March 25, 2019, 07:50:23 PM


Author Topic: Are you a lifer?  (Read 6803 times)

Offline MayorHaggar

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3616
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2018, 10:52:33 AM »
Living/working in Korea only makes sense in the short term. I guarantee you that the vast majority of EFL teachers in Korea make more than they would doing random jobs back home, because most EFL teachers are teaching EFL because they have random BA degrees that don't let them get good jobs. Add to that the fact that you pay zero rent while you'd be paying hundreds/thousands of dollars/pounds/euros each month to rent back home because property prices have gotten stupid. And the fact that the cost of living in Korea is pretty decent if you aren't frequently buying electronics or other overpriced items. And the pension refund is nice. As a result after like 5-10 years you can save a massive amount of money compared to living back home.

BUT at some point, even if you are married to a Korean, YOU NEED TO GET OUT.

a) EFL starting salaries are pretty high but even if you stay in Korea a long time, your pay will stagnate after a while. Korean bosses would rather replace you than give you a raise. If you can a boss who actually values your teaching skills you might get a higher salary, but we are talking 2.5m instead of 2.2m. The "it's so easy to walk into a 3.0m job in Korea" people are full of BS.

b) Korea is just not set up for old people AT ALL and they refuse to do anything about it. Most Korean employees get fired at around age 45 because their bosses don't want to keep giving them raises, and they end up having to drive a taxi or run a fried chicken franchise until they die, unless they want to hobble around the neighborhood picking up cardboard boxes. An EFL teacher will probably be able to skirt by until their 50's but at some point an EFL teacher in their 50's is just going to stick out like a sore thumb unless they start their own teaching business. And then at some point they will hit 65 and have to survive on $100 a month in paltry Korean pension payments.


A lot of people on the internet like to talk complete BS about how either a) you can make so much more money back home in the West or b) it's so easy to make a massive salary teaching in Korea. Both are completely false. Most people are making 2.1m to 2.5m in Korea. Most people would make less money in the West or would be paying so much more in rent that they would be effectively earning less. Salaries in the West have sucked ass for years, while rental/housing prices have gone through the roof. All of us can do basic math and all of us looked at what we'd be making in Korea vs. at home, and most people saw more money in Korea. Korea is a difficult and annoying place to live at the best of times and nobody would stay there longer than 6 months if they didn't know for a fact that they were making and saving more than back home.

That said it baffles me how many EFL teachers know they're making good money yet spend it all every month on beer or other crap instead of even bothering to try and save anything. That's fine when you're 24 and have your first interesting job after college, but it's pretty sad when you're in your 30's or 40's.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 10:54:42 AM by MayorHaggar »
Quote
Quote from: Mr.DeMartino on Yesterday at 01:40:32 PM

    Trump is a liar and a con man.

Online Thomas Mc

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 371
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2018, 11:27:53 AM »
Itís all very well to say make some money then get out of tefl before you are in your 40s yet the reality is for many teflers they have nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to offer a potential employer at home ( this is not true for teflers in China that have learned that language I concede)

So what is the job back home? Stacking shelves on night shift in Walmart \ Tesco?

Online Life Improvement

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3153
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #42 on: September 24, 2018, 07:44:13 PM »

Offline Cyanea

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 984
  • Gender: Male
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #43 on: September 24, 2018, 08:08:45 PM »
An EFL teacher will probably be able to skirt by until their 50's but at some point an EFL teacher in their 50's is just going to stick out like a sore thumb


It is a pity that Korea is so ageist, because around the world ESL is generally seen as a retirement job as well as being for recent grads.

There are loads of older people who look forward to doing efl after they retire, or if they get laid off early, as a way of travelling and keeping their lives interesting.

Quote
BUT at some point, even if you are married to a Korean, YOU NEED TO GET OUT.

I don't know.. can't the married longtermers just live on privates?

Itís all very well to say make some money then get out of tefl before you are in your 40s yet the reality is for many teflers they have nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to offer a potential employer at home

even if you have vocational qualifications, its hard to get back on the treadmill if you have gotten off it for too long. Western employers are terribly unforgiving of any traveller types who wander the earth for years.



Catch my drift?

