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Poll: If you had to live in one of these cities, which would you choose?
Berlin
Seoul
Tokyo
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Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
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Kelent Offline
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Post: #1
Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
I'm considering the possibility of going abroad for a semester for a study abroad type of thing. I have the choices of Tokyo, Berlin, and Seoul. Three cities I would love to live in on paper. As you can imagine I'm a little conflicted on where to go. I'd like to learn more about them outside of preconceptions (ie Tokyo is a metropolis, Berlin has a huge art scene, Seoul is bleak but neon lights make it fun).

Given that accommodation is provided, I'm looking at spending maybe $5,000 over 4-5 months, which I'll have at minimum saved from spring and summer. Is this reasonable?

How are these cities in terms of getting around without a car? I know they all have extensive metro systems but the fact is not every metro is made equal. If there's any information from people who've lived long term (or longer than a few weeks) in any of the cities I'd love to see the datasheets/relevant posts, haven't come across many.

In terms of Seoul and Tokyo, I'm very interested in learning the languages and culture, but don't really know how receptive they are to foreigners. I've heard everything from Seoul clubs banning foreigners on the level that Japan's "no gaijin allowed" shops do, to student areas in Seoul being great for foreigners (is Itaewon a student area or just foreigners?).

Similar things have been said about Tokyo, but in Toyko's defense it is the biggest metropolis in the world and I don't think can be generalized that heavily.


Advice, datasheets, constructive criticism is very appreciated.

Edit: Forgot to mention, I tend to lean towards night game and have a preference for Middle Eastern and East Asian women.
(This post was last modified: 09-20-2018 10:16 PM by Kelent.)
09-20-2018 10:05 PM
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Cam Newton Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
I’ve never been to Souel or Tokyo, so I can’t compare them. However I think Berlin is probably the least risky for a 4-5 month time period. If you aren’t a huge fan of Tokyo/Seoul after a few weeks and are stuck there, it could be disappointing for the remainder of the time.

Berlin has plenty of nightlife options (although it’s fairly spread-out), is easy for English speakers, and is culturally very similar to the Anglo-sphere. It should also be very easy to meet your classmates as well as other young expats and travelers.
(This post was last modified: 09-21-2018 01:07 AM by Cam Newton.)
09-21-2018 01:07 AM
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atlant Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
Berlin is a godforsaken shithole.
09-21-2018 01:38 AM
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Que enspastic Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
Timing of 4-5 month Period is important. Berlin Oct-Feb is shit vs May-Sep
09-21-2018 01:47 AM
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Kelent Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
Eh, I kinda like the winter, but I can definitely imagine it's not the best for picking up from summer tourists.
09-21-2018 01:59 AM
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Kelent Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
@Cam Newton
I do see Berlin more as the "safe" option. I've been to Central Europe and my family has some event around the same time so, were I to choose Berlin, it wouldn't be the worst of times.

But at the same time I kind of feel like Tokyo and Seoul have a "time limit" for entering without being an English teacher. It could just be in my head but I feel it's a lot easier to touchdown in Europe with work or for travel after university than it is East Asia or even SEA to some degree.

With regard to how I mentioned money, would $5000 USD/5 months be enough considering I won't be paying for rent?
(This post was last modified: 09-21-2018 02:05 AM by Kelent.)
09-21-2018 02:05 AM
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EEnomad Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
@Kelent: Tokyo will be pricey, you have to watch your budget. Seoul you will have more flexibility in spending. Berlin is no problem on that budget.
09-22-2018 09:37 PM
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Kelent Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
@EEnomad thanks for the info! Is it still possible to go to Tokyo as a working professional (basically 23+) without being an English teacher? I went for a week and absolutely loved my time there but can't really afford it at the moment :/. Would be fine as an English teacher but other options are preferable
09-22-2018 10:53 PM
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Mark87 Online
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Post: #9
RE: Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
Please, don't go to Berlin! It's a shit place.

The best German citys are Munich, Cologne and Dusseldorf.
Unfortunately I've no experiences with Seoul or Tokyo.
But I would choose Tokyo because the Japanese are more open to foreigners than the Koreans.
09-23-2018 02:35 AM
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zamfir112 Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
Tokyo is really expensive.Berlin is the cheapest of the 3.Japan is very hard for gaming unless you have golden hair and look exotic
09-23-2018 03:13 AM
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semibaron Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
In my opinion, all 3 options are shit.

Tokyo has the most pleasant winter, but is also the most expensive. As long as accommodation is provided, it doesn't matter that much were you go financially. Berlin is a fully international city with lots of English Speakers. It's as Western as it gets. So, choose Berlin if you want something familiar, or Seoul / Tokyo if you want something new.

Now pick your poison.
09-23-2018 04:21 AM
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JWLZG Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
(09-20-2018 10:05 PM)Kelent Wrote:  Given that accommodation is provided, I'm looking at spending maybe $5,000 over 4-5 months, which I'll have at minimum saved from spring and summer. Is this reasonable?

In Berlin, you'll be living very comfortably on US$1k per month excluding accommodation. Might struggle in Tokyo though.

(09-20-2018 10:05 PM)Kelent Wrote:  How are these cities in terms of getting around without a car? I know they all have extensive metro systems but the fact is not every metro is made equal. If there's any information from people who've lived long term (or longer than a few weeks) in any of the cities I'd love to see the datasheets/relevant posts, haven't come across many.

I relied heavily on a car back in my hometown but didn't lack for one after moving to Berlin. Practically everyone rides a bike and the tube is extremely reliable for a Western city. Tokyo is slightly less cycleable but the metro is almost futuristic in quality.


