Seoul City has introduced the “Foreigners’ Happy Call” service in order to provide a broad range of information covering daily life in Seoul and professional counseling for foreign residents in the city, at the 120 Dasan Call Center, and is seeking applicants for the service.
The targeted beneficiaries of the service include multicultural families and foreign migrant workers in the city. The program will be offered in the five foreign languages with which the 120 Dasan Call Center provides its foreign language counseling service. To apply for the new service, one can directly dial 120 or visit the 120 Dasan Call Center’s website (http://120.seoul.go.kr/foreign/english.html). Applications can also be submitted at one of the city’s twenty-three Multicultural Family Support Centers and seven Seoul City Migrant Workers’ Centers.
Since its introduction of 120 in February last year, the 120 Dasan Call Center has completed an average of over 300 high quality counseling calls per day via its automatic response system (ARS) No. 9 in five languages (English, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Mongolian), and has emerged as a “helper” of foreigners’ adaptation to Seoul life.
The 120 Dasan Call Center expects the Happy Call service will provide information not only on living in Seoul – including transportation, tourism, convenience facilities, education and medical facilities -but also on immigration, visa and labor issues, as well as an interpretation service, thereby helping foreigners to address every conceivable difficulty in their daily life. When an applicant requires professional counseling, the new service will accordingly notify a Multicultural Family Support Center or Seoul City Migrants Workers Center near the applicant’s residence and ask it to provide secondary counseling.
Since January 26, twenty foreign language counselors at the center have been providing the Happy Call service to foreigners who dial the 120 Dasan Call Center to ask for the service, as part of the systematic preparatory work to launch the program in earnest. The city has provided the counseling service to 279 people on more than 600 occasions as of late March, through communities of foreign spouses married to Koreans, or by visiting foreign communities such as Mongolia Town.