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Seoul vs. Busan vs. Daegu vs. Incheon

 
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S3raph1m



Joined: 06 Mar 2017

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:50 pm    Post subject: Seoul vs. Busan vs. Daegu vs. Incheon Reply with quote

I'm planning on teaching English in South Korea soon. I want to teach in South Korea for a year or two before going back to the states to get a teaching certification, so this isn't a permanent gig. I don't have any teaching experience, but I am volunteering for an evening ESL class at one of my local public libraries to help out and observe.

Anyway, I don't have the cash to visit South Korea before making a decision on where to live and I'm having trouble deciding where to go. I know South Korea is going to be a lot more conservative than what I'm used to. I'm from a fairly liberal hippie city in the states with a pretty outdoorsy culture, so I imagine there's going to be some culture shock. I've lived outside of the US before (Spain), but the ESL market there seems difficult and not as well paid. I like cities with lots of art and music, and definitely prefer a more laid back outdoorsy culture. A place where it's easy to connect with the local arts community and collaborate on projects would be a plus. I also prefer warmer weather and nature (which still being in a large city though). Which place more likely fits what I'm looking for? The beach is definitely a plus. How do people feel about Busan? I'm also open to other cities, but I picked these 4 since they're the largest.
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a country that is 400km x 400km (250 miles squared) you'd be far better off being focused on the job than the location.
It is only 2.5 hours by train from Seoul to Busan and there are intercity buses that are cheap and go everywhere. eg: Bundang district in Seongnam city is about 30-40 minutes from central Seoul by express bus. That is usually faster than a subway ride within Seoul.

The best choices for newbies are Seoul and Gyeonggi-do province (the doughnut shaped province that surrounds Seoul). You have easy access to everything and subway / bus connections to everywhere.

.
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edwardcatflap



Joined: 22 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:36 am    Post subject: Re: Seoul vs. Busan vs. Daegu vs. Incheon Reply with quote

S3raph1m wrote:
I'm planning on teaching English in South Korea soon. I want to teach in South Korea for a year or two before going back to the states to get a teaching certification, so this isn't a permanent gig. I don't have any teaching experience, but I am volunteering for an evening ESL class at one of my local public libraries to help out and observe.

Anyway, I don't have the cash to visit South Korea before making a decision on where to live and I'm having trouble deciding where to go. I know South Korea is going to be a lot more conservative than what I'm used to. I'm from a fairly liberal hippie city in the states with a pretty outdoorsy culture, so I imagine there's going to be some culture shock. I've lived outside of the US before (Spain), but the ESL market there seems difficult and not as well paid. I like cities with lots of art and music, and definitely prefer a more laid back outdoorsy culture. A place where it's easy to connect with the local arts community and collaborate on projects would be a plus. I also prefer warmer weather and nature (which still being in a large city though). Which place more likely fits what I'm looking for? The beach is definitely a plus. How do people feel about Busan? I'm also open to other cities, but I picked these 4 since they're the largest.


Seoul, unless the beach is a deal breaker, if so, Busan
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seoul. Sounds like you'd like the Hong Ik University Station - Hapjeon Station - Shinjeon Station area. Most newbies head for Itaewon, though. Ground zero for expats on weekends.
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denverdeath



Joined: 21 May 2005
Location: Boo-sahn

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seoul. For everything you mentioned, but the weather. Seoul can be pretty miserable for that most of the year...but you may be fine in spring/fall, or in summer after the rains if you like hot and humid. Having said that, you get hot and humid everywhere here in summer.

Regarding "outdoorsy-stuff", you may find seoul to be much more polluted than busan (it still has its fair share), but you can still find a lot of half-decent nature.

For big-name concerts, or at least a bit of a selection for music, you want Seoul. There ARE a bunch of venues for three-day lollapalooza-like events in the spring/summer nowadays. Some arent so close to seoul, but it's still nice to be able to get to those pretty quickly from seoul or wherever...transportation is pretty good here due the small landsize and comparatively large population.

http://ticket.interpark.com/Global/

http://www.bandsintown.com/cities/seoul-korea-republic-of
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Yaya



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are better jobs to be had outside of Seoul plus lower cost of living. If you're a hippy as you say, try places near the beach. Busan is a great place with plenty of expats and places to go for them. I've heard of plenty of people who wanted to go to Seoul, took a position in the provinces, and stayed in the latter even after getting offered jobs in Seoul. Seoul is not Korea just as NY isn't the U.S. Good luck.
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geldedgoat



Joined: 05 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can find a decent job there (which you should definitely consider a much, much higher priority than location), I like Daejeon as a nice compromise. It's centrally located, well organized, is milder on air pollution compared to the other Korean metropolises, and has an expat community that is large enough to have reliable social interaction with foreigners when you want it but not so large that you can't easily avoid it if you need such an escape.
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