So what do you know about Korea? In my case not very much. I certainly wasn’t aware that I could leave my wallet on a public bench and have a better than even chance of getting it back! But this is just one of the many pleasant surprises I found out during my conversation with Dain and KJ Leathem, two expat kiwis who have been living in Korea for the last 12 years.

Today they share with us many of the insights to Seoul that only a local would know, including how keen Korea is to attract international students and why they are able to get their extended education at a cheaper price than in the west, plus why Korea is fast becoming a hub for medical tourism as well.

You’ll enjoy listening to Dain and KJ today. If you want to touch base or look them up in Korea you’ll find them via their Facebook page at the Cheeky kiwi bar

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What I learned from Dain and KJ:

  1. English is widely spoken, in fact in 12 years there they seldom have to speak it! Most Koreans are keen to speak English and learn it and although they can carry a conversation they find it seldom gets used.
  2. Seoul is one of the plastic surgery capitals of the world. You might normally associate medical tourism with some lesser developed Asian countries but it is growing, is extremely affordable as is most medical coverage, and you get the royal treatment at the same time
  3. Safety is a non issue. Family pride prevents many Koreans from causing disgrace and leaving items behind will normally mean a kind person looking you up to return them. Dain has even lost his mobile phone and wallet three times and had it returned on each occasion!
  4. Education is a fast growing industry with Korea keen to attract international students to their shores. In Dains case there was even a subsidy to complete his PHD while there and both KJ and Dian have benefitted from getting extra education while in Korea.
  5. Like many larger Asian cities you can find a two tier economy. There are parts where eating out can be expensive but hunt a little further where the locals go and you can enjoy affordable alternatives. It pays to be smart when spending your money.
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