Offline oglop

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1808
  • Gender: Male
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #44 on: September 24, 2018, 10:06:34 PM »
Itís all very well to say make some money then get out of tefl before you are in your 40s yet the reality is for many teflers they have nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to offer a potential employer at home ( this is not true for teflers in China that have learned that language I concede)

So what is the job back home? Stacking shelves on night shift in Walmart \ Tesco?
yeah, it's difficult. i'd imagine a lot of people who've been here a while would have decent savings to set themselves up with qualifications/start up costs in a business when they go back. at least, you would definitely need a plan

one of the reasons i would love to get Australian citizenship; teaching ESL is a fairly decently paid career, and is something a lot of people do, even when they're older. i would happily do that if i could. other English-speaking countries? probably largely unfeasible

Offline Cyanea

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 984
  • Gender: Male
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2018, 01:54:40 AM »
teaching ESL .. is something a lot of people do, even when they're older.

That goes for most countries.

Its only Korea that hates old people.
Catch my drift?

Offline VanIslander

  • Moderator LVL 1
  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *
  • Posts: 1220
  • Gender: Male
  • Lovin' the southernmost islands
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2018, 04:09:19 AM »
I've worked in small hagwons in smaller cities/towns for the last 15+ years and I'm pushing 50 years old and there's been PLENTY OF.OLDER TEACHERS. A 69-year-old retired white female teacher from south african elementary school, a 56-year-old British radio host turned two decade esler, a 59-year-old Canadian guy finishing off his distance master's degree, the  52-year-old ex-businessman who decided to spend a few years teaching before his early pension kicks in... PLUS A.LOT i've met and hung out with... the 53yearold brit with a condo in cyprus, the 52yearold with a motorcycle, ... i could go on but my 47 year old teacher friend from manchester is awaitibg my arrival in pohang tomorrow at 9am so i gotta go...

Get out of the big cities and see how very many older folks are teaching esl.

Endnote: im pushing 50 yet my director is older and three of the nine teachers at the hagwon are older than me... hard to feel so old when 4th of 9... remember, ive been in this country since 2002 and have worked at four different hagwons and my experiences support the idea that there are plenty of older teachers welcomed to teach here.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 04:14:41 AM by VanIslander »

Online eggieguffer

  • Waygook Lord
  • *****
  • Posts: 5229
  • Gender: Male
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #47 on: September 25, 2018, 04:52:00 AM »
It just depends on the kind of teaching you're talking about. For Kids and conversation classes for adults, young dynamic or 'handsome' teachers, are in demand, for IELTS, EAP, teacher training etc... they want someone who knows what they're doing and age isn't important.

Business classes can go either way, it depends on the company. I find when teaching adults who actually need English in a real way, ie they're jetting off abroad for business meetings every other week, they want someone with real knowledge. However some business classes veer more towards the bored housewife sector and are more interested in whether the teacher's kind/dynamic/handsome etc.. than what they actually learn. In those classes they tend to be absent a lot more, have little or no knowledge about culture outside Korea and show no interest in finding out, and only ever ask you questions about how you feel about Korea.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 04:59:13 AM by eggieguffer »

Offline chimp

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 109
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2018, 02:58:24 PM »
Itís all very well to say make some money then get out of tefl before you are in your 40s yet the reality is for many teflers they have nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to offer a potential employer at home ( this is not true for teflers in China that have learned that language I concede)

So what is the job back home? Stacking shelves on night shift in Walmart \ Tesco?

I'm sorry to hear you have nothing to offer anybody in the market, employers in the market no less
oo oo ahh ahh

Online leaponover

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 393
  • Gender: Male
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2018, 03:29:30 PM »
Definitely a lifer.  Married with stepchildren, own a hagwon, just bought a house. 

Just came back from visiting my first Asian country (Japan) and have only one thought.  I'm glad I got to visit Japan, and I'm glad I don't live there. 

I can see why people don't like Korea, but what I don't understand is why they say it with such arrogance as that it has to be accepted as fact.  Someone said "it's a difficult place to live at the best of times" and my answer to that is difficult people have a difficult time living here.  People who are not tied to unwavering ideological principles and can go with the flow and also don't get annoyed by any small detail should have no problem thriving here.  It's the safest place I've ever lived.  It has the best customer service I've ever encountered, and it is very lucrative for someone who has very little marketable skills.  I came here as a tabula rasa and let it mold me rather than me trying to mold my surroundings.  That's an exercise in futility.

