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Korean Americans in Taiwan?

 
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luoldeng9



Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:56 am    Post subject: Korean Americans in Taiwan? Reply with quote

I am a 1.5 generation Korean American and I'm thinking about spending a year in Taiwan to work as an English teacher. I was just curious if anyone here knows how common it is for Asian Americans to move back to an Asian country (for example, Taiwan) and enjoy it so much that they decide to live there permanently, instead of moving back to America?

I've heard mixed opinions regarding how rude the people in Korea would be towards a Korean American like me considering that I have an American accent and can't speak Korean. Anyone know what kinds of reactions I'd be likely to face if I were to go to Taiwan, considering that the people there would assume I'm Taiwanese since I look like them?
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Vendetta



Joined: 29 Sep 2011
Posts: 10
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Koreans are more nationalist, but unsure if they are racial nationalist.

But here in Taiwan, it seems that Taiwanese are preferring to hire their own kind over foreigners. At least where I live. There are a few adult schools south of Changhua City that hire Asian Americans/Canadians over European Americans and others; perhaps they feel more comfortable around their own kind. I am not sure why, but I have a few friends down here that share the same sentiment. One South African has been here for over 12 years, and he can only muster up to 40 hours per month to support his wife and child. However, his wife teaches some classes, too.

Maybe things are better in the cities like Taipei and Taichung for European EFL teachers, but seems much better for Asian EFL teachers in the southern parts or smaller towns.
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Rooster_2006



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
Posts: 984

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Korean Americans in Taiwan? Reply with quote

luoldeng9 wrote:
I am a 1.5 generation Korean American and I'm thinking about spending a year in Taiwan to work as an English teacher. I was just curious if anyone here knows how common it is for Asian Americans to move back to an Asian country (for example, Taiwan) and enjoy it so much that they decide to live there permanently, instead of moving back to America?

I've heard mixed opinions regarding how rude the people in Korea would be towards a Korean American like me considering that I have an American accent and can't speak Korean. Anyone know what kinds of reactions I'd be likely to face if I were to go to Taiwan, considering that the people there would assume I'm Taiwanese since I look like them?
I don't know where you've been getting your information, but Korean-Americans are treated like royalty in Korea. They are automatically granted F-4 visas (permanent residency) basically right off the plane, and are often exempt from military service (or, if not exempt, there are easy, legal loopholes allowing them to draft dodge indefinitely). This means that they are not restricted at all with regard to employment, obtaining credit, etc. and can do whatever they want in Korea, and don't even have to serve in the ROK armed forces. There are even English teaching jobs reserved strictly for gyopos, not available to non-gyopos, and programs (such as TaLK) that heavily bias their hiring in favor of gyopos!

In fact, being Korean-American is so desirable in Korea, that many wealthy Koreans will have a son or daughter born in America just to get the son/daughter a US passport/F-4 visa/military exemption.

Could you move to Taiwan and eke out a life for yourself? Maybe. But why go through all the trouble of being treated like a foreigner when Korea rolls out the red carpet for you and treats you like some kind of a returning hero?

Sure, a few Koreans might not "accept" you (tease you about your accent or not invite you to their children's baegiljanchi), but in the grand scheme of things, you get both the benefits of being Korean (being free from racial or visa discrimination) AND the benefits of being foreign (being able to teach English for $$$$ and being able to pick up girls at clubs in Hongdae).

So...yes, you could move to Taiwan and eke out a life for yourself if you had some dedication, but it seems pointless to do so when Korea is a land of plenty waiting for you with open arms.

Conclusion:
Move to Taiwan Arrow You're a foreigner, you have a foreigner's very limited visa, and people still make fun of your accent
Move to Korea Arrow You're automatically Korean, you get instant permanent residency (F-4), and the government throws scholarship money at you to learn Korean from one of their prestigious universities just because you're a gyopo

Personally, I like Taiwan 10x better than Korea. And I like Japan 2x as much as Taiwan (so do the math, and I like Japan 20x more than Korea). But that's because I don't have any Korean blood. If I had Korean blood, I'd move there and reap the benefits that Korean society lavishes on jaemigyopo.
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luoldeng9



Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:33 am    Post subject: Re: Korean Americans in Taiwan? Reply with quote

Rooster_2006 wrote:
I don't know where you've been getting your information, but Korean-Americans are treated like royalty in Korea. They are automatically granted F-4 visas (permanent residency) basically right off the plane, and are often exempt from military service (or, if not exempt, there are easy, legal loopholes allowing them to draft dodge indefinitely). This means that they are not restricted at all with regard to employment, obtaining credit, etc. and can do whatever they want in Korea, and don't even have to serve in the ROK armed forces. There are even English teaching jobs reserved strictly for gyopos, not available to non-gyopos, and programs (such as TaLK) that heavily bias their hiring in favor of gyopos!



I found out that Gyopos can face discrimination from a google search and other forums. The LA times even talked about it:
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/14/world/la-fg-korea-return14-2010feb14

Quote:
Sure, a few Koreans might not "accept" you (tease you about your accent or not invite you to their children's baegiljanchi), but in the grand scheme of things, you get both the benefits of being Korean (being free from racial or visa discrimination) AND the benefits of being foreign (being able to teach English for $$$$ and being able to pick up girls at clubs in Hongdae)...You're automatically Korean, you get instant permanent residency (F-4), and the government throws scholarship money at you to learn Korean from one of their prestigious universities just because you're a gyopo


I don't intend on picking up girls at clubs. But do the girls really like gyopos?

Also, what do you mean by "government throws scholarship money at you to learn Korean from one of their prestigious universities just because you're a gyopo"? I already have a BS degree anyways, so this doesn't apply to me. Is it easier for gyopos to get hired at universities? The only discrimination against gyopos I've heard about occurs at hagwons

Quote:
Personally, I like Taiwan 10x better than Korea. And I like Japan 2x as much as Taiwan (so do the math, and I like Japan 20x more than Korea). But that's because I don't have any Korean blood. If I had Korean blood, I'd move there and reap the benefits that Korean society lavishes on jaemigyopo.


Why do you like Taiwan 10x better?
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wayne1523



Joined: 02 Apr 2010
Posts: 98
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatsup luoldeng. I take it you're a Bulls fan. How bout them the last 2 years huh?

I taught in Korea for a year. Now I'm in Taiwan (2 months so far) trying to make it. I'll make it quick. Taiwan is way better than Korea for me personally, and I haven't even done anything yet. But you'll find it harder to find work here since Korea is a goldmine for anyone who just has a degree and wants to make money while having their roundtrip flight and housing paid for. Also, because you have an Asian face, you'll have your opportunities cut. I know from first-hand experience. That doesn't mean you can't make it, you just gotta be more creative and network.

Also, if you're cool with kids, then your chances are much better than if you only want to teach adults. The large majority of english teaching in taiwan is to kids.

But in terms of lifestyle, Taiwan wins. Most foreigners who have been to both places would support that claim. Personally, it's not even the tangible things like most people say (nice people, weather, not ethnocentric, which are true), but I just like the overall feel/atmosphere of it better. I'm happier here and that's all there is to it.

Hope it helps.
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