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moving to korea

Korea 2014 by Chris Backe: Book Review

Korea 2014: A Guide for Entrepreneurs

Hey! I am getting ready to move to Korea in August, and trying to figure out how to pack my life into 2 suitcases for the next year. How were you able to do it, and what tips can you give! Thanks!

Yep no problem! I only brought two pieces of luggage just like you. Honestly this is the best way to...

Learning Korean – Book – An Illustrated Guide to Korean


For those of you who have been learning Korean by religiously following Chad Meyer’s and Moonjung Kim’s illustrations here is your opportunity to own some of these illustration and read it at your convenience or gift it to someone who is learning Korean.

Doing US Taxes in South Korea

Many U.S. individuals living abroad are either unaware that they have the same tax filing requirements as those living at home, or believe that they do not need to file a return if their foreign income is below the foreign earned income exclusion amount. All U.S. individuals, regardless of the geographical location or the amount of tax liability (even if no tax is owed), must file a return each year.

U.S. expats who are out of the country are usually given extra 2-month automatic extension to file their tax returns without requesting an extension, which makes the due date June 30th of the following year. However, if there is a balance due, interest will be assessed on it starting after April 15th. There is no penalty for being late if you owe no tax.

Oh, and one more thing. *Advice about The Arrival Store*

I’m home. Phew. That was a long flight.

I’m ecstatic to be home. Everyone said it would be weird and strange and that reverse culture shock is a monster, but honestly it’s been pleasant so far. Perhaps it is because my family has been amazingly supportive, I have so many friendships to catch up on and a few babies to meet (New people arrived while I was away!), and I am super busy networking and job searching.

Finding University Jobs in Busan

Doing US Taxes in Korea

While I read this article on married couples doing US taxes while abroad I found it didn’t apply to me completely as my spouse is not a US citizen. And while they provided links and great information, I’ve been unsettled to do my own taxes as I really didn’t want to end up on the naughty list of the IRS especially as we were getting ready for my wife’s US visa.

Practical guide to selecting a Quality International Mover

By Tishana Ince, International Moving Specialist, FeedbacQ

An international move is a crucial juncture in your life, whether you are moving abroad or moving back to your home country after your stint overseas, the whole process can be overwhelming. This is especially true if you are moving with your family or have a lot of stuff to be shipped to your destination. Thus, you should choose an international mover carefully, to help you make the transition as smooth as possible. Here is how to go about doing that.

Moving with your Family to Korea

Get going

Views on Moving to South Korea with your family – wife and kids

When I had to move to Korea, it was pretty simple, I cleared my interview, got my visa, packed my bags and within 2 months I was in Seoul. I did not have to think much about relocation as I was single when I moved to Korea. I just had to convince my parents that I would be safe in Korea.

But then I get many a queries from expats who are married with a working spouse and sometimes kids that go to school. When they ask me whether they should accept the job in Korea, I normally say yes to them, keeping my experience in mind. But then I have realized that I am not the right person to give advice to married couples about moving to Korea for work. I find it very difficult when they ask me queries like -

Tips for American Expat Newlyweds Living Abroad

By I.J. Zemelman, EA, Taxes for Expats

Are you recently married and living overseas?  Just when you thought the work of planning your wedding was over…After taking your vows, there is still more to accomplish for compliance with the United States Internal Revenue Service.

Here is a brief checklist of considerations you must make and actions you must take in order to avoid problems at tax time.

Taxes for American Expats in Korea

Update Your W-4 Withholding Amount

How Expensive is Seoul as compared to Singapore, China, Japan and Hong Kong

As per Mercer’s Worldwide cost of living ranking 2012, Seoul is at the 22nd spot in the list of the most expensive city in the world.

Mercer releases its Cost of Living rankings annually and measures the comparative cost of living for expatriates in 214 major cities. They compare the cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. They use New York City as the base city for the rankings and the US dollar as the base currency.

If you are wondering which city tops the list then its Tokyo, which has emerged as the most expensive city for expatriates both in Asia and globally. The top 31 most expensive cities in this list has 10 from the Asia Pacific region including Tokyo at number 1, followed by Osaka at number 3, Singapore at number 6, Hong Kong at 9. Nagoya (Japan) at 10, Shanghai at 16, Beijing at 17, Seoul at 22, Shenzhen (China) at 30 and Guangzhou (China) at 31.

The Taste of Korea – What do Koreans Eat?

The very first thing that would come to your mind if you are planning to relocate to South Korea is – What do Koreans Eat? The answer to this question should answer your queries about survival in Korea.

So let me start with the basic ingredients used in Korean cooking and then I will share the name of a few popular Korean Dishes which you will be able to find easily in everyday Korean restaurants.

Koreans eat -

Moving to South Korea: Meeting people

Moving to South Korea will no doubt be an adventure. It will of course also be a huge challenge moving to a completely foreign country. There will be a lot of practical things to prepare before your move, for example where you’re going to live, where you’ll be working / studying, and making sure you have all the relevant paperwork in place – you can find a wealth of practical advice on these subjects on this site. However, there is more to knowing how to use your bank account is or knowing the correct procedure for sending parcels to USA. Once you’ve figured all the practical things out, you are now faced with your next big challenge – meeting people. Feeling isolated abroad is an unpleasant but common experience; the people you meet will make your journey and adventure complete.

