Not sure what is the best way to communicate with the outside world in South Korea? Getting a cell phone and plan in Korea can be complicated if you haven’t done it before. We’re here to make it easy for you.
As soon as you land, you’ll probably want to give your loved ones at home a call to let them know you’ve arrived safely, without being charged an arm and a leg on fees. We’ve put this section together so you can get a heads up on the best communication options out there for new expats in South Korea.
Cell phones are a necessity for life in Korea. It’s hard to believe that you would need a cell phone to communicate in a country where you know no one, but trust us – it will save and help you more than you’d expect. Without one, making plans, arranging events or meeting up with friends, and even keeping in touch with loved ones at home becomes challenging and sometimes impossible. Unfortunately there are a lot of hoops that foreigners have to jump through in order to set up a phone in Korea and it often takes months before a usable phone is in their hands.
Skype and Other Apps
Skype is the best and most affordable way to keep in touch with friends and family back at home. If you are unfamiliar with it, Skype is a computer program that allows you to call other Skype account holders anywhere in the world for free through the Internet. You can also put a credit on your account to make calls to landlines or cell phones back at home. We highly recommend using Skype instead of phone cards or calling codes through your cell phone. It is much more affordable and you can chat with live video as long as you want, without the hassle of refilling calling cards or adding additional costs to your phone bill.
Other alternatives exist. For example, if you find access to wireless, you can make calls using FaceTime (for iPhones) or Google Hangouts (for Androids). These are a great alternative to having to spend money on international calling cards or being charged outrageous international fees. Just make sure the person you’re calling is using the same application/phone as you!