Internships in South Korea
If you’re looking to intern in South Korea our guide will help you arrange a placement. South Korea is an appealing destination to apply for internships for so many reasons, this country is a really up and coming with modern high-tech cities, large global companies and a facsinating work culture. Whether you live in South Korea or are an inernational participant there are options for everyone, including students and people just seeking work experience. Working as an intern in South Korea will be a life changing experience!
Guide to Interning in South Korea
If you have been doing South Korea related searches on Google and other search engines you will find it is very tough to find more information about where and how to apply for internships in this country. There are several difficulties you might have come across including not being able to understand Korean language websites, whilst many employment and university websites are not even listed on search engines! But more and more Korean based companies are seeking to hire international staff, many now have internship and employment pages translated into English to appeal to a broader market so be dispondent. If you are currently looking for, or would like to intern abroad in Korea then read on for more information.
Types of Internships Available
- Banking & Finance
- Computer and tech industries
- Graphic design and programming
Popular Places to Intern in South Korea
You can choose to take an internships throughout South Korea, most people choose the capital, Seoul but there are lots locations available too like Buscan and Daejoen. In more rural areas you can find internships related to education, teaching and afterschool programs. Outside of the major cities this are likely to be the only types of internship programs available.
Intern in Seoul
Seoul if our top recommended destination to intern in South Korea, here you will find global multinational brands like Google located here. There are also lots of start-ups, both local and ones run by internationals based in Seoul who are keen to hire interns to help expansion too.
Intern in Buscan
Buscan is a city located near Haeundae Beach, this is a great destination if you are after a relaxing beachside to intern away from the hustle and bustle of Seoul. There are a range of interships available here including tourism and hospitality.
Intern in Daejeon
Daejeon is the fifth largest city in South Korea and located in the middle of the country and is a popular destination for people to teach English in Korea. Daejeon is a great city to be based due to the surrounds which you can enjoy in your spare time like the Donghak-sa Temple in Gongju-shi, the Yuseong Hot Springs or if you are seeking adventure the O-World theme park isn't too far away.
Top Tips for Gaining an Internship Placement in South Korea
- Book a Korean language course in South Korea, options include online or in-country - this will really boost your chances of interning in this country
- If you have knowledge of the Korean language you will find most local opportunities by search on Naver
- Check job listing websites like Craigslist, PeoplenJob, Seoul Professionals, Seoul Global Center and Kopra. These websites are perfect for foreginers seeking to intern in South Korea.
A lot of universities in Korea hold annual job recruitment fairs in September - October. If you research well you will be able to attend and speak directly to employers and asking about intership opportunities. This is a lot better than just applying online.
Gaining a visa to intern in South Korea can be difficult as you will need to get a sponsored visa. Most Korean companies will only your sponsor your visa for full time employment. An alternative option is to apply for a H1 Working Holiday visa, this gives you the flexibility to intern/work in Korea for a year. View more information about interning in Asia.
One of the best ways to get a foot on the ladder in South Korea is by meeting people, the following groups and meet ups are recommended:
- Austcham Korea - http://www.austchamkorea.org/
- Amcham Korea - http://www.amchamkorea.org/
- EuroCham Korea - http://www.ecck.eu/
- Linkedin Seoul - http://linkedseoul.org/
- Internations - http://www.internations.org/seoul-expats
- Korea Business Central - http://www.koreabusinesscentral.com/
The duration can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, some companies offer long term internships with a career offer in the initial agreement.
Working Week & What to Expect
South Koreans are hard working people with a strong work ethic, superiers and managers put a lot of trust, respect and responsibility on workers hands. Most applicants also usually have to attend a medical before gaining a position to check to see if they can cope with the amount of hours usually requried. Expect to work overtime which can be exhausting at first but if you put the effort in you will usually be rewarding in the long term by being offer a full time position.
Salary & Costs
Most internships are unpaid altough some companies offer interns a stipend salary as compensation or a move abroad deposit. Usually you will need to have some savings and be able to cover flights to Korea, accommodation, and insurance. If you teach join a teaching internship in Korea you can expect a monthly salary of around £1000 per month (KRW 1.5 million / US$1,400).
Cost of Living
South Korea has an average cost of living for Asia, it is not as expensive as Japan but more expensive compared to places like China, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Transport and food in supermarkets is relatively cheap, a single journey on the subway costs around £1 ($1).
Some companies help with housing whilst others will make you find it independently. Living with a host family isn't that common in South Korea but there are lots of high rise appartments located throughout the country which are quite small in size but also not too expensive. Expect to pay more if you intern in Seoul.
Useful Links for Interning in Korea
We have put together a useful list of websites which will help if you are seeking to intern in South Korea.
Large Companies Based in Korea
- Samsung Careers - http://www.samsungcareers.com/
- LG (Korean) - http://apply.lg.com/main/Index.rpi
- Hanwha (Korean) - http://www.netcruit.co.kr/main/main.mvc
- Doosan (Korean) - https://career.doosan.com/
- Lotte (Korean) - http://job.lotte.co.kr/LotteRecruit/intro.aspx
- SK Telecom - http://www.skcareers.com/
- Hyundai (Korean) - http://recruit.hyundai.com/index.jsp
- Kia (Korean) - http://recruit.kia.co.kr/index.jsp
- Korea Telecom (Korean) - https://recruit.kt.com/
- Dongbu (Korean) - http://recruit.dongbu.co.kr/
Medium Sized Companies
- Dongwha Holdings (Korean) - www.dongwha.co.kr/recruit/index.asp
- Hansol (Korean)- http://recruit.hansol.co.kr
- Hyosung - http://recruit.hyosung.com
- Korean Air (Korean) - http://recruit.koreanair.co.kr
- Kumho / Asiana Group (Korean) - http://recruit.kumhoasiana.com / https://recruit.flyasiana.com/
- PeoplenJob (http://www.peoplenjob.com/home/)
- Seoul Professionals (http://seoulprofessionals.com/)
- Craiglist (http://seoul.craigslist.co.kr/)
- Seoul Global Center (http://global.seoul.go.kr/)
- Kopra (http://www.kopra.org/)
Universities usually offer internship placement assistance and recommendations.
- Yonsei Korean Language institute Job Board - http://www.yskli.com/act/job.asp
- SNU Graduate School of International Studies - http://gsis.snu.ac.kr/
- Sogang Freeboard - https://klec.sogang.ac.kr/5000/5000.php
- Korea University - http://klcc.korea.ac.kr/about/school.schoolBoardList.action?strCode=007
South Korea Internship Reviews
If you have ever been to intern in South Korea and would like to review your experience or a company please contact us.