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Which city should i choose??

 
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onk



Joined: 12 Nov 2012

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:26 am    Post subject: Which city should i choose?? Reply with quote

I have three contract offers. All three contracts are pretty much the same. They all come from good (reputation) recruiters. All three schools have positive reviews from current teachers.

But they're in different cities.

Not saying this will be the only deciding factor, but all things being equal, which would you chose??

Yongin, Daegu, or Daejeon

(those are the only three choices for now)

thanks for your input!
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yongin. It's virtually Seoul. Connected by bus and subway and a 30,000 won taxi ride.
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saram_



Joined: 13 May 2008

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say either Daegu or Yongin.

Daegu because it's a nice large city.. A lot smaller than Seoul comparably (in feel) but you can get anything you need there very easily. There is a large Expat community and area there if you want to blend in or you could just hang with lots of new Korean friends too. It is quite central in Korea- Busan is close during Summer and Seoul is easy enough to get to too..when you want a different vibe up there.

Daejon is a much smaller version than Daegu and frankly there doesn't seem to be much to do there. Not many people would go out of their way to visit Daejon for example. Seoul is an hour and a half away by bus and Busan is further. I can't say much about the expat community there but I imagine it would be close knit... (small town feel) which can be good if you are starting out too.

Yongin because, its close to Seoul (where some would say is where it's at).
It is a lot more rural than you might expect being only 30 mins from central Seoul by bus.
There isn't too much to do there and getting around might be difficult.
You'll prob be up to Seoul most weekends if you move here.

As someone starting off in Korea, I would choose Daegu. Daejon doesn't do much for me but I am sure others know a bit more. Yongin is someplace you can go and live in if you've been in Korea a long time and would like to set up base near but not in Seoul.
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sligo



Joined: 15 Oct 2008

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daejon is almost as central as possible in Korea. It is a small "big" city, so it has everything you would need for everyday life. It has several drinking areas and even a costco for tastes of home. The best thing is, it has a KTX (super fast train) station which will get you to Busan in a little over 2 hours, and less than 90 minutes to Seoul (as well as most other places in Korea).

The one bonus it has over Seoul, is that due to its size, it will not have everything that Seoul will have, so this means you will be more likely to travel around and experience more of Korea.

I live in Cheongju (the next city along, and smaller still). I like it here, but at it is smaller than Daejon, if i want to do something a little different, i do a little research and make a weekend out of it. I honestly think i would not have seen as much of Korea as i have, if i had worked in Seoul. Plenty of people i know who live in Seoul never bother to travel as: "Everything i need is in Seoul".

So, do you want everything on your doorstep, or all the excuses you need to find new sights in new cities?
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yongin is in the Seoul metro area and the Seoul Metro Subway (Bundang subway) connects to Yongin. Daegu (2.5 million) is very large in of itself and is a quick bus trip to Pusan (4 million) which has a bunch of stuff in it. Or if you like you can take a quick KTX trip to Seoul (two hours, expensive). Taejon is a two hour bus trip to Seoul or a one hour KTX trip (expensive). Taejon is large (1.5 million) and also has things in it, but not all that much. One thing to consider about the cities though is the quality of the children you are going to teach. Rural children are much nicer than in the large cities especially the Seoul Metro. Based on this alone you might consider Taejon which in some aspects is much more rurally located. Taejon is also in close proximity to things like old forts and a lot of culturally revelant stuff.

I wouldn't recommend one city over the other. However in a more centrally located city (Taejon) you might be better set to see more of the things in Korea.
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toddt82



Joined: 28 May 2009

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry, I don't have anything to say about the locations, but could you tell me which recruiters with good reputations you were referring to? I'm trying to do my homework with regard to finding an agency that is not just in it for the money. Thanks!
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

toddt82 wrote:
with regard to finding an agency that is not just in it for the money. Thanks!


There aren't any.

They are all good and they are all bad

Search yourself and you have access to perhaps 20-50 potential employers who may be able to actually READ your resume and perhaps can get you through the visa confirmation process (not always easy for 1st time applicants).

Use 20 recruiters and that number jumps up into the many hundreds or potentially over 1000 jobs, even if the employer himself doesn't speak English (lots of hagwan jobs, MOST private placement PS jobs and virtually ALL private K-12 jobs fall into this category).

The problem lies in the fact that most people do NOT understand the role of the recruiter.

They are an introduction to a potential employer that you yourself would not otherwise be able to find. Then, if they are any good at their job, they guide you through the placement and assist with the paperwork necessary to get you as far as the employer.

They are NOT your friend.
They do NOT work for you (they are paid for and work for the employer).

They are like a used car salesman.
You walk onto their car-lot (website), peruse the cars (available jobs), if you see one you like you inquire about it.

After you listen to the sales pitch you let YOUR mechanic have a look at it (due diligence checking out the school).

If it is all good then you make the offer (accept the contract) and complete the sale (begin the paperwork for your visa application).

A good salesman will ensure that the paperwork is in order to make the sale and allow you to register the car. (A good recruiter will make sure your paperwork is in order and help get you through the paperwork to get your visa.)

I have no problem with using a recruiter or telling anyone else to use one (or more the case, many). They are your best option for fining the BEST fit when it comes to a job in Korea (or most of Asia for that matter).

ttompatz wrote:


For someone who is abroad, no connections and no ability to communicate in Korean then recruiters are a necessary evil.

That doesn't mean it is a crap shoot.

ALL recruiters are good. All recruiters are bad.
BUT they are a bridge to a job that you would not otherwise find.

