9 Different Types of Expats You Will Come Across in Korea

9 Different Types of Expats


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  • Ddong Man

    The Lifer (Version 1) … sigh~

    • Dominic ‘Dom’ Dinkins

      I thought you would be version 2!

      • Ddong Man

        Maybe Lifer (Version 1.5) …

  • Stephen Redeker

    Dom, love this one. I’ve been some of these myself from the Noob to the Partier, but I would consider myself somewhere between the Mellow and Lifer V.2, (with occasional bouts of Hypocrite)

    • Dominic ‘Dom’ Dinkins

      Thanks man. I think many of us have all been several of these at one point.

  • 째즈 스타

    I think I’m a combo of the Lifer(2), a little bit of a fiend, and certainly more of a mellow gal. I will get on someone’s case if they start talking too much negatively about this place. But usually I just listen to what they have to say and ask more questions why they feel so negative. It’s when they don’t come up with a reason that supports their opinion that I start to tell them they can just go. Haaa. I’m pretty supportive and patriotic towards Korea. But I’m a lifer for sure. 😉 Loved this post!

    • Dominic ‘Dom’ Dinkins

      Thanks! I can get like that sometimes too but probably more balanced haha.

  • Grace Buchele

    Hahahaha. I live in Japan and it’s pretty much the EXACT same (the same 9 types). This is hilarioius, though! Good job~

    • Dominic ‘Dom’ Dinkins

      Thanks! I think it’s pretty much the same in most countries with the expat communities. Would love to check out Japan again!

  • Guy Geaux

    I’ll double down with a slightly larger generalization/observation that I made the first year of my 6.5 year stint: there are two kinds of foreigner origin stories. Cool traveling people who wanted to see the world and have found their way to the penninsula & people who appear to have been rejected by everything in their home country, have nowhere else to go, and are on their way to becoming lifers whether they love it or not.

    • Dominic ‘Dom’ Dinkins

      This also true. A much simpler description haha.

  • Paul Eun

    Great list! However, isn’t “The Hypocrite” just a subcategory of “The Negative”? Just saying! =) I’ve always thought all of these “types” of people are also back home, wherever home may be. Here, we are able to see these “types” more clearly simply because the expat community is small enough for our differences to come to the surface wherever we look. Really we live in a social petrie dish! That said, in the grand scheme of things, all of us expats are actually in the same category: people who left our home country. Cheers! =)

    • Paul Eun

      The Negative, The Lifer v1, The Culturally Shocked, and most Partiers should have never left home to begin with unless they were able to personally grow into a Mellow guy/gal. =)

  • Tracy Williams Jr

    Lol Im definitely a Lifer number 2. Party days are over though..

  • http://www.eslwriting.org/ eslwriter

    This list of types needs one more category to be complete: “The guy who has it all figured out.”

  • SalmonFillet

    Then there’s the people whose soul is being sucked out from living here so bad they can’t even talk about it unless they’re really drunk and depressed, stay here for the money and the friends they’ve made for a few years before finally fleeing. Dunno if it’s a wide category of people, but I’ve known a couple people like that. The stoic prisoner/mercenary? Usually get out once they obtain a master’s degree/phd and find better opportunities. Appear to be Mellow guys/gals until you witness said bouts of depression.

  • jimmy jones

    You forgot one … those expat’s who are sick and tired of being categorized as this or that. How about this category … ‘pretender journalists who write such pathetic, repetitive articles that have been done the world over that serve no purpose but to drum up their ego and claim that they have written something’.

    Now that is a category that I’ve seen many times in Korea … and the author/s here definitely fall into this category

    • Dominic ‘Dom’ Dinkins

      Number 1.

    • Chris Tharp

      Thanks for fulfilling one of the stereotypes, Jimmy.

  • 나나

    The Partier here… Became friends with the security and the bartenders of my fave places… Then I got a Korean boyfriend and he was not exactly happy about me being a 클럽죽순이 and I stopped going clubbing that much. Huge mistake. I want to go back so badly!