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Author Topic: The tipping point reached?  (Read 8559 times)

Offline basic69isokay

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The tipping point reached?
« on: September 26, 2014, 07:35:38 AM »
Has the tipping point been reached where it's easier to make 2/grand a month in our Western countries than here in Korea? If not, we're getting close.
I'm going to love it when the recruiter s are begging people to work again instead of being d*cks

Offline ciannagh

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2014, 07:45:30 AM »
Has the tipping point been reached where it's easier to make 2/grand a month in our Western countries than here in Korea? If not, we're getting close.
I'm going to love it when the recruiter s are begging people to work again instead of being d*cks

Even if it is easy to make two grand a month in our home countries, the cost of living will still be higher there. Here our rent is paid for, healthcare is affordable (I'm from the States), and you don't need to own a car to get around. Eating out here is cheaper than back home, though the cost of produce and meat is quite high. For me to be able to save as much as I do in Korea I'd need to make way more than two grand a month.

Also, with the way people in the USA are incurring massive student loans, it's only natural that they're going to want to come out here to pay them off. That's the main reason I came out here (that and I'm good at teaching).

That said, the market in Korea is saturated and ESL in China is on the rise, offering similar if not better packages for ESL teachers.  ESL in Korea has definitely been changing for awhile now - it's easy to see that the pay has gone down over the years.

Offline CDW

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2014, 08:41:30 AM »
In some places in the US, you'll soon be able to make over 2k a month while earning minimum wage.

"The Los Angeles city council has voted to raise the minimum wage at large hotels to $15.37 (9.41) per hour.....

"Wednesday's vote comes after Seattle's city council voted to raise its hourly minimum to $15 over several years. San Francisco will vote on a similar rise in November.

"Mr Garcetti has pledged to push for a city-wide rise to $13.25 by 2017."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-29355028

$15 an hour is about $2500 per month. I think a lot of US teachers here would prefer to live in their own country. I think a lot of teachers have difficulty adapting to the culture here. It's not always fun being a foreigner. Given the chance to make $2k or more a month they may choose to work in the US despite the greater expenses. It may be a better career move in the long run. Opportunities for advancement in ESL are limited. Experience and qualifications are often not highly valued nor rewarded by employers in this field.

Offline jeremydc808

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2014, 10:28:54 AM »
It's not all about the money here. Sure, most of us can make more back home but there are other benefits.

If you are lazy and partying than yes, it's a tipping point.

I teach, study other languages, completing my masters (inclass), meet many people, have one in a lifetime experiences, and still save a little every month.


I like teaching here because my students are great and I am able to advance my education while maintaining a low-stress FT job that adds to my resume.


Ohh and the girls I date are just icing on the cake :P

Offline ChickenLegsMcGee

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2014, 01:13:28 PM »
i was making a little under 60k a year before coming here. While not the average, there are a ton of jobs out there that pay well, but people just don't know options that exist. (the job I applied for required nothing out of the ordinary)
Open your mind.

Offline basic69isokay

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2014, 10:02:40 PM »
That's my point. These 10 hr a day jobs paying 2.1 plus a dorm room basically.
I mean, at what point is it better to just go home and wait tables or stock shelves??
Those are definitely low level alternatives but its almost to the point those look better for most people, unless you are grandfathered into the uni system or have an MA.
PLUS! No ajossis, no bowing, no korea #1!! everywhere u go.
Heck, even China looks pretty decent.
I think 2015 will be the year we see people going home in droves.
This year, right now, is the best employer's market there will ever be.

Offline CanineKimchi

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2014, 10:19:46 PM »
I'm enjoying the low stress FT job along with the low cost of living (not to mention affordable medical and dental). If you can add to your resume during this time (acquiring a skill/education) I think you're doing it right.

Offline SeoulCaliber

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2014, 10:38:00 PM »
I'm enjoying the low stress FT job along with the low cost of living (not to mention affordable medical and dental). If you can add to your resume during this time (acquiring a skill/education) I think you're doing it right.

While I disagree that the cost of living is low in Korea, the rest of this post is correct. If, however, you are idling away your time when not teaching by not acquiring a skill/education then that is a very bad move. Not too bad if you're in your twenties, a bit pathetic if you're in your thirties, near-doomed if you're in your 40's. You just can't spend years in Asia teaching and leave with nothing to show for it besides a few more lines on your resume. Not just in Korea but all over the place standards are rising for hiring teachers (ten years ago anyone could teach in Vietnam, now you need a CELTA, degree and background check), so it's a really stupid idea to not learn a new skill or to further your education at this point.

