December 18, 2018, 06:22:11 PM


Ohmyzip.com From US To Korea - $7.50 (LB)
[SHOP US, SHIP KOREA] From $7.50 (1LB) + $1.74 per pound only! Use the Ohmyzip U.S. a tax-free state address as your shipping address at checkout. Sign up now to get a 10% off coupon on shipping. <Freight Forwarding Service / Courier Service>
http://www.ohmyzip.com/

Author Topic: No life outside of school  (Read 1405 times)

Offline APH

  • Waygookin
  • *
  • Posts: 15
No life outside of school
« on: November 18, 2018, 09:53:07 PM »
So Iíve been working at my Hagwon in Seoul for nearly 2 months now. The job is pretty decent, apart from the long working hours (09:30-19:30). Overall though Iíd say itís a pretty good job and Iíve never had any issues with management or anything like that and the kids I teach are all lovely.

The issue that Iíve been thinking about a lot recently is that my life outside of work is pretty non existent. Now before anyone jumps down my throat, yes I know thatís why I am here and the job is the reason Iím able to be here. However when I hear other peopleís stories about how much fun they had out here, going out and experiencing new things every weekend with their new friends, it kind of makes me feel like Iím wasting this great opportunity.

Basically Iím the youngest staff member by a fair bit (8-10 years younger than the staff member closest to my age, Iím in my early twenties) and itís a small school with probably 6 teachers in total (myself and one other foreign teacher included) and apart from the odd good morning every now and again, the Korean staff members donít really interact much with the foreign staff. For some this is obviously down to their limited English though (and my poor Korean) so I donít hold a grudge against them for that. Then for the others I assume itís just a case of not being interested in getting to know me.

Iím just starting to feel like I canít really build that connection with the people I work with due to being so much younger and the fact that they all seem to have busy lives outside of work with other commitments, family, kids etc. Weíve been out for dinner maybe once or twice but itís always more just like co-workers than friends. So I spend the majority of my weekends at home alone or when I do go somewhere itís on my own.

Iím just wondering if anyone has experienced something similar? Or any advice on how to make friends out here when you donít have the luxury of working with people who you become close friends with? Just seems especially difficult when so much of my time is spent at school.

Online eggieguffer

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 4666
  • Gender: Male
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2018, 07:18:08 AM »
I once went for six months without any friends in a new city (for the same reason as you) and that was pre-internet days when you could only meet people by getting out there. At least you're in Seoul so it should be easier. Others will probably tell you some face book clubs you can join. A lot of people only socialise at the weekends anyway so don't let the lack of opportunity during the week bother you too much. I guess you're pretty knackered after a ten hour shift anyway. Hope you're getting recompensed enough for it. Things will change.

Online fishead

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1090
  • Gender: Male
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2018, 07:20:57 AM »
 Just walk up to someone and ask them if they would like to go out for some Kalbi/ fried chicken. It can't hurt trying. The dynamics of these places are usually that if you break the ice with one person. It will open the door for everyone else.

 You can actually use the two person unwriten rule for most barbeque places to your advantage. Just mention that you would really like to try Samguypsal but most restaurants don't like to serve single customers. It's actually not that they don't like to. It is just not in their best interest to turn on the gas for a single order. Most will charge you double. With the shrinking portions that is usually not too much for a lone traveller.

Online zola

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 2410
  • Gender: Male
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2018, 07:34:09 AM »
So Iíve been working at my Hagwon in Seoul for nearly 2 months now. The job is pretty decent, apart from the long working hours (09:30-19:30). Overall though Iíd say itís a pretty good job and Iíve never had any issues with management or anything like that and the kids I teach are all lovely.

That's a long work day for an English teacher in Korea.

Quote
Basically Iím the youngest staff member by a fair bit (8-10 years younger than the staff member closest to my age, Iím in my early twenties) and itís a small school with probably 6 teachers in total (myself and one other foreign teacher included) and apart from the odd good morning every now and again, the Korean staff members donít really interact much with the foreign staff.

Par for the course

Quote
For some this is obviously down to their limited English though (and my poor Korean) so I donít hold a grudge against them for that.
Yes.

Quote
Then for the others I assume itís just a case of not being interested in getting to know me.
Also yes.

Quote
Iím just starting to feel like I canít really build that connection with the people I work with due to being so much younger and the fact that they all seem to have busy lives outside of work with other commitments, family, kids etc. Weíve been out for dinner maybe once or twice but itís always more just like co-workers than friends. So I spend the majority of my weekends at home alone or when I do go somewhere itís on my own.

You can't really expect your work place to be your ready made social life too. In fact, I'd say that would cause more problems in the long run. Best to keep that shit separate. They aren't your friends and you shouldn't expect them to be.

Quote
Iím just wondering if anyone has experienced something similar? Or any advice on how to make friends out here when you donít have the luxury of working with people who you become close friends with? Just seems especially difficult when so much of my time is spent at school.

I've experienced it in as much that the majority of Koreans I have worked with have no interest in being friends. Nor I with them. As you said, language barriers, age difference, the fact that my average co-worker's weekend involves going to church or hiking up a 'famous mountain', family life etc. The colleagues I have become friendly with over the years are usually the ones who spent some time overseas and they usually seek out non-Koreans for whatever reason.

