8 Places to Find a Korean Penpal Online

Korean chatbots are great for practicing the language, but nothing beats having a human Korean penpal.

Lucky for you, the internet saves you the trouble of having to cast a message in a bottle out to sea and wait for it to wash up on Jeju Island.

If you’re looking for someone who can help you massively improve your Korean skills, look no further than these eight resources for finding the perfect Korean penpal.


1. HelloTalk


Price: Free (with in-app purchases)

Available on: iOS | Android

HelloTalk is a chat app that supports over 150 languages, including Korean.

You have plenty of filtering options to help you narrow down your potential Korean penpals. Not only can you filter by language, but if you’re a VIP user, you can also filter by nationality, location, age and more.

While HelloTalk is for chatting and language exchanges in general, you can also go for a more traditional, text-based penpal relationship. There are even grammar and translation tools to help you ensure your written Korean is on point.

However, if you want to work some speaking and listening skills into the mix, HelloTalk also offers voice and video calls for a well-rounded, interactive learning experience.

If you want to know more about what HelloTalk has to offer, check out this review.

2. Hi! Penpal!


Price: Free

Available on: WebsiteAndroid

Hi! Penpal! is a free website that connects users from all over the world but focuses on helping people find penpals that speak Chinese, Japanese, Korean and English.

The site offers helpful search features, allowing you to filter by gender, age range, nationality, location, language and whether the profile includes a picture. You can search by just one or two criteria, or select all of them to further narrow your candidate field. Even if you’re only interested in a penpal who lives in Korea and speaks Korean, you’ll still have hundreds of matches to filter.

Once you’ve selected someone you might be interested in, take a look at their profile for more details. Many users include a photo, a brief bio, what religion they practice and what field they work in. If you want to connect with them, all you have to do is email your prospective penpal through the site.

3. Global Penfriends


Price: Free (but there’s an option to upgrade)

Available on: Website

If you want an easy way to search for Korean penpals who share your interests or communication preferences, Global Penfriends is a great option.

Without logging in, searching options are significantly limited—you can only filter by age, gender, country and region. Once you create a free account, though, your options explode, adding the ability to search by religion, language and more.

You can even search by interests, giving you an easy way to find someone with whom you can easily chat about your favorite topics. Plus, you can also filter by correspondence preferences (i.e., whether you’re looking for an online friendship or a snail mail correspondence).

To let other users know you’re interested in becoming a penpal, you can send them a “smile.”

4. PenpalsNow


Price: Free

Available on: Website

Do all those penpal filters give you a headache? Don’t worry—PenpalsNow won’t overwhelm you with too many options. All you need to do is search by gender, age and/or country to start browsing penpals.

Descriptions list each user’s name, age range, gender and a quick bio. Unlike many other penpal websites, this one allows you to instantly access your potential penpal’s email address so you can start writing right away.

To make it even more convenient, search results are organized by the date they were last modified, so your top search results will be people who are more likely to be actively seeking penpals at the moment.

5. Students of the World


Price: Free

Available on: Website

Students of the World is designed to be a kid-friendly website, but adults can join their list of Korean penpals, too. This might be an especially great option if you’re a teenager or young adult looking to correspond with someone your own age in a safe environment.

You can filter by gender, age, hobbies and/or languages. Many users also list personal preferences like favorite colors, animals, sports and more.

To contact a user through the website’s mail system, you have to create a free account. However, some users also list their Instagram handles and/or KakaoTalk IDs for additional contact options.

6. My Language Exchange


Price: Free

Available on: Website

As its name suggests, My Language Exchange is mostly a language exchange site. However, you can also use it to reach out to potential penpals from South Korea. Best of all, it’s free to use—just create a member account.

To date, there are over 60,000 South Korean users on this site, so you’ll never run out of options for potential penpals. The profiles include information on the users’ current location (city and country), native language, practicing language (i.e., the language they want to learn) and a brief description. Some of them include profile pictures, while others go with the default smiley face.

You have the option to communicate with the users via text or voice chat. To contact them, just click on their name.

7. PenPal World


Price: Free (VIP memberships available)

Available on: Website

PenPal World is a website that’s been around for a while and has over 3 million users from all over the world to date. What’s particularly notable about this one is its enhanced safety features—minors can block adult users, while everyone can block specific users or even entire countries.

You can filter users according to country, age range, gender, whether they’re in a “couple” or not, type of user (e.g., VIP members) and whether the profile has photos, text, a username (usernames will be in the form of numbers by default) or is looking for someone who matches your profile.

You can order the profiles by their last login date and choose the number of entries to be displayed per page, making it easier and faster to search for active users that match your requirements.

8. Polyglot Club


Price: Free (VIP memberships available)

Available on: Website

Like some of the websites already mentioned, Polyglot Club is a language exchange and penpal portal rolled into one. As of this writing, they have nearly 5,500 members from South Korea.

Because Polyglot Club is specifically geared toward language learners, you can filter users according to the languages they teach (i.e., the languages they’re fluent in) and the languages they want to learn (plus their fluency level in those languages).

If you want to further filter your search results, click “Advanced Search” to narrow down potential penpals according to the chat software they use (e.g., Skype), gender, age range, number of trust points, whether they have a profile picture and whether they can offer you a home in case you want to drop by the country. 

How to Find the Perfect Korean Penpal

Take interests into account. Everyone is unique and has their own sets of interests. Finding a penpal whose interests match yours will ensure you never run out of things to discuss. Plus, it will make your exchanges much more fun and engaging.

Use the language learning platform FluentU to find subjects to write about. 

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

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Consider connecting with several penpals to see who you click with. Sometimes, you might not click with someone even if you have shared interests. Your communication styles might be different, or you might not like each other as much as you hoped. Starting out with several penpals increases your chances of finding someone you can get along with. After all, long-term friendship isn’t something you can force overnight, so don’t be afraid to take it slow in the beginning.

Share your expectations/goals with each other. Doing so will help ensure that your needs are compatible. For instance, you might want to discuss why you’re learning Korean, what sort of progress you hope to make and how often you hope to correspond. After all, if you want frequent exchanges and your penpal only wants an occasional email, it could lead to an awkward situation.


Language exchange is a two-way street, so be considerate, honest and polite—and of course, just make sure to exercise the same common-sense caution you would in any other situation that involves interacting with strangers online.

So get to work! Your perfect Korean penpal is waiting.

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