With that being said, the little things that annoy me are my own hangups (spitting, playing a cell phone on it's highest volume in a restaurant so your kid can watch a movie while you eat, eating like a horse from a trough).  Those are all my own cultural inheritances that I need to wipe clean in order to enjoy a foreign country.  If I can't do that why did I even come here?  I came here with the idea that I would put in two years no matter what and reevaluate.  Six months in I realized I couldn't think of another place I'd rather be.

What I think of other lifers...I respect them a lot as I know they've been brave enough to endure and eventually thrive in a foreign country.  Not everyone can do that.  This forum is indicative of that.

Online Life Improvement

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3153
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #50 on: September 29, 2018, 12:06:10 AM »

Offline MayorHaggar

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 3616
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #51 on: September 29, 2018, 05:04:26 AM »
Someone said "it's a difficult place to live at the best of times" and my answer to that is difficult people have a difficult time living here.  People who are not tied to unwavering ideological principles and can go with the flow and also don't get annoyed by any small detail should have no problem thriving here.  It's the safest place I've ever lived.  It has the best customer service I've ever encountered, and it is very lucrative for someone who has very little marketable skills.  I came here as a tabula rasa and let it mold me rather than me trying to mold my surroundings.  That's an exercise in futility.

I'm going to make a list of objectively bad things about South Korea. Things that can't be chalked up to cultural differences or "racism," things that have nothing to do with "why can't I buy fresh Stilton cheese in rural Kimchi-eup," things that have nothing to do with one's lack of Korean skill or dislike of kimchi. If you have no problem with these things you basically have Stockholm Syndrome and are constantly having to convince yourself that you haven't made a bad decision to live in Korea forever. If you were rich you could run away from some of these, but you can't run away from pollution or North Korea!

- constant sewer stink everywhere unless you spend all your time in one of the few neighborhoods with properly sealed sewer lines

- low quality food ingredients that will constantly mess up your stomach. You may brag about your "iron stomach" but at some point your defenses will be breached and you will never be the same.

- Korean neighbors being noisy at 2AM because your apartment's walls are literally made of styrofoam

- everything crowded all the time

- everything noisy all the time because Koreans have bought into the Japanese theory that being noisy and appearing "busy" are the best ways to drive sales, not providing good products or good customer service

- North Korea

- half of South Koreans and their beloved dork president literally think North Korea is a good and glorious country simply because it's Korean, and ignore the fact that it constantly threatens nuclear genocide against them

- again, the crappy pension. How skilled are you at picking up cardboard boxes?

- THE POLLUTION. OH GOD, THE POLLUTION.

- HORRIBLE, dangerous, homicidal drivers everywhere on the road

- the way Koreans ignore/justify/minimize things they know are objectively bad, like the pollution or the bad driving, meaning they will never ever get fixed because of saving face.
Quote
Quote from: Mr.DeMartino on Yesterday at 01:40:32 PM

    Trump is a liar and a con man.

Online Mr.DeMartino

  • Waygook Lord
  • *****
  • Posts: 6337
  • Gender: Male
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #52 on: September 29, 2018, 09:30:08 AM »
Someone said "it's a difficult place to live at the best of times" and my answer to that is difficult people have a difficult time living here.  People who are not tied to unwavering ideological principles and can go with the flow and also don't get annoyed by any small detail should have no problem thriving here.  It's the safest place I've ever lived.  It has the best customer service I've ever encountered, and it is very lucrative for someone who has very little marketable skills.  I came here as a tabula rasa and let it mold me rather than me trying to mold my surroundings.  That's an exercise in futility.

I'm going to make a list of objectively bad things about South Korea. Things that can't be chalked up to cultural differences or "racism," things that have nothing to do with "why can't I buy fresh Stilton cheese in rural Kimchi-eup," things that have nothing to do with one's lack of Korean skill or dislike of kimchi. If you have no problem with these things you basically have Stockholm Syndrome and are constantly having to convince yourself that you haven't made a bad decision to live in Korea forever. If you were rich you could run away from some of these, but you can't run away from pollution or North Korea!

- constant sewer stink everywhere unless you spend all your time in one of the few neighborhoods with properly sealed sewer lines

- low quality food ingredients that will constantly mess up your stomach. You may brag about your "iron stomach" but at some point your defenses will be breached and you will never be the same.

