For anyone who wants to meet and talk to South Koreans online I suggest using a pen pal site. People are usually very grateful and friendly if you are genuinely interested in their language or any aspect of their culture. It is easy to find someone who is willing to tell you more about things that might interest you, whether it’s Korean temples, Korean indie music, KPop, Korean calligraphy, Korean companies or even Korean politics.
My favorite site is, of course, the one where I met Kimchi Man ^^ www.interpals.net. I contacted any person from any country who seemed to have an interesting profile and ended up meeting Kimchi Man by chance, but you can narrow down your searches to include only Korean nationals, and even Koreans of certain age. However, please note that Interpals is not a dating site. It is site for making friends. If it grows into something more, that is just an added bonus :)
If you are purely interested in meeting Koreans for language exchange app HelloTalk is very popular now.
Please keep in mind that while on Interpals flirting might simply not be what some people are looking for, on HelloTalk it is actually against the rules. Language exchange, nothing more.
If you are looking for something with complete freedom, I suggest KakaoTalk (카카오톡). More than 90% of smartphone owners in Korea use it and it’s a messaging app so you are free to say and do as you please.
And now on to the question we received:
How did the two of you meet?
We met trough an online pen pal site. There are many South Koreans who join pen pal sites to improve and practice their English. For us, it was our curiosity for foreign cultures, his modesty and my love for Korean stationery that brought us together.
We are both interested in learning about cultures different than our own. It is easy to find information and statistical data about a country but really difficult to get the true idea about people’s daily life without having a friend you can talk to. Doesn’t it sound exciting hearing for the first time about things they, on the other side of the world, consider usual and take for granted?
However, neither of us ever expected to fall in love in such an unusual way.
Since I really like colorful pens and notebooks and one of my favorite manufacturers is a Korean one – Morning Glory – I always use any chance I get to buy them. I was lucky enough to have found one but, after buying that particular notebook, I noticed everything inside was written in Korean language. I couldn’t find translation online because at that time I had no idea how to use Korean keyboard. Then it occurred to me I could find somebody from Korea on the pen pal site and ask for their help. It seemed like a nice conversation starter.
One of the people I found was Kimchi Man. His profile warned that he might not be an interesting person and that his English is pretty bad. I still don’t know why I replied to such a profile. Maybe I liked his picture more than I am ready to admit :D But he turned out to be the most interesting person I have ever met and his English was just fine.
While other people tried to make themselves appear as amazing as possible in their profiles, he seemed to have been doing the opposite. But this modesty is something I find really cute and charming. When we got to know each other better, we were surprised how similar we are. At first we jokingly threated that we have a culture shock in store for one another, but it has been a year and a half and no culture shock in sight.
We faithfully wrote a message to each other every day, exchanged photographs of what we saw during our day, then talked, and after just for a few months he flew half-way across the world to meet me. That was the first time we met face to face, a bit over a year ago. I am not sure why, but we both trusted each other completly. And that trust has certainly paid off.
We would still like to warn people about meeting in person someone they previously only had contact with online. Be careful. If you doubt if you can trust them, you probably can’t. Make sure you get to know them well before agreeing to meet. Don’t be shy to ask them a photo of their passport, driver’s licence, or if they told you they graduated – diploma. You need to make sure they’ve been truthful about everythint. Your safety is important and if they like you they should understand that. We didn’t really do this one, but it’s always best to bring a friend along when meeting for the first time and meet in a public place.
We hope you liked our story. We are looking forward to more questions.
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24 thoughts on “[Q&A] How to meet South Koreans”
what site did you pen pal on…i want to learn more korean and would like to teach it in return…all the sites i have been to u have to pay. :(
We used http://www.interpals.net/ . It is completely free, has good options for writing a descriptive profile and every user can specify which languages they know and which ones they would like to learn. There is also a special ‘Language Exchange’ section of that site.
I WILL BE CHECKING THIS OUT TODAY…I REALLY WANT TO LEARN KOREAN HANGUL…I CAN READ IT, AND KIND OF WRITE IT…I DONT WANT WHAT I AM READING THOUGH! LOL
Thank you for sharing your story! Reading about it makes me feel less alone about my situation. I am fascinated by it because I have also met someone through an online penpal site who happens to be Korean and originally from Korea. My initial intentions on the site were just to make friends where we could exchange our culture and language. Eventually it lead to chatting on instant messenger. After chatting with him a few times over a span of several months, he ‘confessed’ to me and a week later used ‘I love you’, although I had my doubts about him truly liking me because we only chatted sporadically (about every other week). It’s been over a year since meeting online and recently he has mentioned wanting to meet me, despite us living very far from each other (he seemed more serious than usual). We are both not living in Korea (I don’t want to disclose the precise location because I want to retain anonymity). Most of the time it seems like he is just joking, but this time it seems he might be real. He began to talk about marriage and such things. I’m beginning to think that maybe him liking me was sincere, since he brought up (in my opinion) such a serious topic. I like him too, but because I have never met him in person, I feel nervous. I have met other online friends in real life before, but that’s because we were just friends and nothing more (no emotional attachments).
I would just like some insight on what your thoughts are about forming a relationship online and about the discussion of marriage like this. Do you think he is serious if he has waited this long to bring up this topic? And how much weight should I put on the words “I love you”? I have not told him those words because to me it carries a lot of weight before I can say it to someone.
Was there anything you did to prepare for your meeting in person?
Thank you again for having this site, I think it will be a great help to many people.
Thank you for such nice words about our site. It truly makes us happy that someone finds it helpful :)
We will think about your questions a bit and write a post, probably in a 3-4 days from now. We are just curious, did you two just chat so far or also talk (hear each other’s voices)?
So far we have only chatted. I was going to make it a next step to hear his voice, because I think it’s important to listen for certain cues. I mentioned to him about wanting to hear his voice some day and he didn’t seem hesitant, so I was relieved about that. At the same time he didn’t act on my request but told me I could call him anytime. It just seems so much harder for an online relationship to work -__-;; and I’m a bit hesitant to pursue it, but at the same time I don’t want to miss out on something that could’ve been. Thanks and please, take as much time as you need to respond.
We answered your question here Is Korean man’s online love true?. Hope it helps :)
Hi like u
wow I was touch by your story and it looks like a fairytale story.. thanks for sharing. hope he was the guy who deserves you..
I’m lucky to have him. :)
um…How to meet Korea guys…um……I’m a korea guy..so : )
if u are intereted in me, contact me.
Me too :)
hi, im lilyvie from the philippines.i need friends in korea.:) may i know you, i like korea very much , there’s people , movie , music , food and so on. i am the fan of korea.
Hi, Lilyvie. I’m European, sorry :)
hey i wanna met a boy from korea <3
I want to meet korean girls and boys
i want to invite any friend from europe
i just want have a korean boyfriend but i don’t know how so i didn’t understand this website means
Hi im ashley from philippines I want to make friends with koreans. I want to know more about korea because i really love that country.
you can contact me at Kakao my ID is ashmin12345
Hope that person is willing to have a voice chat or video call. but its okay if not.
Have a nice day!
hoping for a reply♡
There is an another app and website that I’ve known.
Mostly Korean univ. students.
looks like an meeting up with korean university students. but I think other differences is that traveling with them in the Seoul city as private. some payment is needed.
Of course, there is a walking tour and having just one cup of coffee with them for free. It’s a good idea to travel real koreans, not a guide.
go and check out if you interested in meet up with Koreans.
It looks pretty fun experience