Think being a fan of k-pop is a walk in the park? We wish! Here are a few struggles that all international k-pop fans know a little too well and how to combat them.

seo in guk crying


The biggest issue of all time in an international k-pop fan’s life: no subtitles. There is nothing worse than no subs. Sure, you would love to know what B.A.P is saying as they go through outrageous tasks on hilarious variety shows, but alas no English subtitles has you trying to pick out certain words in Korean that you’ve heard before and staring helplessly at the screen. No subtitles are the worst of the worst, but when subtitles do become available, usually after a few hours, there’s nothing better!

dream high scene


The pain of when your favorite group announces new tour dates throughout Asia is too real, and is usually followed by a ridiculous amount of time spent googling flights to Seoul and agonizing over prices. The only solace for international fans are conventions like KCON — which has an incredible line up of artists like Shinee, BTS, Twice and Girls Generation this year — and the occasional tour that does make it stateside, like GOT7’s Fly tour this summer. While k-pop concerts can be few and far between, it makes seeing your favorite group that much more magical when you do get to see them. May the odds for getting hi-touch passes be ever in your favor.

scene from secret garden


Desperate to purchase EXO’s new album after reading our review? Or maybe you want to grab some merchandise to represent Seventeen or BIGBANG around town? The shipping price may surprise you. What seemed like an ordinary price for an album or two usually skyrockets when shipping is added, and it can take a bit of time for the package to travel halfway across the world to get to you. But, despite all obstacles, money and time, there is no better feeling than the one of utter excitement when your package full of Infinite posters, Mamamoo stickers, and BIGBANG teddy bears finally arrives. With the amount of adorable k-pop merchandise there is in the world, you’ll find yourself going through the cycle of moaning about prices followed by overwhelming excitement when the package does arrive more than once. Trust us.

kdrama scene


How often have you been about to go to sleep when all of a sudden your phone lights up to let you know that NCT has just started a broadcast on V App? Or tried staying up until three or four in the morning to see SISTAR perform their latest comeback? The sixteen-hour time difference between South Korea and California is no joke, but there is a silver lining to it: waking up the next morning to a YouTube subscription box full of videos of all of your favorite idols. Get your click on!

lee soon shin

Despite the struggles of no subtitles, the high cost of shipping, time zones constantly getting in the way and concerts halfway across the world from you, there’s nothing more fun and rewarding than being a k-pop fan. It’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s the best feeling in the world when you get to laugh along with your favorite group as you watch YouTube videos or even better, see them perform in person. While everything mentioned above may seem like hardships, they are absolutely nothing compared to the joy received by loving and listening to k-pop.

This post was written by our guest blogger, Emlyn Travis.