Expatriates in Korea – What to Expect as an Immigrants during your visitation
For those who do not know the term, an ex-pat is a person residing in a different country than the one in which he is a citizen. The condition more easily refers to qualified professionals who have been sent abroad for work. It started in the nineteenth century when Americans were drawn to other countries, such as Europe and Asia, to study and exchange their skills. Unlike immigrants, expatriates can benefit from favourable tax treatment once they have resided in the country of their choice for at least five years.
Korea is one of the most extraordinary countries in Asia. Although it is not known to be a paradise for ex-pats, it is now famous for its winning culture and local development. Korea has an influential culture that is relatively similar to the big countries in terms of climate and style.
However, the language barrier was one of the essential reasons why foreigners are reluctant to immigrate to Korea. Fortunately, this is a problem the nation is trying to change as Koreans strive to integrate English into their school curricula, making fluency in English compulsory at most levels of education.
Why are you abroad in Korea?
The cost of life
Korea is known to have a relatively low cost of living compared to the United States and the United Kingdom. If you earn $ 2000 a month, you can live comfortably by spending about $ 800 on your monthly salary. Spending on food and shelter can be very high according to local standards, depending on your location, but transportation and other things are very affordable. Also, most employers, as expatriates, offer accommodation arrangements as a subsidy or even free of charge.
The climate in Korea is almost the same as countries like Europe, America, and Australia. There is no need for foreigners from these countries to adapt to the weather. It can be hot but heavy during the summer months from June to September. Winter, however, is cold under freezing. The best time to visit Korea is in autumn when the weather is mild and a bit dry.
Korea has extreme temperatures, no doubt practical. If you are planning to live in the countryside, bring light shirts and thick jackets to deal with temperature differences. Parasols and coats are also essential during the height of spring.
Korea is politically classed as a republic. Much of its economic prosperity is due to its stable and transparent government, which has been somewhat influenced by American governance to date. The economy is sturdy and durable, which makes it an excellent place to open a successful business with more opportunity to make big profits.
The tax system
Most taxes in Korea are high. However, for those who want to become English language consultants (i.e. English language teachers), a lower tax rate is offered. Korea’s income tax rate is quite high, similar to the rate seen in the West. However, for expatriate English teachers, you can expect a tax rate of 3% to 10%.
Medical care in South Korea is modern, clean and readily available. Before you and your family decide to become expatriate in Korea, make sure that your country’s health insurance plan is also acceptable in Korea. However, Korean employers are forced to contribute to your health care because Korea has a highly efficient nationalized health system. Thanks to this inexpensive and effective system, Koreans do not hesitate to consult a doctor even in small diseases.
Medicines and health products are readily available and inexpensive. Many doctors speak English too, so you won’t always need to bring a Korean friend with you for translation during counselling.
Many modern malls and boutiques are available in Korea, whether to sell high-end designers or to bargain hunting. Koreans are very fond of brands and appear fashionable, so you’ll likely find familiar international names in most of the malls. If you do not like to spend a lot on brands, you will also find local markets where you can negotiate prices according to your budget.