Foreigners deserve betterForeigners say that it is very uncomfortable to live in Korea. Since Foreigners are not aware of local circumstance, people are not friendly and foreigners are frequently ripped off. When the Consumer Protection Board polled foreigners residing in Korea for more than three months (excluding illegal residents), 41 percent said they were disgruntled or had been mistreated when buying something. After being mistreated, 55 percent said they just gave up on their complaint.
Foreigners often pay more monthly rent than Koreans and some pay two years worth of rent in advance. They get lost easily because of a lack of foreign-language signs and worry of medical accidents at the hospital because they are afraid they will not be able to communicate with the doctor.
There are more than 530,000 people in Korea that have lived here for more than three months because of work, school or domestic circumstances.
If we add tourism, short-term business trips and illegal workers, there is a larger pool of people living with us.
Let’s think about what it will be like if they return to their mother countries with mistrust and hate in their hearts. It will have a boomerang effect on Korean businessmen and students who are abroad.
In this globalizing world, must we cut ourselves off through this exclusive attitude?
As it is, our country’s consumer prices are high, it is difficult to communicate, and basic facilities, such as foreign high schools, are insufficient. All these things turn foreigners off.
Since foreigners are mistreated and at a disadvantage, those that are here are about to leave. In order to be the hub of Northeast Asia, we must first create a good environment for foreigners to live in. That is just as important as getting rid of complicated regulations or stubborn bureaucracy.
The government established a five-year lifestyle environment plan in 2003 for foreigners, but no particular advances have been made. Japan has made a guide book that offers English emergency services. In Southeast Asia, civil servants teach foreigners how to make cheap phone calls abroad. The government should provide information in foreign languages and create a social system that has a window that redeems foreigners if they are cheated. It must realize that this world is no longer one in which only Koreans can live.
If we think of foreigners as suckers and rip them off, we will become loners in international society.