Offline MJHanson

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2014, 12:22:50 AM »
Has the tipping point been reached where it's easier to make 2/grand a month in our Western countries than here in Korea? If not, we're getting close.

I can't speak for other Western countries, but only a lazy fool couldn't make $24,000 per year in the U.S. with a college degree.  Hell, I was making $24,000 / year delivering pizzas during my last two years of college.  I know some waitresses with no education who easily make over $40,000.  Like others have said, if you want your take-home pay and savings potential to equal that of Korea, you'll have to make at least $3,000 or more.

The perks of working in Korea are an easy visa, unique experiences, low taxes, and sometimes an apt with your job.  Not to mention food, dating, travel opportunities, etc.  If you're in ESL primarily for the money, you're doing life wrong. 


Offline jeremydc808

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2014, 09:48:38 AM »
Has the tipping point been reached where it's easier to make 2/grand a month in our Western countries than here in Korea? If not, we're getting close.

I can't speak for other Western countries, but only a lazy fool couldn't make $24,000 per year in the U.S. with a college degree.  Hell, I was making $24,000 / year delivering pizzas during my last two years of college.  I know some waitresses with no education who easily make over $40,000.  Like others have said, if you want your take-home pay and savings potential to equal that of Korea, you'll have to make at least $3,000 or more.

The perks of working in Korea are an easy visa, unique experiences, low taxes, and sometimes an apt with your job.  Not to mention food, dating, travel opportunities, etc.  If you're in ESL primarily for the money, you're doing life wrong.


COL compared to Hawaii is lower. Depends on where you come from I guess. For example, a pack of cigarettes are like 12$, milk (gallon) is like 7-8$, and bread is 3$.

Offline MJHanson

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2014, 11:08:15 AM »
COL compared to Hawaii is lower. Depends on where you come from I guess. For example, a pack of cigarettes are like 12$, milk (gallon) is like 7-8$, and bread is 3$.

Hawaii and Alaska are outliers in terms of US COL of course.  (Though I would argue that $12 cigarettes is a high "cost of dying" as opposed to cost of living  :cheesy:)

Seoul does have a pretty low cost of living compared to similar-sized cities in G20 countries.  $1.50 subway fares?  That's crazy! 

Offline basic69isokay

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2014, 03:13:04 PM »
If u count housing,  seoul has a very very high COL.
Most waygooks live in a provided shoebox. So they dont realize. But even just to buy a 1,000sq ft apt is like a quarter million dollars! And what do u get for that? A place smaller than college kids rent off campus in the states
Also, car ownership is very expensive here. Taxes, 7$/gal gas.
Basically,  u can live cheap sure, but the COL is very high for people that want a house or car someday.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 03:15:42 PM by basic69isokay »

Offline William George

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2014, 08:16:32 PM »
Only an insane person (Or married with kids. Redundant, I know...) would want a car in Korea. Especially given the ease and cheapness of the public transportation here in even the small cities.

Offline cereal killer

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2014, 10:53:30 PM »
Has the tipping point been reached where it's easier to make 2/grand a month in our Western countries than here in Korea? If not, we're getting close.
I'm going to love it when the recruiter s are begging people to work again instead of being d*cks
 

If you look at straight up money figures, yeah, the pay in Korea is not that good. And it has stagnated for years. However, that is the problem. People only look at the yearly salary and think, "Korea blows..you make nothing." Uh, not quite. It is the extra benefits that make it worth it here. The first being the apartment. That one is HUGE. I've paid rent back home and I hated doing so because of the cost. Here, I do not pay anything. I do not deal with the housing office. Nothing. It is taken care of for me. Second, everything else..namely, low taxes,  the year-end bonus, pension, airfare-reimbursement. Also, factor in transportation. Yeah, I do miss driving, but I like the subway/bus/train system here. And it has saved me a ton of money through the years. The cost of the car, upkeep, registration, insurance, gasoline..hell, that takes a lot of money out of your pocket every year. Oh, and not to mention the long commutes. Here,it takes me 15 minutes to get to my school by walking.

