18 Fun Facts about South Korea That Will Amaze You!

Have you ever wondered what makes South Korea such a unique and intriguing country? 

Get ready to be amazed as we unveil some captivating facts that will leave you saying, “Wow, I didn’t know that!”

Whether you’re planning to study abroad in this dynamic nation or simply seeking to satisfy your curiosity, these captivating insights will leave you with a fresh perspective on South Korea. 

Let’s dive in and discover the captivating fun facts that make South Korea truly remarkable.

The N Seoul Tower, officially the YTN Seoul Tower commonly known as Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower, is one of the famous tourist attractions in South Korea.

1) South Korea has weird museums! South Korea boasts some rather peculiar museums, including Poopoo Land, dedicated to all things related to poop. Here, you can even join a fun “poo party.” If that’s not quirky enough, there’s also the Haewoojae Museum, a toilet-shaped house once owned by a former mayor who was so fascinated with toilets that he turned his home into a museum, which you can visit for free.

2) Instead of the common “How are you?” greeting, South Koreans often ask, “Did you eat rice?” This unique expression reflects their concern for your well-being.

3) South Korea’s writing system, Hangul, is both elegant and practical. It’s designed based on the shape of our lips when pronouncing letters. Previously, Koreans relied on complex Chinese characters due to the lack of their own alphabet, which was a challenge for many.

4) K-pop and K-dramas have become international phenomena, captivating audiences worldwide with their catchy tunes and captivating stories! These catchy tunes and captivating dramas owe their success to their relatable appeal. With easy access through platforms like YouTube and Netflix, language barriers fade away, allowing fans worldwide to groove to K-pop beats and immerse themselves in K-drama storylines.

These dramas, while often following familiar themes, add a unique Korean twist, showcasing respect for elders, modern glamour, and endearing characters. K-pop and K-dramas emerged as two of South Korea’s most renowned cultural exports.

BTS stands as one of the world’s most beloved Kpop groups and holds the title of South Korea’s highest-selling artist in history.

5) Waste management is a significant concern in South Korea, with strict regulations in place. Proper segregation of trash is crucial, as failure to do so may result in fines. To adhere to these rules, individuals are required to utilize designated garbage bags, readily available at convenience stores or supermarkets, and deposit them in the appropriate containers.

6) In South Korea, it’s perfectly okay to enjoy alcoholic drinks in public. You can carry your open bottle or can of alcohol and even have a sip or two while you’re out and about.

7) Many South Koreans share a common fear known as ‘electric fan death.’ It’s a belief that leaving an electric fan running overnight can be lethal to the person sleeping directly beneath it. This phenomenon is, in fact, a widespread urban legend in South Korea. While media and press have repeatedly debunked it, confirming that no actual deaths have occurred due to this, the superstition still lingers among many.

8) South Korea takes the crown for producing more than 90% of the world’s seaweed. This nutrient-rich marine delicacy plays a significant role in Korean cuisine and is enjoyed in various forms, from sushi rolls to snacks and side dishes.

Did you know that seaweeds are amongst the fastest-growing organisms on the planet.

9) South Koreans dedicate a remarkable 55 hours per week to work, tallying up to an estimated 2,316 hours a year. In contrast, the average factory worker in the United States typically clocks in 40 hours per week.

10) Blood types hold significant importance in South Korean culture, even influencing decisions about romantic partners. For instance, it’s believed that women with Type B blood are well-suited to Type O men and those with Type AB, but Type A is typically seen as less compatible.

11) South Korea boasts the world’s fastest wireless internet speeds, it is one of the countries that has fastest internet. What’s more, every South Korean enjoys access to broadband internet, making it a tech-savvy nation.

12) Surprisingly, South Korea boasts an astonishing variety of over 150 distinct types of kimchi! While many of us may have believed kimchi to be a singular dish, South Korea showcases a remarkable diversity in its kimchi offerings. Contrary to the common perception that kimchi is primarily a spicy blend of napa cabbage, radish, and carrots, the Kimchi Field Museum documents a staggering 187 different varieties of this beloved Korean staple. Kimchi even holds a prestigious spot on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

8 types of kimchi that Koreans enjoy the most.

13) In South Korea, facial hair on men is generally discouraged and perceived as unclean. Consequently, men sporting beards or mustaches may encounter challenges when seeking employment in the country.

14) Fruit is considered a lavish and pricey gift in South Korea, symbolizing generosity and goodwill.

