Internship in South Korea

South Korea overview

South Korea, also known as “The Land of the Morning Calm,” is a unique and dynamic country that offers beautiful sceneries, a one of a kind culture, and delectable cuisine. Korea is vastly recognized as being one of the top technology hubs across the globe and is revolutionizing the industry. With an internship in Korea through AIP, you have the opportunity to explore this country first hand and experience everything it has to offer.

South Korea provides great opportunities to acquire international working experience for students and young professionals, which is beneficial to further your career. You will be highly valued if employers see that you’ve completed an international internship in South Korea. Additionally, you will have the chance to increase your network of contacts from many industry professionals.

Currently, for our Korea internship, we are offering 3 programs:

  • Seoul Internship
  • Incheon Internship
  • Busan Internship

With Korean companies continuously developing their international presence, working opportunities are expanding at a rapid rate. The Information Technology industry is well established in South Korea and is a very popular sector to undergo an international internship. In addition, other industry fields that are common to pursue in Korea are Arts & Fashion, Entrepreneurship, and PR & Marketing.

While AIP is partnered with a wide range of companies from multinational corporations to exciting startups, there are an abundant amount of opportunities available to pursue in Korea. Whether you want to do an internship during your academic studies or over the summer, we accept applications throughout the whole year.

Internship in Seoul

Seoul Overview

Seoul (officially known as “Seoul Special City”) is South Korea’s capital, and also its largest metropolis.

Seoul is situated strategically along the Han River and, together with neighboring Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province, forms the core of the Seoul Capital Area.

Home to almost 10 million people (2017), Seoul lies in the northwestern part of the country, contains five UNESCO Heritage Sites, has recently been a hot spot of modern architectural construction, and is currently regarded as a rising global city.

Internship Opportunities in Seoul

Seoul happens to be the world’s 4th largest metropolitan economy, and, not surprisingly, South Korea’s business and financial hub.

It plays host to the Korea Exchange, the headquarters of many international banks, and several financial/insurance companies most of which are located in Yeouido, often called “South Korea’s Wall Street.”

The Information Technology industry in Seoul has been flourishing for a long while now; in fact, the city is sometimes referred to as the world’s “most wired city”.

It boasts of very technologically advanced infrastructure and numerous technology companies where a young professional in the IT field can intern.

In the manufacturing sector, Seoul does not disappoint as many major electronics manufacturers (including Samsung, LG, Kia), top beverage companies (such as Jinro and Hite), and food giants (like Seoul Dairy Cooperative, Lotte, Nongshim Group) are also located within the city.

So there definitely is no shortage of internship opportunities for you here.  

Seoul Attractions

Seoul, being a tourist city, offers many popular attractions including the National Museum of Korea with a collection of about 220,000 artifacts, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Gyeongbokgung Palace, the futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza, the War Memorial, Namsan Park, Seoul Olympic Tower, and so on.

Internship in Incheon

Located in the northwestern part of South Korea is the city of Incheon, officially called the “Incheon Metropolitan City.”

It borders the capital city of Seoul and Gyeonggi province to the east, and about 3 million people currently inhabit the city.

Incheon, lying near the mouth of the Han River, serves as a chief seaport to the capital city due to its proximity and natural advantages as a coastal city and is also home to South Korea’s main international airport.

Internship Opportunities in Incheon

The Logistics industry of Incheon has been experiencing rapid growth in recent times.

Incheon Port, the second largest port in South Korea, serves as one of the nation’s gateway to the outside world and is still undergoing expansion.

The ultramodern Incheon International Airport has also been ranked as the fourth in the world in terms of cargo traffic.

For students or young professionals in the Supply Chain & Logistics field, Incheon is one of the best cities in Asia for an internship.

As a result of the several industrial complexes built within Incheon during South Korea’s industrialization, the city was, until very recently, largely dependent on the manufacturing industry.

Several notable manufacturers are present today in the city, and some of them are Roush Korea (car manufacturers), IL KWANG Metal Forming Co., Ltd (machining manufacturers), and Korea Yokogawa Electronics Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

Incheon Attractions

The city of Incheon, especially the northern areas such as Kanghwa Island, has many cultural and historical attractions to offer.

The Incheon City Museum, Jajangmyeon Museum, Incheon Chinatown, Hyundai Motor Studio, the Korean Traditional Culture Experience Center, etc., are all points of interest in Incheon.

Internship in Busan

Busan Overview

Busan, referred to officially as “Busan Metropolitan City” and located on the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula, is the second most populated city in South Korea after Seoul, with a population of approximately 3.5 million.

Popularly known for its mountains, beaches and temples, the city of Busan is southeastern Korea’s center of economics, culture and education, and a center for sports tournaments in Korea. It also hosts Korea’s busiest port, which is the fifth busiest port in the world as well.

Internship Opportunities in Busan

Manufacturing makes up about 19% of Busan’s economy, and the government of the city has also designated IT, Finance and Futures, tourism and convention, textile and Fashion, as well as a few other sectors as the city’s core and endogenous strategic industries.

This goes to show that students or young professionals in Busan can intern with numerous companies across different industries.

A few of these companies are Daeyoung Innotech (manufacturers of automotive gear, plastic molds, etc.), Segwang Network Co., Ltd (IT Consultants, ERP Developers, etc.), Daewoo Pharmaceuticals, and Mesco Ltd. (manufacturers of satellite communications equipment).  

Given Busan’s status as a maritime logistics hub in Northeast Asia due to its world-class mega ports, the city’s Supply Chain & Logistics industry is an important contributor to its economy. Some notable employers in this sector include United Shipping Co. Ltd., Woosung Shipping, DHL Global Forwarding, etc.

