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flag South Korea South Korea: Living

In this page: Communities of Expatriates | Ranking of Cities | Renting an Apartment | School System | Health System | Tourism and Culture | Individual and Civic Freedoms | Religion


Communities of Expatriates

The Number of Expatriates
The number of foreigners in Korea (more than 90 days of stay) is greater than 1,000,000.
Immigration Authority
Seoul Help Center for Foreigners
Transportation Companies For Moving/Removals
Hyundai Shipping
Contact the Embassy
Contact the Embassy of South Korea in the United States.
Contact Your Embassy
Contact the Embassy of the United States in South Korea.

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Ranking of Cities

Cost of Living
According to the latest available edition of the Cost of Living Worldwide City Rankings Survey by Mercer, Seoul is ranked 16th out of 227 cities worldwide in terms of cost of living.
Quality of Life
According to the latest available edition of the Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings Survey by Mercer, Seoul is ranked 77th out of 231 cities worldwide in terms of quality of living.
Hotel reservation websites
Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings (Survey by Mercer)
Cost of Living Worldwide City Rankings (Survey by Mercer)

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Renting an Apartment

Average Lease Term
2 years
Average Rental Costs
The renter is required to pay a large deposit after signing for one or two years. Renter should pay 10 percent of the deposit upon signing the contract. The deposit will be refunded upon termination of the contract.

For monthly payment: the renter is required to make monthly payments after providing a deposit.

Rental Agency Websites
Century 21 Seoul Realty
Hotel reservation websites
Daily living information

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School System

The Education System
Korea has a 6 year period (primary school), 3 (middle school), 3 (high school), and 2~4 (college or university) education system. Education at the primary and middle school level is compulsory, but  there is partial government support for kindergartens.
International Schools
Major Foreign Schools in Seoul & Other Areas

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Health System

The Healthcare System
Hospitals in Korea are generally well equipped. High quality general and specialty dental care is available in Seoul. However, the famous big hospitals are always crowded with patients and you have to wait your turn for a long time even if you made reservation before.
International Hospitals
There is not an international hospital in Korea; however, emergency treatment hospitals, general hospitals and private hospitals are operating international clinics for foreigners. For more information, consult the Hospitals and Clinics in Seoul.
Health Ministry
Ministry of Health & Welfare (MOHW)

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Tourism and Culture

Different Forms of Tourism

Korean history dates back over 5,000 years. Despite colonial policy in the early 20th century and the Korean War, historical sites and remains can be found throughout the country. Some of the most famous tour destinations include: Seoul (royal palaces, gates and walls, shrines), Gyeongju (the former capital of the Silla Kingdom), Kanghwa (temples and fortresses), Suwon (home to the Hwaseong Fortress) and Buyo (the former capital of the Paekche Kingdom).

List of Historic remains and sites.

The National Museum and War Memorial, both in Seoul, are considered must see destinations for visitors. The Folk Museum, also in Seoul, is a great place to learn about the history and transformation of the country. The collection at the Gyeongju National Museum is focused on relics from the Silla Kingdom and holds many important items of national cultural heritage.
Mountains, islands and Jeju's volcanoes are natural treasures of South Korea. The most beautiful places are protected by the government and there are 20 national parks.
Although the country is a Buddhist country by tradition, Christianity has become increasingly popular since the end of the 19th century (with nearly 25% of the population of Catholic or Protestant faith). Buddhist temples are typically more popular among tourists, as they are older and located in more natural areas. Churches are less visited, but are typically very modern and located in urban areas.

Hot springs and spas are quite popular among Koreans. Facilities offered are very modern and safe.

South Korea offers a large range of beaches. The most famous are located on the south coast (around or inside Busan) or on the east coast. Beaches located on the northeastern coasts are only open during summertime. The country also includes various islands, including the sub-tropical island of Jeju, which is home to a natural World Heritage Site (Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes).
Winter Sports
With cold and snowy winter and various mountains, South Korea is a great place for winter sports.
Outdoor Activities
Outdoor activities include walking, diving, cycling, bungee jumping and hiking. Korean mountains are beautiful, but even more so in autumn, providing a beautiful environment for many outdoor activities. Golf if also quite popular in Korea, with more than 2 million individuals playing the sport.
South Korea offers a wide variety of shopping outlets, ranging from very large shopping malls to traditional markets. Prices in department stores tend to be higher than in Europe, but it is possible to negotiate prices in markets. Seoul has some of the largest markets in the world (Namdeamum and Dongdeamum).
Tourism Organisations
Seoul City Tourism
Cultural Organizations
Ministry of Culture & Tourism
Hotel reservation websites

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Individual and Civic Freedoms

Civil Liberty
World Ranking of Freedom of the Press According to "Reporters sans Frontières", 2021 report : 42/180

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Population with religion: 53.1%. Among those who are religious: Buddhism (43.0%), Christianity (34.5)%, Catholicism (20.6%), other (1.9%).

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Latest Update: February 2024