Moon Living Abroad in South Korea
By Jonathan Hopfner
Second Edition, October 2013
Price: $19.99 USD
Jonathan Hopfner has made the move to South Korea—twice. His experience as a journalist, investor, and homeowner has taught Jonathan the ins and outs of living in South Korea—from the banking and business realities, to the immigration and business procedures. It is this firsthand experience and advice that Jonathan brings to Moon Living Abroad in South Korea.
Moon Living Abroad in South Korea is packed with essential information and must-have details on setting up daily life, including obtaining visas, arranging finances, and gaining employment. You’ll get practical advice on education, health care, and how to rent or buy a home that fits your needs. The book also includes color and black and white photos, illustrations, and maps—making the moving and transition process easy for businesspeople, students, teachers, retirees, and professionals.
What’s inside Moon Living Abroad in South Korea
Here’s what author Jonathan Hopfner loves about South Korea:
- The culture and pastimes on tap. Most countries boast long-standing traditions, but South Koreans go out of the way to make theirs accessible to nonnatives. Whether you’re keen on meditation, martial arts, tea, calligraphy, traditional drumming, online gaming, or even starting a business, you’ll find well-established support networks here that will help you explore your passion and make new friends in the process.
- The sense of discovery. Much of Korea has yet to be seen by visitors. Take to the roads and you’re bound to be treated to the rare feeling of stumbling upon something truly new–well, to non-Koreans anyhow. You’ll also find locals who go out of their way to be hospitable to the few foreign visitors that do turn up.
- A customary level of service that makes just about everywhere else seem uncivilized by comparison. Meals nearly always come with a bottomless array of accompaniments, pubs ply loyal customers with complimentary snacks, and purchases at markets, grocery stores, and even gas stations will often result in an extra treat or two being tossed into your shopping bag by a pleased proprietor trying to encourage you to come back. And all this is in a country where tipping is virtually unheard of.
- Autumn. The crisp temperatures, radiant foliage, and azure skies of late September to November are a delight, and perhaps the only time of year when foreign residents understand the national tendency to wax poetic over the seasons.
- The mountains, especially the way locals take to them each weekend in the thousands, usually decked out in carefully color-coordinated hiking gear and enough equipment to make an Everest climber envious. As many peaks are dotted with temples and ruins, exploring them is as much a cultural experience as an athletic one.
- Ondol. These networks of pipes carry hot water under every home, warming the floor (but nothing else) to near frying-pan temperatures, which keeps your mattress toasty even as the wind howls and the snow falls outside.
- A broadband infrastructure that’s nothing short of phenomenal. The network is always on, dizzyingly fast, and comparatively cheap.
- The countryside. This is still a rural culture at heart, and outside the crowded cities there’s an abundance of lovely scenery, fantastic produce, and some very friendly people.
- The socializing. South Koreans approach play the same way they approach work: very seriously. Nights out are usually lengthy affairs that include gut-busting communal meals, plenty of drinks, singing, and good cheer. And whoever is hosting is highly unlikely to let you pay a cent.
- Public transportation. It’s completely possible to jump on a taxi, bus, and even a bullet train with complete confidence that you’ll be ferried wherever you need to go on time and in comfort at a very low price.
Excerpted from the Second Edition of Moon Living Abroad in South Korea.
Born near Vancouver and raised in Montreal, Jonathan Hopfner graduated with a degree in English literature from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. He was first lured to South Korea in the late 1990s, where he parlayed some early stabs at writing into a position with a newspaper in Seoul, launching a journalism career that took him to Bangkok, Singapore, and back to South Korea for a second stint of exploring its rolling mountains, bustling cities, and bold cuisine. Even after nearly a decade there, he has not run out of things to discover about this culturally rich, constantly changing—and sometimes contradictory—country.
Jonathan is also the author of Moon Seoul. His writing on culture and travel in South Korea and elsewhere in Asia has appeared in publications such as Canada’s The Globe and Mail, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, the International Herald Tribune, Wallpaper*, and National Geographic Traveler. He currently lives in Hong Kong and works for the Reuters news agency.