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How To: Make Friends in Korea

Have you seen my last article? You can check it out here. As always, a large portion of your questions can be answered by going to my list of resources page here, or the contact page here. There are article-specific resources at the bottom of the page.

I love and advocate for solo travel, especially by millennials when at all possible, though one does have to recognize the unique barriers to entry that millennials, however, the hardest part of traveling alone is building a support system and a life that has meaningful relationships in it. Once the excitement wears off, being in Korea can be really tough if you don't make friends. Luckily for you, through trial error, I've learned some (almost) foolproof ways to make new friends while you are in Korea. While a few of these tips are generalizable, some of them are Korea-specific. Just remember if you're feeling really lonely, reach out to someone! You'll be surprised how compassionate people are, especially in your time …

How To: Find Therapy in Busan

Be sure to check out my last post here and the the Ultimate List of Resources here.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated nor I have used any of the services that I will list below. These are not recommendations based on experience, but rather a small compilation of options I myself have been able to find so that others may make an informed choice.

   I just found out that I  am the only student from my university to ever attend this exchange program, and no one else is coming from my university during my two-semester stay. Finding a therapist, or any mental health professional is the item that should be on every student's pre-trip checklist. Even if you don't have a history of mental health issues but may need some guidance in adjusting to an entire other country and culture, finding a therapist or counselor is a great tool that may be at your disposal. The school I'm attending in Busan, one of the largest university's in the country, doesn't have any recommendations for therapists in the area, student psychological services or even a school of psychology. I need access to a therapist or counselor to navigate these impending ten months alone and I now recognize that many students who will eventually study abroad in South Korea may also struggle to find therapy or counseling in SK. So, the searching began and I present to you a small list of therapists somewhat near Busan, South Korea.

   If you are attending university in Seoul, you may have a tremendous amount of luck finding English or Korean-speaking psychological professionals. However, as a simple google maps search will tell you, the quickest way to get to Seoul from Busan short of buying a plane ticket takes a little over 2 and a half hours by train. This may be fine for some, but I personally can't see myself taking the train ride every week, even if Seoul is the great city everyone says it is. The most promising group of counseling professionals, ranging from counselors to therapists that I could find was Adaptable Human Solutions based in Seoul. They have Korean and English-speaking staff, and they take insurance. The staff is varied, including 1st generation American-born Korean, born and raised in Korea, and born and raised in the U.S. More info on location and hours here, and if you are curious about their insurance billing practices, use the contact form here.

Also in Seoul is You & Me Psychological and Consultation services. They have an office in Yonsei Dawoom Hospital in Pyeongtaek, which is slightly closer to Busan. The information regarding this office can be found here. You & Me offers group therapy, individual therapy, and also psychological testing. Most of their therapists are bilingual, speaking both Korean and English. What is particularly appealing about these guys is that, if you are an expatriate and register with the Seoul Global Center, then you can get up to five free sessions, which, depending on how many times you plan on going for counseling or therapy, may be enough. You can contact them through their contact form here and if you have any questions.
Unfortunately, if you are studying in Busan, there are not very many places that have therapy or counseling at all, and there are definitely no English-speaking counselors or therapists in Busan that have websites. So, if you are like me you might want to look at remote counseling or consider traveling to Seoul. Hey, push comes to shove you could have some really fun adventures in self-care (or self-indulgence as it may be) before or after your sessions. I've read that the train ride is super comfortable and cheap.

  So, if you are the student preparing to go abroad to Busan or anywhere else, here is your reminder to find a therapist, counselor or psychologist to help you in your transition. While there are limited options in Busan, there are a variety of options that may take you on an adventure. That's what you traveled to South Korea for, right?  I will gladly update you all if and when I find any other feasible options.


Thumbnail Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash


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