During the first two months of 2016, the ECCK President Jean-Christophe Darbes will be making weekly contributions to Maekyung Business News opinion column. Each week, the Chamber will share the published article as well as its English translation. Please click here to access President Darbes’ first article and read below for the English version: To Live in Korea As Korea is becoming more globalized, it seems increasingly common to see expats around workplaces and neighbourhoods. For many of us, Korea is a unique country that offers a lot of pleasant experiences we never thought of enjoying. Koreans have built a dynamic and at the same time comfortable living environment, which is so addictive that you feel its impact (when you go back home). For one thing, Koreans are very demanding customers who ask for the highest quality of services in every kind. It is quite a tall order to meet for service providers, but once you get accustomed to being taken care of, it’s hard go without it. Although expats feel not so easy to understand a strong focus on “we”, group dynamics, and a hierarchy, it also signifies a strong sense of unity and social harmony. Despite certain drawbacks, there is no doubt that the tradition embedded in Korean lives has been a driving force for the country’s development. For this reason, I believe, more and more foreign residents find attractive Korea’s cultural and societal environment and even decide to cast their anchor in the country. One of my acquaintances, also a French CEO, has decided to quit his position to avoid his transfer to other country and found a lower position at a different company to stay longer in Korea. A more emotional story, recently published in France, is a tale of an old soldier who fought in the Korean War. He left Korea long time ago, but somehow held his affections to its people all his life. A few years ago, he met a Korean singer in Paris by chance. Being reminded of everything he cherished about Korea, he wished to be buried in the country when he died in 2013. His body was carried to Korea and buried to respect his last wishes. Not all expats are happy residents, however, because some of them look for exactly what they wanted in their home countries. Such an attitude makes their stay in Korea unhappy, but also brings about tension with his/her colleagues and neighbours. I’ve learned how to get the best out of your foreign experience, for I’m an expat in my whole life; having lived in tens of countries including France, the UK, Morocco, Gabon, the West Indies, Ivory Coast, South Africa, and Korea since 2009. Respect for tradition, culture, and people, and interest in your surroundings are key to a happy expat life. Koreans have long been preoccupied with how to apply global standards to the Korean society and how they look to outsiders. However, they have built and cultivated a wonderful country of which they should proud. Perhaps it is right time foreigners should make more effort to understand it, enjoy it, and live with it. Indeed, there is no ideal country for expats; but ideal expats who learn and enjoy his stay in their home outside home.