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Author Topic: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.  (Read 15630 times)

Offline travish65742

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Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« on: March 02, 2011, 01:20:21 PM »
I am a relatively new English teacher here in Korea and I love it. I have met people who have taught in Korea for years. My question is, what keeps people from going home? Those of you who have been in Korea for more than one contract period, Why are you still in Korea?

Offline UKsimon

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2011, 01:22:32 PM »
Easy life. 

Offline Belzak

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2011, 01:24:12 PM »
I stay for the kimchi.

portlandzach

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2011, 01:24:53 PM »
For me, jobs back home are very difficult to find. also, the people, the friendliness, the food...the chill working hours and paid vacations...all this with only an undergrad too....:)

Offline zap451

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2011, 01:27:20 PM »
I agree with portlandzach. Plus, I have a great school and apartment and live in Seomyeon. Can't beat it.

Offline mr sam teacher

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2011, 01:31:42 PM »
Most of the people who know who have been here more than 2 years are here because either a) they have Korean relatives here or b) they are married to a Korean.  :)

Offline waygookshawn

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2011, 01:32:40 PM »
Here's what I think of when I contemplate going home:

-Genuinely nice society (not perfect, but genuine)
-No tipping policies
-Good service at bars and restaurants
-Free stuff
-Inexpensive nights out
-Kimchi
-Traveling
-Descent pay
-Surrounded by international people
-Free rent
-Korean girls

What more do you want?

Offline L Waygook

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 01:33:35 PM »
My family asks me to explain this all the time. I have been in Korea for 6 months now and love it. Though there are many challenging days and things are sometimes stressful when it comes to not being able to do a lot of things without assistance yet.
My answer to them is always the same. When I was back home in Kansas, I knew what my days would be like. Here in Korea, I can count on having new experiences daily. I can also count on meeting many new people that I would never had the chance to meet otherwise. Also, because Korea is such a small country, it is so easy to travel to a new place with very little effort. The scenery in Korea is quite beautiful. There are many places to enjoy the outdoors ans experience exercise that is not done on a machine in a gym.
Also, overall the people in Korea are eager to help me and love to spend time to learn about my country and language. I feel the same way. Currently I am trying to learn the language and really trying to learn about Korean culture. After all what is the point of living in a new country and not at least trying to change how you live?

Offline gwiffey

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2011, 01:34:24 PM »
with the exception of food, I agree with portlandzach. Friendly people, a decent job, better pay than I would make back home, being in a different culture, getting along with my coteachers, love my students, easy to travel to other asian countries.

The only reasons I even consider going back home are family, friends and to get started on a lifelong career, but I've got the rest of my life to do that, so I'm in no rush.

Offline Wretchard

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2011, 01:45:42 PM »
I'm here for the soju.

Offline englishee teacher

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2011, 01:54:45 PM »
I stayed for a second year because I fell desperately in love with another EPIK teacher here, and we weren't dating long enough for one of us to move to the other's hometown, but long enough that we weren't willing to just say goodbye and go our separate ways.

I'm headed home (well, to his home :D) at the end of this month, and I have things that I both will and won't miss.

Will miss:
Budaejjigae and Shabu Shabu
The students, teachers and administrators at my main school
Customer service
People who know how to wear pants/baseball caps

Won't miss:
Most Korean food
The poor rural schools they made me work at.
Rude people constantly bumping into me
people who run away from me because I speak English
Korean phone menus

Offline travish65742

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2011, 01:56:51 PM »
One of the reasons why I asked is because my family is asking me all the time why I like Korea and want to stay here. I agree with most everyone, but I think there is an intrigue about Korea that is keeping me here. People who have never lived in a foreign country for an extended period of time will never understand. What are your favorite things about Korea?

Offline tfuller

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2011, 02:01:13 PM »
For an Australian, it's not because i can't find a job back home.
It's not because i don't have better things to do back home like start a career and start a family (there is no way that i would start a family here or bother trying to pursue a career in anything that doesn't involve teaching).
I guess my Korean girlfriend is one reason, and the pay here is also quite competitive... i can save more here than a lot of other countries.
I've said to my teachers already that this will be my last year, making it three contracts. When i fly back in to Korea from abroad, things seem so... normal. It's like a second home now and that is a good feeling. It's a reason why i have stayed so long, but also a reason why this contract will be my last. Hope i make sense, i need more coffee.   

Offline SuprD3vil

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2011, 02:02:52 PM »
I've been in Korea for 2 years now and plan on staying for a few more. I began as a preK teacher in a very big Hogwon where I stayed for a year and a half. I switched to public school 6 months ago and also love it for different reasons.

