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An introduction to Busan’s support programs for foreign residents


Busan Metropolitan City offers a wide range of programs and services aimed at fostering a multicultural society and helping foreign residents adapt to the local community.

Some 55,000 foreign nationals live in Busan, and the foreign population is growing. As such, there are ongoing efforts to establish new systems and expand existing support to help foreign residents settle more effectively.

Here are the current and forthcoming foreign resident support services offered by Busan City:

1. Award-winning medical interpretation

The Busan Foreign Residents Center provides in-house interpretation services at the Busan Medical Center, one of the largest general hospitals in the region. Foreign nationals can receive professional medical interpretation in Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, Filipino and English. Only one language option is available per day, depending on the scheduled interpreters. The service is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Reservations are not required.

The Ministry of the Interior and Safety recognized the initiative as the country’s best practice in supporting foreign residents.

 ◎ Busan Medical Center: 359 World cup-daero, Yeonje-gu

2. Full-service interpretation and translation

Since 2012, the city has provided free interpretation and translation assistance to foreign residents. Volunteers can translate documents or accompany residents to government offices and public hospitals.

The service is provided by the Busan Foreign Residents Center in 16 languages and the Busan Global City Foundation in 12 languages. Advanced booking is required.

Visit each organization’s official website for more information.

 ◎ Busan Foreign Residents Center:

 ◎ Busan Global City Foundation:

3. English-Friendly financial services

BNK Busan Bank will launch an English-friendly priority counter at three branches: BNK Busan Bank Head Office in Nam-gu, the Haeundae Financial Center in Haeundae-gu and the Gwangan-dong Financial Center in Suyeong-gu.

BNK Busan Bank is currently screening qualified staff who are proficient in English in order to provide easy and convenient banking to foreign residents. The bank plans to expand the initiative to areas of the city that have a high concentration of foreign students and workers.

 ◎ BNK Busan Bank Head Office: 30 Munhyeongeumyung-ro, Nam-gu

 ◎ Haeundae Financial Center: 35-1 Jungdong 1-ro, Haeundae-gu

 ◎ Gwangan-dong Financial Center: 4 Suyeong-ro 618beon-gil, Suyeong-gu