Cost of living in Seoul Korea 2012

For anybody who is planning to move to South Korea either for job or for study, the first thing that you would want to know is – what would be the cost of living in Korea for me and my family (if applicable) and second thing you would want to know is – Can I survive in Korea – in terms of food, language and culture.

The Korean Red Helping Hood – Tourist Information Center On The Move

Few years ago a Chinese woman lost her 74-year-old grandfather when they were in Korea and touring the Dongdaemun area in Seoul. He was not able to board the tour bus after Dongdaemun shopping. The problem got compounded as he had no money plus he did know the local language. Listening to her plea, around 6 employees from the Dongdaemun Tourist Information Center set out to help and locate her missing grandfather. They made every effort to locate him – reported the police, checked the CCTV footage of the nearby malls till they finally tracked him down near the Dongdaemun Culture and History Park. They managed to successfully reunite the Chinese woman with her missing grandfather after 24 hours, 10 minutes.

Moving Tourist Information Center Korea

Cheap Accommodation in Korea for Students and Working Professionals

If you have plans to visit Korea for a few days, weeks or months and you are looking out for a temporary accommodation in Korea then Goshiwon, Hasukjib or Yeogwan could be the right fit for you. Goshiwon is more for students whereas Hasukjib and Yeogwan is more suitable for working professionals who are looking for a budget stay in Korea and does not want to go through the hassle of house renting, lease, deposit, utilities and so on. Read the guide below to check which one is more suitable for you.

Goshiwon – 고시원

Goshiwons are a remarkably cheap way of living in Korea. It is a very small and basic room where students often live in and study for a number of months in order to focus on a test (고시).

Average Salary and Tax Structure in South Korea for Expats

Average Salary in Korea

As per the article published in The Chosunilbo, the average annual salary per worker was estimated at 25.15 million KRW. In terms of region, the average wage of workers in Ulsan, where many giant enterprises are based, was 31.51 million KRW, the highest figure nationwide, whereas Incheon, the lowest, was merely 21 million KRW.

So expats on an average are offered around 2.5 million KRW per month before deduction of taxes.

Making Your Home Your Home in Korea

The Arrival Store

Especially for those arriving in Korea for the first time, 3 things become quite clear very quickly:

Top 10 reasons why you should come to Korea


There are lot of misconceptions or myths about life in Korea. Everybody has heard about Samsung, Hyundai and LG but no one knows a lot about Korea. So, if one gets an opportunity to work in Korea they give it a miss thinking life would be difficult in Korea and how would one survive or rather what would one eat in Korea. We have discussed all these in our other posts but then in this post we would like to highlight the Top 10 Reasons why you should come to Korea.

Can Vegetarians / Vegans survive in Korea?

Korean Vegetables

Before I answer your question – whether vegetarians can survive in Korea? let me first tell you the difference between Vegetarians and Vegans.

In this context I will be talking about Indian vegetarians. They do not eat meat, fish or any kind of seafood, egg, chicken and poultry but they do consume dairy products like milk, cheese, butter etc. Some of them avoid onion and garlic from their meals. Others avoid root vegetables like potatoes. Indians follow vegetarian diet for religious reasons.

Vegans abstain from eating or using all animal products, including milk, cheese and eggs.

Books about Seoul City Guides

In this series, we present you the Top 5 city guide for Seoul. The guide books comes very handy when you want to explore the city, but language becomes a barrier. The focus of these books is not only to help you explore Seoul but to know Seoul up, close and personal.

seoul_book_seoulSeoul Selection Guides: SEOUL
by Robert Koehler

Korea s capital for the last 600 years, Seoul is an energetic, pulsating city where the ancient and modern coexist in dramatic contrast. With its grand royal palaces, quaint old alleyways, ancient temples, colorful markets, neon shopping districts and verdant mountains, you ll never run out of things to see and do.

Books about Foreigners Living (Expat Life) in S Korea

If you have plans about moving to S Korea for teaching English, doing business, studying in a Korean University or working for a Korean Chaebol then you can use any of the book listed below to guide you with your decision and preparation about relocating to S Korea.

expat_book_korea_callingKorea Calling: The Essential Handbook for Teaching English and Living in South Korea
by Allegra J. Specht, Jay W. Freeborne

Korea Calling is a convenient guide for potential English teachers in South Korea. Separated in three sections:
1) Getting a Job
2) Teaching English to Koreans; and
3) Surviving Korean Culture,

Question from a reader: must-knows before coming to Korea?

A reader writes in:

Hi Chris! I love your blog and have learned so much about various experiences in Korea. I am leaving on Friday to Seoul for a week of training and then living in [city redacted] which is nearby Seoul. Just wondering if you have any must knows that you could share with me, as I am clearly becoming nervous as time comes. Thanks so much!


Coming to Korea remains a scary thing. Despite the abundance of information, it’s hard to cut through the out-dated and biased info to find the useful nuggets.

Question from a reader: is it safe to move to Korea?


A reader writes in asking about safety in South Korea:

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