- Korean neighbors being noisy at 2AM because your apartment's walls are literally made of styrofoam

- everything crowded all the time

- everything noisy all the time because Koreans have bought into the Japanese theory that being noisy and appearing "busy" are the best ways to drive sales, not providing good products or good customer service

- North Korea

- half of South Koreans and their beloved dork president literally think North Korea is a good and glorious country simply because it's Korean, and ignore the fact that it constantly threatens nuclear genocide against them

- again, the crappy pension. How skilled are you at picking up cardboard boxes?

- THE POLLUTION. OH GOD, THE POLLUTION.

- HORRIBLE, dangerous, homicidal drivers everywhere on the road

- the way Koreans ignore/justify/minimize things they know are objectively bad, like the pollution or the bad driving, meaning they will never ever get fixed because of saving face.

I think you made leaponover's point.

'Everything crowded all the time'- WTH did you expect moving to one of the most densely populated countries on Earth?

Online eggieguffer

  • Waygook Lord
  • *****
  • Posts: 5229
  • Gender: Male
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #53 on: September 29, 2018, 09:41:11 AM »
Quote
'Everything crowded all the time'- WTH did you expect moving to one of the most densely populated countries on Earth?

Whether he should have expected it or not doesn't change the fact that it's a factor that makes living in Korea unpleasant. It's like when people say Korea is filled with ugly architecture and you say 'WTH do you expect when it was mostly bombed to crap in the Korean war'? Sure, but it doesn't change the fact that it's filled with ugly architecture.

Online Thomas Mc

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 371
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #54 on: September 29, 2018, 12:06:10 PM »
Itís all very well to say make some money then get out of tefl before you are in your 40s yet the reality is for many teflers they have nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to offer a potential employer at home ( this is not true for teflers in China that have learned that language I concede)

So what is the job back home? Stacking shelves on night shift in Walmart \ Tesco?

I'm sorry to hear you have nothing to offer anybody in the market, employers in the market no less

I do have something to offer a school if I decide to get properly qualified as a teacher. However other "graduate" jobs I'm not so sure.

Online Titus Groan

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 81
  • Gender: Male
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #55 on: September 29, 2018, 09:38:40 PM »
Man,

  You people worry too much!

  What do you think this world is gong to be like in the next decade?

 Grab what you can now because things are going down really fast; there's no Star Trek future for us - we are basically done!

  I am constantly amazed at the delusional notions of some glorious, happy future I see on websites like this all the time; I guess none of you really studied History... and with the whole PC/SJW smartphone mindlessness I encounter daily here I truly despair for our future!

Online leaponover

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 393
  • Gender: Male
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #56 on: October 01, 2018, 02:24:32 PM »
Someone said "it's a difficult place to live at the best of times" and my answer to that is difficult people have a difficult time living here.  People who are not tied to unwavering ideological principles and can go with the flow and also don't get annoyed by any small detail should have no problem thriving here.  It's the safest place I've ever lived.  It has the best customer service I've ever encountered, and it is very lucrative for someone who has very little marketable skills.  I came here as a tabula rasa and let it mold me rather than me trying to mold my surroundings.  That's an exercise in futility.

I'm going to make a list of objectively bad things about South Korea. Things that can't be chalked up to cultural differences or "racism," things that have nothing to do with "why can't I buy fresh Stilton cheese in rural Kimchi-eup," things that have nothing to do with one's lack of Korean skill or dislike of kimchi. If you have no problem with these things you basically have Stockholm Syndrome and are constantly having to convince yourself that you haven't made a bad decision to live in Korea forever. If you were rich you could run away from some of these, but you can't run away from pollution or North Korea!

- constant sewer stink everywhere unless you spend all your time in one of the few neighborhoods with properly sealed sewer lines

- low quality food ingredients that will constantly mess up your stomach. You may brag about your "iron stomach" but at some point your defenses will be breached and you will never be the same.

- Korean neighbors being noisy at 2AM because your apartment's walls are literally made of styrofoam

- everything crowded all the time

- everything noisy all the time because Koreans have bought into the Japanese theory that being noisy and appearing "busy" are the best ways to drive sales, not providing good products or good customer service

- North Korea

- half of South Koreans and their beloved dork president literally think North Korea is a good and glorious country simply because it's Korean, and ignore the fact that it constantly threatens nuclear genocide against them

- again, the crappy pension. How skilled are you at picking up cardboard boxes?

- THE POLLUTION. OH GOD, THE POLLUTION.

