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Korea | Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Korea accepting of differences? | Expat Exchange
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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Korea accepting of differences?

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When we asked people about diversity in Korea and whether locals are accepting of differences, they said...

"Korea is a VERY homogenous society, so diversity is rare and uncommon, especially outside of Seoul. Those who are not Korean can expect the typical stares that are ubiquitous throughout Korea, and the uttering of "waegook saram" which means foreigner, is also quite common. That said, overt racism is almost non-existent in Daejeon and those of non-Korean descent typically enjoy a high quality of life. The expat community in Daejeon is relatively small and it is possible to go about your day without seeing another foreign face. However, within the expat community there is an array of cultural backgrounds present, mostly due to the large international student presence at Daejeon's universities, and the science and technology sector, which attracts people from around the world, particularly India. Diversity is most noticeable in the Oeun/Gung-dong neighborhoods on Daejeon's west side. These two neighborhoods are sandwiched between Chungnam University and KAIST, both of which have considerable international student bodies. These neighborhoods, especially Gung-dong, are also popular EFL teacher hang-outs. Here you can find a variety of foreign food, such as North African and Pakistani, plus a variety of businesses that have an expat friendly vibe. There is also a Muslim place of worship here (just a small room), the only one in the city," said a member in Daejeon, Korea.

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"We've always felt very welcome here and the object of curiosity. We attract a lot of attention particularly with the children who are all blonde. The Korean culture is interesting and they appreciate any interest you show in trying to speak Korean or in their culture. The Christian religion is a small part but I haven't noticed any intolerance," remarked another expat who made the move to Seoul, Korea.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Korea accepting of differences?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame 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.

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