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Bringing Family...Good or Bad Idea?
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ELT PRO



Joined: 23 Oct 2012

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:28 pm    Post subject: Bringing Family...Good or Bad Idea? Reply with quote

So, basically I am interested in hearing people`s opinions about bringing my young child to Korea. I have previously lived in Busan (2 years) and Nowan (2 years) so I am very familiar with Korea and I already know the difficulties that we may face. I have also researched the visa process so I don`t need any information in that regard. Just wondering what people think really. My wife and I are both well qualified and experienced and would hope to command about 2.7+ a month which I think is realistic.

I think the daycare would be our biggest concern, but we think we could make it work. We would love our son to experience all that he can right now. He isn`t school age yet so we wouldn`t have to worry about enrolling him in an international school or anything.

Any thoughts?
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mnjetter



Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Location: Seoul, S. Korea

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know some people with families here, and they love it. My only advice is to make sure you know what visa you need (I know you said you do, but the guy in the anecdote I'm about to relate thought he did too). One of my friends came here with his wife and young daughter, and at first there was some sort of visa issue where his wife wasn't legally able to work. In the end, she had another child and decided that she had her hands full taking care of the kids anyway, but at the beginning when she wanted a job, she found that she was not permitted to.

Also, be prepared to not get that 2.7+ for each of you on income. If you're thinking of going the hagwon route, that salary is just about impossible to find for anyone, no matter what the qualifications are. All the hagwons I've ever seen top out at 2.5. It you're going the university route, be prepared for at least one of you to not be able to find a job for a while, since it is incredibly competitive. I have a master's degree in applied linguistics from Columbia, and it took me over four months of spending at least an hour a day prowling the Craigslist and Dave's listings to find a decent non-hagwon job here (and the job I found isn't even at a Korean university). That's not to say that you won't find two uni jobs located in the same city. Just that, unless you are willing to be located in two different cities, it's likely to take a while, even if you've got loads of qualifications.

That said, though, I imagine it is a pleasant place to raise very young children. I'd say for all children, too, but I can't imagine submitting my child to the things that most Korean parents expect of their schools. Memorizing facts, preparing for tests, going to academy to memorize more facts, etc..... But I don't know many parents with school-aged children, so this perspective is based off my limited experience with parents of hagwon kids and stories from my current (adult) students.
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Dodge7



Joined: 21 Oct 2011

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always feel so bad for the children involved when I read posts like this.
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ELT PRO



Joined: 23 Oct 2012

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mn jetter, thanks for the reply. I have the opportunity to take a position at Yonsei on around 2.7, and my wife has been talking to Ewha who seem to be very interested in offering her position. We would be coming over on an E-1 visa so we would have a lot more freedom than the regular E-2 visa holders. We have friends there already with children the same age and they really recommend us to come. With the housing allowance each post would offer we would be able to rent in the neighborhood of 850,000 per month, or so. Of course we would spend a little less if we needed to hire a care provider or enroll our son in a daycare. I do have some apprehension about the travel times to our homes as we would prefer to live outside of the city, perhaps in Ilsan, a place we both really liked when we visited friends there last year.

Just a little more information on ourselves; I have a PhD in Applied Linguistics and my wife has an MA. We both have spent over ten years in Asia, four of them in Korea teaching at universities.



@Dodge 7: Judging by your other posts I suspect you are some kind of troll and as such I recommend you crawl back beneath your bridge and enjoy your life in the gutter.
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Married with a non-Korean spouse and daughter.
We did just fine.

I see no reason to not to bring your family AFTER you get settled.

.
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No_hite_pls



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Location: Don't hate me because I'm right

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dodge7 wrote:
I always feel so bad for the children involved when I read posts like this.


Dodge, me and others posters are really sick of your not helpful rude posts. Please, go back to your right wing, tea bag/Romney rally until you have something helpful to add.
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Stan Rogers



Joined: 20 Aug 2010

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with sending your kid to international school in South Korea is that the monthly fee will be close to 100% of one parent's salary. This effectively means that one of you would be working for nothing when you could stay in your home country, be a stay at home parent and send your kid to school there for free.

So to answer your question, it would be a bad idea to bring your kids to South Korea if you want to send them to international school on a foreign teacher's salary.