Does your city not have any expat-community? You would be better served trying to make social connections through that. Most cities/regions have a facebook group. Or you could try to take up some sort of hobby/activity. I've done jiujitsu  at a local fighting gym, off and on for the last 5 years. A surprising amount of the other members speak decent English and while my Korean is Ok now, it wasn't when I started.

Edit: Just saw you are in Seoul.....dude.
Advice above basically stands. Facebook groups/meetups happen every weekend. So many clubs/activity groups for foreigners in Seoul. You just have to seek it out.
Kpip! - Martin 2018

Online alexisalex

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 254
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 01:36:07 PM »
I feel for you in this situation and I think most of us have been there.  I've also got no friends outside of work.

What nobody mentions is that to make friends, you need friends.  It's really easy to make new friends if you're already out with a group of people but incredibly difficult if you're on your own. 

Have you tried using apps like meetup?  That might be your best bet.  Tinder even.

Offline Cyanea

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 928
  • Gender: Male
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 02:06:20 PM »
I feel for you in this situation and I think most of us have been there.  I've also got no friends outside of work.

What nobody mentions is that to make friends, you need friends.  It's really easy to make new friends if you're already out with a group of people but incredibly difficult if you're on your own. 

The expat community of any country tends to take on the character of its host.

Korea can be an isolating stand-offish place even for Koreans. A lot of Koreans I've met also seem to have no friends or few friends.

Part of it I think is nowadays people expect friendships to be perfect, they can't take the rough with the smooth. One thing goes wrong and its all over. Long lasting friendships aren't that fragile and you don't have to be PC and pretend everything is wonderful all the time.
Catch my drift?

Offline rowdes

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 139
  • Gender: Male
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 02:39:45 PM »
There are so many meet ups available in Seoul. Check out meetup.com and select a group that you are interested in.

Offline APH

  • Waygookin
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2018, 10:38:21 PM »
Having slept on this, feel like I should clarify some stuff. I shouldnít really be moaning about not being mates with my co-workers. I guess it was more the fact that coming from jobs Iíd had back home there was always that kind of camoradory between all the staff members (or some at the very least) whereas there doesnít seem to be that here. People just seem to get on with their work. Like I said though, theyíre all friendly and have been nothing but nice to me since I arrived so I donít want to come across like Iím bashing them, we just arenít going to be mates like that.

I agree that itís best to have friends outside of work and thatís what Iíll ideally be looking to do, but I guess Iím just moaning because Iím sort of trapped in this routine now where the only interactions are with my students and the other staff members.

I feel for you in this situation and I think most of us have been there.  I've also got no friends outside of work.

What nobody mentions is that to make friends, you need friends.  It's really easy to make new friends if you're already out with a group of people but incredibly difficult if you're on your own. 

Have you tried using apps like meetup?  That might be your best bet.  Tinder even.

This as well, I think itís because the majority of the stuff I read about working here comes from people who went through EPIK or something like that. So they made friends through that and then that allowed them to go out and meet more people. Whereas someone working in a Hagwon who just applied through a recruiter and came alone, youíre kind of screwed if you donít get on with your co-workers.

Offline kyndo

  • Moderator LVL 1
  • The Legend
  • *
  • Posts: 4685
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2018, 10:43:28 AM »
I think itís because the majority of the stuff I read about working here comes from people who went through EPIK or something like that. So they made friends through that and then that allowed them to go out and meet more people. Whereas someone working in a Hagwon who just applied through a recruiter and came alone, youíre kind of screwed if you donít get on with your co-workers.

Yeah.
I put in my time at an academy, and it can be pretty rough on one's social life. The fact that you work nearly 10 hours a day, and have up to 30 teaching hours a week means that you not only have the time to socialize, but you probably don't have the energy to do so either.

    Compounding this is the fact that hagwons usually run much later, making it difficult to do the standard dinner meetups, and that one has very very few holiday days, making road-trips and vacations etc much more difficult as well.


   Unless you have  a great hagwon that allows for a social life, I would recommend using it as a spring board for something bigger and better. Start looking around for options that are better suited for you (public schools are usually a safe bet, and they like hiring folk who already reside in country), finish the contract, and move on!
 :smiley:

Offline Cyanea

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 928
  • Gender: Male
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2018, 11:29:06 PM »
There are so many meet ups available in Seoul. Check out meetup.com and select a group that you are interested in.

I suppose.. although what most people need is one or two close friends and confidantes, not a whole army of 18-30's out to get drunk.  You can go to any number of mass get-togethers and still feel isolated at the end of the day.

And getting a s/o is no substitute for having friends either. Plenty of married people complain of loneliness.



Unfortunately, the revolving door nature of Korea does not lend itself to forming meaningful friendships.
Catch my drift?

Online thunderlips

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1314
  • Gender: Male
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2018, 08:01:32 AM »
Two words: Language Exchange best excuse ever to meet people (by people I mean girls or boys I suppose if you are into that. I'm not judging mind you just speaking for myself and my own proclivities.) I realize I may sound like a boorish pig for being honest, but trust me language exchange. Actually I have unwilling participated in language exchanges with dudes, but I didn't realize thats what they were at the time. But hey if they want to pay for the beer/chicken/coffee afterwards then fine too.

