Types of Cities in Korea

One of the most common themes we hear from new applicants is: “I want to be in Seoul, because I want to make sure I’m around other foreigners and be in a city environment. I don’t want to be stuck out in the countryside somewhere.” We agree completely. We feel unless you specifically ask for a small city, we will focus on finding you a great placement in an excellent, modern, urban city in Korea. What some people don’t realize is just how developed Korea is as a country. Most people live in high-rise apartments since the standard of living is very high since it has the 9th largest economy in the world. Since Korea is rather small geographically you can get from end to end of the country in less than 5 hrs.

*As with most things in life, attitude is key. If you think you’ll have a great time in city “X”, you will.

"Nervous there won't be enough fun things to do in a certain city, or not enough other foreign teachers, check out this listing of the most popular Facebook groups for some of the best cities in Korea!!!" - [Click here- list of Facebook groups for all of the different Korean cities]

Here are the main choices for different types of cities in Korea. Please click on the name to see more detailed info on this type of city:

  • Seoul
  • Seoul Area
  • Busan Area
  • Daegu
  • Gwangju
  • Daejeon
  • Medium/major
  • Coastal
  • Small
  • Busan
  • Other
  • Southern half of the country
  • SE Corner of Korea
  • Open


Our suggestion would be to focus on making sure you’re within 1-2hrs of either Seoul or Busan, and to give serious consideration to Gwangju (1.5 million), Daegu (2.5 million) and even Daejeon (1.4 million). We feel these cities actually offer exactly what most teachers are hoping for in their city – when they ask for “Seoul”.

Note – we find the information on these cities that you’ll first see on Wikipedia or Official city pages not to be very relevant to an ESL teacher venturing to the other side of the world. While it might be interesting to know which Dynasty ruled Daegu in 1543, or what the main crop in Jeonju is, or which companies have factories in Pohang, foreigners considering a city like Gwangju want to be confident they’ll have: other foreigners to easily meet and hang out with, a few western restaurants, cultural things to see, some green space or mountains nearby, fun nightlife, a place to learn Korean and good public transportation. These things are all very easy to find in all major cities in Korea. Teach ESL Korea had an extensive project to have teachers help us create pages for some of the key cities in the country, so the info you’re seeing is from the eyes of another native English teacher.

Eleven Amazing Cities in Korea  - Click on the name of the city for more detailed info –

Here is some more info on some types of cities:

Seoul – [More info]

Seoul area– [More info]

Gwangju – [More info]

Daegu – [More info]

Medium or Major City – [More info]

Busan – [More info]

Busan area – [More info]

Daejeon – [More info]

Smaller cities – [More info]

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