Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How to move to Korea

Hi everyone!

I've been receiving this question quite often now, What do I need to move to Korea?

Hmm... I've been thinking about it and well... 2 things come to my mind, 1st Courage and 2nd A job or lots of $$$.

1st things 1st, WHY do you want to move to Korea?

If you love K-pop and Dramas, well, I would recommend to just Travel to Korea for a couple of weeks...

If you want to Learn Korean, experience a new culture, and just feel like your life has changed 180° well.. this one is a bit harder, I wouldn't recommend to MOVE to Korea if you don't have a Job or a Job offer here.

If you have a job or a job offer, then things will be easier, your company will sponsor your visa and most likely will end up just gathering the documents for said visa, as for WHERE to get the jobs, sorry, I can't help, perhaps our friend GOOGLE has the answer, there are plenty of websites with job offers, you just need to know how to look for them. 

If you don't have a job offer but still want to move to Korea; I recommend you to Learn Korean, Have a Masters degree, Speak English and just to be GREAT at what you do because in order to get a Working Visa you and/or your company will have to proof that YOU are whats needed for the job and a Korean is not capable to do it, here's some basic information about VISAS in Korea.

Us -Mexican passport holders- can stay in Korea for 90 days without a Visa, if you just want to experience what's like to live in here but don't want to get a Job, you just need lots of money and the rest is easy, you can study Korean without a visa, you can travel and just enjoy what this land has to offer^^ 

Now... abut me, I moved here because I was tired of Mexico city, I've wanted to experience living in Korea since the 1st time I visited back in 2010, I didn't have any attachments to Mexico -except for awesome Mexican food-, basically I just said YOLO, I know how stupid YOLO sounds but sometimes it makes perfect sense and for the past 7 months I've been following the YOLO method anytime a new challenge comes, that and saying YES to things because you are not going to make friends saying NO. 

I was lucky, I had a job offer when I was in Mexico, the company sponsored my Visa, it was a LONG process and not as complicated as I thought it was going to be, but I'm not working with that company anymore so, that adds some Drama to my life -lol- and well... that's just too personal to blog haha. 

Anyway, here's some basic information if you want to travel to Korea, either for some days, weeks or permanently move in...

This is based on my experience -Remember I'm Mexican, so, I'm not sure about what are the requirements for other countries- 

Flight: If you don't have a valid US Visa don't worry, there are other ways to come here, you can fly from Mexico-Amsterdam (or any other European county)-Korea, I've done that twice and it can be tiring, if you are only coming for a few day I wouldn't recommend this, last time I did that; I was in Korea only for 5 days on a pretty tight schedule and the jetlag was awful, I slept like 50 hours -2 long 13 hours flights, a layover in Paris and when I got home... it was a nightmare... and also, more expensive... (I recommend KLM....I loved them!!)

The other way is easier and cheaper, there's a flight from Mexico to Narita (Tokyo), the flight makes a quick stop in Tijuana, total flying time is about 16-17 hours?, the stop in Tijuana is about 2-3 hours and from Japan there are a billion of flights to Seoul -and you don't need a Visa for Japan!-, this is way cheaper than flying trough Europe but also less comfortable because you'll be flying to Aeromexico and for me it has one of the worst customer services but hey!, it's cheap and faster!

Like I said, you can stay in Korea for 3 months without a visa, if you don't speak Korean don't worry, the country is pretty English friendly -transportation and information wise, people here don't speak a lot of English-

Things are expensive compared to Mexico, just take a look:

Subway ride: Starts in about 1USD and can be more depending on the distance 
Rent: I would say that an average in Seoul for a -cheap- place is about 600 USD (not downtown Seoul, that would cost me an arm and a leg...)
Food: If you go to a restaurant is not AS expensive as you would think, an average meal can go from 3USD to 7USD, there are some Korean BBQ buffets for 8-9USD (all you can eat and sometimes drinks!!). 
Fruits & Veggies: These things are can pay 1USD for 1 orange, now that srping is coming, things are getting better but paying 7USD for an avocado kills me...  
Milk and Dairy products: 1 Lt. of Milk is about 2-3USD, Cheese is VERY expensive -unless you buy Korean cheese that will be bad most of the times lol~ sorry KR!-, you can't find edible cream on your average supermarket or local store. 
Drinks: Korea has smaller cans than Mexico (or the rest of the world?), this is good because, well, less soda is better for your health but paying 1USD for a tiny can of a soft drink is... well, some people feel upset about it, I barely drink any soda now. 
Alcohol: CHEAP!!!!!!!! A bottle of Soju is 2-3 USD and it can get you pretty drunk, Local beer is cheap but also very bad but bleh, sometimes we just need something to drink, Makgeolli is also pretty cheap and can go from 1-5USD, Wine is about 11-20USD (of course, depends on the quality!) 
Snacks: If you go to your local DAISO (like those Dollar stores) you can get snacks starting at 1USD, most of the chips are bad and somehow sweet so, if you like spicy things, make sure you bring your snacks, mail them, or bring sauce!! -If any of my good readers in Mexico wants to send me Snacks or sauces,,,, do let me know!!!- 

I'm running out of ideas here, if you have any questions about something I didn't cover or wasn't clear, leave me a comment and I'll try to update the post as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, our -me and my sis'- VLOG is out!!, I won't post the link because I'm embarassed -lol- but if you look carefully on Youtube or my other blog you'll find it.... 

-Gisela V
Sorry if I'm lacking on some information, I tend to lose the ideas for my posts as soon as my fingers touch the keyboard.