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YONSEI LIFE

Living in Korea

Practical matters are helpful for you to enjoy and participate in all aspects of life within the city. Also, it is important to follow the rules and laws in Korea and keep yourself safe at all times.

Shopping

  • Grocery Shopping (Supermarket)
    • Small marts nearby are available but the larger supermarkets in Korea are Homeplus, E-mart, Lotte Mart, etc.

    Note: big supermarkets are required to close on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month. Depending on the region, it could close on a different day of the week so make sure to check if they are open before getting your groceries.

  • Living Supplies
    • Daiso, Coupang (online), large supermarkets such as Homeplus, E-mart, Lotte Mart, etc. has living supplies as well
  • Traditional Market
    • Kwangjang Market, Noryangjin Fisheries Market, Namdaemun Market, etc.

Entertainment

  • Movie Theater : CGV, Lotte Cinema, Megabox
  • Bookstore : Kyobo, YP (Youngpoong) Books, YES24, etc.
  • Sports : Baseball (Jamsil Baseball Stadium), Basketball (Jamsil Gymnasium), Volleyball (Jangchung Arena), Soccer (Seoul World Cup Stadium), etc.
  • Amusement Park : Lotte World, Everland, SeoulLand, etc.

    Every last Wednesday of the month is Culture Day. Cultural activities can be enjoyed for free or at discounted price. Check the Culture day website for more information on what activities you can enjoy.

Cell Phone

Getting a Korean phone number

There are generally two options for mobile plans: prepaid plan and monthly plan.

1) Monthly Plan

Contract plans are usually 2-3 years so it is not recommended for students staying for a short period of time. Contract plans may require a proof of a long-term visa. The main mobile service providers in Korea are SK Telecom, KT (Olleh), LG (U+ / U-Plus). Each provider has different services plans, so make sure to visit multiple stores to compare deals. When getting a new phone, be sure to take your 1. Passport and 2. Alien Registration Card. To learn more about getting a cell phone in Korea, visit the following website.

→ Info About Cell Phones, Plans & Providers in South Korea

2) Prepaid SIM Card

Students staying in Korea for less than one year are recommended to purchase a prepaid plan which starts around 30,000 won. With an unlocked phone, you can use a phone right away without any wait. To learn more about getting a prepaid SIM card in Korea, visit the following website.

→ SIM Cards in Korea

Banking and Currency Exchange

Many banking, insurance, financial products and services are available in Korea. There can be some restrictions imposed to foreign students in banking or finance due to strict national regulations. Depending on the types of international transactions, there can be some specific stipulations on documents and transaction amount.

  • Service Hours: 9 am to 4 pm (Mon-Fri)

    Note: bank hours may change, so please check before visiting

Transfer

When you want to send money overseas, you can transfer money at a bank. Through designated foreign exchange banks, you can transfer up to $50,000 (remittance + exchange rate) a year, and if you have a document showing how the money was acquired, then you can transfer any amount within one’s range of income. Different banks have different fees and restrictions on transfers, so it is recommended that you compare the information at different banks. It is convenient and fast to transfer money through telegraphic transfer. For such a transfer, you need to write down the name of the recipient, address, account number, the name of bank, and other pertinent information in English.

Foreign Exchange

If you have a passport, you can easily exchange foreign money or traveler’s checks for Korean money at Korean banks, including the Korean Exchange Bank, and the change booths at the airport. You can exchange up to $10,000 (for one entry) at a time. The foreign exchange rates are not fixed and change depending on economic factors.

Money & Currency in Korea
Money & Currency in Korea

[Source: http://www.bok.or.kr/eng/main/contents.do?menuNo=400112 ]

Korean Law

As a foreigner, there are several laws that can be used as a guide according to your [visa] status in Korea.

Note: Related laws can be changed and revised according to policies in Korea. These regulations and guidelines will guide you throughout your studies in Korea.

[As of April 15, 2022]

Category Contents Related Laws in Korea
1. Study Abroad in Korea
  • Admissions
  • Curriculum Related
2. Visa Issuance and Duration of Stay
  • Visa
  • Duration of Stay
3. Entry to Korea
  • Entry
  • Re-entry
4. Registration as a Foreigner
  • Alien Registration in Korea
5. Support for Foreign Students
  • Support for Foreign Students
6. Housing
  • Forms of Housing
  • Finding Housing
  • Moving Internationally
7. Finance
  • Financial Transaction
8. Traffic
  • Traffic System
  • Obtaining Drivers License
  • Car Registration
9. Communication and Mail
  • Communication and Mail System
  • Subscription and Use of Mobile Phones, etc.
10. Medical
  • Medical System
  • Getting Health Insurance
11. Part-time Work
  • Part-time Work
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[Source: Ministry of Government Legislation]

Safety Tips

Seoul is a relatively safe metropolitan city, and students are unlikely to face any serious threat to personal safety. However, it is always best to be cautious.

  • Be aware of your surroundings and of the behavior of the people around you.
  • Follow your intuition; trust your feelings about suspicious situations.
  • Be careful of your personal belongings such as passport, wallet, purse, mobile phone and any other valuables at all times, especially on public transit. Do not leave valuables unattended.
  • It is best not to wander alone late at night. Walk in well-lit areas and areas with many people.
  • Travel in groups of people that you know, especially late at night. In particular, you should be careful when engaging in off-campus nightlife.
  • There are no police officers stationed on campus, but there are security alarms and telephones installed on campus that are monitored by private security. There are also 24 hour security guards stationed in each building. If there is an emergency, contact them for assistance, or call 119.
Helpful Numbers

Refer to the list below for primary emergency hotlines in Korea and a number of official numbers available for foreigners and their specific needs.

Number Description
119 In case of fire, call the fire department's emergency hotline.
112 If you are in danger, want to report crime, or need police assistance, call 112.
+82-2-2228-8888
+82-2-2228-6566
Severance Hospital has an emergency line open 24/7.
1339 The Ministry for Health, Welfare, and Family Affairs operates a 24 hour hotline in case of medical emergencies. Operators will give medical advice and provide interpretation (English, Chinese, and Japanese) for emergency responders.
1566-0112 Seodaemun (local) police station. 7 am to 10 pm Mon - Friday, 8 am to 6 pm weekends. An interpreter is available.
+82-2-6981-5478
+82-2-6981-5510
Seodaemun (local) fire department
+82-2-2123-3346 Yonsei University Campus Healthcare Center provides general healthcare services and screenings for students and faculty.
1345 The Immigration Contact Center operated by HiKorea offers civil affairs and immigration information guidance, 9 am to 10 pm, closed for weekends and holidays.
120 Dasan Seoul Call Center is a one-stop service for information on life, transportation, and tourism services, including interpretation services for making reservations, placing orders, and communicating with taxi drivers. Interpreters available for English, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Mongolian 9 am to 7 pm, closed for weekends and holidays.
1330 Need help with tourism and travel? Call the 1330 Korea Travel Hotline for reliable solutions to all your travel concerns.
1350 (ext 5) The National Labor Consultation Center provides answers to frequently asked questions on 9 areas such as unemployment benefit, wage, and retirement pay. Operators speak English and Chinese. 9 am to 6 pm.
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