South Korea Welcome Guide

Useful Tips For Your Internship

Welcome to South Korea!

Your internship experience is one of the most important pieces of the foundation you are laying down for a successful career.

Since the professional world can be very different from the university life, it’s important that you have an understanding of some of the differences.

Use These Tips To Help You Make The Most Of Your Internship

  1. Clarify expectations about the internship, both the employers and yours. It’s a good idea to agree upon your job responsibilities in writing.
  2. Take advantage of the transition time at the beginning of your internship and ask a lot of questions.
  3. Meet regularly with your supervisor to ensure that both of your expectations are being met.
  4. First impressions are very important, as is maintaining good ones. It’s important for you to dress, speak, write, and generally behave like a professional.
  5. Be observant and ask questions about appropriate behavior at the workplace. Different organizations have different expectations regarding employee behavior.
  6. Focus on your communication skills, both written and verbal. Proofread your written work carefully. When communicating wit your co-workers choose respectful, tactful, and professional language at all times.
  7. Be punctual and show up to work on time. If you’re going to be late or sick, be sure to call your supervisor to inform them. Choose your sick days with care and try not to miss too many days at work.
  8. Establish good relationships with your co-workers. Be friendly, polite, helpful, and sensitive. Also be careful about bringing personal business to work.
  9. Be easy to work with. Accept assignments without complaint, ask for more work when assignments are completed, and turn out good quality work.
  10. When you complete your internship, be sure to ask your supervisor for a letter of recommendation and keep in touch so that you can call upon him/her later when you are in need of a reference.

Here’s a good read on 5 Reasons Why An Internship Is Important For Your Future Career.

Emergency Information

In case of any emergencies, here are important phone numbers to have on hand.

Korea emergency numbers

Money Exchange

The currency used in South Korea is the South Korean Won.

The used banknotes are ₩50,000, ₩10,000, ₩5,000, ₩2,000 and ₩1,000. The used coins are ₩500, ₩100, ₩50, and ₩10.

₩50,000 South Korean Won is approximately $46.70 or €39.11 or £34.35.

The ₩2,000 banknote is not shown below as it was recently introduced in South Korea.

Korean Won banknotes

korean won coins

When you come to South Korea, we recommend you to exchange your local currency to South Korean Won within the city, rather than at the airport.

In South Korea, you will be able to receive good exchange rates from both banks and local money exchange shops.

A few banks that we can recommend for you to exchange your currency to South Korean Won are Woori Bank, KEB Hana Bank, and Shinhan Bank.

You can find these banks in popular areas of Seoul such as, Myeong-dong, Dongdaemun, and Itaewon.

SIM Cards In South Korea

The 3 major mobile carriers in South Korea are: KT (Korea Telecom), SK Telecom, and Evergreen.

You can buy a SIM card at the respective mobile carrier stores, the arrival hall in the airport or at local convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven.

Starting prices for a SIM card will be around ₩27,500 ($25.70).

Checkout this article on The 10 Best Apps You Need In South Korea!

Useful Korean Phrases

The Korean language can be quite difficult for new foreigners. Especially since the Korean language has its own unique alphabet.

It’s very beneficial to know some useful phrases during your stay in South Korea.

We provided some basic phrases for you to get started, which are transcribed to the pronunciation of the words.

GreetingsPronunciation
HelloAnnyeonghaseyo
GoodbyeAnnyeong
How are you doing?Eotteohke Jinaeseyo
I'm fine, thank you.Jal Jinae Komawoyo

GeneralPronunciation
YesYe
NoAniyo
SorryJoesonghamnida
Excuse meSillyehabnida
Thank youKomapsumnida
You're welcomeCheonmaneyo
I don't understandMoreugessumnida
I don't speak KoreanHangukmal mot haeyo
I speak a little KoreanJeonun hankookorul jogumbahke motahmnida
Do you speak English?Yongorul hahljool asimnika

TravelPronunciation
I would like to go to...Naneun gago sipda
Turn leftJwahoejeon haejuseyo
Turn rightUhoejeon haejuseyo
Go straightJikjin haejuseyo
Stop hereNaerilgeyo

RestaurantPronunciation
Do you have an English menu?Yeongoh maenu eesoyo
How much is this?Eolma aeyo
Can you bring the bill please?Gyesanseo jusaeyo
I want/I'd like...Naega wonhaneun...
I don't want...Naneun wonhaji anhnenda...
Do you have...Issni...

