Tons of Koreans emigrate to the United States each year, for various reasons from education to looking for better jobs. While the immigrants try to make the most of their new American lives, they can’t help but realize some things are simply better back home.
1. Dry Bathrooms
It’s true. Koreans are so used to wet bathrooms, that the standard American dry bathrooms completely throw them off at first. When Koreans learn to step into the bathtub to take showers, rather than start splashing the water everywhere, they simply can’t wrap their minds around the idea.
2. Lame Convenient Stores
Koreans are so used to 24-hour convenience stores that stock literally everything. But it’s not just about the convenience of the late night hours. Most Koreans miss the variety of snacks and quick meals that Korean convenient stores sell.
Koreans often face racial discrimination as do most immigrants in the United States. Koreans, and Asians in general, have to deal with the slanted-eyes gesture wherever they go. Not only that, Koreans are constantly mocked about their accents or traditions.
4. Slow Service
While Korea is all about fast, quick, and speedy service, the United States isn’t necessarily keen about rushing things. So when Koreans visit the DMV for the first time or they get put on hold for the first time over the phone, it drives them nuts. The American life is a constant patience test!
5. Gun Violence
One of the biggest differences between the US and Korea is gun use. Koreans fear America’s gun laws and the type of violence that goes on in the United States, especially because they have never experienced such things back home.
6. High Rent
Housing has become a challenge for a lot of immigrant Korean families. Because rent isn’t as expensive in Korea, immigrant Koreans aren’t used to paying so much for housing. Koreans simply aren’t able to afford the rent that’s double or triple what they’re used to paying.
7. Internet Speed
This is probably driving Koreans all around the United States insane right now. Korea, which has the fastest broadband speeds in the world, has connection everywhere — even in remote corners of islands. But in the United States… it feels like they can’t escape the loading page!
8. Medical Bills
Koreans hate going to hospitals in America because they know about the outrageous costs. They don’t want to be slammed with crazy amounts of medical bills, so they don’t see doctors, even when they’re sick. In Korea, health care is fairly easy to access and is cheap, especially with insurance.
When Koreans first enter the United States, it’s not very easy for them to find jobs that pay well. For some Koreans, this means they don’t get to build their careers anymore; it means they work whatever jobs they find.
10. School Culture
For younger immigrants, the school system is a complete chaos at first. Because Korean schools are based on an entirely different educational system and culture, the American public school experience can end up becoming a nightmare and disaster.
11. Dirty Public Transportation
Seoul has spotless public transportation. The subway stations are squeaky clean, with safety screen doors installed in most locations. The bus stations are quite nice and high-tech too. So when Koreans first experience the New York subway or the Los Angeles bus stops, they don’t know how to deal with it.