Studying in Korea

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Tips on Safety

After the application process with a university, students should make contact with a supervising professor, the international office, and any acquaintances in Korea. Contact information should be shared with those people including phone number, email, or address.
It is very important to share any difficulties or troubles in Korea with family members and friends in order to properly cope and overcome any challenges. Regarding accidents or crime, students should contact the police for assistance.
a. Money Issues
- Although muggings are not very common in Korea, foreign students should be careful of their belongings and money they carry.
- Carrying a small amount of cash is recommended while other funds for tuition and living expenses should be deposited in a bank account.
- Leaving cash out in a dormitory, house, or room is not advisable. Students should be cautious and use common sense.
b. General Safety
- When seeking housing, safety concerns and conditions should be considered.
- Whether it be day or night, students should keep doors locked.
- When visitors come claiming to check the gas, telephone, or water, you should check the person’s identification.
- Before leaving home or going to bed, students should turn off the water faucet and gas.
- If encountering a suspicious person or car, students should call the police and make sure to lock the door.
- If a house-key is lost or stolen, the landlord should be contacted immediately to request the door lock to be changed.
- Important documents should be kept carefully and separately. If lost, students should get them reissued as soon as possible.
- Students should always keep their house key with them even when just leaving home for short periods of time.
c. Internet Crime
In general, internet crimes in Korea involve gambling, depictions of sexual violence, threats, fraud, leak of personal information, and running illegal websites. Releasing viruses or distributing spam emails are also considered Internet crimes.
Laws for Protecting Internet Communication
- A person who is found to have caused personal damage through text messages will be sentenced to a maximum of 3 years of imprisonment or a maximum penalty of 20 million won.
- A person who is found collecting personal data, causing injury, leaking personal information, causing a tertiary harm, or causing any loss to another will be sentenced to a maximum of 5 years of imprisonment or a maximum penalty of 50 million won.
- A person who is found releasing illegal photos, committing fraud, or delivering illegal materials will be sentenced to a maximum of 1 year of imprisonment or a maximum penalty of 10 million won.
- Movies, videos, games, and music that are allowed and indicated of permission by Minor Protection Law can be sold.
- Selling cigarettes, alcohol, drug, and/or adult toys is prohibited. Law violators will be punished according to the law.
d. Financial Crimes
- If you are requested to give bank account information, credit card number and/or any passwords over the phone, you should immediately suspect voice-phishing, which is a criminal act in which such information is used to gain access to personal financial accounts. Foreign students involved in voice-phishing will be punished according to the law.
- It is crucial not to disclose any personal banking information such as an ID or password to anyone, and to keep banking certificates secure.
e. Four tips to remember
1) Carrying only a little cash and keeping larger amount in the bank is recommended. Leaving cash out openly in a dormitory or house can be dangerous.
(2) Lending money should be very carefully considered, and in most cases, avoided. Do not let people know how much money you keep in your account or the assets your parents have.
(3) Do not decide upon housing only by price, but also consider the location, whether it is safe or not even when using a real estate agent.
 
※ Landlords of rooming house or boarding houses are not responsible for the personal belongings of tenants, so students should be careful to secure their belongings and are advised to get insurance.
(4) For any emergency situations, immediately call the police by dialing 112, especially when threatened or injured. For instance, if encountering a burglar, it is imperative to call or contact the police. Even if something is lost at school, it is better to notify the proper authorities.
 
※ For emergencies, notify your academic advisor, international office, and Embassy.
g. Organizations for law-related information
① Korea Legal Aid Corporation(www.klac.or.kr, Tel. 02-532-0132) has 18 branches, 63 sub-branches and 40 local offices which offer free legal consultations.
② Korea Legal Aid Center for Family Relations (www.lawhome.or.kr, Tel. 1644-7077) is the oldest legal organization and has 31 local branches and 6 branches worldwide.
③ Korean Bar Association (www.koreanbar.or.kr, Tel. 02-3476-4000)
④ Korea-China Cultural Association International(www.k-cca.or.kr, Tel. 02-785-3117)