10+ ways to make money in Korea without work permit + my money problem story in Korea

Korea is not very expensive comparing to countries such as UK or France, but it is quite expensive comparing to countries like Poland or Hungary, or especially Ukraine =)
Here I will tell you about my money problem and how I was making money when I was a double degree student in Korea.

Note: If you're not interested in my money problem story you can directly jump to the Actual ways of how I made money where everything is explained step by step =)

Introduction: do not trust any bank. Never!

Actually people(especially students) will not make effort to earn money until they will not force a financial problems.

The same situation happened to me. Before going to Korea I opened a Premium account in Raffeissen Polbank in Poland. When I was opening my that account(I opened it exactly for moving abroad)  in Poland  I was assured that I can get my money from ATMs everywhere in the world. Assistants were telling me a lot of things about the great assistance that this account gives and how many benefits I will get after opening it. So, OK I agreed to pay about 15$!!!! every month for account maintenance(with some exceptions but it's not relevant).

And what did I get after coming to Korea: Global ATMs or any available ATM were not accepting my debit card printing some inconsistent errors. 
Mercy that I was able to do non-cash transactions(thanks God you can do it almost everywhere in Korea, even paying for McDonald's delivery). 

The bad things started to happen when I went traveling other Asian countries like Malaysia and Thailand during a 2,5 month winter school break(which is normal in Korea)

In contrast to Korea, in Malaysia and Thailand you usually cannot pay by card in most of the places. So you need CASH! And I brought just 1000$ cash from Poland. When I tried to draw cash from ATM in Thailand (BTW it costs 6$ to draw cash from ATMs for foreigners in Thailand, so BRING CASH WITH YOU WHEN YOU TRAVEL TO THAILAND, DON'T RELATE ON CREDIT OR DEBIT CARDS.) my card was blocked without any reason and I couldn't get money anymore. 

I survived in Thailand in Malaysia by Volunteering(I spent 30$ in one month by living in Malaysia's jungle). Thanks God I bought a return ticket to Korea in advance and I was traveling with one friend of mine who borrowed me some money too.

So when I came back to Korea, I started to spam the bank with emails and phone calls to unblock my card. During the first call they told me that the only way I can unblock my card is coming to their office in Poland where the card was issued. Later they promised me to unblock my card after a long phone call for which I spent more than 40$(Thanks God I had prepaid card and charged my phone before that) . After few month passed by I totally run out of the cash(I got just 50$ in my pocket) and gave up attempts to unblock my card at the same time.


So what I needed that time is to make any money. And to make it fast. When you need money to survive(here I mean that you have actually no choice) your brain become to think differently. You become to see things that you haven't noticed before, your feelings become sharpened. That time I started to spoke about possible ways of making money to every person I met. I started to read usefulness tutorials about how to make quick money. I tried everything I can. Here the difference: when you really need something to do, you'll do it and try it without hesitating.

Most of the people told me it's very hard to make money in Korea without knowing Korean language, and many of them told that it's impossible. Many foreign students told they were looking for a job and they didn't find anything, because Koreans do not accept them.

So I gave up asking people too (however I'm very grateful to some of them, who gave me some good directions about possible ways of getting money).

The problem was also a fact that I was a full time student at Kyungpook National University and I had a lot of subjects every day, which I couldn't miss(in contrast to Poland ATTENDANCE IS OBLIGATORY IN KOREAN UNIVERSITIES)

Actual ways to make money for a full time student with descriptions

After few weeks of research I made a brainstorming about possible ways of making money while studying, and here is a list which I got with every point I tried description  (listed from more normal methods to the most radical ones, which should be tried in the order that is listed)

I stopped at the point 4 when I made enough money to survive every month(even more than enough).

So here are more or less stable methods to get money in Korea every month, which are not related to some events or season jobs.
The methods listed as last are very radical, so please understand that I didn't do that. However I listed that, as a point that when a person tried everything and has no food she will do last steps as well.

1. Finding some part time job

Finding part time job is very easy in Korea ...  for Koreans. Most of the places Korean students do part time jobs are PC rooms, Restaurants, or any kind of public places, they do tutoring different kind of subjects(math, physics) to pupils.

If you're foreigner and you don't know Korean it's possible to you to do part time job in some companies holded by foreigners.
Also sometimes university provide some internships in international companies like  in Novotel or Superstring. They may pay you from 100 000 to 300 000\ per month but most of the companies proposed to you usually don't pay anything. 

2. Working for a University

(helping professors in laboratories or any other university job)
This point seemed to me the most attractive one, because I shouldn't go anywhere far from the place I lived(I was living in the dormitory) and also I hoped it to be not so hard as working for someone else(since it's big government organization and no one usually cares about you in contrast to private PC bangs or restaurants)

3. Making money through the internet (Freelancing)

Since I'm a Computer Science student, this job should be familiar and possible for me. However this kind of earning money will not give you results so fast as well as requires some time to promote you as a freelancer. I made a painting videos company in Ukraine two years ago and I know that it's not so easy and fast at the beginning to make some money, that's why I put on the shell this type of earning and moved to the next step.


