Living and Working in South Korea: A Comprehensive Guide
Working holiday and travel in Korea

Are you dreaming of an adventure that combines work, travel, and cultural immersion? South Korea’s Working Holiday Program could be your ticket to an unforgettable experience. This comprehensive guide, tailored to Canadians, will walk you through the process of living, working, and thriving in the Land of the Morning Calm during your working holiday.

1. Arrival and Accommodation

Once you have your visa, it’s time to book your flight to South Korea. Seoul’s Incheon International Airport is a major gateway. Research and book your initial accommodation in advance, considering factors like location, budget, and accessibility to public transport. Options range from hostels to shared apartments and even unique Hanok stays. Our Work and Travel in South Korea program includes 4-week (28 nights) accommodation in central dorm rooms in Daegu.

Arrival in South Korea airport

2. Language and Communication

While English is widely spoken in South Korea, learning some basic Korean phrases can greatly enhance your experience. Consider language classes, apps, or language exchange meetups to improve your communication skills. Still not confident with your Korean skills? Don’t worry! Our partner in South Korea works with the largest language school in Daegu and offers language courses for beginners to upper intermediate learners.

3. Employment Opportunities

South Korea offers various part-time job opportunities for working holiday participants. Common sectors include language education (teaching English), hospitality, retail, and tourism which sometimes require little to no Korean knowledge. Prepare your resume and begin your job search by networking, exploring online job portals such as Job Korea and Xpat Jobs, or reaching out to recruitment agencies specializing in foreign placements.

Employment opportunities in South Korea

4. Cultural Exploration

Your working holiday isn’t just about work; it’s a chance to dive into Korean culture. Try traditional dishes like kimchi, bibimbap, and bulgogi at local restaurants and street vendors. Explore historical sites like palaces, temples, and traditional villages. Participate in cultural experiences like wearing hanbok (traditional clothing), making kimchi, and attending temple stays.

Korean culture exploration

5. Social Engagement

South Korea has a vibrant social scene. Join language exchange meetups, cultural clubs, or expat events to meet locals and fellow travelers. Engage in conversations to understand local perspectives and build lasting friendships.

6. Travel and Exploration

South Korea’s compact size and excellent transportation system (such as KTX high speed trains) make it easy to explore. Travel to destinations like Busan, Gyeongju, and Jeju Island to discover diverse landscapes, historical treasures, and beautiful beaches. Don’t miss cultural festivals and events, offering unique insights into Korean traditions.

Travel in South Korea

7. Healthcare and Safety

Familiarize yourself with South Korea’s healthcare system and consider obtaining travel insurance that covers medical emergencies. While South Korea is generally safe, it’s essential to stay informed about local laws and emergency contacts (such as 112, which is the emergency number in South Korea).

Healthcare and Safety in South Korea

This guide provides you with a roadmap to make your working holiday in South Korea a rewarding and unforgettable experience. As you embark on this journey, remember that flexibility, cultural openness, and a sense of adventure will be your greatest assets. So, embrace the opportunity, learn, explore, and create memories that will last a lifetime in South Korea, the Land of the Morning Calm. Safe travels!


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