NumbersPronunciationNumbersPronunciationNumbersPronunciation
ZeroJeloElevenYeolhanaFortyMaheun
OneHanaTwelveYeoldulFiftySwin
TwoDulThirteenYeolsetSixtyYesun
ThreeSetFourteenYeolnetSeventyIlheun
FourNetFifteenYeoldaseotEightyYeodeun
FiveDaseotSixteenYeolyeoseotNinetyAheun
SixYeoseotSeventeenYeolilgobOne HundredBaek
SevenIlgopEighteenYeolyeodeolTwo HundredIbaek
EightYeodeolNineteenYeolahopThree HundredSambaek
NineAhopTwentySeumulFour HundredSabeak
TenYeolThirtySeoreunFive HundredObeak

Places To Visit

Gyeongbokgung Palace

gyeongbokgung palace

The Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the major tourist attractions in South Korea.

The Palace was built in 1395 during the Joseon Dynasty and was the major legal residence for the royal family.

Visitors can enjoy to see the beautiful architecture of the palace and watch the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony

To get to the palace, you need to take Line 3 of the Seoul Subway and get off at Gyeongbokgung Station - Exit 5.

The admission price for adults is ₩3,000 ($2.82).

N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower

The next most notable landmark in Seoul would be the N Seoul Tower.

Located on top of the Namsan Mountain, the tower is a very popular attraction for tourists to take in the beautiful city skyline views of Seoul.

The N Seoul Tower houses other interesting things to do such as a digital observatory, roof terrace and restaurant.

To get to N Seoul Tower, take Line 3 or 4 of the Seoul Subway to Chungmuro Station - Exit 2. From there, head to Daehan Theater Bus Stop, and you will need to take the Namsan Circulation Bus #2 to N Seoul Tower Bus Stop.

The admission price for adults is ₩10,000 ($9.40).

Dongdaemun Market

dongdaemun market

For those that love to go shopping, Dongdaemun Market is a can’t miss place to visit when you’re in Seoul.

This huge shopping district is home to 26 shopping malls, 30,000 specialty shops and 50,000 manufacturers.

You will be able to find all kinds of products at Dongdaemun Market including clothes, electronics, toys and pretty much anything else you can think of.

Not to mention, Dongdaemun is home to the famous food alley, Mukja Golmok, where you can enjoy the awesome Korean cuisine.

To get to Dongdaemun Market, take Line 1 or 4 of the Seoul Subway to Dongdaemun Station - Exit 8 or 9.

Namiseom Island (Winter Sonata)

namiseom island

Namiseom Island is a popular destination to visit for fans of the Korean TV series, Winter Sonata. But you don’t have to have watched the show to enjoy this beautiful island.

This half moon shaped island will allow you to escape the city life and enjoy the beautiful nature, scenery and try some local Korean foods.

Some interesting things to do in Namiseom Island are to visit the French-themed village of Petite France, The Garden of Morning Calm or take a ride on the Zipwire.

To get to Namiseom Island, take Line 7 of the Seoul Subway to Sangbong Station, then transfer to Gyeongchun Line to Gapyeong Station. From there, take a taxi to Gapyeong Wharf.

Bukchon Hanok Village

bukchon hanok village

Bukchon Hanok is a historic village located between Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, which possesses over 600 years of history, dating back to the Joseon Dynasty.

The Bukchon village is a traditional Korean residential area that has a one of a kind Hanok architecture and is home to over 900 houses.

This is a great place to experience some traditional Korean culture with architecture, restaurants and shops.

To get to Bukchon Hanok Village, take Line 3 of the Seoul Subway to Anguk Station - Exit 3.

Transportation

There are 3 major forms of public transportation in Seoul, South Korea.

These transportation methods are Seoul Metropolitan Subway, buses and taxis.

Seoul Subway Map

Click the map to enlarge

Below you can find the systems map of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway, which consists of 10 different lines.

The subway system is the most popular form of transportation because it allows people to avoid the traffic jams during rush hour.

Also, there are several connection points where you are able to get on another subway line.

We highly suggest purchasing a transportation card because it will save you time and money, rather than buying single journey tickets.