4. Teaching Koreans English

Koreans are pretty crazy about paying to the native speakers or to people who just know English or any other language(however any other languages like French, Chinese or Spanish are less likely to be paid, you'd rather get offer of so called language exchange).
So I thought, why shouldn't I use it? My English is pretty good, and I know many other languages. I know methodology to learn language effectively, so I must try it.

I posted advertisement in the university board.  I noticed that it's quite popular in Korean universities. And it's f*king useful for me that time. I used it many times, for posting different kind of stuff and it helped me few times.

To find the board you must look for something called 게시판 .Every good university must have such board like this.
There are thousands of adds and more than ten adds appear there every day. Here how mine does look like:

 It's still available on the site. If you wish you can check it ;) Here is the link to the board if you have trouble finding it: http://www.knu.ac.kr/wbbs/wbbs/bbs/btin/stdList.action?menu_idx=76 =) Of course only students are able to post adds there, so you must register with your id before.

At the same day when I post the add I got about 5 requests of tutoring. I was shocked , however didn't know what price to ask at the beginning. On the one side I was ready to teach them at any price, because I needed some money, but on the other side my covetousness and wish to set normal price were standing(Koreans think if it's more expensive then it's worth it and it must be good, if it's not, they're afraid to buy it).

So I proposed two one to two hours lessons per week to every student and I told different price to every person. I started from 400$ per month(8 lessons) for the woman that was working somewhere(she was not a student) and I lowered price with every next reject. Also I lowered the price if it was a student, or if I get information from the introduction conversation that person is not rich. So at the end I got about 12 requests 3 of which were successful and others were probably afraid of price or maybe my bad English accent ;D.

As a result I started to give a lesson to 3 students every month and got about 400+$ cash per month.

5. Teaching Koreans anything that you know good (painting, singing or any kind or hobbies you can do well)

Here are no comments. Everything is simple. For example I taught few people bodybuilding but it didn't bring me a lot of money, since my focus was not here.

 6. creating some things and selling it

If you're good at crafting it's always a good way to make money. I didn't do that, because didn't have a lot of time left.

 7. Finding a rich girlfriend =)

I didn't use that method due to my f*king mind =) I just can't use people like that. In contrast I was spending a lot of money on my gf later on. However I knew a lot of people(especially foreigners) in Korea(my university) who lived like that and it was normal for them. So the idea is not bad, and you may consider it if you can accept it. Why not =)

  8. Accumulating a money for some fake charity organizations

This one is f*king crazy, I know it. And I didn't do it because of some moral things in my mind. However again I know some people who did it and still do it. One Indian guy in KNU become really rich, every day accumulating money for poor children in India. He showed me that people gave him 5000W and some even 10000W. But I considered it's too much and it's not worth it to go so down.

 9. Working as a sex provider =O

This one is crazy too. I didn't do it, but I decided to tell you about it. Who knows, maybe you'll like the idea =). So, the thoughts came  to me accidentally, when I was chilling out in the Thursday Party in Daegu with my friends (it was actually second week from my first visit to Korea). That day, one drunk big lady said me she fall in love with me =0. She tried to kiss me or do something but I was escaping it, since I didn't want to have any relationship and the lady was not even attractive to me. Then she started to buy a lot of drinks for me and all of my friends. One after another. And she bought the most expensive ones. And she bought the most expensive ones. And she spend a lot of money. After that when we were all drunk too, she asked if I want something more. Thanks God we weren't drunk enough and we said, no we're going home now. Don't know if we we went home, or  club (who crazy goes home when you're drunk), but it's another story. Oh yes, and just one notice: that women was American, not Korean.

Also here is a list of some one time possibilities to get good money in Korea, however some of them are very radical and dangerous - I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE TO DO IT!:

  1. buying things cheaper and selling it more expensive
    I did it several times from selling tennis rackets to selling a bike to the students. Please understand the point: you must not try to cheat people by selling them things more expensive that they cost, but you must rather find a good thing in a perfect price and sell it to your client making bigger, but still good price. Also a one good point is that there are a lot of rich people coming to Korea and they spend money =). There are also a lot of cheap second hand markets in Korea(Daegu) I used to buy things and sell them later for a good price too.
  2. Going to make money through different one-time things:
    • medical experiments and check ups
      personally I went to few payed experiments, where they can measure your ears, show you pictures and measure your reaction or check how you're solving the tasks. Of course there's nothing dangerous for you. The average cost of one is about 15 000W. Average time is 1hour.
    • working as a model
      There are magazines and newspapers that may ask to take photo of you for a free usage. They may pay you about 100 000W for one photo session. The same is for background people in movies
    • A lot of grants at the university and during other events. If you have some talent, you can participate in talent show and win up to 300 000W. If you participate in some government supported talent shows you can win up to 1000 000W. There are a lot of events where you can win a lot of money, however it's quite hard since Koreans are very talented and hard working people

  3. selling things that you own now
    I had and sold out speakers, new T-shirts, some CCTV, frying pen =). You can sell every thing you can sacrifice to get some money, or  things that you just don't really need.
  4. Begging (just joking) =)

PS: Hope it was useful and you like it. If you do, say thank you =)

PPS: Of course I didn't listed all the points that were on my list. Some I left for myself =) If you're interested, you can add me as a friend and ask me. My facebook. My Google. My twitter.

PPPS: Don't forget to leave a comment to this post as well as describe your ways of making quick money!