South Korea wants to attract more Working Holiday Makers
Every year there are thousands of Working Holiday Makers who travel between Australia and South Korea. A lot of young people aged between 18 and 30 are choosing the Working Holiday Visa in order to self-fund their international travel. But the exchange between Australia and South Korea is almost all one way. Around 15 000 South Koreans are choosing Australia as their Destination each year. Korea is the second largest source of Working Holiday Makers for Australia after United Kingdom, which is sending 20 000 people per year. On the other hand there are only 23 Australians who visited South Korea under the Working Holiday Visa program. Moreover the statistics shows that the same pattern of uneven exchange occurs in the number of international students between the two countries.
When it comes to going on a Working Holiday, many Australians will think first of places such as USA, Canada and UK rather than of South East Asia. The reason for this is because, although South Korea has very strong and unique culture Australians know relatively little about the country, and it does not springs first into their minds when they consider various Working Holiday options. A lot of Australians do not know what there is to do there. In addition to that the language barrier is another factor that comes into play when it comes to attracting Australian Working Holiday Makers. For those who have never studied Korean or do not have any contacts in South Korea it is very difficult to find a job there. According to Lee Ji-yon who is researcher for the Korean Working Holiday Info Center at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the fact that English is not widely spoken in the Korean daily life is the main thing that is off-putting foreign Working Holiday Makers. This is the reason why Japan is the main source of Working Holiday Makers for South Korea. Japanese people tend to be familiar with the Korean language which makes it much easier for them to find job on the local labor market.
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