So, as you can see, it is the additional benefits that make Korea worth it.  And if you can't save at least $10,000/year, you are a fool. Oh, also forgot to mention..that max we work per week is 30 hours. Back home, you'll do 40 plus.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 08:53:32 PM by cereal killer »

Offline MJHanson

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2014, 06:43:11 PM »
Most waygooks live in a provided shoebox. So they dont realize. But even just to buy a 1,000sq ft apt is like a quarter million dollars! And what do u get for that? A place smaller than college kids rent off campus in the states

Off campus in a major metropolis?  I don't think so.  The only metro areas with larger GDP are Tokyo, NYC, and L.A.  Compare housing prices in those cities with that of Seoul.  This is not your old college town. 

$250,000 for 1,000 sq feet in a major metropolis is NOT a lot.  Seoul may not be cheap, but it certainly isn't expensive. 

Offline basic69isokay

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2014, 09:42:37 PM »
Well yea but wouldn't you rather live in nyc or la at that price?
Thats kinda my point, the advantages of working and living in Korea are dwindling.
If the pay is lower than home, and the cost is the same....were going to see a japan style evolution where only the k pop lovers and Korea -philes stay here.

Offline gtrain83

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2014, 12:26:15 AM »
Tipping point? If people want to site stagnate wages in Korea that is fine. However, they should realize that wages for most Americans have been stagnant for 3+ decades and some have actually declined. 

Offline tamjen

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2014, 07:01:57 AM »
Some of us don't want to go 'home'. Some of us are people of the world and feel at 'home' wherever we live. Some of us have never felt the country of our birth is 'home' due to various circumstances.

Not all of us foreigners live in Seoul. Owning a car does not make us insane.

Some of us have amazing teaching gigs. Some of us clear over $3 million Won a month for doing absolutely nothing. Some of us have been doing that at the same school for years. Some of us have never spent 1 second of our time since we've been in Korea doing anything work related outside of school/work hours.

Some of us are making the most money we've ever made for doing the least amount of work that has ever been asked of us. Some of us are quite experienced and truly appreciate it.

Some of us may move on to other countries but will never go 'home' because we like living in the East better than the West.

Believe it or not, some of us are perfectly happy and content with this arrangement.
Hail Caesar

Offline mjc85

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2014, 07:14:55 AM »
I'm enjoying the low stress FT job along with the low cost of living (not to mention affordable medical and dental). If you can add to your resume during this time (acquiring a skill/education) I think you're doing it right.

While I disagree that the cost of living is low in Korea, the rest of this post is correct. If, however, you are idling away your time when not teaching by not acquiring a skill/education then that is a very bad move. Not too bad if you're in your twenties, a bit pathetic if you're in your thirties, near-doomed if you're in your 40's. You just can't spend years in Asia teaching and leave with nothing to show for it besides a few more lines on your resume. Not just in Korea but all over the place standards are rising for hiring teachers (ten years ago anyone could teach in Vietnam, now you need a CELTA, degree and background check), so it's a really stupid idea to not learn a new skill or to further your education at this point.

Believe me, rightly or wrongly anyone can still teach in Vietnam. My friends gf got work there and is not a native English speaker (although fluent) and didn't even have a teaching certificate. Good at her job though.

Offline Pattinsons

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Re: The tipping point reached?
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2014, 07:25:09 AM »
Some of us don't want to go 'home'. Some of us are people of the world and feel at 'home' wherever we live. Some of us have never felt the country of our birth is 'home' due to various circumstances.

Not all of us foreigners live in Seoul. Owning a car does not make us insane.

Some of us have amazing teaching gigs. Some of us clear over $3 million Won a month for doing absolutely nothing. Some of us have been doing that at the same school for years. Some of us have never spent 1 second of our time since we've been in Korea doing anything work related outside of school/work hours.

Some of us are making the most money we've ever made for doing the least amount of work that has ever been asked of us. Some of us are quite experienced and truly appreciate it.

Some of us may move on to other countries but will never go 'home' because we like living in the East better than the West.

Believe it or not, some of us are perfectly happy and content with this arrangement.

Agree with a lot you said.

Many of us have cushy jobs. We work our minimal contracted hours, and deal with little to no outside bullshit. We don't have dopey meetings every week, and have never been asked to mandatory training session on the weekend. Let alone not paid for it.

Also coming from the USA gotta love the low cost health insurance.

 



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