Any experience with Korea?

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RoosNL
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Any experience with Korea?

Post by RoosNL » Fri, 09 Mar 2012 3:56 pm

Hi,

I am thinking to transfer for a year to Korea and then come back to Singapore. Anyone experience with Korea, culture, living and getting around?

How about living experience for partners who do not work?

Br,
Roos :)

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JR8
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Post by JR8 » Fri, 09 Mar 2012 4:49 pm

I can only go on having been there on holiday. I was living in Japan at the time. I'd liken Korea to a 'Chinesey' version of Japan :)

I had a lovely time. The food is great, there is a fascinating culture and history and lots to do. In the space of a week I was rummaging around in markets and antique shops in Seoul, to hiking in the mountains around Kyongjou and staying in traditional style inns. I reckon a year there would fly by, working or not!

p.s. Transport was absolutely fine. The only point that stands out as memorable is the MRT carriages in Seoul are huge, they must be 12' wide!

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Post by beppi » Fri, 09 Mar 2012 7:02 pm

I have worked there on projects for a couple of months (over several stays).
First, in my experience the Koreans are the absolute toughest and most difficult clients you can ever have. I might have been especially unlucky (14-hour workdays under enormous pressure were the norm), but I have heard similar things from others.
Second, there is basically no English communication and no possibility for social life outside of Seoul and maybe a few other cities (I was in the provice ...).
Apart from that, nice country, easy to travel, lots to explore and great hiking (which I especially like).

RoosNL
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Thanks everyone for your response

Post by RoosNL » Fri, 09 Mar 2012 9:10 pm

I have heard similar story about the work culture and that scares me allot. We love to experience the culture of Korea but not at those working conditions. maybe holiday is a better alternative :) I also wonder if it's all Korean language or can a foreigners read the street sign, MRT and get around easily?

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Post by beppi » Fri, 09 Mar 2012 10:17 pm

Unlike other languages in the region, the Korean script is purely phonetic and not too complicated. I learnt to read it (very slowly) within two weeks.
Of course knowing how to pronounce a written word does not help in figuring out what it means (that's where my knowledge of Japanese and basic Chinese came in handy, because of many similar words), but place names can then be deciphered and a restaurant menu at least reveals whether a dish is based on rice (suffix -bap) or noodles (suffix -myeon).

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ScoobyDoes
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Post by ScoobyDoes » Sat, 10 Mar 2012 2:14 pm

I've spend 15-yrs travelling to Korea a few times each year but mostly in South where most of the industry is.

I love the barbeque.

Getting around is easy, most signs are bilingual. English, as spoken language in the service industry is still a bit tricky, making it quite difficult actually to get fed.
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'

SIR Stirling Moss OBE

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Re:

Post by RoosNL » Sun, 11 Mar 2012 11:44 am

Great when you can read the korean alphabet and understand it. Respect to those who can :) Will be visiting soon, thanks for the advice, tips. I will try the barbecue :) And the MRT, to experience the '12' wide carriages. Hopefully I can understand the culture and make some friends..

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