(09-20-2018 10:05 PM)Kelent Wrote:  In terms of Seoul and Tokyo, I'm very interested in learning the languages and culture, but don't really know how receptive they are to foreigners. I've heard everything from Seoul clubs banning foreigners on the level that Japan's "no gaijin allowed" shops do, to student areas in Seoul being great for foreigners (is Itaewon a student area or just foreigners?).

Never came across such shops in Tokyo.

(09-20-2018 10:05 PM)Kelent Wrote:  Edit: Forgot to mention, I tend to lean towards night game and have a preference for Middle Eastern and East Asian women.

In Berlin you can literally go out 7 nights a week, non-stop. The mood takes a nosedive in winter but it doesn't stop people from hitting the clubs. I found Tokyo's winter to be less depressing for some reason.

Don't bother coming to Berlin for East Asian women. There are a handful here but their quality (specifically) sucks dogs balls.
09-23-2018 05:17 AM
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Kelent Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
(09-23-2018 05:17 AM)JWLZG Wrote:  
(09-20-2018 10:05 PM)Kelent Wrote:  Given that accommodation is provided, I'm looking at spending maybe $5,000 over 4-5 months, which I'll have at minimum saved from spring and summer. Is this reasonable?

In Berlin, you'll be living very comfortably on US$1k per month excluding accommodation. Might struggle in Tokyo though.

(09-20-2018 10:05 PM)Kelent Wrote:  How are these cities in terms of getting around without a car? I know they all have extensive metro systems but the fact is not every metro is made equal. If there's any information from people who've lived long term (or longer than a few weeks) in any of the cities I'd love to see the datasheets/relevant posts, haven't come across many.

I relied heavily on a car back in my hometown but didn't lack for one after moving to Berlin. Practically everyone rides a bike and the tube is extremely reliable for a Western city. Tokyo is slightly less cycleable but the metro is almost futuristic in quality.


(09-20-2018 10:05 PM)Kelent Wrote:  In terms of Seoul and Tokyo, I'm very interested in learning the languages and culture, but don't really know how receptive they are to foreigners. I've heard everything from Seoul clubs banning foreigners on the level that Japan's "no gaijin allowed" shops do, to student areas in Seoul being great for foreigners (is Itaewon a student area or just foreigners?).

Never came across such shops in Tokyo.

(09-20-2018 10:05 PM)Kelent Wrote:  Edit: Forgot to mention, I tend to lean towards night game and have a preference for Middle Eastern and East Asian women.

In Berlin you can literally go out 7 nights a week, non-stop. The mood takes a nosedive in winter but it doesn't stop people from hitting the clubs. I found Tokyo's winter to be less depressing for some reason.

Don't bother coming to Berlin for East Asian women. There are a handful here but their quality (specifically) sucks dogs balls.

So what kind of women would you say generally go to Berlin? I know East Asian women in Berlin might not be the best quality, but there are exceptions to that rule right?


Glad to know that 1k/mo would be living comfortably. There's also an option I've been mulling to go to Shanghai but tbh I don't know how I'd deal with pollution, so I'm not seriously considering it.


What would you say surprised you about Berlin?
09-23-2018 02:14 PM
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JWLZG Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
(09-23-2018 02:14 PM)Kelent Wrote:  So what kind of women would you say generally go to Berlin? I know East Asian women in Berlin might not be the best quality, but there are exceptions to that rule right?

In terms of background, comers of literally evey colour and race, plus a few you'd never heard of, move to Berlin, some more than others. EA's are more than one might think — more than Edinburgh, but less than NYC. Don't get me wrong, I've seen a few WB's, but I don't recall seeing many of them in the 8-9 range; probably try a uni campus.

(09-23-2018 02:14 PM)Kelent Wrote:  Glad to know that 1k/mo would be living comfortably. There's also an option I've been mulling to go to Shanghai but tbh I don't know how I'd deal with pollution, so I'm not seriously considering it.

LOL. You'd eventually end up feeding off scraps trying to get by on US$1K p/m in Shanghai.


(09-23-2018 02:14 PM)Kelent Wrote:  What would you say surprised you about Berlin?

Probably the fact that there's something for almost every niche over here. I was amazed at how many twentysomething-looking attractive mums there are here, pushing prams.
09-24-2018 08:00 AM
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Kelent Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Options of Berlin, Seoul, or Tokyo for 4-5 months
(09-24-2018 08:00 AM)JWLZG Wrote:  In terms of background, comers of literally evey colour and race, plus a few you'd never heard of, move to Berlin, some more than others. EA's are more than one might think — more than Edinburgh, but less than NYC. Don't get me wrong, I've seen a few WB's, but I don't recall seeing many of them in the 8-9 range; probably try a uni campus.

....

LOL. You'd eventually end up feeding off scraps trying to get by on US$1K p/m in Shanghai.

....

Probably the fact that there's something for almost every niche over here. I was amazed at how many twentysomething-looking attractive mums there are here, pushing prams.

Nice, glad to know there's some pretty good variety in Berlin, even things others might not know about or consider! I'm very partial to East Asians but would be fine to have a girl from most backgrounds, just haven't had the best experiences with American girlfriends in the past so thought I'd make the preference known.


I figured as much, Shanghai seems to be extremely expensive, I had thought though that being a student some things might be cheaper or more reliably underpriced than in the West.


Berlin's art scene and general vibe does seem attractive. I've wondered though and am not sure if you could really give me a read but how is Seoul in comparison? I've heard Seoul has a decent underground art scene/club scene provided you know where to look in the city. I'm big into different varieties of metal, and house music/"EDM".
09-24-2018 07:53 PM
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