Top 5: Reasons NOT to Come to Korea

August 21, 2016

There are a few reasons why I decided to come to Korea, and why I think other people should come, too. Read about those here. There are also a few reasons not to come to Korea:

1. to blend in

While the demographic is shifting and becoming more diverse, Korea is still homogeneously Korean with only 3% of the population being non-Korean.

If you look different, you'll be noticed... If not by a taxi driver asking you where you're from, then perhaps by a child on the street gasping "foreigner!". These more obvious exchanges may not happen on a daily basis, but are sprinkled amongst more common, long-held glances when you're out and about.

2. to eat non-Korean food

If you come to Korea and can't/won't eat Korean food, you're probably not going to have a great time and you'll really miss out. While foreign restaurants exist, they aren't abundant (especially outside of Seoul), they aren't cheap, and are often not great.

3. to worry about germs

Speaking of food, there seems to be less of a concern over germs in Korea. If something like double-dipping freaks you out, meal time in Korea may be a struggle for you since people tend to eat from the same, communal pot/bowl.

Rather than individually portioned shampoo bottles, hotels in Korea usually provide their guests with a large bottles of shampoo to share with those who come before and after. Not only shampoo but toothpaste, too!

If public bathrooms offer soap, it's usually in the form of a blue bar stuck to the wall. (Those things still horrify me, tbh)

4. to speak English

It's one thing not to know a country's language and make an effort to get around. It's quite another thing to sit back and expect that country to cater to you. English Superiority Complex is a thing and it's not cute.

5. to complain

Being warned of all of these things beforehand, don't come to Korea to complain. Life in any country is difficult; foreign or not. Everyone goes through tough times, but it's important to keep things in perspective and not always place blame on factors outside of yourself. If you're willing to "experience" differences, come to Korea. If you have certain expectations about living abroad and don't like when things go your way, perhaps you should take some time to reconsider your choices. 

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