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Korea - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Culture & Customs Paperback – October 30, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Culture Smart! has come to the rescue of hapless travellers, Sunday Times Travel - ...the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries, Global Travel - ...full of fascinating, as well as common sense,

About the Author

Apart from the headline-making politics, not much is known in the West about the Korean people and their ancient culture. Yet those who visit Korea, whether North or South, find a land of great interest. The Koreans, when not constrained by politics or other considerations, are friendly and sociable, and the peninsula has areas of outstanding natural beauty. The South’s cities, if not always beautiful, are vibrant and alive. The North, while very different, is complex and fascinating.

The standoff between the two countries of the Korean Peninsula is a legacy of the Cold War and a potential flashpoint for future conflict. Despite a brief thaw in relations a few years ago, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north, a secretive single-party socialist state with a centralized industrial economy, conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. The Republic of Korea (ROK) in the south meanwhile, a free market democracy, has become a rising economic power, and in 2010 became the first former aid recipient to join the OECD Development Assistance Committee.

Much has changed since the first edition of Culture Smart! Korea was published in 2005: the North’s defiant development of its nuclear program, the end of the South’s “Sunshine” or engagement policy in 2008, the opening up to US tourists by the North in 2010, and the death of its leader Kim Jong Il in 2011 and the succession of his youngest son, Kim Jong Un. This new, updated edition of Culture Smart! Korea looks at the changing social and economic situation and provides real insights into thinking and behavior in both countries. It indicates the pitfalls to avoid, and introduces you to some of the many delights of the Korean peninsula.

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Product Details

  • Series: Culture Smart!
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Kuperard; 2nd Revised edition edition (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857336690
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857336696
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.5 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By marstf on December 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's ok as a starting book about the country. But if you research about the country on web, you can find the same amount of info, or even richer information.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By kmbnoll on April 17, 2013
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I am moving to Korea and this book was exactly what I was looking for to help me prepare for the move.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pamela H. Long on May 5, 2013
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About the right length and depth for my very short (3 day) trip on business. Enjoyed reading about the culture, especially religious practices and the various religions represented there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tim Wolfred on February 3, 2014
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In preparation for my first trip to Korea, I downloaded this guide. It proved very helpful in giving me a thorough overview of Korean culture and customs.

The material is well organized in bite-sized chapters. The extent to which it covers each topic is just right for the first-time inquirer. It added tremendously to my understanding and appreciation of what I experienced culturally and socially on my Korean trip.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Persop on September 1, 2014
Format: Paperback
I have the 2008 6th printing and not only appreciate the entire book's useful and understandable information but how the author perceived potential trends. This person enjoys viewing time capsules. The writing seems sincere, not too dramatic but from years of experience from a western eye.
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By nuuanumenehune on June 20, 2015
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I bought this book before my first trip to Korea in June 2015 and found it helpful. It seems a bit outdated but I don't blame the author because things in Korea have changed and are changing very quickly.In particular, this includes culture and customs. While many things are traditional, there are many changes and Koreans are very accepting of your differences especially if they know that you are not Korean and you are in a place where finding a non-Korean is not surprising, like in Seoul, in a tourist venue (even those with almost all Koreans) and in a city with an American military base. I recommend to anyone traveling to Korea who would like a quick read into what to expect. The coverage given to North Korea was too extensive for me because I traveled only to South Korea. I had the benefit of having bilingual friends accompany us on many days of our trip of 4 days in Seoul and 8 days in Gunsan as well as my American brother in law who lives there, has a Korean GPS and drove us where we needed to go. I also recommend that travelers learn a little Korean like hello, thank you, where is the restroom, please help me, where is it and a little Korean pronunciation of place names. Korean people are happy to help you find something if you ask but they must understand what you are asking for. We took the Tiger Seoul City Bus Tour for $12 (W12,000) and it drops you off and picks you up on a circuit every half hour. I highly recommend it but it is not obvious sometimes where something is. Sometimes you are dropped off at a palace and it is obvious where the palace is but sometimes it drops you off at a shopping area and it just looks like any other street. The market may be just 200 or 300 meters away but you cannot see it from the bus stop so you have to ask the driver (who speaks little English) or a passerby where the market it and you have to make a passable try at pronouncing the name. Good reading and good luck.
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By Brian Ward on March 22, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
There has been an exploding demand for native English speakers to teach English in South Korea. English programs and English academies have been spreading like wildfire all over Korea. And, due to an unpredictable economy, many university graduates, travelers, and people from all walks of life are packing their bags and taking advantage of the English boom in Korea.
Korean institutions are paying good money ($2,000-$2,500 a month) and offering excellent benefits (free housing, 30 hour work weeks) to Westerners who are willing to explore the unfamiliar, pack up their bags, and teach in thriving South Korea.
This is the complete guidebook on how to relocate to South Korea and become an English teacher. This book illustrates the many advantages (low taxes, high standard of living, friendly people, safe streets) and challenges (dating, language barriers, disciplining students, getting along with co-workers) that the first time teacher can expect to confront in Korea.
Funny, fact filled and always informative, “First Contact in Korea: A Native English Teacher’s Journey Into The Backwoods of South Korea” provides the necessary knowledge you need to make the most out of the experience. Jam packed with practical information, “First Contact in Korea: A Native English Teacher’s Journey Into The Backwoods of South Korea” addresses all of the topics and taboos a prospective English teacher needs to know, from finding the right job and negotiating a contract settlement to avoid eating dog while ordering food off of a menu.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aranesan on October 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a keen supporter of the Culture Smart series. It's become a staple now for me to pick up a book before I head out to a country. It allows me to see a couple of layers deeper than my sense would have been able to by itself.
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Korea - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Culture & Customs
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