If you're traveling to South Korea or are already there, you're in for a great experience because the country offers a great blend of traditional and modern culture. Korean food is great, their snacks are mouthwatering, and of course, the pop culture is magical.
But having a friend to share these experiences with will make the whole thing better by a thousand-fold. But making friends in a new place is tough, so here are a few tips to help you out.
Koreans don’t typically know English, so if you want to have any long-term, wholesome friendships, it’s a good idea to learn their language first. Even if you're in Seoul, the local population may be able to understand you, and they may be able to write and read in English, but they won't be comfortable speaking in English and needless to say; you won't get very far when it comes to making friends.
Many local academies in Korea could help you learn at least conversational Korean and if you're not there yet, start learning online!
Make K-Pop Your Ally First
K-pop is huge in South Korea, so much so that it’s making its way past borders and across the continent. Remember Gangnam Style? If you’re don’t, you’ve been living under a rock.
But it’s time to come out and embrace the world of K-pop because this is one tried and tested strategy of making friends; nothing brings people together like good music.
And you have a wide range of artists and music to choose from. You can listen to solo artists like IU and G-Dragon, or boy groups such as BTS or GOT7, or if you're into girl groups, you can listen to Twice or Black Pink.
These artists have huge fanbases, so imagine the number of people you'd have something in common with at a music festival like the Seoul Jazz Fest. Fan Cafes are also very popular in Korea; you can interact with fans from the same fanbase as yours there!
Make Food Friends
Korean food is an experience in itself. It’s a cultural heritage of sorts. If you’re flying to South Korea— be prepared to put on a few pounds because the food over there is mouthwateringly delicious.
If you’re wondering what this has to do with making friends, here’s a fact: nothing brings people closer together like fried chicken and beer. Get to South Korea and sign up for organized food tours. Not only will this satisfy a lifetime of cravings, but it is also a great way to meet some fellow foodies.
South Koreans are also heavy drinkers; wandering into a pub late at night is also bound to get you a few drinking buddies. There's nothing quite like bonding over shots of Soju.
In fact, you should familiarize yourself with Korean food starting now; order some here.