Work and Travel in South Korea

work and travel in south korea
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VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN SOUTH KOREA FOR TRAVELLERS

South Korea is known for its prominent place on any backpacking trip of the Far East. With a long, colourful history, and a noisy neighbour to the north, South Korea has a lot to offer any traveller.

So if you want to work and travel in South Korea and gain an experience you won’t find anywhere else, this is the guide for you. Read our travel guide to South Korea (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/south-korea) to find out more about what’s on offer here.

1. Teach English in South Korea

South Korea has long been a home for people who want to teach English. It offers better pay and better working conditions than nearby Japan, in general. Plus, you’ll find it much easier to get around if you don’t know the local language.

English teaching work in Korea is available in all the major cities, such as Seoul, Busan, and Gyeonju. You can even find plenty of volunteering opportunities in Korea in the more rural areas.

2. Care for Cats in South Korea

Anyone who has ever been to the Far East is aware that cats are a big part of the modern culture. So it should come as no surprise that there are animal shelters in all the major cities. From there, you’ll be able to care for the kitties and play with them.

Animal lovers who want to work and travel in South Korea will find this to be the perfect job for them.

There are also other types of animal shelters, including for dogs, but cats are by far the most popular option. If you have some prior experience working with animals, you’ll have even more opportunities open to you.

3. Raise Human Rights Concerns in South Korea

You’ll find plenty of non-partisan organisations in South Korea dedicated to raising awareness of human rights abuses currently occurring in North Korea. They also help refugees from the northern half of the Korean Peninsula as they make their way into the country and build new lives for themselves.

You don’t need to be able to speak Korean. Many assignments involve publishing articles and leaflets in English. You just have to be committed and passionate about human rights.

Volunteer Work Visa/Permit Requirements for South Korea

Westerners will find it easy to enter South Korea. First of all, we must address the outlier. Canadians are the only people in the world who can travel in South Korea for 180 days without obtaining any form of visa.

Americans, Mexicans, UK citizens, the European Union (EU), Australians, Kiwis, and the Japanese are entitled to stay in South Korea for 90 days when they touch down.

Russians, on the other hand, can only stay for 60 days without a visa. South Africans can stay for even less time, with a 30-day visa offered.

Other citizens, such as the Chinese, will need to visit a South Korean embassy in order to obtain a visa. As you can imagine, this is an easy and efficient process.

VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR SOUTH KOREA

Westerners will find it easy to enter South Korea. First of all, we must address the outlier. Canadians are the only people in the world who can travel in South Korea for 180 days without obtaining any form of visa.

Americans, Mexicans, UK citizens, the European Union (EU), Australians, Kiwis, and the Japanese are entitled to stay in South Korea for 90 days when they touch down. Fore more info click here.

Russians, on the other hand, can only stay for 60 days without a visa. South Africans can stay for even less time, with a 30-day visa offered.

Other citizens, such as the Chinese, will need to visit a South Korean embassy in order to obtain a visa. As you can imagine, this is an easy and efficient process.

SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN SOUTH KOREA

SPRING WORK

South Korea gets to enjoy the full four seasons of the year. This is great because it provides an array of different volunteer opportunities in South Korea throughout the year.

Spring time is a fantastic time to work on a farm or join a family in the form of a homestay. The work is hard during the planting season, but it’s one of the best ways to meet real Koreans and learn more about the culture.

SUMMER JOBS

Summer time is another great time to work in South Korea because this is the main tourist season. Many backpackers come to travel in South Korea and work in hostels. Hostels are available in abundance across the nation and it’s easier than ever before to find work in them as a volunteer.

They all offer at least free accommodation, and many of them even offer free food. It’s one of the best summer jobs available.

Hostel jobs are available throughout the year, but if you’re looking for something more short-term, this is the time to secure one.

You could also work in summer camps, where you’ll be able to connect with young Koreans and give them skills that they’ll cherish for the rest of their lives.

AUTUMN

Autumn is our favourite time of the year for teaching English in South Korea. Young people return to school and education is such a big part of the culture that learning English is a major priority.

It helps if you have a TEFL qualification, but if you’re a native English speaker it’s often enough for you to get a job. There’s often a shortage of native English speakers who want to teach English available.

WINTER

Snow is common in many parts of South Korea. The mountainous country is an excellent place to ski. Many of the ski resorts across the heart of the country require volunteers for seasonal work. You could find a place at one of these resorts.

Most places do demand some prior experience, though, so bear in mind that these volunteering opportunities in South Korea are not easy to find.

Generally, there are no other seasonal skills needed in winter. However, many roles in hostels and language schools continue to operate during the winter season.

ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN SOUTH KOREA

Travel in South Korea and you’ll find a quiet, respectful culture that’s only beaten out by Japan. It’s one of the easiest countries to work and travel in because guests are treated with such a level of respect. And you should return the favour.

You’ll experience no issues working or volunteering in the country. It’s common for foreign workers to be here. Do bear in mind, though, that the work culture is hard, with long hours and unexpected overtime to be expected.

If you have the right work ethic, you’ll get along fine as you work and travel in South Korea.

Do you think work in South Korea is for you?

Recent Contributors

  • Edited on Jun 11 2019 by Igor
  • Edited on Dec 11 2018 by Marichka

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