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Revised homeward-bound thread
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moosehead



Joined: 05 May 2007

PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey I think this thread is a good idea - I do browse Dave's from time to time -

fyi, I was in K from 2003 to July of 2009; taught every place from public to private to camps to tutoring; coming back was exciting and great to see old friends and drink beer in an American bar and hear English spoken all around.

I bought a pick up truck w/i a week of returning and drove cross the U.S., picked up my storage and headed out to San Francisco to finish my MFA in film school. Have joined various org's and become involved in the community - I have a place in Berkeley - and am also taking steps to earn my credentials to teach here in California.

reverse culture shock has been very real for me - it's almost gone but not completely. At first it was just being around crowds and grocery shopping, I still have difficulty buying bread - jees it's so expensive now - but also there are so many different grains! hard to decide.

I miss s.e. asia and hope to return some day. I'm glad to have had the experience I had and totally recommend it to anyone who wants a new experience - especially if you even think you want to be a writer - there is nothing worse than writers who've never been anywhere and try and write stories about things they only imagine - !! get out and see the world, take a chance.

the wars going on tho do weigh heavy on my mind - I'm already starting to have nightmares again about nukes - I honestly believe the entire time I was in K I never had a nightmare about war despite being in such a hotspot region - yet here I am back in the U.S. and reality sets in about this govt and here come the nightmares.

anyway, peace to all and go ahead and post if you have any qs.

yes, it's good to be home
Cool

*addendum* how come Dave's is never slow out of K??!!
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joyce



Joined: 22 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:09 am    Post subject: Should we stay or should we go now? Reply with quote

Hi there! Any comments or opinions about my questions would be appreciated! I was single and in my late 20's when I came to Korea. Now I have just started into my 40's with 2 little kids and a Korean husband...I really want to go back to Canada but I am wondering if I would be putting my family in financial peril...what do you think? Do you think it is realistic for me to believe that my husband would be able to find a job that would support the family(at least half) since his English is not perfect and he would only have permanent resident status? And now that the economy is not doing so well, would it be wiser to wait a bit longer?
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PatrickGHBusan



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

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jocye, it would be irresponsible for people to answer your question because we are lacking too many facts!

What is your major?
What are you employable as?
How much of a financial cushion do you have?
What is your husbands job in Korea....is it transferable to Canada?
How old are your kids?
Will they need daycare or go to school?


These are only a few questions...

Basically you need to figure this out on your own or provide more information. I for one would not want to provide advice that would end up being faulty because of a lack of information.

If you prefer not to post all this information here feel free to pm me or email me at chrisbusan@yahoo.com

Cheers
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jindodog



Joined: 31 May 2007
Location: not seoul

PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone had experience being able to land a job at home while still in Korea? I ask because I'm American, and Married a British citizen here and plan on moving to England in the Spring. However, for the marriage visa they want proof that we are employable and want us to find jobs in the UK whilst still in Korea....any suggestions, experiences?
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climber159



Joined: 02 Sep 2007

PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jindodog wrote:
Has anyone had experience being able to land a job at home while still in Korea? I ask because I'm American, and Married a British citizen here and plan on moving to England in the Spring. However, for the marriage visa they want proof that we are employable and want us to find jobs in the UK whilst still in Korea....any suggestions, experiences?


Your success at finding a job (especially in a country other than your native one) will depend, as finding a job typically does, on your relevant education, experience, references, and what sort of job it is you're after. The good old supply vs. demand rule comes into play here.

Personally, I was successful. After being in Korea for two years I returned to the USA to do another master's degree in education and to earn teaching licenses in special education, biology, and chemistry. I was able to land a teaching job in a public middle school. Between school and work I am constantly tired, I have little time for friends or recreation, but I get satisfaction from knowing that I am working towards something that I want and that should help me with obtaining desirable (in my opinion) in the future.

Good luck in your search.
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loyfriend



Joined: 03 Aug 2009

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still hold my Counseling certificates. I worked at a place called Korean Community Services before I came to Korea, they told me they find a spot for me when and if I ever came back.

Its good to have a good network, I sure you could find a job while overseas if you have what the job wants.
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fidel



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: North Shore NZ

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
I was in K land from 2000- 2006 teaching for the first three years in Hogwans and the final 3 in high schools. I also got married to a k girl and had a son. I decided to return mainly for my son's benefit as I felt the pollution and ability to just be a kid was not condusive to a 'good' childhood.

