Looking for non-teaching jobs and internships for foreigners in South Korea can be a tough assignment. A quick Google search does not always have all the answers and a lot of the critical information is not available in English.
We at Asia Options understand the feeling. So we can hopefully make your life easier with the following summary of everything we know about finding a job and internship in Korea!
PeoplenJob – Best Korean job search engine for foreigners, including job opportunities with international firms and embassies. Some jobs are posted in English.
Seoul Professionals – A good site with job opportunities for varying levels of experience. Targeted at professionals rather than English teaching opportunities.
Craiglist – Mainly English teaching and part-time opportunities. Still though a good resource to look for different opportunities or a part-time job to help pay for your Korean study or living expenses while you search for a professional job.
Seoul Global Center – Support center for foreigners which has a limited but regularly updated jobs board.
Kopra – Excellent resource for internships, particularly for those from EU nations. Lists opportunities not just for Korea but all over East Asia.
JobSee.kr – New startup in Korea which is focused on providing professional opportunities.
Linkedin – Korean companies are increasingly using services such as Linkedin to advertise positions for foreign talent. Typical companies that advertise positions are Google Korea, Apple Korea, and Samsung.
Yonsei Summer Internship Program – The Korea Summer Internship Program offers YISS students direct exposure to global corporate settings in the heart of Seoul, Korea.
AmCham Korea Internship Program – AmCham offers internship opportunities in Seoul for foreign applicants.
Company Career Websites
Lately, Korean Corporations are much more active in seeking out foreign talent. Most will have their own careers page (with an English option). One good way to find out about a certain company is to type the company name and careers in Korean (sometimes English too) into the Naver search engine.
Here is a list of the major Korean companies to assist with your own search.
| Major Corporations
Korea Telecom (Korean)
Dongwha Holdings (Korean)
Korean Air (Korean)
Korean language students often have access to a wide variety of cultural activities, TV appearances, and job opportunities. They also provide a free board which will normally have many tutoring or part-time opportunities as well as internship programs. We also have on this site a special post on how to get TV jobs in Korea? Finding media and entertainment opportunities in Korea
Online and offline networking is arguably the best resource for finding a job or internship in Korea. Chambers of commerce in Korea all run a variety of networking opportunities and have internship opportunities. Linkedin is also a great resource for opportunities with many professional jobs listed on the site as well as providing members with the opportunity to join a plethora of expat networking groups.
The major universities will hold job fairs usually in September – October. Do your research on the times and dates. This is a great opportunity to talk to recruiters directly and to find out if they have any international internship opportunities. There is also a major fair held every year at Co-ex aimed at foreign students – this is a must-attend event!
The most obvious issue that may affect you in finding an Internship is your visa status. Korean companies are unlikely to sponsor your visa just for an internship. If you are an Australian or from a country in a H1 Working Holiday visa with Korea then check out your options. This visa gives you the flexibility to study and work for a year.
Language students on D4 visas can also work for 20 hours a week but are only eligible to apply for this additional permission after 6 months. You will need to visit immigration and apply specifically to gain permission to work, this application will usually require your employer to also sign the form. D2 student visas are given to full-time university students. These visas also have the option of continuing post study to work in Korea.
Many graduates looking for their first job in Korea will have problems in obtaining the appropriate visa. Most foreigners working in Korea are placed on E7 visas. This visa allows companies to sponsor foreign workers to work at their companies. However, the provisions of this visa are based on the grounds that you (As a non-Korean) are providing a skill and experience that a Korean cannot. This is a key issue considering the low employment rate of Korean youth. As such to be eligible for an E7 you must have a relevant degree and work experience in a particular field. More technical fields will require greater work experience – for example, to get a visa for a marketing job will require a degree in Marketing and also one year experience in a marketing job. Of course, there are loopholes to this system and the major corporations are well informed as to how to best “classify” a job to ensure a smooth visa process but then deploy you into a different role which had tougher visa restrictions.
Please check the Korean immigration website before making any major decisions and for an in-depth guide as to the E7 visa requirements.
Most internships in Korea for foreigners are unpaid or severely underpaid! Expect to earn between nothing or 1,000,000 KRW/Month. Paid or not, it will be difficult to support yourself on this kind of salary especially working full-time hours so make sure you have your own funds before embarking on an internship. Most embassy and Korean government internships will provide a daily stipend for food and transport but that’s it.
Korean ability while not entirely essential to the job is extremely recommended. Most internship opportunities will be the subject of heavy competition and a candidate with Korean ability will always be chosen over another. Korean language ability is viewed by recruiters as a statement that the foreign applicant can adapt to the Korean workforce and customs. If learning Korean is not a realistic goal then there is always hope in applying for internship positions with foreign government agencies, embassies, chambers of commerce and other foreign companies. Do your research and look for opportunities within your community!
To work out where you should study Korean based on your what goals and budget, check out our Korean Language Program Review Guide.
Now that you know where to look for work opportunities in Korea, now it’s time to hone your resume skills. Think it’s the same as the West? Well… think again! Check out the next article on how to write a Korean Resume complete with a free template.
Click on other useful feature articles to get more insider tips and tactics to find jobs in South Korea:
- How to write a Korean resume
- How to get TV and modeling jobs in Korea? Finding media & entertainment opportunities in Korea
- Applying for a job in Korea – What you need to know
- Korean company hierarchy, structure and business titles
- Korean company salary structure and average wages
- Korean over time and why Korea has the second longest working hours in the OECD
- 6 reasons to get involved with start-ups in Asia
- Your Guide to Teaching ESL in Korea
- Korea’s OASIS Start-up Visa Program for foreigners
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