image of Seoul skyline

Korea at a glance


Koreans have one language, spoken by more than 70.5 million Koreans living on the peninsula and in other parts of the world. While there are several dialects of Korean, speakers of different dialects have no trouble understanding one another. Please note that Korean language has a hierarchy and reflects your relationship with the person with whom you are speaking.


The entire country is located in the UTC+9 time zone and is fourteen hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (thirteen hours ahead during Daylight Savings Time). South Korea officially adheres to the Gregorian calendar, similarly to the U.S.; however, the traditional Korean calendar is lunisolar, some years including a leap month. Traditional holidays are generally still based on the traditional calendar, and older generations of Koreans will sometimes calculate their ages off the traditional calendar as well.


There are four distinct seasons. Overall, the climate is temperate. Winters are long, cold, and dry, and summers are short, hot, and humid. Spring and fall are both short and generally considered pleasant.


One of the G-20 economies, which collectively account for around 85% of the GWP, South Korea has a market economy and relies heavily on exports, including electronics, textiles, steel, to bolster its growth. South Korea has particular strengths in shipbuilding, the automotive industry, and the manufacturing of military equipment and technology.

More info

While this guide strives to present as much information as possible to enable the Emory community to better conduct research, service, and training programs in South Korea, it is not comprehensive.

For additional information regarding business, logistic, or infrastructure services in South Korea, contact Christine Rapalje, director of global services.