If you’ve been following my blog posts or youtube channel, you would probably realize that I make posts about my WOW Korea trips. I haven’t had a chance to actually write a post about what the program is all about because (1) I wasn’t really sure what was it about until I joined the trips and (2) I was writing other travel related posts. So.. I am finally writing about what is WOW Korea Supporters.
What is WOW Korea Supporters? and How I Found Out About It
WOW Korea Supporters is an official organisation that supports Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) in their effort to promote Korea tourism to the rest of the world through Social Network Services (SNS) like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.
Each year, the managers will recruit international students studying in Korea for a 5 – 8 months program to be SNS reporters (or as they call “supporters”). Normally, the program starts in May and ends in December but this year, they started in August – which is why I was able to join the team!
Honestly, I never heard of the program before this. I came to know about it by following KTO Singapore’s facebook page. During the recruitment period, they posted about WOW Korea Supporters on their page and after reading about it, I thought it was perfect for me! The participation time period was just right since I will only be in Korea from August to December, the interview will be on a day when I am already in Seoul, I was already planning to blog and share my experiences in Korea and also, I wanted to travel to less known places in Korea. I wasn’t expecting much but thank God I got into the program! 😀
What do I need to do as a Supporter?
As supporters, we are taken on monthly “field trips” to various cities in Korea for 3 days and 2 nights. Everything is planned and paid for including transportation, accommodation, meals, entrance fees – literally everything! You just need to pack your bags and meet at the designated time and place as announced 🙂
In return, we need to write reviews and make SNS content about the trip and share it on our personal SNS accounts with our friends. There will be “missions” given during the trip at each location we visit. Some of it are individual missions and some are group missions which you will need to do with other supporters (groups are usually assigned before each trip). For example, in our trip to Andong last month, we visited KBS drama set and our group mission was to create a short drama.
There are also missions that we will need to finish by a certain deadline in between the trips. Usually, we will be given 3 topics to choose from. An example of a mission I wrote for this is my blog post about Night Snacks. The theme will be different each time and if you are writing a blog anyway, it won’t be too much work.
All content will be “evaluated” and you get chances to win cool prizes if you create the best content or participate in other events. The managers will also use our content (photos, videos, write-ups) for their facebook page and blog to reach more people in SNS.
Life as a Supporter
During all the fun field trips you get to go as a supporter, you will experience a variety of activities from cooking Korean dishes, arts and craft, sightseeing to being a bride (groom) and bridesmaid of a Korean Wedding Ceremony! There’s always something to look forward to in each trip. That being said, it can also be quite exhausting as our days are packed with activities due to the time constraint. We normally go to 2 -3 cities per trip!
It’s also pretty exciting to meet other fellow country mates in a foreign land. The 5 other Indonesians in WOW Korea Supporters group are the few rare Indonesians whom I know in Korea.
Besides meeting your fellow country mates, you get to meet other friends from many other countries. This year we have people from Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and Bangladesh. It’s an opportunity to learn about other cultures since you’ll be travelling in such a diverse group!
How to be a Supporter?
First you need to fulfill certain criterias before you can register:
- Be an international student residing in Korea
- Nationales of an Asian or Middle-Eastern country, except China and Japan (a separate supporters program is available)
- Have a SNS account, obviously
- Speaks English
If you are eligible, you can register through the form that will be posted on WOW Korea Supporters’ official Facebook page – make sure to like and follow the page to know when exactly the registration opens :).
As part of the initial registration, you will need to give them a link of a post in your social media account that promotes a place in Korea or Korea in general. Since I am an exchange student and I was not in Korea at that time, I just edited my old facebook photo album that I uploaded after a holiday in Korea 2 years ago and submitted that.
TIP: Some details that will be good to include in the post is the name of the place, location, opening hours (if any), how to get there, what to do there and how much is the entrance fee (if any).
After the registration closes, the managers will announce on their facebook page who are the applicants who made it to the second and last round of recruitment, group interviews. They will also send out an email to those who are invited to the interview regarding the timing and venue. My interview was located in their office near COEX, Samseong Station.
It would be advantage for you if you can speak Korean because some parts of the interview was in Korean (the full time international students in Korea can speak Korean pretty fluently!) but if you can’t the managers will translate the questions to English and you can answer it in English. I wasn’t comfortable enough with my Korean so I answered all the questions in English too even though the other 2 people who were interviewed with me spoke mostly in Korean HAHA!
They asked pretty normal questions like what do you think a good supporter would be like, what do you understand about the program and if you can attend the opening ceremony and field trip. Nothing very hard to answer, just be as calm as you can.
The results of the interview came out one day after the interview via email together with details about the opening ceremony and first field trip that happened in 2 days after the announcement. Everything happened pretty fast! After I found out I got in, I had to prepare to travel to Busan and Ulsan in 2 days – much excitement!
I would highly recommend registering for this program if you are eligible especially if you are on exchange. It really plays a huge part in making my exchange journey very very memorable 🙂 If you have any more questions about the program, leave me a comment and I’ll try to answer them.
Read more about my adventures with Wow Korea Supporters 2016 here.
All photos are from WOW Korea Supporters 2016.
This post is just my view about the program, it may change every year – for the most updated registration process, refer to their official Facebook page linked in this post.