Money Matters

The official currency of South Korea is the South Korean Won (KRW or W).

Even though it’s a developed country, travel to and in South Korea is relatively inexpensive. Students can easily live on a daily budget of W50,000 ($50 USD) a day or less.

You can exchange U.S. dollars for KRW many places, including hotels and tourist shops, however the exchange rate will be terrible. Look for a local bank with a “Foreign Exchange” or currency sign.

Making Purchases

The best way to make purchases in South Korea is with cash. Some vendors – especially hotels, shops and restaurants in tourist-friendly areas – will accept foreign cards, but many smaller shops and business don’t. Make sure to (safely) carry around plenty of cash.

ATMs

Though ATMs are plentiful in South Korea, they can be a bit difficult. Some only operate between 9am-10pm, and not all ATMs accept foreign cards. To use your U.S. credit/debit card to withdraw cash, you’ll need to find an ATM with a “Global” sign at the top of the logo of your credit card company.