South Korea

Last updated: 3/23/2017

The Republic of Korea, commonly referred to as South Korea, is situated on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. The growth of the Christian church in South Korea has been phenomenal! South Korean missionaries are serving around the world in many types of ministry. Most of WA’s work in South Korea consists of equipping and facilitating this missionary outreach.

Quick Jump



  • No visa is needed if staying 90 days or less.


  • You are encouraged to visit for the most up to date travel/medical info.
  • Please bring a First-Aid kit as well as plenty of already prescribed medication as needed.


  • For Men:
    • Button down shirts or nice collared shirts.
    • Long pants, jeans or slacks. Shorts may be acceptable depending upon the situation (like being outside or doing casual activities).
    • In Korean culture you can’t go wrong with dressing business casual when teaching or conducting light business.
  • For Women:
    • Modest clothing entails pants or skirts to the knee.
    • Shirts that cover the chest and stomach. Sleeveless shirts are not appropriate when teaching or conducting light business.
    • In Korean culture you can’t go wrong with dressing business casual when teaching or conducting light business.
  • Closed toed shoes are preferred. There is the potential to walk each day so shoes that are comfortable to walk in are important. Tennis shoes or dress shoes are both appropriate for men. Flats are appropriate for women.
  • Make sure to check the local weather before you travel! Anywhere in the world can be chilly or hot!

Things to Bring (Just in Case):

  • Have a copy of your itinerary of your return flight (with your name on it) and a copy of your travel insurance paperwork easily accessible (especially when traveling).
  • Sun screen and Bug spray.
  • Snacks (protein bars, trail mix, candy bars, etc.).
  • Flashlight/extra batteries.
  • Any medication you might need: Antibiotics like Ciprofloxacin, Benadryl, Pepto-Bismol, Ibuprofen, Neosporin, Band-Aids and any other First-Aid items are a smart idea.

Helpful Information:

  • Korean food is very delicious, but if you happen to not like it, please don’t complain. Kimchi might not be your favorite, but please try all the food placed before you at least once. Please bring "emergency food." I.e.: cliff bars, mixed nuts, peanut butter, etc.…as well as the right attitude about serving and not being served.
  • It is polite for your host to offer seconds even if it is not readily available. Please refuse seconds at least once before accepting.
  • When greeting, it’s appropriate to bow slightly, and then shake hands (because they want to greet you in a western way, combining the two greetings).
  • Always respect your elders (not only Korean elders, but the elders on your team.) When defining the term "elder" the person could be one year older than you.
  • They love it when you try to learn and use Korean words or phrases.
  • Honor is a very big part of their culture. It’s very important to always thank someone who does something for you. Due to the honor, it’s always a good idea to act conservatively. Always show as much respect as possible to those who are older than you (no matter the age difference) or in a higher position than you.
  • Always accept something with both hands. Especially when accepting a gift or accepting something from an elder.
  • Never throw or toss anything to a Korean.
  • Don’t write a person’s name in red.
  • Gifts are a great way to show gratitude. They should be wrapped nicely.
  • Remove your shoes when entering a home.
  • Don’t point your chopsticks or stick them upright in your food, or lay them sideways across your bowl.
  • A great website on South Korean culture and etiquette: