Today we can consider South Korea, especially Seoul, as a “place to be”. Visiting Seoul means discovering modern and futuristic Asia, while keeping an eye on the past and the history of the country. Between museums, landmarks, skyscrapers, and high-tech companies, you won’t know where to turn. So it’s understandable that young people, just like me, are looking for a place to spend their vacations or internships.
The reason why I chose Korea as my internship country
South Korea is an economic crossroads in Asia. More and more international companies are setting up there and the country attracts more and more expatriates. This makes it a very attractive country for French students.
But then, how to prepare for this experience?
Profiles sought an internship in Asia
Not all jobs are available in South Korea for French interns and there are several criteria to respect in order to hope to land an internship.
Have a degree or be engaged in a higher education program
Korean-based companies are generally not looking for foreign profiles. To have a chance of being hired as an intern, you must at least be enrolled in a Master’s, MBA, or Ph.D. program. If you have connections, this may be different of course.
Have significant experience in a field of activity
Korean companies are mainly looking for profiles with specific technical skills. For example, marketing professionals, sales profiles, or computer scientists.
Afterward, I made sure to prepare my best CV. This one must be visually attractive enough but still clear enough to allow the recruiter to understand your profile at a glance. You can use sites like Canvas that offer you prepared templates. Then, I started to send spontaneous applications by email in the form of a cover letter to which I attached my resume. Your cover letter should be in English or Korean (if you speak it fluently) and written in the most professional way possible. This is what will allow you to sell yourself and make yourself stand out.
Send your resume/emails to as many companies as possible. Don’t wait until you find job ads and apply for them. It is very hard to find an internship there especially when you are a foreigner and you don’t speak Korean. That’s why you have to be persistent and apply to as many places as possible.
I advise you to use Googleflight or Skyscanner to search for tickets. You can also put yourself in private browsing mode. When you pack your bags, make sure you don’t overload yourself because Seoul is a city where you will surely find many interesting things to bring back.
The D-2 visa: for university exchange students. It is a student visa that also allows you to work. I think that the most interesting way to go to South Korea is to go as an exchange student.
The D-4-1 visa: for international trainees. This is the only visa that will allow you to do an internship without being attached to a local university. The D-4 visa is for those who wish to study for a time in South Korea in a language program. It is “sponsored” by Korean universities for programs lasting at least 6 months.
The K-ETA is valid for 2 years for tourism, business, or events, and unpaid internship for up to 90 days.
NB: it is no longer mandatory for a number of countries, including France.
In South Korea, you will find different types of accommodation ranging from very affordable to very luxurious. You have many choices in South Korea if you don’t want to pay too much.
– Hasukjib is a homestay.
– Hostels: an establishment that provides food and cheap accommodation to a specific group of people, such as students, travelers etc. Shared room with several people.
– Guesthouse: single room, but you share the kitchen and/or shower.
Now you know everything there is to know about finding an internship in Seoul! The search may be a bit daunting at first, but with organization and determination, you will undoubtedly be able to have a great experience on the other side of the world.
Here is my Instagram where you can find my videos where I share my experience in South Korea: @anaelledmg