Tmoney and Cashbee are the transportation cards in Seoul that you can use for the subway and buses are cost around ₩2,500.Seoul Subway Cards

Buses are another popular form of transportation you can take advantage of.

Seoul has 4 different categories of buses which are color coded.

The colors are blue, red, green and yellow, and indicate the different districts in Seoul.

Seoul Buses

The third mode of transportation that you can use are taxis.

There are 4 different types of taxis to choose from, but we recommend you use the Standard Taxi or the International Taxi. The base fares start at ₩2,800.

The Standard Taxis are either orange or silver colored. The drivers typically have a limited level of English language.

seoul taxi

The International Taxis are orange colored and will also featured the words “International Taxi” on the top of the car. The drivers are able to speak English, Japanese or Chinese.

Food: Where and What To Eat

Korean food has become one of the most popular and trendy cuisines in recent years.

So you’re sure to be in for a treat during your time in South Korea.

If you’re into the street food scene, we highly recommend you to checkout Gwangjang Market, Nambu Market and Dongdaemun Market.

gwangjang market

At these markets you'll be able to find many different types of foods such as grilled meats, rice rolls, fresh seafood, delicious sweets and much more!

If you prefer to cook your own meals at home, we suggest grocery stores such as Emart, Homeplus, Lotte Mart and Costco. Here you will be able to find a wide range of items from local products to imported good.

To see a list of MUST EAT foods in Korea, check out our article on the Top 10 Korean Foods.

Do's & Don'ts

 

Medical Facilities

It is very important to be aware of the medical facilities around Seoul, South Korea in case of any illness or emergency you may have.

Below we have provided you with some medical facility options for your convenience.

By clicking on each photo, you will be redirected to a pinned location of the facility on Google Maps.

 

Yonsei University (Severance) Hospital
Seoul St. Mary's Hospital
Samsung Medical Center
Seoul National University Hospital
Korea University Anam Hospital
Inje University Paik Hospital

Immunizations You May Need

Before coming to South Korea, it’s ideal to visit your personal doctor for a routine checkup.

South Korea does maintain high quality medical facilities, but we suggest for you to utilize your health insurance in your home country.

The medical costs in South Korea can become quite expensive without insurance.

We also advise you to undergo the following immunizations if you haven’t already.

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Typhoid
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Malaria
  • Rabies
  • Yellow Fever
  • Diphtheria/Tetanus/Polio

Culture

Greetings

When introducing yourself or greeting someone, you’re expected to bow your upper body and head. The bow is often followed by a handshake for men.

Korean women will typically not shake hands with western men but will nod slightly.

It is also polite to bow when saying goodbye and departing.

If you're looking to meet new people, here are 12 Tips: How To Make Friends During Your Internship Abroad.

Business Culture

The Korean culture is heavily influenced by the Confucian ethics and principles, which also reflect the business culture.

Confucianism supports tradition, respect for elders, harmony and importance of family and friendship.

Here are some examples of what you can expect in a Korean business culture setting:

  • Business cards are considered very important and it is polite to use two hands when giving your card to a Korean professional.
  • The highest ranking Korean official or senior will always enter a room and be seated first.
  • It is important to organize meetings ahead of time and to always be punctual.
  • Avoid asking "Yes or No questions" but rather use open-ended questions.

Interesting Facts

The name “Korea” come from Goryeo, which means “high and clear.”

Some poetic meanings of the name Korea are “Land of the Morning Calm” and “Land of High Mountains and Sparkling Streams.”

Babies are considered one year old at birth in Korea.

South Koreans believe that the number “4” is unlucky and is associated with death.

South Korea maintains the world’s fastest wireless internet speeds, with an average download speed of 33.5 megabits per second.

Enjoy Your Stay In South Korea!

Asia Internship Program wishes you an enjoyable time in South Korea during your internship.

By applying these tips and recommendations, we're positive that it will make your lifestyle in South Korea much more satisfying and stress free.

If you found this guide useful during your stay in South Korea, share it with your friends who may also be interested in doing an internship in the Land of the Morning Calm.

Also, for those of you still in your home country and are interested in doing an internship in South Korea, click the "Learn More" button below for more info.

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Dennis

About Dennis

Dennis is originally from Germany but he grew up the majority of his life in the United States. He has a diverse background with European, Asian and American roots. Now relocated in Bangkok, Thailand, Dennis is working as the Marketing Manager for Asia Internship Program.

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