Busan Attractions

Some must-see attractions in the city of Busan include the Jagalchi Market which is Korea’s largest seafood market; the Haeundae Beach with its Sea Life Aquarium; Gwangalli Beach with its restaurants, bars and cafes; Yongdusan Park which is home to Busan Aquarium (the largest in South Korea), Busan Tower, and the Yongdusan Art Gallery; Gamcheon Cultural Village, etc.

Internship experience in South Korea

South Korea is unlike any other country in Asia which possesses a very unique and rich culture. A particular aspect of Seoul (capital of South Korea) that you will observe is that the city is very modern and technologically advanced but still maintains a deep Korean magnificence about itself. Whether it is the savory smells coming from a nearby Korean BBQ restaurant or the K-Pop beats from a karaoke cafe, you will be acquainted with the lifestyle of living and working in South Korea.

When you have some free time outside of your internship, we highly encourage you to explore everything that South Korea has to offer. A few must-see landmarks during your internship in South Korea are the famous Gyeongbokgung Palace which was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty, Haeundae Beach in Busan that has a lot of popular nearby restaurants and shops, and Jeju Island that possesses incredible landscapes and terrains.

Work culture

'Kibun' is a South Korean term for the larger Asian concept of face that applies to both inside and outside of your internship. Since South Koreans religiously follow Confucius teachings, it is typical for them to heavily rely on group consensus in negotiations and business meetings. Most decision making processes in South Korea then often involve kibun which gives the authority or senior members the power to make the final say.

The display of kibun or respect is not only customary during meetings; it infiltrates all aspects of South Korean corporate culture, including 'hoesik'. Accompanied by heavy alcohol consumption, hoesik is referred to South Korea’s company outing that is essential to participants' earnings of social currency and to earn trust.

It is common for South Korean organizations to arrange hoesik as frequent as once every week, if not once every month. To decline is to disrespect your senior colleagues as they are typically the ones who hand out the invitations. If however you absolutely cannot join the gathering, avoid saying "no" and focus on explaining why you are unable to join.

Their application of 'kibun' is also reflected in the ways in which South Koreans use job titles to address members in business settings. In South Korea, these job titles are the equivalent of position rankings. Hence, it is essential to refer to someone in the organization with their appropriate titles or by adding '-nim' after their titles to show respect. In cases where you are unsure of how to address someone and do not want to sound rude, you can opt to call them 'sunbae-nim'.

In the unavoidable circumstances where you are entangled in a disagreement with someone, it is important to keep silent. This is to prevent you from potentially damaging others' 'kibun' which is useful in increasing your chances of forming professional networks with them in the long-run. To establish better connection with them, it is recommended that you take time out of your day to study a few phrases in their local language. Though English is spoken in South Korea, being able to converse in Korean is a much more valuable asset when undergoing an internship.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in South Korea differs depending on where you live in South Korea and what your lifestyle is like. This means that your internship in South Korea can be expensive if you choose to live a luxurious life and eat out most of the time in cities like Seoul! Though it is true that socializing is crucial in developing long lasting professional relationships in South Korea, there are some ways in which you can avoid spending more than you can afford!

South Korea is universally known for its brilliant transportation system. When going out with your colleagues and friends, we highly suggest that you get yourself a T-money card where you can take multiple subway and bus trips for less cost! What’s great about this card is that it doubles as a debit card… This means that you can pay for both your groceries and transportation!

If you would like to save up even more, we recommend that you keep an eye out for extra discounts in supermarkets. Since South Koreans pay extra attention to the quality of their food, it is common for them to push out unsold products to make way for newer and fresher ones the following day. Late evening or the end of working hours is where you can find cheap and delish ready-made meals.

Eating on the budget does not mean that you cannot have good food! In South Korea, some of the most affordable food is locally sourced and made. You can save yourself a couple handfuls of ‘wons’ by joining the locals at their favorite street restaurants. Aside from being ridiculously delicious, having some street ‘eomuk tang’ or Korean fried chicken is the perfect introduction to fully immerse yourself in authentic Korean culture

South Korea accommodation

  • Furnished accommodation
  • Free Hi-Speed Wifi access
  • Close proximity to the workplace (within 1 hour or less)
  • Accessible by public transport
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Visa information

South Korea offers a Working Holiday Program Visa, which allows young people to travel and work in South Korea for a maximum period of 12 months. The visa also allows you to enter and re-enter the country as many times as you wish. You will be able to apply for the Working Holiday Program, provided that your internship is unpaid.

There are only a limited amount of countries that participate in this program, which include: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden, Taiwan, UK, USA.

If you are not eligible for a Working Holiday Program visa, and your internship duration is less than 3 months, you will have two options; you are either eligible for a Visa Exemption (which means you can stay up to 90 days without a visa), or you can apply for a Tourist Visa.

Apply online and our staff can help you further in regards to your visa eligibility for South Korea.

Note: Immigration laws are updated frequently, so the above text may be subject to change.

Our process

1. Apply
Click "Apply Now", fill the form and schedule an interview to discuss your dream internship.
2. Interview
During your interview, one of our AIP representatives will ask you questions about your background, past work experiences, internship preferences and goals.
3. Pay Deposit
If you are officially accepted into AIP, you will be asked to confirm your spot in our program with a deposit fee.
4. Placement
Our experienced placement team will match you with your ideal host company and arrange an online interview for you with them.
5. Final Payment
Once your internship has been accepted by yourself and the host company, you will be invoiced for the final payment which will officially confirm your placement.
6. Prepare
After your payment confirmation: For remote internships: We will put you in contact with your host company so that you can start to work right away on your internship. For all the other AIP programs: We will assist you in the visa application process, as well as arranging airport pickup and accommodation (if applicable).
AIPx might be a suitable option for those that are in a hurry. Via AIPx, we will have a confirmed interview for you within 21 working days (The normal process can take up to 8 weeks).
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