Technology is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Having the right apps can make your time in South Korea so much easier, both in terms of navigation, communication, and health. Let's take a quick look at 15 apps that will help you in South Korea.
Moving across the world means you will undoubtedly be homesick from time to time. Here are some apps that can help you stay in touch with loved ones back home.
WhatsApp is a free app that allows users to call, chat, and video-call for free internationally. I use this app specifically with my friends and family that do not have iPhones, and it is a great interface for communicating with loved ones back home!
At this point, I think we all know that Skype is a great option for messaging and video-calling for free internationally. The best feature is the group calling! However, I recently bought $10 of Skype credit so that I could call landline numbers in the US. This has been super helpful if I need to quickly remind a friend to come to free video call (I'm looking at you, my late friends) or if I need to call my home bank or doctor. I just reload Skype credit and can make quick calls to the US on landlines! It works great and as long as I am conscious of the time I can keep the calls short without spending a ton of money.
If you are an iPhone user, FaceTime is a great option for free international calls. You can make individual or group calls for free over wifi, so it is perfect for family calls! Huge fan!
In Korea, EVERYONE uses KakaoTalk. People won't ask for a phone number, they will ask for a Kakao ID. It is easy to chat, call, and video-call and it functions very similarly to most other apps, but it is the most popular option in Korea. One unique feature of KakaoTalk is the adorable gifs you can send! So fun and cute!
Google Maps is not reliable in South Korea, but Naver Maps is an awesome alternative that makes searching, finding, and navigating a breeze!
Another extension of Kakao is KakaoMap, which in my experience is a little less user-friendly but still a great alternative to Google Maps.
I use KakaoMetro as an easy way to navigate the metro system. Not only is it easy to find and read your route, but the app also gives you helpful information like which side of the train the doors will open on! Super slick!
Another easy app to help you use the metro is the Subway app. It functions more or less the same as KakaoMetro, so sometimes it is nice to have a backup!
This app is great for finding and booking longer subway trips! It is easy to navigate and a great resource for your weekend getaways!
Just like KakaoMetro...but for the buses!
Talk To Me In Korean
This app and related workbooks and podcasts is a fantastic resource to help you learn Korean! It teaches you proper pronunciation, writing techniques, and the nitty-gritty of how the language can be used! So interesting and fun!
A fun app to learn isolated vocabulary is Drops! Easy to use, fun, and interactive!
GmarketGlobal is a great online shopping experience that allows you to shop and ship items to your apartment! Love it!
One big health concern in South Korea is air quality. If you have any breathing issues, or even if you don't, you should be very conscious of the air quality each day. I check both of these apps more than daily to make sure I am taking precautions like staying indoors, wearing a mask, and keeping my windows shut. I also bought an air purifier, which is a great investment and a must for anyone with asthma.
Yes, the app is in Hanguel, but it is super helpful for checking current air quality standards in your area.
I also use AirVisual each day to check the hourly forecast as well as the 3-day forecast. Air-quality can change fast in Korea, so it is best to check often.