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Korea

Overview of Korea

■ Housing

International students generally lives in student accommodation provided by the school or university, or rent an apartment by themselves. While renting a place to stay, consider if you want to live by yourself or if you want to share the house with others. Students who want to live alone should rent an apartment, and students who want to share a house should rent a villa. Be aware that less than 2 years contracts are more difficult to find, but it isn’t impossible.
The easiest way to find your apartment or villa in South Korea is searching online, and many sites now have English version available. Real estate companies charge fees, which are regulated by the government, but might be 0.5% of the annual rent fee, but you can try to negotiate.

■ Transportation system

South Korea is well equipped with rail, buses, subways and ferries. For long distance travels, it’s possible to use trains, intercity buses and airplanes. When moving around Seoul, consider using the subway, which has a very extensive rail.

■ Shopping

There are many fashion neighborhoods in South Korea, and the national fashion is getting so famous that international sites are selling it worldwide. Take your time while in South Korea to get fashion items in-loco. Go to Myeongdong for big brands that you might find in your home country too. Dongdaemun is the K-Fashion center and there are many kinds of stores, since shopping malls to truck stores. You’ll be able to shop there from 9 in the morning until sunrise. College neighborhoods are also good spots for shopping, and they are often cheap.

■ Cuisine

Korean cuisine is based on rice, vegetables and meat. Sometimes it can be very spicy too. Of course you can get almost any kind of food in major cities, but the cheapest options vary from ready-to-eat lunch boxes, microwavable food, street food, convenience stores, takeout pizza… Plus, almost every restaurant will have at least one cheap option in their menu. However, eating alone in some places might be a bit difficult. Some shops like Korean Fried Chicken chain stores do not sell in portions of one.

■ Culture

South Korea culture incorporates both traditional and modern elements, and is very prevalent in daily life. Traditional culture includes dance (native dances, civil dances and military dances), painting, crafts (more focused on its everyday use than in the aesthetics), ceramic and music. There are many traditional palaces and buildings in Seoul for one to explore as well.
One of the most famous modern South Korea culture would be Korean pop music, also known as K-pop. Broadcasting stations host music shows weekly and idol groups perform in front of fans. Concerts, fan-signing events are also frequently held and the level of determination and obsession a K-pop fan possess might even border on scary.

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