15) E-Sports are taken very seriously in South Korea! If you’re passionate about gaming and dream of a career in it, South Korea might be the perfect place for you. Exceptional gamers have the chance to catch the attention of major companies like SK Telecom and Samsung, both of which actively seek competitive players to represent them.

In fact, these companies have even established their own dedicated gaming teams. In South Korea, E-Sports events are grand affairs held in massive stadiums, drawing crowds comparable to the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

South Korea enjoys global recognition for its government-driven initiatives and infrastructure, which actively endorse and advance a grassroots esports development model.

16) In South Korea, it’s a cultural belief to never write a Korean’s name in red ink. This practice is rooted in superstition, as doing so is thought to signify that the person is either on the verge of death or has already passed away. While it may seem superstitious, this tradition holds a well-established place in South Korean culture and is deemed as inappropriate.

17) In South Korea, individuals are traditionally considered one year old at birth, and their age increases on January 1st of each year. This unique age-counting system explains why you often hear Korean celebrities expressing dismay about ‘aging’ as each year draws to a close.

18) Seoul is renowned as one of the top destinations worldwide for students. Opting to pursue your education in South Korea promises one of the most enriching experiences globally. Why? Because Seoul not only hosts a multitude of prestigious universities within a single city but also provides remarkably affordable living in close-knit university neighborhoods. With most dormitories conveniently situated near delectable yet budget-friendly eateries, students are in for a treat.

Plus, the high availability and speed of the Internet ensure seamless access to coursework from virtually anywhere.

South Korean flag

Top Universities in South Korea

South Korea is home to some of the world’s top universities, recognized for their excellence in education and research. Here are the best universities in South Korea for 2023, as determined by Times Higher Education.

1. Seoul National University
Location: Seoul
Seoul National University (SNU) in South Korea is a top-tier public research institution known for its global outlook. With a focus on diversity, it collaborates with 860 universities worldwide, offers scholarships to international students, and features over 800 English-taught classes. SNU is at the forefront of esports development in the country. Annually, the university welcomes approximately 800 international exchange and visiting students.

 

 

2. Yonsei University

Location: Seoul
Yonsei University aims to lead the world in producing innovative research, solving global challenges, and shaping the future of education. We prioritize global impact through convergence, industry collaboration, and a commitment to social inclusion and sustainability, guided by the spirit of Christianity.

 

 

3. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Location: Daejeon
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is a leading South Korean university known for its STEM focus. It offers a variety of programs and research opportunities across science, engineering, business, and more. With a diverse student body of over 10,000, including 865 international students, KAIST provides multiple housing options and various scholarships, including full tuition coverage. Renowned for its graduates and impactful research, KAIST consistently ranks among the world’s top universities.

 

 

4. Pohang University of Science and Technology

Location: Pohang
Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) is a private research institution in Pohang, South Korea, founded in 1986. Known for its excellence in STEM disciplines, POSTECH offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs, emphasizing science, engineering, business, and more. The university’s primary language of instruction is English, attracting over 10,000 students, including 865 international students from 90+ countries. It provides various housing options and numerous scholarships, including full tuition coverage. POSTECH is renowned globally for producing talented graduates and impactful research, fostering international collaborations, and combining tradition with modernity to offer a unique study experience.

 

 

5. Sungkyunkwan University

Location: Seoul
Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), a private research university with locations in Seoul and Suwon, South Korea, traces its origins back to the historic Sungkyunkwan, founded in central Seoul in 1398. Renowned for its excellence in STEM disciplines, SKKU offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs across science, engineering, business, and more, with English as the primary language of instruction. The university boasts a diverse student body, including over 10,000 students, among them 865 international students from 90+ countries. SKKU provides numerous housing options and scholarships, including full tuition coverage. Globally recognized for its impactful research and rigorous academic programs, SKKU combines tradition with modernity to offer an exceptional study experience.

 

 

Study in South Korea!

Are you interested in studying in South Korea? Well, we have some good news for you!

South Korea offers a captivating blend of tradition and modernity, making it an exceptional destination for international students.

With numerous prestigious universities and a wide range of academic programs, South Korea provides an enriching environment for academic achievement and cultural immersion.

Studying abroad is not just an academic endeavor; it’s a life-changing adventure that will broaden your horizons, foster personal growth, and create lasting memories. 

The best part? You can apply to any universities and browse programs on the Global Admissions platform! You can also book a free call to speak to our student advisors. Your future awaits in South Korea. Let’s make your dreams a reality!

Read more: Guide to Study in Korea for International Students 2023

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