So you have packed your bags and are ready to relocate to Seoul? If you are a big city person, you are in for a treat. Not only is Seoul the capital of South Korea, it is also the country’s biggest city. In fact, almost half of the people in South Korea are currently living in Seoul’s National Capital Area.
Relocating to Seoul also gives you the chance to benefit from everything South Korea’s economic, financial, and cultural center has to offer. As a settlement, Seoul looks back on a 2000-year history, including 600 years as South Korea’s capital. Since then, it has come a long way. Today Seoul belongs to the top 10 leading global cities.
When you move to Seoul, you will notice that the city is surrounded by a number of peaks and mountains, which used to function as a natural fortress. The highest peaks among them are the Bukhansan with 836 meters and the Dobongsan with 740 meters in height. Seoul itself is made up of 25 districts (gu), which are again divided into neighborhoods (dong). Each gu has its own mayor, legislative council, and sister city.
Expats in Seoul will find their new home in the heart of the Korean peninsula. Seoul is located near the North Korean border and within easy reach of popular Asian destinations such as Tokyo, Beijing, or Shanghai. While you may use your time in Seoul as the perfect opportunity to explore the Asian continent, you will enjoy spending time in the city as well.
The government is striving to develop Seoul into an attractive global city, drawing in growing numbers of expats eager to move to Seoul. Already, there is a global village zone and a global business zone. However, Seoul’s international population is still quite small, with about 360,000 foreign residents (compared to a total of 10,118,000 people living in Seoul City and even more in the greater metropolitan area).
The government of South Korea’s capital has opened a support center for foreigners moving to Seoul in order to ease the transition and help with common issues. Expatriates in Seoul also have the opportunity to participate in cultural exchange programs and attend Korean classes there. You can find this center on the fifth floor of the Seoul Global Center building at Jong-ro 38-gil, Jongno-gu.
In addition, there are seven global village centers which offer help and advice to expats moving to Seoul. They are located in Yeonnam, Yeoksam, Seorae, Itaewon, Ichon, Yeongdeungpo, and Seongbuk. You should be able to quickly find one of these centers in your area of residence when moving to Seoul. They can provide you with information on banks, hospitals, drug stores, convenience stores, and public transportation and also help you with various administrative issues.
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