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Anonym
14 July 2016
Overall impression

+A very comfortable country to live in, perfect service, reasonable prices, you can go hiking in the mountains (many routes are available) or camping (get some overdue drinking done with or without a tent). Sightseeing treats include motorcycle and airplane shows, museums, gardens and so on. There are schools for kids of foreigners, including those with schooling in Russian.
-Those, who don’t like spicy food, will suffer. Architecture is uniform and quite drab. Cities are like twins, but the picturesque landscapes balance that. Knowledge of Korean is absolutely necessary to solve various banking/housing/other issues.
The whole Asia is right in front of you, low cost airlines being present too. Ferries to China, Japan and Vladivostok.

Attitude to foreigners

White foreigners are treated well, the locals allow for their lack of knowledge of local etiquette and language and are often honestly willing to help, even if you have just met them.
Other Asians (except for the Japanese), the Pakistanis and such, are treated with slight contempt.

Impression of local population

The Koreans drink like hell but are absolutely not aggressive. Not known for their initiative, but responsible and responsive. The school and army training to respect the elders and not question the higher-ups can be felt. They would often say what they think you wish to hear, when it comes to work/business, even though that might not be the truth. It is better to pay close attention and understand all details when it comes to work. Especially, if you hold a managerial/responsible position.

Climate

Winters are nice, about 0 to -5. Regular snowfall, but not the snowdrifts and bears kind.
June isn’t too hot, about +25, rains in July, and hellish hot and humid weather from August to mid-September. The remaining months in autumn and spring are fine.
About 2 hours to the Yellow Sea by bus, about 3.5 hours to the Eastern Sea (don’t ever call it the Japanese Sea when talking to a Korean).

Education

School education is mostly just learning by rote and lots of private tutoring, higher education is quite good, with foreign professors and a great university material and technical base, high prices.
The Korean language courses cost about 140$/month, but free ones can be found too.
Swimming pool + gym – about 120$/month, more expensive in the central neighborhoods (Gangnam, Itaewon).
You can find almost any course here: from flight courses to 3D max, but almost all in Korean.

Quality of medicine (quality and cost)

Insurance-based medical care, as in the USA, but way cheaper. Minimal insurance (doesn’t cover all tests and examinations) and an annual examination is covered by the employer.
A x-ray of a small part of body: about 20$
Ultrasound: about 200$
2 dental crowns: about 600$

Language (learning of the local language and communication with the local people)

Most speak decent English, but don’t be too hopeful: nobody will understand you in a café far from the center. Knowledge of English is enough to work here.

Transport (road access, quality of roads, level of driving, gasoline cost, public transportation)

Transport infrastructure is great, public transportation is cheap, incredibly well-organized. Second-hand cars are cheap, but there is some annual tax and you need to have a parking space.

Prices (cost of living, food, entertainment)

A delicious meal in a cheap and quick-service restaurant about 8$/person
0.5 kg of chicken fillet about 5$
A can of corn about 1.5$
1kg of apples about 5$
Beer about 2$

Not as expensive, as you’d expect in a developed country, Japan is more expensive.

Job (search complexity, level of salary)

Engineers and developers are in demand, salaries start at about 2500$, depending on the qualifications and luck, and grow high + free flights home several times per year + regular bonuses + full medical insurance, etc.

Housing (cost, availability, rent, purchase)

Usually provided and paid for by the employer.
A single-room flat not in the city center, but not on the outskirts either costs about 500$/month + a deposit of about 10000$
A two-room flat in Gangnam – about 1200+$/month
Don’t even dream of buying real estate here.

Crime

I haven’t encountered any.
I’ve read of local organized crime, that offers protection for brothels and gaming establishments.
I’ve heard of some Russian mafia from locals, but that seems more relevant to Busan, in my opinion. There might be some Uzbek criminals, but they rob their own compatriots, who do business here. Or it might be all gossip.
None.
The Americans grow weed at their army base, but that is like a bush under a bed and nothing more. You can’t buy it, but you might get to try some if you drink together and get really friendly. It is more of an exception rather than a rule.

Women \ men (for dating)

Beautiful, looking after themselves ladies, who would chat you up more out of curiosity. Those, who studied in the USA, Europe, and Australia are more open-minded. You can start a serious relationship here.

Internet access (availability, price)

Fast and inexpensive. Torrents aren’t blocked or prosecuted.
Cellular internet – LTE.

How to contact you

https://twitter.com/ ramzai06153

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