Initially when I returned it took 5 months to find a job I wanted. That was as a training administrator for a large company, within three months I was promoted to the Training and Development Manager. This senior leadership role has been a rollercoaster ride and opened up major opportunities for me but extremely tough where 12 hour plus days are not unusual and weekend work is sometime a requirement.

My son loves it in NZ, we go to the beach most days in summer, he plays football for a club, learns Taewkondo in the Olympic's coachs' gym, learns piano and has a K language teacher. Where we live is also the largest NZ based Korean population and Korean is the second widely spoken language after English. We have a house and the accompanying mortgage. That said I do wish to retun to Korea one day and have plans to open up a tourism business there.

The biggest problem is finding a job but fortunately me my past work experience and the fact that I studied a relevant Graduate Dipoma in prep for my return put me in good stead.
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ppcg4



Joined: 16 Oct 2008

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm about to leave on Tuesday, and I'm wondering what I should do before I leave, aside from canceling my phone and closing my bank account. I've climbed pretty much every major mountain in Seoul, been to several major cities...

I think I'll head to Insadong to get some small gifts for family and friends, and I'll pick up a carton of smokes for my friends back home. Any other tips?
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i



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Posted this in the general postings, but I think it applies to this sticky:
Marry a Korean and just do privates (legally, of course, after registering with the proper authorities). I read that on Dave's several times.
Here is an F2ís story. I was sitting in the US, kinda burned out at my job and started reading tons of posts like this on Daveís. Iíd worked in Korea in the 90ís and as I kept reading, I thought Iíd sell a bunch of things, put the rest in storage and move with my Korean wife and kid back to Korea for about 5 years. After all, there was no F2 when I was married and living here before. I took peopleís word for it.
I was used to a mid-90ís Korea. I got out right before IMF in 97. Things were cheap, but I lived in the southern part of the country. This time I wanted to be in Seoul.
Moved to Gangnam. Put up pamphlets and the jobs rolled in. Within a short period, I was making on paper $50K a year US and was fortunate to have free housing for awhile. Then the cycle started. One job that was a large chunk of my schedule, went out of business. Privates canceled regularly, many would just give it a go for 3 months. Itís the magic the foreigner is supposed to make in teaching one-on-one. Itís the same student who had tried everything for years and I was just one more experiment for them in a failed attempt to learn English. Another hakwon I worked at gutted their English department (literally) and when I returned from vacation, I had no job. It became a ďlisteningĒ hakwon where the Korean teacher and I were no longer needed and the students just listened to their headphones and wrote in their cubicles.
To succeed, Iíd have to be constantly advertising, starting new gigs as old ones quit. Sitting in a room with a kid who hates to study, thinking up ways he can get his mom to cancel these sessions. Apartments and kids change, but often the same situation. Then all the time wasted getting from point A to B, and then wait for the next session. If you hit the bus right away, you are 45 mins early. Hit it wrong, you barely get there in time.
Then thereís the adults. I found if I am correcting their English, they lose face. Just let them talk and communicate. Weíd make progress, but the novelty wore off and the cancellations would start and youíd have this time set aside for them that another wants, but they always cancel.
On top of this, I was spending a ton of money. I could live well on 10,000 won a day in the 90ís. You have to live on Ramen to do that now.
I read others who have made a go at this. I could have continued, but I just dreaded most tutoring sessions. The adults were unreliable and most kids were unbearable. I stopped accepting kids. Well, then I was able to only work early am before people start work and evenings when middle and high school students get out.
In addition to all this, there were E2 visa holders working for 25,000 an hour in the area. They never seemed to be an option, since they were either gone or their schedules full. But with the economy slipping, these extremely wealthy Gangnam people, with L Vuitton bags and 2 Mercedes in the parking lot, were wanting me to cut my price in half, which I was not willing to do.
I ended up scheduling the ones I liked into the weekends. I took in job outside Seoul for better pay and housing at a regular job. Being an F2 I could work half the hours of most teaching jobs with more pay, but it was a lot less than I was making, and a lot less stress. The weekend privates in Seoul started to fizzle out. I worked some around my school outside Seoul, but I quit accepting any new tutors. As my last student moved to the US, I quit doing any privates.
I write this to anyone thinking of giving up your life wherever you are, married to a Korean, thinking you can make easy dough here. It isnít easy. It can be done, but it isnít for everyone.
Fortunately my old position back home re-opened and Iím going back to my old life. I am leaving 3 years sooner than Iíd planned. But this life really has no future for most, and the quality of life isnít very good for a foreign family living on a teacherís salary. Just my experience if this helps someone see the other side of the coin.
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PatrickGHBusan



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

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But this life really has no future for most, and the quality of life isnít very good for a foreign family living on a teacherís salary. Just my experience if this helps someone see the other side of the coin.


