Cultural Differences Between The USA vs South Korea

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

The way that people in South Korea and the United States view culture is vastly different. There are many factors, but one of the biggest ones is religion. Religion has a huge impact on how people live their lives and what they believe in. The two religions practiced most in these countries are Christianity and Buddhism, with about 51% of the population practicing Christianity and 38% practicing Buddhism (CIA). 

South Korea’s population practices Buddhism at an extremely high rate while America’s population practices Christianity more than any other religion. This leads to some drastic differences between these two cultures including beliefs, family life, work ethic, etc. For example, Buddhists traditionally believe that everything must be done for the good of all beings whereas Christians generally believe that everything should be done for their good.

Are you considering traveling to or living in South Korea? If so, it’s important to be aware of some of the cultural differences between this country and the United States. In South Korea, for example, hierarchical relationships are very important, and people are expected to behave in a certain manner according to their social status. There is also a strong emphasis on collectivism and group work, as opposed to individualism. So if you’re planning on doing business in South Korea or interacting with locals, it’s helpful to understand these cultural norms.

Comparison between Cultural Differences Between the USA and South Korea

Parameters of ComparisonUSA cultureSouth Korean culture
Shake handsShake handsDo not shake hands
Prayer timeDo not bowheadsBowheads
Hi –helloUse hi-helloDo not use hi- hello
FriendlyLess friendlyMore friendly
CordialLess cordialMore cordial

What is USA culture?

As an international student in the United States, one of the most common questions I am asked is “what is USA culture?” This is a difficult question to answer because USA culture can vary greatly depending on where you are in the country. However, some general things characterize USA culture. First, Americans are highly individualistic and believe in the principle of self-reliance. They also have a strong work ethic and are known for being extremely innovative. Additionally, Americans are patriotic and value freedom and democracy. Finally, they tend to be very religious (though this varies regionally) and tend to be conservative concerning social issues. Altogether, these traits make up what is often called the “American way of life.” While not everyone in the United States embodies all of these traits, they are generally considered to be typical of American culture.

If you’re thinking about moving to the United States, it’s important to understand the culture first. This guide will give you an overview of some key aspects of American culture so that you can start adjusting to life in the U.S. ahead of time. Keep in mind that there is no one “American” culture; instead, there are many different regional and subcultural variations. However, some of the most common aspects of USA culture include a strong focus on individualism and self-reliance, a love of sports and outdoor activities, and a preference for fast-paced lifestyles.

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What is South Korean culture?

South Korean culture is a complex, multifaceted phenomenon that can be difficult to understand. This blog post will explore the different aspects of South Korean culture and how it has evolved since its independence in 1948. 

What are some of the most important aspects of South Korea’s culture? What makes them unique from other countries? How did they evolve? In this post, I’ll answer these questions and more about this fascinating country.

South Korean culture is a dynamic mix of many different cultural influences, from Confucianism and Buddhism to Westernization. It’s also a country with a rich history that has been shaped by its geography. Read on for an overview of South Korean culture.

It’s the birthplace of kimchi! We all know what kimchi tastes like but if you’re not sure about other aspects of South Korea’s cuisine, here are some facts: The top 10 favorite dishes in Seoul include soup noodles (rayon), fried chicken (yakitori), tofu stew (tofu jjigae) and mixed rice dish with raw fish or beef (bibimbap). And while we’re talking about food, it’s worth mentioning that South Korea is one of the least obese countries in the world, and has one of the lowest obesity rates for women.

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10 Cultural Differences Between the USA and South Korea

1. In the USA, people are more likely to shake hands when they meet.

2. In South Korea, people bow their heads and clasp their hands together in a prayer-like pose.

3. Americans greet each other with “Hi” or “Hello”.

4. Koreans use phrases like “How have you been?” and What’s up. 

5. Korean culture is very polite- for example, it’s common to say “thank you” even if someone only got you a cup of coffee.

6. The American culture is much less formal than that of South Korea; for instance, students call teachers by first name here while they would never do so there.

7. the USA has a very diverse population, while South Korea is 98% ethnically Korean.

8. In the US, you can’t legally marry someone of the same sex; in South Korea, homosexuality is legal and accepted.

9. Americans are more likely to be religious than Koreans.

10. The US uses Fahrenheit for temperature readings; South Korea uses Celsius.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of USA culture?

1. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with 2.3 million people incarcerated.

2. There are more cows than people in Texas.

3. The average American drinks about 600 sodas per year.

4. One out of every eight Americans lives below the poverty line.

5. You can find a Starbucks on almost any corner.

6) More money is spent on pets than children’s clothing each year. 

7) 8% of all workers are employed by fast-food restaurants.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of South Korean culture

1. The name of South Korea translates to “The land where the morning calm comes from”.

2. Korean has no letter J, U, W, or Y.

3. Seoul is one of the most densely populated cities in the world with a population density of 25,000 people per square kilometer.

4. Koreans eat rice at every meal and it is considered a staple food that provides energy for their day-to-day lives.

5. In traditional Korean culture, age was determined by counting how many full moons had passed since birth – this changed after westerners introduced them to using years as an indicator.

6. To show respect for elders in Korean society all children are required to sit on the floor while eating meals rather than on chairs or tables.


The cultural differences between South Korea and the United States can be seen in many aspects of life, including education. For example, schools in the U.S. are typically built with classrooms that contain desks for each student to sit at while they learn; meanwhile, students in South Korea will often use large tables where everyone sits together around them or on mats on the floor during class time. These different approaches to learning reflect some of the ways that people from these two cultures view themselves as individuals versus members of a group.


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