseas Korean) Visa or the F-6 (marriage visa). Or you can try to get an investment visa if you have 100 million (90,000 USD) to 300 million KRW (270,000 USD) to invest.

What is the process of moving to South Korea? ›

You must apply for a Residence Card

After arriving in Korea, you'll need to apply for a Residence Card, formally known as an Alien Registration Card (ARC). This is a form of ID for foreigners who stay for more than 90 days in Korea. Whether you're studying or working, you'll need to have one.

What do I need to know before moving to Seoul Korea? ›

Here are the 15 things you must know before moving to Korea
  • Phone cameras are never on silent. ...
  • No trash cans. ...
  • Shopping is mostly one-size-fits-all. ...
  • People will stare at you. ...
  • Do not speak on your phone on public transport. ...
  • Importance of age and respect. ...
  • Low cut tops and short skirts. ...
  • You'll get by with English.

What jobs are in demand in South Korea? ›

9,000+ Jobs in South Korea (122 new)
  • Business Analyst. ...
  • Executive Assistant, Content - Korea. ...
  • PR & Contents Executive. ...
  • BALENCIAGA Assistant Project Manager. ...
  • New Business and Marketing Assistant. ...
  • Digital Promotion Specialist. ...
  • Associate, Growth and Partnerships Strategy & Analysis - Korea and ANZ.


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