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Posted by artistseunghee13 AKP STAFF Sunday, January 28, 2018

6 Things International Fans are Jealous of

1. Language
Number one would be language, language, language. Of course there are stars that speak English, Chinese, or Japanese but in the end, these idols are Korean pop stars and their main grounds of activity (usually) is in South Korea speaking Korean. To have to wait for subtitles can be such a pain when you just want to understand and laugh with your bias. The endless use of Google translate or Naver translate can only get you so far and the automated translate on Youtube is so abysmal, that you've definitely pleaded for subtitles in the comment section at least 100+ times.
2. Fan Clubs
Fan clubs are a key of being a part of K-pop community but the main fan cafes are usually are all in Korean and let's not even talk about becoming a member on these sites. Most fan clubs are run by DAUM (equivalent to Yahoo) and an account with DAUM is needed to be a member. Yet, go figure, everything is in Korean. The thing is if fans aren't a part of these fan clubs, they miss out exclusive material that idols only post on their fan cafes and nowhere else. Obviously, the world needs to get on making better translating platforms, ASAP.
3. Seeing idols in the flesh
Being an international fan can be hard especially when there aren't as many opportunities to actually SEE bae. In South Korea, there's a saying that if you see a big black van or a white minivan, it's probably a celebrity. There are some people who chase these vans to get a glimpse of who is in them but in a country outside of Korea, that isn't an option. These days celebrities also have a ton of fun with fan events from fan meetings, to meet and greet to surprising fans during work, or catching a drink with their fan club exec members, to working at a coffee cart for the whole day to give back to the people who love them so much. Yet international fans don't get to experience any of their events and have to wait for the occasional moment, their idols decide to tour internationally or come to a K-pop festival. Even then though, they only come to the bigger cities, like LA, NYC. Where is the love for Portland or Miami?
4. Domestic concerts
Although international concerts are amazing and the artists make sure to prepare to the extreme, sometimes these concerts don't encompass what these artists can do in their home country. Singers like IU can put on smaller theater concerts as well as larger arena ones to mix things up and in tighter venues, she is able to connect and interact more with her audience. Hip-hop and R&B artists also perform at South Korean clubs more often, giving more opportunities for their fans to see them. Furthermore, artists hosting concerts in Korea have a tendency to go longer than the standard 2 hours, like SM Town's concert that lasts at least 4 hours. If only they were able to this around the whole world.
5. Time Zone
Another exhausting effort that international fans have to deal with is the time zones. To catch live broadcasts, specifically during awards season, is tiring when fans in the Western hemisphere have to deal with 10+ hours of the time difference. International fans have their fair share of stories that describe the one time (or 100 times) they stayed up all night or only slept 2 hours to see oppa or noona before class or work.
6. $$$$$$$$$
The amount of money that international fans have to spend for supporting their idol is significantly more than domestic fans. The tax and shipping for albums and merchandise can rack up and some sites, the shipping can be ridiculous unless you buy in bulk. Additionally, every international fan wants to go to Korea to surround themselves with everything K-pop, but tickets to South Korea, unless living in a country in East Asia can leave a sad, huge hole in the wallet.

But in the end, international fans stick through the struggles because bae is bae.

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