Last edited by Stan Rogers on Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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Soft Machine



Joined: 08 Mar 2008

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there such a dearth of employment possibilities for Ph.D.s in your home country? An M.A. and Ph.D. couple should be able to find jobs with a bit of work. Seoul is an awful place to raise kids, IMO. The pollution, especially the "yellow dust", is plain toxic; the day care centers are basically petri dishes - when one kid catches a cold, the whole place follows; parks and playgrounds are practically non-existent; transport is a nightmare for the little ones - cars are dangerous and bus and subway gets to sardine-level.....and internat'l schools are expensive and education isn't really a priority - they're businesses with kids in a one year holding pattern.

Ph.D.s flying across the globe for $2,000 a month? Is the West really in such dire straits?
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Stan Rogers



Joined: 20 Aug 2010

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, Seoul is an awful place to raise kids. It was a big reason I left Seoul.
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Swampfox10mm



Joined: 24 Mar 2011

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No_hite_pls wrote:
Dodge7 wrote:
I always feel so bad for the children involved when I read posts like this.


Dodge, me and others posters are really sick of your not helpful rude posts. Please, go back to your right wing, tea bag/Romney rally until you have something helpful to add.


We're not all sick of him. Speak for yourself.

Take your left-wingnut, apologist, arrogant self and go drink some more Obama stupidity, will you?

I'm of two minds on this subject. I would advise against bringing your kids here, but I've got a former coworker who brought his wife and son here a year after he came, and on the surface, at least, they are doing well. His wife started a hang-out group for foreigners with kids so they can socialize, last I heard.
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ELT PRO



Joined: 23 Oct 2012

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know living in Korea may seem like an odd choice for someone with our credentials, however, as part of my PhD research I started to investigate the learning styles of students taught in a strictly teacher centered approach, such as the prevailing method of instruction in Korea. My ultimate aim is to collaborate on producing a textbook to help address the difference in learning styles and how these differences are not accommodated in a teacher centered approach. If that makes sense?

I know first hand the pollution in Seoul is terrible, especially during Yellow Dust season! Thus the idea of living in a satellite city to Seoul, such as Ilsan which has several large open green spaces such as Lake Park.

Ultimately, after two years when our son is school age we will move on to a "big money" job in the Middle East or Hong Kong where schooling is provided at an international school. As for life in our home country, yes, we could stay, but after so long living in Asia we both feel at home there and love the region.

Thanks for all the replies.
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Died By Bear



Joined: 13 Jul 2010
Location: On the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it was me, I would charge a great pre-school or kindergarten to have the privilege of my western son or daughter attending classes there. I mean, just think of the possibilities...

Can't be a mixed child though. Blue eyes would be a bonus.

No trolling here, I am willing to bet 100 greebacks that it would work out nicely for you if your negotiating skills are up to par.
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Who's Your Daddy?



Joined: 30 May 2010
Location: The joy's in the ride.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you kids aren't of school age, and just attending a Korean private kindergarten, I don't see any problem for them.

Living outside of Seoul would be good.

I have my baby boy here and we'll leave when he starts school, but currently it isn't a problem.

But I do note you say you'll move on to HK or the middle-east (not sure ME is a good place at all to be honest). I'd think you could get those jobs now. You have the qualifications for proper international schools, so maybe you should just look now.
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Swampfox10mm



Joined: 24 Mar 2011

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The pollution is a very big concern. I'm being kind when I say that much of Seoul (with the exception of some areas in Kangnam) can be a real dump. The newer sidewalks in some areas have really helped.

The biggest problem, however, is the pollution that blows in from China. It leaves a dirty haze on everything, and turns walls of buildings a dead color.
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ewlandon



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Location: teacher

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swampfox10mm wrote:
The pollution is a very big concern. I'm being kind when I say that much of Seoul (with the exception of some areas in Kangnam) can be a real dump. The newer sidewalks in some areas have really helped.

The biggest problem, however, is the pollution that blows in from China. It leaves a dirty haze on everything, and turns walls of buildings a dead color.



yeah that makes a ton of sense.

New sidewalks help with pollution?

One of the largest cities in the world and you blame the pollution problem on the wind and china.
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