Ask a Korean! Wiki: Living Expenses in Seoul

Dear Korean,

I'm seriously thinking of moving to Seoul. Do you have an idea of what the budget listing would be for about a 15 week stay in Seoul, a detailed tally of expenses? Are there any other unexpected expenses expats/non-citizens are known to incur?


Here is the problem: the Korean never visits Korea as a foreign tourist. He always has a free place to stay in various parts of Korea, because he has numerous relatives and friends who would be positively offended if he did not spend a few days at their places. Half the time, his meals are free also. Plus, he would not purchase any large items (such as furniture,) or order any consistent service (like the Internet or cable television.) So while the Korean is aware of how much things cost generally in Seoul, he cannot confidently say exactly how much living in Seoul for, say, more than a month will cost. 

So let's hear from mid- to long-term residents of Korea. Can you describe your budget, with as much detail as possible? One thing to keep in mind is that many expats in Korea are English teachers who usually receive free housing--which is usually the biggest part of the living expense equation. For this exercise, it would be great to hear about the list of items that generate a constant stream of expenses, such as rent, utilities, etc. Future visitors to Korea will thank you.

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