Choosing a Location

So where do you want to go? Korea’s got lots of options—from big city life to country living, there’s a bit of it all. Here is a breakdown of the different places you could live.Many people who don’t know much about Korea want to live in Seoul. That’s usually the only city most of us have even heard of before.

A cityscape near Daegu, South Korea - consider smaller cities when choosing your location!

A cityscape near Daegu, South Korea

But, we at SKR LOVE all our locations. We strongly believe the further out of Seoul you get, the more true of a Korean experience you get. Imagine moving to the US, but only living in New York City. It’s great. But it’s quite different than the rest of the country. You’d never experience the best food in the country in Gwangju, or the rural rice bowl regions, places promising a green you’ve never seen before. You’d never experience the art scene in Daegu or the traditional housing in Jeonju.

There are so many wonderful options in Korea. And the best thing about it all is that Korea is small and their public transportation is expansive! You can get one from corner of Korea to the other in no time at all!

So, we urge you, be flexible on location! The more flexible you are, the easier it will be to get a job!

Here is a breakdown on Korea’s locations.

Big cities

There are a couple big city options—but of course the most popular destination is Seoul, the country’s capital.

Seoul is a city of some 10 million people. It’s a lot like other big cities in the world with a host of skyscrapers, big businesses, a great subway system, and enough restaurants, museums, and shops to keep you busy for a lifetime.

The downsides include the pollution, traffic, and crowds.

If you are looking to live in a big city, Seoul is one of your best options.

Another great option is Busan, a city of 3.6 million on the southeastern coast of Korea. It’s known for its beautiful beaches and raw fish and is one of the most popular destinations for foreigners in Korea. It also has a great subway system and a large foreigner community (check out the Busan Foundation for International Activities).

Mid-sized cities

Mid-sized cities abound in Korea. But here are a few we recommend.

Gwangju – Gwangju is a city of 1.4 million people in the in southwest part of Korea. It’s boasts an amazing international center, plenty of great mountain hiking trails, a good bus system to get around the city, and some of the best food in the country (it’s province-Jeollanamdo—is famous for having the best food in the country). The foreigner community is tight-knit, and options abound on the weekends to get together with other foreigners for day-trips, weekend excursions, soccer games, or just a night out at one of the popular foreigner bars.

Daegu—Daegu is a city of 2.45 million people in the southeast of Korea. Famous for its traditional medicine market, the city boasts another very large foreigner community. It also boasts a two-line subway system, great restaurants, and nightlife comparable to Seoul’s.

Small towns

There are really too many to name, but small cities are great if you’re looking for a very rural, quiet experience in Korea. Rice fields and small town centers dot the rural countryside in Korea.

You won’t find many foreigners in these areas, but maybe that’s the beauty of it. The whole town will know you. And you won’t be too far away from a larger metropolis if you ever need to escape. Some of countries’ best sites are located in these smaller towns. There is no doubt you would see and experience a totally different side of Korea.

Looking to be close to the beach? Don’t worry—since Korea is roughly the same size as the U.S. state of Indiana and is surrounded on three sides by water, it doesn’t take long at all to get to a beach. Islands dot the entire circumference of the peninsula, each one a beautiful, scenic paradise.