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Best & Worst Cities? (Busan, Changwon, Seoul)
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homer521



Joined: 24 Mar 2003
Location: Seoul (prev Fairfax, VA)

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:18 pm    Post subject: Best & Worst Cities? (Busan, Changwon, Seoul) Reply with quote

Sorry, but I had to ask this again. I've never been to Korea and I'm just trying to get a feel so I can start narrowing down my job searches to one city.

Can you guys please tell me the good, the bad, and the ugly from your own experiences, and some reasons why whould be nice. Again, these are just in your opinions, so if it's not one of the 3 above, please feel free to jump right in anyways. Thanks.
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mrroboto



Joined: 29 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends how you want to live.

I am definitely anti-changwon. If you're past your 30s and you're looking for a quieter lifestyle, it's alright. You'll have to travel around to see interesting parts of Korea as there isn't a lot to do or see there. Despite being a small town, it's not that much cleaner than Pusan

Pusan is a fun city, with a nice beach and good weather. The air is better than Seoul. The shopping is worse. Only one good bar for foreigners. Some decent site seeing, and plenty of diversions for English Teachers.

Seoul is a huge city with a million things to do. Personally, I'm voting for Seoul. As a younger person, it is definitely more interesting and fresh. Great shopping, great history/touristy stuff, a zillion people to meet, but dirty, loud and huge.

I've spent lots of time in all three, but I'm sure others are more qualified to judge them than I....
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homer521



Joined: 24 Mar 2003
Location: Seoul (prev Fairfax, VA)

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2003 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks MrRoboto.

That's cool. I really have no preference, as to a beach city like Busan or a convenient/exciting city like Seoul. I'll have fun no matter where I end up, but I'm just looking for a feel from the personal experiences and opinions of everyone who's already there so I can optimize my fun Smile

There's another person who said from their experience, it seems like the closer to Seoul the better. They said something about the people in Busan being more rough and having different accents..

Okay, that's 2 votes for Seoul so far...
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Bulsajo



Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2003 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bucheon, hands down! It's what korea's all about!
Laughing Laughing Laughing Razz Shocked Sad Crying or Very sad Embarassed Wink
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NickRandom



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2003 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With all due respects to MrRoboto, I am definitely pro-Changwon. I am in my 30s and appreciate a quieter lifestyle, so it's alright. When I lived in Changwon, I travelled around to see lots of interesting parts of Korea (many more than I have been to since moving to Seoul), as there were so many interesting places to go which were nearby. Being a small town, it's a hell of a lot cleaner than Seoul, and the people (both foreigners and Korean) are a heck of a lot friendlier, and the foreigner community is much more tight-knit.

Busan is a fun city, with a nice beach and good weather. The air is a little better than Seoul. The shopping is worse. Only one good bar for foreigners. Some decent site seeing, and plenty of diversions for English Teachers.

Seoul is a huge, dirty, crowded city with a million things to do, and a million people getting in your way whenever you want to go somewhere - like shopping in the markets or malls, riding the subways, horrible weekend traffic, going to the big temples, palaces and museum... Seoul may be more interesting and fresh for people who like living in a overcrowded megalopolis, but personally, I'm voting for Changwon.

I've spent lots of time in all three, but I'm sure others will have differing opinions. It all depends on what you want. Personally, if I could have my current job in Changwon, it'd be no contest.
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Korea Newfie



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Location: Newfoundland and Labrador

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2003 3:25 am    Post subject: Re: Best & Worst Cities? (Busan, Changwon, Seoul) Reply with quote

Hey Homer,

I've lived in Incheon since I've been here, and I've liked it a lot. While it's the third biggest city in Korea, it has a very quiet, easy feel to it.

Because the airport's here, you don't have to factor in getting to the airport for excursions.

It's very near Seoul (takes me 40 minutes from the heart of Incheon to the heart of Seoul on the express train) so you can get there whenever you want. More importantly, you can get the heck out of there when you've had enough.

I've visted the other big cities, but haven't like as may as much as Incheon. Having said that, I'm sure that if I spent more time there, they would grow on me (although I have my doubts about Daegu...man, that place is boring...)

Hope this helps.
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Homer
Guest




PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2003 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey there are 2 homers in here!
Its getting crowded...

