https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nomnamjoon

안녕하세요! Have you ever been to Korea?

If you've ever been, please comment below! Just in case you're curious as to why I'm asking this, I am just so excited to know about Korean culture and their way of life from the viewpoint of a foreigner! I'll be moving there in a few years, so it would be nice to know about it :) Most people may think I simply want to learn Korean because I'm an ARMY, but not everyone is learning Korean just for K-Pop. While I do enjoy K-Pop, I didn't find out about it until after I made the decision that I wanted to become an English teacher to Korean children! Please share any personal experience or opinion about your trip to Korea! I would be glad to hear about it :)

May 7, 2019

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas-Aquinas

I was born in Korea. I spent two third of my life there and still visit there frequently. We are personally individualistic yet socially collective people. On surface, Korean people tend to, or at least try to keep the things to themselves and often can be seen quite unfriendly. However, deep down, most of Korean share this idea that among Koreans, there's no stranger. We often put us before me. We think of ourselves as a single community rather than a group of individuals. And sequentially, Most of Korean feel this strong need to belong to others. So strong that it even reflects on our culture. Take Korean trends for example, everybody on the street is wearing same stuff it is almost as if we are a communist country with outfit regulations. We can be pretty nosy too. Although it is not obvious, a lot of us care about other people's personal lives as if those were ours. I'm not gonna deny. I also personally enjoy gossips about my friends, family, acquaintances and neighbors. But it's not all that bad. We are not just nosy but very sympathetic people too. As much as we care about other people's personal lives, we also care about their personal problems. We are very united as well. Whenever our group/ community/ country is under any kind of threat or crisis, we don't just run away from it but stand our ground and fight for ourselves. Well, living in such cultural atmosphere isn't so bad for a native Korean like me, but some foreigners might feel disconnected at first time. But over time, as you find your place in our society, you'll get use to it.

I cannot describe entire Korean culture in single paragraph but generally, what I mentioned above is what foreigners usually find discomforting.

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nomnamjoon

Thanks so much for your opinion! I have heard that Koreans can be a bit closed off to you, especially if you are foreign, and I know it isn't going to be a piece of cake adjusting to life there, but hopefully I'll learn to overcome the small little difficulties. As for people being nosy, there are going to be lots of nosy people in any country that you go to. We have TONS of them here in America. Most of the time, if people are nosy, I don't mind unless they are being nosy about something that is extremely personal. I can sometimes be nosy myself, but most of the time, I try to be as polite as possible. I also know that some Koreans aren't like Americans--they won't try to start up a conversation with someone they don't know. A lot of Americans, if they share something in common with you, will try to strike up a conversation with you and get to know you, but I often hear from some of my Korean friends that Koreans don't normally do that and they tend to keep to themselves. It might be a bit difficult for me at first, but I hope having some Korean friends will at least help me a little bit :)

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rfgb14

I'm korean. I'm glad that many people loves BTS, and want to communicate with my friends. Our country is so amazing. Korea had a war just before 60 few years ago, but now, our country is loved by many people. I'm so pleased:)

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nomnamjoon

Yes, Korea seems like an amazing place! :) I don't like it just because of BTS, but also because you guys have an amazing, interesting culture that I didn't know about until a couple of years ago, and I am so glad I found out about it! It seems so peaceful and nice there :)

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsakNygren1

Yes, I was in Seoul one weekend just exactly a year (plus 2-3 days) ago. I hope I can return because it feels I was there too few days.

May 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nomnamjoon

That's nice! I hope you can also travel back safely! :)

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsakNygren1

Yes, but I hope the pollution level in Seoul will be less next time I go there. So far it has been the only place I have been where I got breathing problems due to pollution. I have been in many countries. It is the only time I had to wear a mask in order to avoid breathing problems. At first I thought it was allergy but it wasn't.

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas-Aquinas

Unfortunately, we Koreans have no control over it. Majority of pollutants are coming from Shandong peninsula of China carried by monsoon. Next time, try visiting on summer when monsoon changes direction or visit Busan, farthest city from China.

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsakNygren1

I'm fully aware of the winds from China. Another problem is all the mountains surrounded Seoul and makes the pollution stay there.

I will move to Fukuoka soon. Then I will be able to visit Busan since it's so close.

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nomnamjoon

Ah, yes, I've heard about the fine dust and micro dust in Korea...That's one down-side about living/visiting there. I have asthma, so I'll probably have to be extra careful. I hope, if you return, you won't have anymore breathing problems :)

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kathi590282

I was in Korea for 7 months for working holiday. for me it was easy to get in contact with some koreans because of my language school i visited there. But if you are there just on your owen it can be really hard to get in contact with someone. Living and working in korea is not easy. the culture is very different to western countries so you have to adapted to that. over all i really loved staying in korea i made some really good friends there and i'm planing to go back to korea soon.

May 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nomnamjoon

Thanks for sharing your experience! I hopefully won't be alone when I travel there because I have made a few Korean friends who are willing to help me out when I move. I'm not sure if I'm ready for the culture shock, which is why I'm trying to gather as much information as I can to learn about it. Again, thank you for your input! :)

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carbsrule

Yes, twice. It's nice.

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OwlSoul1

It you're going to work in Korea, be wary of INSANE working hours. I just love Seoul, but the working ethics and rules are really something, like HARDCORE level of work culture. Even worse if you're ethnic Korean, now you don't even have a "he's a foreigner he does not know things here" get-out-of-jail card. Of course, not all places are like this, but it's still better to be prepared.

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nomnamjoon

Thanks for the heads up! I am planning on being an English teacher there, so I'll have to prep myself for working longer than I am used to :) I know I will have to learn extensively, which is why I ask such questions. I want to know as much as I can about Korea, that way, when I head over there, I'm as prepared as I possibly can be.

May 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jiminie_62260

I want to live in Korea and I would like to discover all the facets of Korea. Its gastronomy, its traditions and many other things. I also listen to a lot of K-Pop, especially BTS ( I am an Army:)). I would like to become a Korean translator/interpreter.

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nomnamjoon

Ah, fellow Army! :) I also enjoy the Korean culture :D While most Armys simply want to go to Korea because they think they'll somehow end up "running into BTS and marrying them and living happily ever after"(mainly younger Armys), that's not at all or ever has been my purpose. I actually have wanted to teach English to foreign kids for a while, and I have always wanted to live in an Asian country and explore their way of life. When I began learning Korean, I realized that it was the easiest out of Chinese and Japanese, so I decided that I wanted to be an English teacher to Korean Children. There is also a special program for people who want to become English teachers in Korea, so that pretty much settled my decision. After doing some research about Korea, I began to keep hearing about BTS, and that's when I became an Army :)

May 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RadwaKhere

I think korea is very amazing and also the k-pop and I wish that I will travel to one day I will be so happy

May 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nomnamjoon

Yeah, Korea seems like a really amazing place! Of course, every place has its down sides, and Korea is not a fairytale land, but it seems like such a peaceful and nice place to live and explore the culture. I think living in Korea would be a refreshing experience, and that living there would give me a glimpse into another way of life :)

May 13, 2019
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