Being an expat in Korea can be a difficult experience. From the language barrier to loneliness, even the smallest things can be a challenge. Korea is a safe country but the foreign language can make it difficult to make yourself understandable. When starting a new life abroad the support of a community can really ease the struggle. Expats in Korea are able to find like-minded people in online communities.
For advice, tips, info, and digital companionship, these communities have flourished to become hubs for foreign residents to exchange information and share experiences. The Korean expat population online can be real lifesavers when you’re struggling. It can help to exchange tips on issues ranging from the complex (careers and relationships) to more everyday things, like how to order a pizza! Joining these top online communities is your best bet for surviving and thriving in Korea.
For the unfamiliar, Reddit, AKA “the front page of the internet” is a social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. Registered members submit content to the site such as links, text posts, and images, which are then voted up or down by other members. Posts are organized by subject into user-created boards called “subreddits.” The r/korea subreddit was created in 2008, and describes itself as “a subreddit for news, culture, and life on the Korean Peninsula. Welcome to everyone, including native Koreans, Korean diaspora, and foreigners.”
Reddit has some strict rules about posting, otherwise known as reddiquette, to prevent spam or excessive promotions. This community shares a lot of news and you’ll also find plenty of memes too for expats in Korea. You can also join the subreddit’s chat rooms, which post frequently, although it can be hard for members to stay on topic. The best part of this community is the meetups, which occur every now and then, and are a way to stay social and connect physically with the community you’re in.
Facebook groups are a super popular choice for expats, as these online communities provide more personalized sources to help foreigners get through daily life. Every Expat in Korea is the group with by far the largest membership, having 66k members in total. Created in 2007, this Facebook group has since been “striving to become the representative group to reflect the unique diversity and needs of Korea’s expat community.” It is public and visible to everyone, however, the group is actually connected to and run by a larger Facebook group called ChopsticksWide, the parent company of a big expat network in Korea. This group posts news, stories, and memes, although certain things are not allowed such as job or event postings.
For the foreign women of Korea, a group administered by women was created in 2015. They state their vision for the online community as “a place for members to learn from and support one another through the experience of being an expat woman in Korea, safely and without the interference of men.” This Facebook group is private, and so upon requesting to join you’ll be asked three questions. If you don’t answer them, your request will be thrown out!
The smallest of the three, EWIK has a tight-knit feeling of trust among members. You’ll mostly find posts seeking and exchanging advice, often about serious issues solely experienced by women, like sexual harassment. Also, users are allowed to promote their business or social media channels on a specific day, dubbed Self-Promotion Tuesday. You can also find the occasional job posting or selling of some items. Plus, the group displays a healthy amount of events that are regularly updated.
InterNations is a platform and application targeting especially expats all around the world. So of course you can find expats in Korea through this application. One of the advantages of Internations is that you can connect with expats sharing the same interest.
From Korean Culture Group to Networking events, InterNations will allow you to find great business contacts and support online but also offline during activities organized by those groups. Not only used by expats, but even Korean that wish to connect with foreigners also use it. Unlike all the previous groups, this platform is more professional and allows you to expand your network in an easy way while sharing Korean experiences.
Is there any online community we missed? Leave a comment below! You can also check out our category, Korea 101, for everything you need to know about living in Korea.