Thursday, 19 December 2013

How to find internship and job opportunities in Korea

How to find internship opportunities in  Korea

You would have likely noticed already that searching on Google  with keywords such as "internships Seoul" have been largely unfruitful. In fact apart from this blog and a few others there really is no information what so ever! The major reasons for this is the fact that a lot of Korean websites including government sites and university sites are not indexed on search engines! Even if you try searching in Korean on Naver there will be limited results. This phenomena is the major reason why Koreans are unlikely to find relevant information via Naver other than blogs and forums because official information outlets are not indexed for searching.

The other reason is as I have just stated; most opportunities will be listed in Korean! So if you are serious about wanting an Internship then maybe you should look at applying for a language course first. 

With that in mind here is what I have compiled to help all foreign graduates find possible internship opportunities!

Job Websites 
PeoplenJob (http://www.peoplenjob.com/home/) - Best Korean job search engine for foreigners that will contain job opportunities from major international firms and embassy positions Occasionally opportunities are also posted in English. 

Seoul Professionals (http://seoulprofessionals.com/) - New site with an array of job opportunities for varying levels of experience. Targeted at professionals rather than English teaching opportunities. 

Craiglist (http://seoul.craigslist.co.kr/) - mainly English teaching and part-time opportunities it is still a good resource to look for different opportunities or a nice part-time job to help pay for your Korean study or living expenses while you search for a professional job. 

Seoul Global Center (http://global.seoul.go.kr/) - Support center for foreigners it also has a limited but regularly updated job opportunity board. Common jobs are ones posted by gaming developers and the tourism department. 

Kopra (http://www.kopra.org/) - Excellent resource for internships particularly for those from EU nations. Lists opportunities not just for Korea but all over East Asia. 

Company Career Websites 
Lately Korean Chaebols 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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaebol

Major Corporations

Samsung Careers - http://www.samsungcareers.com/ 
LG (Korean) - http://apply.lg.com/main/Index.rpi
Hanwha (Korean) - http://www.netcruit.co.kr/main/main.mvc 
Doosan (Korean) - https://career.doosan.com/ 
Lotte (Korean) - http://job.lotte.co.kr/LotteRecruit/intro.aspx 
SK Telecom - http://www.skcareers.com/ 
Hyundai (Korean) - http://recruit.hyundai.com/index.jsp
Kia (Korean) - http://recruit.kia.co.kr/index.jsp
Korea Telecom (Korean) - https://recruit.kt.com/
Dongbu (Korean) - http://recruit.dongbu.co.kr/


Mid-Sized
Dongwha Holdings (Korean) - http://www.dongwha.co.kr/recruit/index.asp
Hansol (Korean)- https://recruit.hansol.co.kr/
Hyosung - http://recruit.hyosung.com
Korean Air (Korean) - https://recruit.koreanair.co.kr/
Kumho / Asiana Group (Korean) - https://recruit.kumhoasiana.com  / https://recruit.flyasiana.com/

University Courses
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.

Yonsei Korean Language institute Job Board - http://www.yskli.com/act/job.asp 
SNU Graduate School of International Studies - http://gsis.snu.ac.kr/ 
Sogang Freeboard - https://klec.sogang.ac.kr/5000/5000.php 
Korea University - http://klcc.korea.ac.kr/about/school.schoolBoardList.action?strCode=007 

Yonsei Summer Internship Program - http://summer.yonsei.ac.kr/s2_7.asp
Korea University Summer Internship Program - http://www.nus.edu.sg/iro/opps/summer/ku/

Networking 
Online and offline networking is arguably the best resource for job opportunities in Korea. 
The major commerce chambers in Korea all run a variety of networking opportunities and also have internship opportunities. Linkedin (http://www.linkedin.com/) 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.

Austcham Korea - http://www.austchamkorea.org/
Amcham Korea - http://www.amchamkorea.org/
EuroCham Korea - http://www.ecck.eu/ 
Linkedin Seoul - http://linkedseoul.org/ 
Internations - http://www.internations.org/seoul-expats 
Korea Business Central - http://www.koreabusinesscentral.com/

Utilizing your Link to "Home"
Something that doesn't always spring to mind is to utilize your cultural background and  seek out and network with that community in Korea. Polish, South African, Brazilian, British, Malaysian whatever your background may be its a good chance that you are part of a small community here which will consist of business owners, investors and other consultants. Utilize your link to back "Home" - chances are they are searching for people with knowledge and understanding of Korea. 

Job Fairs
Major universities will hold job fairs usually in September - October. Do your research about the times and dates. This is a great opportunity to talk to recruiters directly and find out if they do 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! Here is a link to the 2013 event information which was held in October

Issues

Visa
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 part of 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 with additional permission. Remember to apply for this permission once you have arrived in Korea and found an Internship. 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 visa's. These visa's allow 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 a 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. Ofcourse there are loop holes 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..

Pay
Most internships are unpaid or severely underpaid! Expect to earn between Nothing and 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 any internship. Most embassy and Korean government internships will provide a daily stipend for food and transport but that's it.

Check out our guide to the Korean Salary system to find out how much you can expect to earn as a graduate worker!

Language
Korean ability while not entirely essential 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 to internship positions with foreign government agencies, embassies, chambers of commerce and other foreign companies. Do your research and look for opportunities within your community!

63 comments:

  1. Hey, this was helpful thanks.

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  2. Thank you for your advices ! I am going to use them to find my internship ! Hope it works :)

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  3. Hi nice article.

    If possible could you elaborate on your last paragraph pertaining to Korean abilty? Do I need to be fluent?

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  8. Thanks. Quite useful

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  9. wow thank you so much for your detailed post. I'm going to be studying abroad in Seoul in the spring and this is great in giving me a head start! I'm so nervous about going into a foreign country!

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  10. Thank you so much.
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  13. Is there anywhere that has an updated list of 2015 summer internships?

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