Checklist for Language Travel to Korea

So you’ve decided to travel halfway around the world for a language study trip to Korea, home of K-pop, breathtaking landscapes, skyscrapers as high as the eye can see, and barbecues on every street corner. Excellent choice! South Korea is a fantastic place for a language study trip or even a full year abroad, with its (mostly) warm people, lively streets where there is always something going on, and fascinating language. To make it easier for you to get started, we have compiled a list of things you should know before you leave – or before you even start thinking about a language study trip to Korea!

Before you leave for Korea

Before you leave, if at all possible, you would do well to learn the Korean alphabet Hangul. You can read a lot of Korean, because Koreans use a lot of English expressions in their everyday language, but in Korean script. For example, ‘마트’ means ‘mart’ (ma-teu = market) and ‘캠퍼스’ means ‘campus’ (kaem-peo-seu). So if you can understand English and read Korean, you’ll go far!


The first thing to check before you leave is how long you are allowed to stay in South Korea. Unless you are studying at a Korean university, you do not need a visa to enter the country. How long you can stay in the country without a visa depends on your country of origin. For Canadians it is 180 days, for US and EU citizens (except Cyprus) only 90 days.

If you want to stay longer in the country without having to apply for a visa, you can simply leave the country and when you re-enter, your tourist visa will automatically be extended for 90 or 180 days. 180 days – the perfect excuse for a short vacation!

Medical precautions

Non-citizens do not automatically have access to South Korea’s national health care system. So you should consider buying private health insurance for the duration of your stay in Korea. Also make sure your vaccination card is up to date. On our infographic you will find all the necessary information about the recommended vaccinations.

Packing List for South Korea

The weather in South Korea varies greatly between summer and winter. If you plan to stay in Korea for a longer period of time, you should plan well. Korean winters are cold and in the capital Seoul temperatures often drop below zero. If you want to learn Korean in Busan, a city in the south of the country, you can expect somewhat milder temperatures. Korean summers are hot and humid, but relatively short-lived. So if you are planning a long-term stay, remember to pack both thick winter clothes and breezy summer clothes.

The good thing about Korea is the low prices of clothes and the many special offers. A shopaholic’s dream! If you prefer to travel light, you will find plenty of local options to stock up your wardrobe for little money.

Extra tip: Koreans generally wear shoulders and cleavage covered. So it’s best to leave the plunging necklines and spaghetti straps at home.

After arriving in South Korea

The huge South Korean cities can be a bit intimidating at times, but most have excellent public transportation networks, making it quick and easy to get around. Buy a rechargeable ticket upon arrival, which will give you access to all metro and bus lines. Available at subway stations as well as in the aforementioned ‘marts’ like 7/11 or Mini-Stop. Some tickets are even valid in certain stores and cabs and most even nationwide.

South Korea is one of the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to wifi, so mobile internet is relatively accessible and inexpensive. It’s a good idea to rent a mobile Wi-Fi router for your entire stay in Korea. Before you arrive, you should also download the English-language app Naver Maps, which is much more reliable than Google Maps in Korea. You will always be informed about restaurants in your area, popular sights and the easiest way to get from A to B.

Now that the administrative details are settled, you may finally explore South Korea’s fascinating capital city! We recommend that you check out the route from your accommodation to the language school as soon as you arrive, so that you can start the first day of school without any stress.

With our checklist for language travel to South Korea you are now well prepared to enjoy your stay to the fullest!

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