Expat communities - South Korea
May 7, 2014
The expat community in Seoul is quite close-knit, partly due to the initial language and cultural barriers expats typically face when first relocating to Korea. However, this has changed over the past few years and will likely continue to change as Korea continues to open up and shed its "Hermit Kingdom" image of the past. Koreans' English-speaking capabilities continue to improve, and more and more Koreans are gaining international experiences through studying, working and traveling overseas.
The total number of foreigners residing in Korea makes up about 2.8% of the total population, approximately 1.4 million foreigners (an 11% increase from 2011). A significant portion is ethnic Koreans from China and migrant workers. There are also a number of US military, diplomats and English teachers. In terms of expats on assignment in Seoul, the number is roughly 50,000 - 60,000.
Building your professional and social network in Korea is very important and most expats do this through attending many of the networking events held by various countries' Chambers of Commerce in Seoul. Each month there are a number of breakfast, lunch and evening business and social networking functions.