Teaching in Korea is very different from teaching in the US or Canada. When I taught PreK (Korean 6/N.A 4~5 year olds) I was encouraged to hug my kids, play with them, pick them up, etc. I loved it and my kids flourished with a teacher who was able to interact physically, emotionally and mentally with them. During library or story time they would sit on my knee while I read, when they were sick I would hold them for hours while the slept on my shoulder, during play time they would run over and demand to be tickled or try to dog pile me. As a result all of my students were happy, more comfortable, and wanted to learn more. There is nothing like walking into a classroom and having a pack of 5 year olds fighting over who got to hug my first. Knowing I was making a difference in my students lives is what kept me in Korea when I worked at my hogwon, I left because of the long hours (9~7:30) and the number of classes (9~11 a day). I no longer felt like I had the energy to be an effective teacher.

I've been teaching grades 3~6 in a small elementary school for 6 months now and I still love teaching, I miss my little guys at my hogwon but I'm finding more and more things to love about teaching older students. I've been bonding with some of my 5 & 6th graders over video games, even my lowest level students will try to communicate with me when we talk about something they are passionate about. I love teaching with my co-teacher, she is a wonderful person and has become a great friend of mine.

So to sum it all up, I have stayed and will continue to stay in SK because:

-My students and having the freedom to teach the way I want.
-The people who are so caring and helpful (yes there are some who are ignorant and rude but they are all over this planet)
-The amazing experiences Korea has offered me, new food, new language, new styles
-The ability and encouragement to travel and explore
-The fact that here I can work AND pay my student loan
-I'm happy here, pretty much stress free, and I feel like i'm being treated like an adult

Offline Paul

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2011, 02:06:58 PM »
Hope i make sense, i need more coffee.

I for one am a big fan of the cheap, good coffee here! The day when I leave Korea will be the day my adrenal gland will thank me from the bottom of its... gooeygrossbit.
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Offline DevilMogun

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2011, 02:35:17 PM »
I live on an island just off the south coast, in a house on the beach with nothing but ocean between me and Japan.  I wake up to the sound of the waves, with my little dog, two cats and Korean boyfriend, drive half an hour through national park to an easier job than I ever experienced in a British school, eat wonderful Korean food, go home, walk on the beach..... and for almost 9 months of the year the weather is great.

The question is, why leave?
"She lacks the indefinable charm of weakness" Oscar Wilde

Offline mr sam teacher

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2011, 02:40:34 PM »
I live on an island just off the south coast, in a house on the beach with nothing but ocean between me and Japan.  I wake up to the sound of the waves, with my little dog, two cats and Korean boyfriend, drive half an hour through national park to an easier job than I ever experienced in a British school, eat wonderful Korean food, go home, walk on the beach..... and for almost 9 months of the year the weather is great.

The question is, why leave?

With a situation like that, it's a no-brainer. Lucky you... ;)

Offline Maureen

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2011, 02:48:16 PM »
Why I stay in Korea:

- my students are awesome
- I like the food
- I can save money for grad school
- I like teaching

I will be sad when I leave Korea because I will never teach again. I would I could be a teacher in USA but Americans treat their teachers like &^%%**!!!!

Offline Janitor

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2011, 02:57:03 PM »
I have been here for 8 years and what keeps me here are many many things. In 2008 I went home for a bit and realized that for me Korea is where it is at.
 
Some of the reasons are:
-Service: Who doesn't want a cereal bowl when they buy toilet paper?
-Cheap food: For $10 3 people can eat and be full
-Assigned seating at the theater: No more showing an hour early and waiting in line
-Speed Cameras that only take a picture of the front of the vehicle, so motorcycles never get caught
-Riding a motorcycle 12 months of the year
-getting said motorcycle fixed for next to nothing and not paying any labor charges
-Kuk Sool Won, working on my 3rd degree black belt
-Taking the bullet train to Seoul for under $50 and under 3 hours
-The fast pace of building and business: "I wish we had a ___ coffee shop near my apartment" [week later] "OMG there is a ____ coffee shop near my apartment
-Travel: Which other job do hear so many people talk about which COUNTRY they want to go to for vacation or having to choose which country they want to go to during which of their 2 paid vacations. Where I come from we had "The Lake" that was it... just "The Lake"



Aside from that, the opportunities here are amazing and the experiences are incredible. Since coming here I have had two photo exhibitions of my own work(sponsored by the city), met the mayor a few times, been interviewed on the radio and TV, been in the newspaper countless times and have even written for them as well.

I know that my family would like to see me come home and work at "The Plant" and on weekend during the summer go to "The Lake" but honestly life is good here, really good.

Offline dwebsterlfc

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Re: Why stay in Korea? Favorite things about Korea.
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2011, 03:21:49 PM »
Adam, you think that being human means that we all share the same culture? hmmmm are you for real? Why d people study culture and visit museums to learn about other cultures if we all have the same culture. Give your head a shake.

I have no problem with people having opinions. if you don't want to eat it then don't eat it but to state that you hate everybody that does eat it stupid to say the least.

 



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