An Introvert Making Friends
Being an introvert, moving halfway across the world was extremely terrifying. I came to Korea not knowing a single person or the native language. Making friends in Korea to share all of these new experiences with was something I longed for. I was worried that this wouldn’t happen because of my tendency to become shy around people I don’t know. Thankfully, everyone I have crossed paths with has been extremely welcoming.
Everyone employed at Creverse has been in the same boat. We all started from the very bottom and created lives of our own here in Korea. Because everyone here took this huge leap & faced all the odds, there is this inherent respect from one another. All of my fellow co-workers have been extremely kind and supportive since I’ve arrived.
I have spent countless weekends with colleagues doing touristy things. If I ever have a rough day, I can always count on a coworker to meet me for a drink after class. These are some of the many perks of my great work environment.
I haven’t personally dabbled in meet up apps while being here in Korea. Although, I have met many people who found their wives/husbands and lifelong friends on apps such as Meeff, Meetup, Hellotalk, Bumble, Hinge, etc.. These apps are great ways to meet natives that can show you around, introduce you to some good restaurants, and maybe even help you learn the language.
I actually had the privilege of befriending my hairstylist 2 months into being here. We met up with each other on several occasions. I taught her some English phrases in exchange for some Korean words & knowledge on hair treatments. Shout out to Jin from Moioui, she is great at hairstyling & her English is very promising!
The amount of people I have met from bars & clubs is astounding. Itaewon is filled with foreigners from all over the globe who are so open and friendly. Hongdae is so vibrant, everyone is there to have a good time. I usually go out with a group of friends, but I think it’s worthy to note that my girl friends go out alone here in Korea. The fact that females feel comfortable enough to go out by themselves, have fun, and meet others is truly amazing. Of course, like anywhere else in the world, you have to take the standard precautions. But, that’s besides the point.
I go to the gym quite often and have made friends with staff and other members. I have friends in hip-hop dance classes that have met plenty of new people. There are so many sports activities & hobbies to partake in. Pilates studios, clubs such as boxing, tennis, basketball, baseball, soccer, running, etc., are all open to foreigners. There are numerous other programs I didn’t list. Fact remains, there is something for everyone. Finding an outlet when you arrive in Korea is something I highly encourage everyone to do. It is a great way to stay in shape, teaches you how to organize your time, and boosts friendships.
I hope this has helped you feel a little more confident about making friends in Korea. It’s probably one of the biggest benefits about teaching English in Korea!
Amber Ochoa is from Los Angeles, USA, and just recently moved to South Korea in May. She studied Biochemistry as an undergraduate. After graduation, she began venturing out and embracing her love for adventure. She finds that “nothing holds greater power in our life than the unknown.” One night while applying to random jobs on Indeed, she came across an English teaching position in Seoul, Korea. Flash forward, she is now teaching at CDI, Mokdong branch. She claims that Creverse found her and ended up becoming a blessing in disguise. Amber says giving knowledge to students & inspiring them for higher achievements in life is one of the greatest feelings in the world.