Homer521....my man.....I lived in Busan for the past few years and I find it to be a pleasant city to live in.
Not too big not too small. I live close to the beach with my wife and we quite like our area.
Seoul does have more thins to do and more access to things western but in Busan you can pretty much get anything you need.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2003 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bulsajo wrote:
Bucheon, hands down! It's what korea's all about!
Laughing Laughing Laughing Razz Shocked Sad Crying or Very sad Embarassed Wink


ha ha, you know Bucheon is the place to be. It is improving though and some of the new areas aren't bad.

Incheon is the 3rd biggest city in Korea? I thought that was Daegu. I know Incheon is big, but didn't know it was THAT big.
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Man of Changwon



Joined: 02 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2003 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Changwon is a fantastic city. Busan and Seoul are just to full-on so if you like people constantly rubbing all the time and where is personal space is zero, these two cities are for you, plus they are so dirty. Changwon has most of the amenities of these two cities plus if you feel like a huge night out Busan is only 45 minutes away. I'm only in my late twenties and I have been here two years and I'm not bored yet.
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gajackson1



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Location: Casa Chil, Sungai Besar, Sultanate of Brunei

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2003 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmm - tough call.

If you have done any searches, you will know I, like others, really loved Changwon. I liked the structure/organization, and if you were up in the northeast part (Sa-pa area), the air is clean. Lots of parks/playgrounds, and a GREAT city to learn to drive/ride a bike in. Beaches aren't too far away; Busan, even the beaches, are only an hour away, and you can also easily get to Jin-hae, & hop a ferry for Ko-je, as well. Foreigner community is very close, with a few good bars (but no Western dance places!!!), and lots of house parties.

I've only lived in Seoul a little more than a year, and am actually not 'in' - I'm 40 minutes south, on the blue line. Air is good out here in the burbs, and city is close enough. Definitely a whole lotta stuff to do - blading, subway exploring, shopping, dining, entertainment, etc. Best nightlife in Korea - Western bars, rave/dj shows, Latin bars/dancing, etc.

For Busan???? Hmmm - spent a lot of time there, but can't say much for living. Decent shopping, Som-yeon & PNU nightlife is ok, but seems really limited for a city of 4 mill + people. Hyundae beach was a overcrowded, practically bikini-sterile mess (song-jeong, just to the north, is a better beach IMHO, & forget Kwangali, since the bridge went up).

I guess, as I have said before, it depends mostly on you - wha you want/need, & your priorities. Make a list of what you NEED, and people can help from there.

Regards, & good luck!

Glen
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homer521



Joined: 24 Mar 2003
Location: Seoul (prev Fairfax, VA)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, thanks to everyone who replied, and what's up to everyone that said what's up too Smile

I counted 2 each for Bucheon and Changwon, and 1 each for Seoul, Busan, and Incheon.

Bulsajo and Bum,
Can you tell me why Bucheon's so great? If it's something to do with massagee parlors or something like that, feel free to PM me. haha

Glen,
Can you also tell me which one you'd pick if you had to make a choice. I liked you're rundown of each one though. I've been contemplating learning how to ride a bike too, so that bit of info was definitely a bonus for Changwon. You're right, it does sound like a tough call, so I may just apply to hagwons in each city and take the best school/contract.

I'll just be sure to avoid Daegu.
Thanks Newfie.

Homer,
Great name i must say. I was given the nickname by my good friends mainly due to my love for potato chips. I believe your quote was from that episode when someone was roasting a pig, but the propane blew up and sent the pig flying or something like that.. haha. I gotta get the season on DVD for my trip. I think they'd make good teaching videos too Smile
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Bulsajo



Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

homer521 wrote:
Bulsajo and Bum,
Can you tell me why Bucheon's so great?

No I'm afraid I can't.
The smilies were supposed to denote sarcasm.

The thread was about best and worst- Puchon (or Bucheon) has my vote for the worst. It's got all of the bad things about Seoul and Inchon, and none of the good. The Bedroom community from hell.

Never lived there, but visited it often enough to know the only way to get me to settle there is in a casket.
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homer521



Joined: 24 Mar 2003
Location: Seoul (prev Fairfax, VA)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2003 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doh! didn't catch that Smile
I'll be sure to avoid Bucheon like a bunyan also then.
Thanks.


