Like most Asian countries, Korea is an extremely safe country in which to live. Although the country has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world, murders are extremely rare and are shocking when they do occasionally occur. Korean culture is still deeply entrenched in the teachings of Confucianism, so theft and violent crime are virtually nonexistent – that being said, bikes disappear fairly easily, so it is important to keep them locked.
There have been isolated occurrences of women being raped, and having their apartments broken into, so always be sure to keep your doors locked – even when you’re home. As well, some men in Korea have an idealised vision of what a foreign women is and does. To many Koreans, Western women are extremely liberal, especially where sexuality is concerned. Many Korean men may, at first, have the wrong idea about Western women, but, when corrected, always apologise profusely if they think they have offended you. Koreans are extremely respectful people, and if they know you are living in Korea for professional reasons you will never have a problem. Odd instances are always easy to laugh off, as most men are genuinely unaware of the differences between the average Western woman and Britney Spears.
In case of an emergency, you can call 119 and there should always be an English speaking attendant on hand to assist you. As well, smaller police stations are located in every neighbourhood in Seoul, and it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the location closest to your residence.
On average, very few expats will ever find themselves in a dangerous situation. Both male and female expats feel extremely safe in Seoul and don’t mind living alone or being out alone at night.