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Is it really difficult for an italian living in Korea?

Posted in Seoul forum

Hello! I would really like to live in South Korea, for a couples of years or more. I have some korean friends, very kind people; but I'm interested in korean lifestyle, their rhythm of life, their attitude to job. I really appreciate if someone could describe me his or her experience in this country. I appreciate also some advise: I'm searching for a job in fashion as pattern maker but I think it's very difficult to find a job like this for an european, in Korea. So I'll try to find an occupation as English and Italian teacher, I did it several times in past, while I was studying foreign languages at university. Thank you for all!!

  • Go to Sun Yoo's profile

    Hi there

    posted by  Sun Yoo in Seoul forum 


    Let me tell you as much as I know.
    I'm Korean, but I lived in the Philippines most of my life. And It's been 5 years since I came back to Seoul yet I still have hard time adjusting to their life style.

    Life Style:
    Seoul is one of the most expensive city to live in mostly because of Housing. If you can get a job as an English or Italian teacher, many language institutes provide housing for their foreign teachers so this won't be a problem but if you are looking for a job in fashion industry, it would be difficult unless you can nego with the hiring company.
    Mind you that Korea some what difficult place to live if you don't speak Korean. Despite our effort to lean English, you will have hard time going about. Also Koreans are very happy when foreigners try to speak Korean :)

    Language institutes prefer to hire native speaker with "perfect American" accent. So I'll leave that to you.
    Italian on the other hand, is not an "in trend" language so it's not in high demand but this could also mean you might have better chance of getting hired as a native speaker. But mind you language institutions pay you per class and it won't be 9-6 working hour.

    Fashion Industry in Korea is dominated by few big corporations with many sub brands.
    Since you can speak English, if you have a good portfolio, I would say go for it.
    In Korea SPA brands are popping out like Starbucks yet best selling SPA stores are UNIQLO and ZARA.
    Also you should study more about Korean style. Koreans have their own unique style and international trend goes hand in hand.

    Koreans are very hard working people and companies tend to think that they own their employees.
    Employees work as if their life goes around work place. So there are no Easter vacation, Christmas Eve break, or any other vacation longer than 3-4days.

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