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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 …

The M*ney One [Part Seven]: How I've Actually Been Making Money in Korea

   If you haven't seen my last post you may check it out here. As always, your very best resource is our Ultimate List of Resources which you can find here, and you can also find an article-specific list of resources down below.

   A few months ago, I made my favorite post, which outlined some of the ways I anticipated on making money while abroad, all of which were non-traditional, make your own hours, and could make enough for basic spending money, as all of my basics were covered. That's all well and good, but then I got here, and the options I had for making money changed. Here is how I currently make money in Korea.

Before You Begin

   It is important to have a VPN, virtual private network, available to you at all times. I like to use Hotspot Shield VPN, whose free tier is perfectly good enough for me and integrates nicely into my MacOS user interface for easy use. The reason for having this VPN available to you is so that you may trick websites that you're in another country, though I only have experience with the United States. This is not only so that the websites work as promised, but also so that you are eligible to share your opinion as you know it, an "American opinion" as it may be. It is still your legal residence if you're a student anyway. 

What I Use- User Testing Platforms

   As I discussed in my previous article on the topic, I love love LOVE using user testing sites to easily make an average of $20 extra dollars a day without even setting time aside. My main sites are UserTesting, and Userlytics which I've discussed before, and the newcomers are IntelliZoom and Respondent. 

   IntelliZoom has some very mixed reviews, even coming from me. After signing up and doing an unpaid trial test, they email you for studies that pay out on average of $10 and then you will be paid within 21 days. Here's what's suspicious. Between the time of completing the test and being paid, they don't allow the tester to check the status of the completed test, so you don't know if it's been approved and subsequently, you don't know if you will get paid, which makes freelance budgeting even harder than it already is. As of now, I've completed 4 tests with IntelliZoom, and haven't been paid for a single one, though I am within the 21-day waiting period. I've emailed them several days ago about how to know whether a test has been approved or not with no response. I will update here in another paragraph if I get paid or if they respond.
**UPDATE 12/7/2018: I just received payment for one of my tests right on the 21st day, though I should have about 20 more coming before the week is over.
   Respondent is also an interesting site that's new to me, and that I have gotten paid for. You can search for different studies and apply for individual studies by taking a few survey questions. You are loosely told how your questions line up with what the researcher is looking for and then they contact you by email if they want you to participate in their research. Because I'm in Korea, I have applied only for remote studies, and so far have only gotten one, which went really well, and I got paid via PayPal exactly when they said I'd be paid. The application process is a little tedious, but there are always opportunities which I like. '

What I Don't Use

   Swagbucks was a site that I made a good amount of passive income just answering survey questions, but unfortunately, it doesn't work well in Korea, even with a VPN so I no longer use it. I still suggest it for if you're in need of some extra income before going abroad and you have a good amount of downtime at your main job or if you have free time.
  Panel 2020 is another site I recommended for high paying studies paying out between $150-$700. More likely to be due to the nature of the site than anything else, I haven't gotten any offers from Panel 2020, and have only gotten one total since I've discovered the site. Like I said in the initial article, Panel 2020 is a platform I definitely suggest because of the high payout, but would also suggest lowering your expectations of how much money could be made from this site, Never giving up on Panel 2020.

What I Can Suggest

   Teaching English online is a huge way that I know some people make money. Usually, these sites require that you work a certain number of hours, but you still get to pick your hours. A few of the sites I know of are especially for children or adults and they don't require a VPN because they often prefer foreigners that are fluent in English living in Korea. I will list some of the sites in the Resources section below.
   You can also teach English informally to other students and in exchange have them teach you Korean, have them pay you, or just make a new friend. Commodifying English language in other countries does feel a little imperialist but remains a beneficial and highly sought out skill and is the most common way to make money on your own terms.

If you don't have a part-time or full-time job, you can still get by in Korea without wasting all of your time by using your skills or just giving your opinion for just a little while every day. I know it's rough, but I believe in you!

Good Luck


Always, unless explicitly stated, I don't make any money from these links nor am I affiliated with any of these companies unless stated.
Hotspot Shield VPN (Free Trial is available but remember to cancel it!)

English Teaching Websites

User Testing Sites (Not Already Mentioned on The Ultimate List of Resources List)

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