BUSAN, South Korea – Even in a crowded city like Busan, it can be quite difficult for Koreans and Expats to meet each other. The monthly “Busan English Party” now offers an opportunity for people of all nationalities to expand their social circles in an enjoyable and fun atmosphere.
The first party: Seoul, 2004
The original concept for these kinds of parties dates back to 2004, when Daniel Kim organized a monthly Korean/English gathering in Sinchon, Seoul. The party quickly became popular, and it is now the largest party of its kind in Seoul, with over 200 people (about 140 Koreans and 60 foreigners) attending every month.
Daniel’s online community now boasts more than 30,000 members. Koreans and foreigners of all ages mingle over beer and side-dishes in a large ‘Hof’ rented for the occasion. There is no structure to the event, and the party does not resemble a classroom in any way; the party is primarily about meeting new people and making new friends by interacting in English and/or Korean.
As the party in Sinchon grew bigger, people began asking for parties in other areas in Seoul: similar parties in Gangnam, Hongdae, and Hyehwa now also attract over 200 people every month. For more information, pictures, and directions, find us on Facebook and Meetup.
Bringing the party to Busan
As people from other cities occasionally attend the parties in Seoul, Daniel Kim decided to organize similar events in other cities such as Daegu and Gwangju,, starting with Busan.
Fred Seo, a long-time Busan resident, is now the organizer for the monthly Busan English party. On December 7, 2011, about 60 people gathered near KyungSung University (GK Fusion Soju & Hof) from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. for the first party of its kind in Busan.
The party went very well, and feedback on Facebook was very positive: “Last night was a great introduction to Busan, thanks! I hope I can go to the next one, too!” (Patricia S.); I had a great time last night!! Really good to meet some locals and some English speakers, too!! Great job putting on such an awesome party last night! (Brittany B.); “I really wanna go to the next party! (S.H. Jang); “I had a great time last night. Thank you guys” (W. D. Kim).