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Korea or Taiwan?
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Bubbliee



Joined: 03 Jul 2003
Location: Kelowna, BC Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 10:11 pm    Post subject: Korea or Taiwan? Reply with quote

Hi,
I will be coming either to Korea or Taiwan in the end of August or beginning of September. I am having a hard time deciding where to go. I teach ESL privately here in Canada and have taught many Korean students in that time. I really like my Korean students much more then all the others (Japanese, Chinese, Peruvian, Brazillian, Ukrainian). Many of my students who have gone back to Korea really want me to come to Korea, they have all offered to give me any help or assistance I may need. I don't have this sort of support network or familiarty with Taiwan. Many ESL teachers I have talked to who have been to both usually reccomend Taiwan. I would really appreciate any advice that anybody gives me.

Thanks so much,
Bubbliee
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so tell us why you're interested in taiwan then.

I think a lot of teachers that have been to both were burned in Korea, so they went to Taiwan, hence their like for Taiwan more. Just my theory.

Also, what are you looking for? Would help so we could tell you if you can find it in Korea or not.
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taking into consideration everything I've read, or have heard about working in Taiwan and my experiences in Korea, I'd suggest Japan.
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gypsyfish



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer Korea.

In Taiwan, you can pretty much count on teaching kids. I had heard the money was better, but didn't find that to be the case and I taught many hours. The climate is very oppressive - hot, humid and rainy most of the year. In Korea, you can pretty much choose to teach adults or kids.

On the other hand, Taiwanese people were friendly enough and, at the time(three years ago), I felt Taipei was more cosmoploitan than Seoul, at least as far as restaurants and bookstores. I liveed right outside of Taipei and it was a hike to get to the subway. The subway was good, but not as all inclusive as Seoul's.

My quality of life is better in Seoul. Now, there is a nice mix of non-Korean restaurants in Seoul and the bookstore situation has improved - still not as good as Bangkok or Singapore - but a vast improvement over seven years ago. Seoul's weather can suck in the summer, but Fall and, especially, Spring are beautiful. The Taianese didn't seem to care much about their history and culture - things I am interested in - and I learned more about Korea in the first three monthsthat I lived in Korea than I did about Taiwan in thirteen.
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Bubbliee



Joined: 03 Jul 2003
Location: Kelowna, BC Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Point Bucheon Bum.
I guess it would help if everybody knew what I was looking for. Probably would help if I knew the complete answer to that one myself! Here are some of the things I know I am looking for. Firstly an adventure. I was born and raised in a really small town in British Columbia Canada. I moved a couple of years ago to the middle sized city of Kelowna. I have never been overseas, the only stamps in my passport are Mexico and America. I also really enjoy teaching, I have been doing so for two years with no real regrets. I love people in general I am incredibly social. I also have to pay of a monster student loan. Who knew getting a degree in Psychology and English would cost so much? I'm also pretty interested in History and culture. Since Canada is such a young country we don't have a lot of that here. I also should mention that I do have a job waiting for me in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I did not sign any contract. Any contract signing and negotiation is to take place after I arrive. I'm just having major second thoughts about Taiwan.
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Ghostinthemachine



Joined: 22 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bubbliee wrote

"I teach ESL privately here in Canada and have taught many Korean students in that time. I really like my Korean students much more then all the others...........Many of my students who have gone back to Korea really want me to come to Korea, they have all offered to give me any help or assistance I may need."

Change Canada to Ireland in the above quote and you have the reason why I came to S.Korea.

But..

I have really come to regret since coming here keeping in contact with the Korean students I had in Ireland...It's caused me so much hassle and stress.

In fairness it has to be said that by and large it isn't really their fault..most of the time they are well meaning.

However there are huge cultural differences and I found those students had changed greatly when they returned to S.Korea (atho' it's probably more accurate to say I didn't know or understand them as well as I thought I did).

Also bear in mind that you will probably be providing the only opportunity they have of speaking English with a native speaker when you come to S.Korea and this can become really burdensome.

I can't help in your choice between S.Korea and Taiwan but you did say

"I would really appreciate any advice that anybody gives me."



......and so for what it's worth i don't think you should factor in the fact that you already have many ex-students as contacts already here when making your decision.

Be extremely selective about who you keep in touch with.

It's a lot harder to drop people after you've re-established contact.

If you do come here you'll find that you get much better support and advice from the foreign teachers already here than you will get from those students. Again ...koreans living here have a much harder life than they do when they are studying abroad and so they do act differently!

sorry if this sounds like scare-mongering but I have had quite a bad experience in this regard.

And..

the best of luck whatever you decide to do. Smile
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well i don't know much about taiwan, so can't give you a comparison.

What I can tell you is this:

1)if you're outgoing, which you claim to be, there is no way that coming to korea WON'T be an adventure. You're guaranteed to meet some "interesting" people, both korean and foreign, while you're here. If you're not really into drinking, you might find your life to be a bit dull if you get a job outside Seoul and Busan. On the other hand, if you're into hiking, then perhaps you won't be.

2) Be wary of what kind of job you take here. I'm sure you know this one already. If lots of questions and doubts are poping into you head about a certain job, its a sign that it is a bad job. talk to the teachers there. If they give vague answers or don't seem too excited to be talking to you, you know somethng is up.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.
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Bubbliee



Joined: 03 Jul 2003
Location: Kelowna, BC Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all your advice so far. Ghostinthemachine sounds like you understand the situation pretty well. I will try and make my decision sometime next week as I have my last final exam on Tuesday. Then I am free of university! I just want to make the best decision I can of course. I have to admit I am a little freaked out about going somewhere and not knowing anybody at all. I make friends easily, but I still get a wee bit freaked in new situations. Again thankyou all this advice is appreciated.
Bubbliee
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chi-chi



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mods you may delete

Last edited by chi-chi on Sat Jul 30, 2005 8:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mokpochica



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This page has been posted here a few times and it gives a good run down of different aspects of Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.

You might also want to go to the chat here at the cafe and find some teachers that are in these countries. A lot of people that teach in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan (sometimes all three!) chat there and are usually happy to give you info about working in those countries.
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 2:38 am    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

Um, depending on your age etc, I think I'd try to get on the JET program in Japan. JET would give you a soft landing in Asia.

Taiwan is fairly hard to get enough hours at any one place and the food sucks however students are great. Korea you can generally get a better deal on accommodation and the food is good. Japan has less character and is all so clean but not as friendly as Korea or Taiwan. Oh Taiwan is also a bit of a pain to have to deal with immigration. Japan is the best for immigration.
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waterbaby



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: Baking Gord a Cheescake pie

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bubbliee,

Here are some links to some threads that compare Korea to other countries in Asia, mostly Japan and Korea.

Should I Move to South Korea?
Korea vs Japan vs Taiwan
Stay in Korea or flee to Japan?
Coming Back to Korea from Taiwan - Advice
Korea compared to Japan

Good luck!
wb
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The Great Wall of Whiner



Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Location: Middle Land

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.

Personally, I choose Korea for oh-so-many reasons.

If you want to actually know all those reasons, feel free to PM me.
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Bubbliee



Joined: 03 Jul 2003
Location: Kelowna, BC Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just for the record I am 25. I would like to go to Japan, but unfortunately I can't afford it right now. That is another reason why Korea is on the appealing side, I need very little start up money. You guys have been really great so far. Very Happy Please keep any advice you have coming!

Bubbliee
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 10:24 am    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

Your age the JET program is open to you in Japan. They pay the costs for you.
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