Last updated on Jul 10, 2023
Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Gwangju, Korea. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.
What do I need to know before moving to Gwangju?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Gwangju, they said:
"Gwangju is the sixth largest city in South Korea and is known for its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and delicious cuisine. Before moving to Gwangju, expats should familiarize themselves with the Korean language, as English is not widely spoken outside of the expat community and major tourist areas. The cost of living in Gwangju is relatively low compared to other major cities in South Korea, but it's still important to budget accordingly. The city has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses and a subway, making it easy to get around. However, traffic can be heavy during peak hours, so it's important to plan your commute accordingly. Gwangju is also known for its hot and humid summers and cold winters, so pack your wardrobe accordingly. Healthcare in Gwangju is of a high standard, with a number of hospitals and clinics available. However, it's recommended to have health insurance as medical costs can be high. The city is also known for its safety, but like any major city, it's important to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Gwangju has a vibrant food scene, with a variety of local and international cuisines available. The city is particularly known for its traditional Korean dishes, such as bibimbap and kimchi. It's also worth noting that South Korea has a strong drinking culture, with soju being the national drink. The city is also home to a number of cultural and historical sites, including the Gwangju Biennale, a contemporary art exhibition held every two years. There are also a number of parks and outdoor spaces for recreational activities. Finally, South Koreans are known for their hospitality and respect for elders. It's important to familiarize yourself with Korean customs and etiquette to show respect and avoid any cultural misunderstandings," commented one expat who made the move to Gwangju.
How do I find a place to live in Gwangju?
About the Author
Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.
Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.