- HORRIBLE, dangerous, homicidal drivers everywhere on the road

- the way Koreans ignore/justify/minimize things they know are objectively bad, like the pollution or the bad driving, meaning they will never ever get fixed because of saving face.

1.  I've never ever experienced sewer smell anywhere I've lived, worked or visited.  It's literally never happened to me and I say that with all honesty

2.  I've had a weak stomach all my life.  My bowel experiences don't differ here or in America.  It's the same exact thing for me

3.  Living in a city is noisy.  How is this any different than any other city in a country?  Lot less sirens here than USA that's for sure.

4.   You are definitely proving my point.  It's almost like you've never lived anywhere....

5.  Really would like to know one way North Korea has actually affected your life.  Seriously....

6.  You used the word "dork" in a sentence?  For real?

7.  Saving tons of money, not really worried about a pension to survive

8.  Have you looked at an air quality index map?  Many places in Korea are the same as the USA, and all mostly green and yellow like my home country.  Japan, China and India are WAY worse.

9.  Again, this is the first place you have ever lived?

You really did prove my point, these are all things you are super sensitive to and obviously can't get past.  Most people don't sit around worrying about North Korea and driving.  I feel sorry for you.

Offline oglop

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1808
  • Gender: Male
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #57 on: October 01, 2018, 02:30:49 PM »
i often get a dodgy stomach if i eat korean food in a restaurant. if i cook at home (or my wife cooks), i'm always fine.

also, i'll often buy veg in a mart only to find when i get home, it's mouldy or very unfresh (something you can't tell until you unwrap it from the mass of plastic/polystyrene - is that why they wrap it like this?)

anyone else experience either of these?

p.s. uh oh it's turning into the ranting thread

Online #basedcowboyshirt

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 706
  • Gender: Male
  • My ring is a mansion.
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #58 on: October 01, 2018, 03:07:02 PM »
i often get a dodgy stomach if i eat korean food in a restaurant. if i cook at home (or my wife cooks), i'm always fine.

also, i'll often buy veg in a mart only to find when i get home, it's mouldy or very unfresh (something you can't tell until you unwrap it from the mass of plastic/polystyrene - is that why they wrap it like this?)

anyone else experience either of these?

p.s. uh oh it's turning into the ranting thread
I eat Korean food out in restaurants a lot, and it's very, very rare that I or my significant other get any sort of stomach issues. But, I do have a really strong stomach, and everyone's stomach is different, so I'm not trying to dispute the fact that you're getting sick. One general rule of thumb I have is to always avoid franchise restaurants. They're a lot more likely to make you sick than smaller (but still busy) places, in my experience.

As for the vegetables thing, so many people say that their veg here is moldy or rotten or something, but again, honestly, I've never had that, aside from a few isolated incidents, but definitely the exception rather than the rule.

My general rule for buying veg is either buy it at Emart or Homeplus (downside - super expensive) or buy it at a local market (read: not a mart). Follow that rule by buying seasonal when possible, and carefully inspecting your veg before you buy it. If something's in a big styrofoam tray or something, I don't buy it, because that's stupid and I don't want to support that practice. Also, like you said, you can't properly inspect it before buying. So, anything like that becomes a hard pass for me.

Sneaky things people do: put older, lower-grade fruit on the bottom of baskets where you can't see it.
Or, when you're buying stuff, they'll often choose the stuff they want to move first (read: the oldest), so it's best to select your own fruit and veg when you're buying it - don't go by what they hand you.

I do find in the summer (especially this summer) fruit was going bad a lot quicker than normal, due to the heat and probably inadequate storage and transportation conditions, though.

But yeah. I just check my fruit and veg before buying it. I'd say maybe 3-5% of what I buy is off, which is pretty acceptable to me.

Online Kayos

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Gender: Male
Re: Are you a lifer?
« Reply #59 on: October 01, 2018, 03:27:35 PM »
i often get a dodgy stomach if i eat korean food in a restaurant. if i cook at home (or my wife cooks), i'm always fine.

also, i'll often buy veg in a mart only to find when i get home, it's mouldy or very unfresh (something you can't tell until you unwrap it from the mass of plastic/polystyrene - is that why they wrap it like this?)

anyone else experience either of these?

p.s. uh oh it's turning into the ranting thread

I get that buying vegetable / fruit one a lot here. I literally bought a broccoli the other day, got home, and when I went to use it, found out it was moldy on the inside. >.< Had to toss it and buy a new one.