Found some helpful info in another post also:

Ulsan / Busan, or Seoul?
http://www.eslcafe.com/forums/korea/viewtopic.php?t=3766
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blackbirdword



Joined: 14 Mar 2006

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:44 am    Post subject: Teaching in BUSAN Reply with quote

Hey All!

I am planning on coming to South Korea in August/September to teach English. I have done my homework and have learned as much about living/teaching in different areas as can be done on the internet and have decided on Busan. I am coming from NYC - and think Seoul might be too congested for me - and Busan is very appealing b/c it is a coastal city. I have my resume with two large recruiters and have already received a number of potential job offers. Here are my many, many questions - any and all help is appreciated:

1. Has anyone heard of/worked with Gia Consulting (esl job bank)?
2. Has anyone heard of/worked with RBI?
3. What is the most time in advance someone can secure a job (can I secure a job now for september?)
4. Is it possible to negotiate more than 2 weeks paid vacation?
5. Are vacation days usually given in blocks (week at a time) or can you break it up as you wish?
6. anyone heard of BR English school?
7. Anyone heard of Umee Dong neighborhood?
8. What is the most desireable neighborhood in Busan (near water/accessible transport/large expat comminity/safety/access to int'l food markets)
9. Do most jobs provide training or just throw you in?
10. any general descriptions of Busan appreciated.
11. how easy/affordable is travel to other parts of asia (thailand r/t?)
12. any details/experience about the r/t ferry to japan from busan?
13. how easy is it to find private students and how much extra money can be earned by teaching privately?
14. how high is the cost of living (will have free apartment, but need to know what addt'l expenses i will have) - for ex. how much is a monthly internet connection? price for a decent meal out? price of toiletries like shampoo/deoderant etc. and is it smarter to bring most of those things with me?
15. is it easy to find/connect with other expats?
16. can I buy a cheap guitar in So Korea or should I bring my own?
17. Decent Live music? Open mics?
18. English language films?


THANKS SO MUCH for any help.

Jen
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Smee



Joined: 24 Dec 2004
Location: Jeollanam-do

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello. I can help with a little.

3. What is the most time in advance someone can secure a job (can I secure a job now for september?)
4. Is it possible to negotiate more than 2 weeks paid vacation?

What sort of job are you looking for? You can begin interviewing for public school jobs now . . . just look on the Job Board and see what recruiters/schools are offering positions (you might have to go back and look at postings from a few weeks ago.) You can send them an email with your resume and chances are someone will get back to you.

With public schools outside of Gyeonggi-do your contract will probably say between 1 and 2 weeks of vacation each semester. These are normally taken during the students' winter and summer breaks.

Hagwons are a little more stingy. Just a cursory glance at job postings shows that most will offer 10 days . . . but be careful because a lot of schools will deduct national holidays from this total if the holidays fall during the week. I have seen a few hagwon offering 2 weeks of vacation but i have no experience negotiating for that. My gut feeling is "no, you can't really negotiate that." Most contracts, as you probably know, are subject to change at any time.

5. Are vacation days usually given in blocks (week at a time) or can you break it up as you wish?

Depends. My hagwon makes us take 5 in a row. The other days are given out at their choosing. I hope some situations are better.

6) anyone heard of BR English school?

I met a guy from this school. Seemed kind of spaced out when he was trying to recruit me for his school (he wanted to break my contract.) He talked about how his school combines yoga with English. And there's juice time involved.

There's a little thread about it: http://www.eslcafe.com/forums/korea/viewtopic.php?t=50554

9. Do most jobs provide training or just throw you in?

My job put me in a classroom a few hours after I arrived. It depends. Some contracts stipulate a week-long training period. However our latest arrival here was forced to substitute teach for sick teachers, so you never know. This is something you can clear up in your interviews with schools.

13. how easy is it to find private students and how much extra money can be earned by teaching privately?

Teaching privately is illegal for most foreigners in Korea, and nobody on this board breaks the laws. *cough* As you walk down the street you'll have some Koreans ask you to tutor their children or fill in for a kindergarten class or two . . . but nobody does it because it's illegal *cough*


THere's other people who can fill you in about other things. Good luck with your search. It's good you've done some homework.
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