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Revised homeward-bound thread
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Enrico Palazzo
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Joined: 11 Mar 2008

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:04 pm    Post subject: Revised homeward-bound thread Reply with quote

This is the revised homeward bound thread. It contains Patrick's words with some revisions.

Since this is a thread for expats returning, feel free to make suggestions regarding the thread title or content of the initial post. The initial thread didn't get off on the right foot. Let's have another take at it.

The purpose of this thread is to cater to expatriates from various professional backgrounds returning with or without a spouse from Korea or another country including another Western country. It deals with issues such as immigration, finding work, going to graduate school, culture shock etc...



PatrickGHBusan



The thread is for teachers who worked in Korea for a while or who are still there and intend on going home.

This thread is for all professionals and teachers going home and would like to get advice, information or simply feedback from people who have worked in Korea and settled back in their home countries with or without a spouse from Korea or another country.


It is just a tool/resource for those who wish to use it. Some of us who have worked long-term in Korea and settled back home can share our experiences and provide help or pointers if needed about how to use your K-experience.
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To start things off then:

I was in Korea from 1997 to 2008. In that time I worked Hakwons, Public Schools and Universities. I also started a consulting agency that I still manage. I married a Korean woman and went from an E-2 to a F2 and finally to a F5 visa.

We moved back to Canada in 2008 after some unforseen event and have decided to settle there for the time being. As such my Korean spouse applied and received permanent residency in Canada.

I am more than willing to share my insights and experiences with people who have questions about the transition from Korea to their home countries.
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Adventurer



Joined: 28 Jan 2006

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've worked in Korea from April 2006 until July 2009. I've only worked at hagwons. I am in the US pursuing a master's degree. I haven't had much culture shock or anything. The stuff that I found was different after a long absense was there is more self-service check-in at airports, the women wear less clothing here, and being a graduate student is much harder work than being a hagwon instructor. I am also teaching part-time. I enjoy the green grass of home and the mountains.
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afsjesse



Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Location: Kickin' it in 'Kato town.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To keep the thread moving....

I worked in Korea from October 2007 until July 2009. My first year was in a hagwon in Busan and my last year was with EPIK in Uljin County where I worked at 4 Public Schools.

I returned home near the end of July to pursue my MA TESL with high hopes of returning to Asia, probably Korea at first, in the future. My Korean experience was rocky but overall very positive. I enjoyed the kindness of the Korean people and now that I'm busy with studies and teaching Spanish as a TA, I really miss the day to day living in the country and city.

Adjusting back in the US has been pretty easy. I haven't had much culture shock other than getting accustomed to things here again.

If anyone has any questions or is around MSU-Mankato, send me a shout!
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Old Gil



Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Location: Got out! olleh!

PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone had experience 'sexing up' an ESL resume, and maybe could shed some light on what works?

Specifically I'm looking to find a job working for an international business that would initially hire me state-side and send me off to Asia (preferably China). I've learned Korean (not much but a good base to build upon) and Mandarin (low intermediate on a good day). Besides the languages, are there any other angles that could be played?
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gil,

You can Jazz up your resume all you want but there HAS to be substance there to back it up. No company will hire you and send you to China without the qualifications to back up that resume.

You state language skills: are they backed up by certificates (courses or programs)?

You state ESL Experience: in what setting? How does it make you a good choice to work for a western corporation in China?

What position are you applying for in this or these north american companies?

What skills, experience and credentials to you have for such a position?


A resume needs to be TAILORED to the position you are targetting. Jazzing it up is fine but embelishing things can quickly backfire.
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ABC KID



Joined: 14 Sep 2007

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old Gil wrote:

Specifically I'm looking to find a job working for an international business that would initially hire me state-side and send me off to Asia


How realistic do people think the goal quoted above is? Is it very possible or is it a bit of a longshot? To pull it off are we talking solid credentials, excellent credentials or cream of the crop? I ask because that is one of two or three angles I am toying with ahead of a planned return to my country in less than two years. I realize that even it is possible it is not the sort of thing that is likely to happen overnight, but rather is going to require years of work to pull-off should I aim that way.

Any thoughts 'Patrick' and others?
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ABC...the term realistic depends on what a person brings to the table vice what their goal is.

Cryptic enough? Laughing

More clearly you can achieve such a goal but you need to have the credentials, relevant experience, education and references.

You also need to be able to sell yourself well.
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Old Gil



Joined: 26 Sep 2009
Location: Got out! olleh!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^
Hella cryptic. But good advice.
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Illysook



Joined: 30 Jun 2008

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard a lot about "reverse culture shock" and I was wondering if it included a "honeymoon" phase and how long it is supposed to last...until my savings run out? Until I find a job and feel secure again? 3 months?
Six months? Any clues out there?

For now, I'm having a great time!
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say the reverse culture shock varies from person to person and depends on how their life was overseas....

It can include a honeymoon period and then a bit of an adjustment period...
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Illysook



Joined: 30 Jun 2008

PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been home about 2 weeks and my savings account is 3/4 of the way gone. I bought myself the nice bicycle that I wanted and some new clothes, but that wasn't the biggest part of it. The biggest part of this is that I'm a homeowner and my tenant broke his lease after not paying the utility bills for six months or so. Then, there was a plumbing problem, a hot water heater that needed replaced, and the dryer broke...and on and on it goes...but i still don't want to go back to Korea.

I think that I'm making short work of the job hunt. Sure, the economy is bad, and I went to a job fair last week where I had to wait an hour just to get in the door. There were about as many social service agencies as there were actual employers at this job fair. One of these agencies was looking for an ESL teacher. Tutoring positions there pay up to $30.00 an hour. It might not be full time work, but it will get me through until I find something better, get certified as a real teacher, or manage to marry and get on the mommy track. (Getting close to an offer on that last one!)

So yes, transitioning back to life in America is tough right now, but not impossible. You have survived all of the annoying, awful things in Korea and you can survive ordinary life in America. You don't have to stay in Korea if you don't want to.

And it's true...there's no place like home!
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PatrickGHBusan



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Location: Busan (1997-2008) Canada 2008 -

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But then again illysook Home is where you make it no?
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allovertheplace



Joined: 02 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in Korea for 2 years, from 2007-2009. Went back home to get my masters in an unrelated field, dont much want to pursue ESL as a career. Ive been happy at home but its a difficult life at first. You burn through your savings very quickly and the hardest thing for me was adjusting to that fact. I still want to go out, have fun etc. but I cant afford it. Its also hard getting used to not eating out a lot, paying real bills, and not being cool because of your race-or famous.

As adventurer stated, being a grad student is much more difficult than being an ESL teacher.

So, feel free to PM or respond if youre having some trouble or want some thoughts on grad school.
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ciccone_youth



Joined: 03 Mar 2008
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was only in Seoul for one year (March 2008-March 2009), and it was a wonderful experience. I had promised myself I'd go back home after a year to go back to my television job.

So I did. And I hated it. Going back home was so difficult. I started hating the television industry, and hating Montreal for being too boring compared to Seoul. It was the most difficult couple of months I've ever had- just re-questioning everything, and things in my personal life did not go well either.

I kind of got used to it, but my job felt so blah, and I decided to try teaching in Japan- a country I had visited and fell in love with last summer. So I'm leaving for Japan in two weeks, for a year, or even two. I'm looking forward to it, even though the idea of coming home AGAIN after Japan makes me worry a lot. But I want to live abroad some more, and who knows what can happen.... maybe I'll figure things out.
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