A valid cautionary tale indeed!!

Still, that part I quote needs commenting....

The life you refer to has a future for many. But I agree its hard work (like anywhere else I guess). Living on just a Teachers pay can be hard indeed but that also depends on what you can with.

You came back from abroad, burnt out and I assume with limited financial backing. Someone who stayed in Korea for a while is not in the same position I would say.

Our case can serve as an example: I arrived in Korea in 1997 (IMF hit a month after my arrival). I married in 1999. We bought out first appartment for cash in 2001. Our second in 2003 (for cash). We saved for this before we had kids (we both worked). After our son, my wife worked mostly part time....

Were we to go back to Korea now...we could likely afford to buy a decent appartment or at the very least put down key money and pay no rent. That changes everything....

Still its not easy.
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TECO



Joined: 20 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ciccone_youth wrote:
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.


This can happen. The longer you're away in Seoul or Japan, the harder it's going to be to go back and live in Canada again.
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PatrickGHBusan



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

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This can happen. The longer you're away in Seoul or Japan, the harder it's going to be to go back and live in Canada again.


True but this issue depends largely on how you organise your return home and how financially sound you are.

If you go from full time ESL with a decent life style to no work when you move home then you are in for that world of blues and hurt.

Flip that coin and if you planned your move home, found a job before hand or lined up interviews your re-insertion home will be relatively painless.
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Adventurer



Joined: 28 Jan 2006

PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TECO wrote:
ciccone_youth wrote:
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.


This can happen. The longer you're away in Seoul or Japan, the harder it's going to be to go back and live in Canada again.


I think it's better to just use some years of working in South Korea to put on your resume and then to go for higher education, so you can be employable at colleges, or command a higher salary when you go back overseas.
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corvidae333



Joined: 26 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only been in Korea (Incheon) for one year, but nevertheless I am having concerns about what it will be like to go back home. I will be happy to see my family and friends again, eat my favorite foods, etc. But I'm worried that I will once again have the problem I tried to escape when I took the job in Korea: that I could find no fulfilling jobs. I just graduated from college and entered a job world will tyrant bosses and it was a very negative experience. The teaching job in Korea wasn't all roses in the beginning, but I learned and I came to like it well enough. At least I felt like I was doing something meaningful.

So when I come back home, I fear that going back to the job search will make me feel like a nothing and nobody again. I'm an academic, curious and intellectually motivated person, and the average job is not only uninspiring, but degrading as well when I know I should be doing something more.

I liked Korea well enough in the end, but its just not my country. My health suffered a lot, I felt restricted in a lot of ways. I liked it, just not enough. So that's why I'm not staying.

I wonder if anyone has any advice on this topic, or if anyone else has experienced these feelings on returning home.
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PatrickGHBusan



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

PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Advice?

Plan ahead.

First figure out what you want to do and then which jobs offer you the opportunity to get paid doing it.

Then, figure out if there are positions available in those fields of work.

Once thats done, upgrade your application documents and start applying BEFORE you go back home. Set up interviews for when you will be back home, reseach the employers that interest you.


Once you identify jobs try to see if your experience in Korea can help your employability. This is not always the case but sometimes it sure can make a difference.

You should maybe check out some job search litterature, especially if (like you seem to be) are confused about what you want and are unsure about how to find work.

One book I recommend is: What color is your parachute

Grab a copy of that, read through it, do the exercises and it should help you target what you like and what job offers it.

Or..plan nothing and hope for the best. Laughing

All this being said, you may still have trouble adapting because from what you wrote you are a new graduate and still hanging on to your University life. Sadly, the job market is not the same as the University life. Everyone has to do things they do not always like, they key is finding a job that has more things you enjoy than things you dislike.
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