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Should I move to South Korea? (near 7 years, Japan & Chi

 
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ExpatInAsia



Joined: 24 May 2003
Location: China & Japan

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 6:38 am    Post subject: Should I move to South Korea? (near 7 years, Japan & Chi Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

After having taught in Japan for two years, China for four, then having returned to Japan for the past six months where I've been teaching once again, I am serioiusly considering relocating to South Korea (or possibly Taiwan) and would love to hear any and all relevant advice.

I have had (and am still having) a wonderful time living in Asia. I have visited Seoul once on a brief holiday and enjoyed my time there.

While I'm sure I could gather all the info I need by scanning through all the pages on this site, I will ask here, at the risk of making this post redundant.


And so, my questions...


1. To any of you who have lived in either Japan or China AND South Korea, how do you rate it? Speaking very generally, of course.

2. Is it best to arrive on a tourist visa (U.S. passport holder) and look for work upon arrival, or should I arrange a job before landing?

3. I prefer teaching adults only. What is the job market like for adult only schools? (university or corporate environments would be great)

4. What is the minimum monthly salary I should accept? What would be a good salary to hold out for?

5. What are apartments like in Seoul? I lived in a box in Tokyo, but a wonderful studio in China.

6. Any schools that you suggest speaking with? Any blacklisted?

Any other words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

warmest regards,
David
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kangnamdragon



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Location: Kangnam, Seoul, Korea

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 6:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Should I move to South Korea? (near 7 years, Japan & Reply with quote

ExpatInAsia wrote:



4. What is the minimum monthly salary I should accept? What would be a good salary to hold out for?



With your experience, you should get at least 2.2 million won per month. Try to get 2.5. It would be nice to raise the bar so we can call get more. You will also get free rent in addition to the salary and a one month severence pay after one year.

Yes, you should come to Korea because it's a great place to live. Cheaper than Japan so you're apartment will be larger.
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The Lemon



Joined: 11 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
3. I prefer teaching adults only. What is the job market like for adult only schools? (university or corporate environments would be great)

Holding out for a university - in Seoul - will be helped along if you have an MA or MEd. Everyone and their dog wants to teach at a university in Seoul. You'll find jobs at universities out in the provinces much easier to come by.

Alternatively, there are hogwons in Chongno and Kangnam (downtown Seoul) that cater to adults. They might be an option.

Go for the 2.0-2.5 range, and settle for the lower end if they're willing to give you better benefits, less hours, etc. Don't be totally obsessed with the pay level.
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NO!

Coming from the La-La Land that is Japan to the "Why am I up to my pits in paranoia?" country of Korea is like getting slapped in the privates.

By Mr T.

The evil Mr T from Rocky3, not the good A-Team one.

Ask Matko about the difference.
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chi-chi



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 10:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Should I move to South Korea? (near 7 years, Japan & Reply with quote

mods you may delete

Last edited by chi-chi on Sat Jul 30, 2005 8:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a really good friend of mine has been in Asia for 10 years.. he started in Japan for 3 years.. then Korea for 3 years.. then Taiwan for 1 year.. and now he's been back in Korea the last 3 years..

He's not real crazy about Korea, but out of the 3, he prefers it.. but actually he plans to go to China next.. and he's thinking of staying there for a long long time..

Anyhow, as for me, I've visited Japan and China multiple times.. and been in Korea off and on for awhile now.. Korea is kind of like China except you make alot more money here and the girls are better.. the downside of Korea is that the guys while quite friendly have a really different style of socializing that makes westerners uncomfortable - i.e. they get really excited and spill stuff and shake your hand alot when they are drunk.. and they are drunk alot.. but other than that, Korea & China, while completely different, have alot more similarities.. as does Korea & Japan..

Anyhow, since you are familiar with Japan & China, you'll find Korea to be kind of in an odd and imbetween kind of place comparitively.. but not all that incredibly different..

This is a great link which sums it up pretty much perfectly:

http://www.geocities.com/esl_korea/TaiwanvsKoreavsJapan.html
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matko



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: in a world of hurt!

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2003 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You never mentioned why you want to leave Japan. That would help in any advice given.

Btw, Tiger's link sums it up perfectly (at least for Korea and Japan, don't know about Taiwan)

That link should be made a staple or sticky for this forum.
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William Beckerson
Guest




PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2003 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree. It's dead-on based on my limited experience in Japan and my brutally painful experience here in Korea.

Taiwan... too hot there for me to care. Wink
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chi-chi



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2003 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mods you may delete

Last edited by chi-chi on Sat Jul 30, 2005 8:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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fena_kopek



Joined: 26 May 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's your REAL reason for staying in Asia ?
You love the people and culture so much???!!

Sure don't sound like it............


Wander wander far and wide.......but dont take the trouble to see inside.
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sab7503



Joined: 26 Oct 2007

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear so many horror stories about really bad schools! Are there any reliable ways to find out how good a school is? How does a person avoid the bad schools?

I heard that there are some black lists (and green lists) of schools.

Honestly, I have to admit that I am a little bit nervous about teaching in Korea simply because of all of those horror stories. The link above said that 1 in 7 Korean schools are bad news! Thats a lot!
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sab7503 wrote:
I hear so many horror stories about really bad schools! Are there any reliable ways to find out how good a school is? How does a person avoid the bad schools?

I heard that there are some black lists (and green lists) of schools.

Honestly, I have to admit that I am a little bit nervous about teaching in Korea simply because of all of those horror stories. The link above said that 1 in 7 Korean schools are bad news! Thats a lot!


So instead of digging out a 4 1/2 year old post, why don't you just read the FAQs? (Frequently Ask Questions).
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MarionG



Joined: 14 Sep 2006

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as reading about so many really horrible schools:

Yes, there are bad-sometimes very bad-situations in which one may find oneself here. Those situations are rather rare, and certainly much more unusual than reading these forums would lead one to believe.

I've only been here 9 months, but in my own mind I've developed three categories into which most complaints seem to fall:

1) Genuine gripes, sometimes large, and sometimes small. These range from over-withholding of income tax or failure to pay pension (both pretty common) to your director freely walking in and out of your apartment, being told you have an additional 4 hours a day of work, and actions of actual cruelty or meanness.

2) Yipes, you mean I have to WORK? And everything's not PUUUURFECT?
Complaints about not being paid overtime for coming in 30 minutes before classes start in order to prepare for class is an example of this type of complaint. Or perhaps, "Help! I'm quitting after 7 months and my boss says he won't pay me my year end bonus!"

3) What? There's no Walmart? I so clearly remember some poster who wrote "Koreans are so stupid! You can't even buy skinless, boneless chicken breasts here! What's wrong with these idiots?" or words to that effect. This person should have stayed at home, camped out in the WalMart parking lot.
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MarionG



Joined: 14 Sep 2006

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Goodness, I didn't realize that I was writing something objectionable, racy, or not up to Dave's ESL Cafe standards when I referred to a standard cut of chicken normally called "chicken breasts." Funny!
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