You may not know it but Korea offers free resources for foreigners! In order to help migrants or foreigners visiting the Land of Morning Calm, South Korea has a bunch of things that are free for foreigners! And those services cover different areas such as legal, tourism, or even Korean classes.
Here at 10 Magazine, we compiled a list of free stuff for foreigners!
Seoul Global Cultural Tourism Center is a service available for foreigners to experience and understand Korea’s traditional and contemporary culture. The center hosts programs such as making your own traditional handicrafts, folk painting, K-Pop dance class, Korean cooking class, English-subtitled Korean movie screenings and so much more! The center also provides information to meet your demands in English, Chinese and Japanese.
Operated by Korea Tourism Organization, this 1330 hotline is available as a public service for local and international travelers. You can call this number for any inquiries or complaints related to Korean Tourism. Assistance is provided in Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, and Malay.
Exclusive Travel Information: detailed information on attractions, transportation, accommodation, etc.
24/7 Service (Russian, Vietnamese, Thai and Malay services are available 7 days a week between 8 am and 7 pm)
Emergency and Related Services: the hotline can connect to a different call center to assist the travellers with immigration, safety, medical needs, tourist complaints and other concerns.
Tourist Complaint Center: you can let the Korea Tourism Organization about any inconveniences, suggestions or compliments you had during your stay.
This center offers Free Korean Classes given by volunteer teachers. Galwol Community Welfare Center separates four different levels from absolute beginner to advanced. The classes are organized by trimesters, with classes on Thursdays and Saturdays. For more information about classes, please visit the Galwol Community Welfare Center page here!
Seoul Global Center provides free Korean classes and a TOPIK Preparation class. The period depends on which course you choose: the “Regular Course” runs for 12 weeks while for TOPIK Preparation Class runs for 8 weeks. You will need your passport or your alien registration card (ARC) to be able to register. A deposit is required, but the deposit will be returned if your attendance rate is over 80% or if you submit a copy of your TOPIK verification slip. For more information about classes, please visit the Seoul Global Center education page here.
This center supports migrant workers and international-married women or men to improve their skills in Korean. The classes are organized by semesters and are held on different days based on if you are a married immigrant or a migrant worker. For more information about classes, please visit the Korea Support Center for Foreigners Workers education page here.!
In 2017, a new helpline (1345) was created to offer free legal advice and counseling to foreigners regardless of their visa type. This helpline was created with the Ministry of Justice and the Korean Bar Association and offers help with common legal issues to ensure the legal rights of foreigners living in South Korea. This helpline will help to organize an appointment for a three-way phone call or a face-to-face meeting between the foreigners, a translator, and a lawyer.
Free Tours-Guides Seoul
It is also possible for foreigners visiting Seoul to get free tour guides, usually staffed by university students who speak English or other languages. Even if the tours themselves are free-of-charge, it is possible you will need to pay separately for entry tickets or food at restaurants.
SeoulMate is an organization offering free-of-charge programs to experience Seoul and Korean culture. This organization and the tours are staffed by Korean college students. Every Saturday a tour is available at different locations and you can make a reservation via their website.
VisitSeoul hosts “Seoul City Free Walking Tours”, staffed by Seoul Cultural Tourism volunteer guides that are experts in Seoul’s history and culture. There are 23 different tours classified under six themes. The tours are available in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
Seoul Free Walking Tour arranges four different tours in Seoul. These tours are only available on weekends and aren’t running year-round. However, this tour company is highly rated amongst tourists for their good quality.