Most people who go to Korea to teach English will move there without a friend or significant other. Also, that will most likely be the first time they have ever been to Asia, let alone South Korea! Among the potential concerns they face is the issue of safety – an issue even more pressing for a female teacher moving there on her own. You may have read blogs or done some research, but it’s nonetheless an important issue to cover. So, is teaching in Korea safe?
Safety in Korea
In short – yes! In fact, South Korea is one of the safest countries in the entire world. It ranked as the 4th safest country in the world according to one study. One of the primary reasons for Korea’s safety is that guns are considered very taboo. Normal policemen do not carry guns, as they are not needed. Also, illicit drugs have a very strong stigma, which means they are not commonly used and penalties for doing so are very high. It also means that the typical crime network around them is much, much smaller than it would be in other countries without that stigma.
Additionally, Korea has a very, very low crime rate. Both serious and petty crimes are very uncommon in Korea. It is always advisable to be cautious with your possessions. Nevertheless, it isn’t risky to leave a laptop or phone at your table while you go to the restroom. Moreover, if you go out late at night, it is all too common to come across passed out Korean businessmen. You will usually find them laying in the middle of the road with their phones and wallets next to them. They certainly won’t feel good in the morning, but their wallets and phones will still be there!
Low Crime Rates
For women, Korea is also very safe. Of course it always important to be diligent and only put yourself in situations that you are comfortable with. However, in general Korean men are actually a bit shy around foreign women. Thanks to the ubiquity of Hollywood movies and American music, Koreans often revere Westerners. This leads to many Korean men being slightly intimidated by foreign women.
Regardless of any reports or statistics, people should always keep their wits about them. Korea is a foreign country with a different set of customs and rules. However, you definitely shouldn’t be worried about crime or safety. In fact, if you’re from the United States or England (or just about anywhere else besides Korea), your home country is MUCH more dangerous than South Korea. Hopefully this shed some light on the question “Is teaching in Korea safe?”