The trick is in understanding what they are and what they do.

ttompatz wrote:


Really, when it comes to a recruiter, who cares where they are from or where they are based?

A recruiter is nothing more than an introduction to an employer.

Unless you have an extensive network of friends and/or colleagues in your target country OR can read/write and speak the local language and can apply directly they are a necessary evil.

REPEAT: A recruiter is nothing more than an introduction to an employer.

Hello Mr. English speaker this is Mr Hakwon owner.
Mr. hakwon owner, this is Mr. English speaker.
Mr. English speaker, here is the contract. Please read and sign.
School, here is the signed contract. Pay me.
Good bye.

-You are not paying them anything (or you shouldn't be).
-THEY DO NOT WORK FOR YOU! - They work for the school.
-They owe you nothing once you get here.
-They are not your friend.
-They are not your baby sitter.
-They cannot help you if things go to *beep* after you get here.

Beyond that it is YOUR responsibility to check the school out.

Do NOT trust ANY recruiter. They are like used car salesmen. They will lie and sell their soul to get the signature on the contract.

Do your own DUE DILLIGENCE in regards to the school or get burned.

Use the recruiters for what they are. Use more than one and keep going until you get what you want. There is no rush and there is certainly no shortage of jobs.

When it comes to the school - again - repeat - Do your own DUE DILLIGENCE.

1st - READ the contract over very carefully. If that doesn't scare you away then...

The best you can do is minimize the risk by talking to MORE THAN ONE of the foreign staff and ask POINTED AND SPECIFIC QUESTIONS (*when the boss is NOT listening over their shoulder). Don't accept non-specific answers and broad generalizations.

No foreign staff references to talk (directly and via e-mail) to = walk away now.

Accept NO EXCUSES for any reason.

ONE CAVEAT: if it is a public school there may not be a Native English Speaker to talk to but there is a chain of command OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL (your POE liaison) if you have problems and they are more strict in following the terms of the contract.

7777
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Tyshine



Joined: 04 Apr 2011

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you know what part of Daegu?
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onk



Joined: 12 Nov 2012

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tyshine wrote:
Do you know what part of Daegu?


Only that its in the city.

Toddt82, I faced the same problem when I first started. I read some posts on these forums looking for any posts that had anything positive to say about a recruiter. I got a list of about 10 and ended up working with 4 of them. I also followed ttompatz advice to the letter. That's his cut and paste answer to people starting out, but its good advice.


I'm between Yongin and daegu, the daejeon job didn't smell right
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sirius black



Joined: 04 Jun 2010

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

onk,

You ask a ver broad question. If someone said 'Where in America should I live?' how would you answer that.

My first advice is look at the job first. Doesn't matter where you live if the job sucks. If all things being equal with the job then you can start thinking about the city. However, do the research on the job. Talk to present and/or former teachers, do a search on here on other sites to see if the school has any comments.

If all three jobs are basically the same then start thinking about what YOU want. What do you want out of your experience here? Are you a city person, country person, etc. Do you like the solitary life? Are you a party animal? Nothinig wrong with either.

With regards to the three cities, they are all fine. Suburban Seoul can have some cities that have a small town feeling to it but being close by bus and train to a city of 10 million with many cultural, social, etc. things makes the stay much easier.

Daegu and Daejeon are good cities. The smaller of two, Daejeon has 1.6 million people and a big city with a small town feeling to it. Daegu has just under 3 million people. A large city, a thriving downtown scene and things to do.

You can have a great time anywhere. It comes down to three things. 1) the job. If the job sucks, life sucks. 2) Who you meet and befriend. There are some great people and some losers. Choose wisely. 3. You. if you are a fairly well adjusted person, you will get along pretty much anywhere. If you are socially awkward and never really fit in anywhere and you're coming to korea to 'reinvent' yourself, you may struggle but you'd struggle anywhere.

PS
Be careful about a post by a person named FDNY who will post some Cohiba's rule thingy about living in Seoul. Its bullshyt...lol. Some have this Seoul or nothing attitude because its the largest city. Its the equivalent of telling someone its NYC or nothing if they move to America or London or nothiing if you moved to England.

By and large the larger Korean cities (which Seoul, Daegu and Daejeon are) look boringly far more similar than different. You have the benefit also of being in a fairly small country connected by high speed trains so you can enjoy all three cities as they are easy to get to anyway.
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onk



Joined: 12 Nov 2012

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sirius black wrote:
onk,

You ask a ver broad question. If someone said 'Where in America should I live?' how would you answer that.

My first advice is look at the job first. Doesn't matter where you live if the job sucks. If all things being equal with the job then you can start thinking about the city. However, do the research on the job. Talk to present and/or former teachers, do a search on here on other sites to see if the school has any comments.


Really? 'cuase i thought i was kinda specific...pick one outa three...like, would you live in Detroit, Milwaukee or Chicago? I would pick Chicago.

I did say all things were equal...and I am thinking only about the city for the purpose of the argument...

I didn't ask what "I" want. I asked what "you" want (or which one you would pick, if you had to). I know my opinions, I want to hear the opinion someone else.

Thanks for weighing in though.

Yongin looks more spread out then i though and the dong that the school is in looks tiny. I don't think i really want to travel 30 minutes every time i want to go to a decent restaurant.

Any thoughts?
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're going to find that the local (their should be several actually) greasy spoon will have real good Korean food at an inexpensive price. You can look for your usual food on weekends if you have to.
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