Language exchange!!!

 https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=seoul%20language%20exchange

Offline AMDC

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 77
  • Gender: Male
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2018, 08:16:25 AM »
Tough weekdays, 10 hour shifts are quite long for TEFL. Your weekdays are shot.

1) Weekdays
First up on your list is filling the void during the week. Lacking a social life will bring down your mood, and its compounded if you're bored during the week. Do your best to entertain yourself, rotate in some books/hobbies/Netflix. Figure out what occupies your mind, maybe a personal goal, or something that can be accomplished that you can be proud of (gym is always nice -- exercising boosts my mood, and I'm chummy with the workers).

And visit restaurants/stores near your place, often. Don't be afraid to smile big -- be overly friendly, polite, and apologetic about your shitty Korean, most people here love that, and it'll become a decent source of minor socializing when you drop by your favorite local restaurant and the workers and you are chummy (it sounds lame, but trust me).

2)Weekends
If you're starting with no friends, as others mentioned, it's just about effort, until you have friends that will help you meet others. Book clubs, board games, sports, whatever. At this point it doesn't really matter what you're interested in, you're just using it to meet people. Find events on Facebook/meetup/etc and just go for it.

Friends/relationships imo are just a numbers game. Expose yourself to enough people and you'll click with one or two that are close enough and interested in the same things you are.

Best of luck!

Online alexisalex

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 254
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2018, 08:31:44 AM »
Two words: Language Exchange best excuse ever to meet people (by people I mean girls or boys I suppose if you are into that. I'm not judging mind you just speaking for myself and my own proclivities.) I realize I may sound like a boorish pig for being honest, but trust me language exchange. Actually I have unwilling participated in language exchanges with dudes, but I didn't realize thats what they were at the time. But hey if they want to pay for the beer/chicken/coffee afterwards then fine too.

Language exchange!!!

 https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=seoul%20language%20exchange

Oh yeah I totally forgot about this option.  This is very sound advice because it's pretty normal to go "solo" to these things because you get put into groups anyway.

Online oglop

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1664
  • Gender: Male
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2018, 08:46:45 AM »
Two words: Language Exchange best excuse ever to meet people (by people I mean girls or boys I suppose if you are into that. I'm not judging mind you just speaking for myself and my own proclivities.) I realize I may sound like a boorish pig for being honest, but trust me language exchange. Actually I have unwilling participated in language exchanges with dudes, but I didn't realize thats what they were at the time. But hey if they want to pay for the beer/chicken/coffee afterwards then fine too.

Language exchange!!!

 https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=seoul%20language%20exchange
i downloaded HelloTalk, genuinely wanting to do language exchange, but within my first hour i was hit up by about 4 hot korean girls. not trying to brag, but, wow, if i was single..  :sad:

i recommend this

Online thunderlips

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1314
  • Gender: Male
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2018, 09:00:34 AM »
Two words: Language Exchange best excuse ever to meet people (by people I mean girls or boys I suppose if you are into that. I'm not judging mind you just speaking for myself and my own proclivities.) I realize I may sound like a boorish pig for being honest, but trust me language exchange. Actually I have unwilling participated in language exchanges with dudes, but I didn't realize thats what they were at the time. But hey if they want to pay for the beer/chicken/coffee afterwards then fine too.

Language exchange!!!

 https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=seoul%20language%20exchange
i downloaded HelloTalk, genuinely wanting to do language exchange, but within my first hour i was hit up by about 4 hot korean girls. not trying to brag, but, wow, if i was single..  :sad:

i recommend this

They were probably Chinese dudes anyway.  :laugh: :laugh:

Yeah I can't partake in the festivities anymore either. But no worries.

Online alexisalex

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 254
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2018, 09:18:54 AM »
i downloaded HelloTalk, genuinely wanting to do language exchange, but within my first hour i was hit up by about 4 hot korean girls. not trying to brag, but, wow, if i was single..  :sad:

i recommend this

Haha well if that's not bragging I don't know what is!  :laugh:

Online oglop

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1664
  • Gender: Male
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2018, 09:28:13 AM »
i have no idea if they were genuinely interested in language exchange or not, but they were asking questions like "hey. where are you from? do you live in seoul? i like your photo" etc. so i imagine it wasn't just for language exchange. needless to say, i deleted the app, lest my wife see me chatting to unknown girls  :rolleyes: :cry:

Online Savant

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1706
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2018, 09:29:50 AM »
i downloaded HelloTalk, genuinely wanting to do language exchange, but within my first hour i was hit up by about 4 hot korean girls. not trying to brag, but, wow, if i was single..  :sad:

i recommend this

Haha well if that's not bragging I don't know what is!  :laugh:

Particularly, if they were all on the same chat.

Online biancaapato

  • Waygookin
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Gender: Female
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2018, 09:48:18 AM »
Are you into fitness? I've met a few people at my gym (some work there, others are just members) and they really love interacting / working out together. It could be a good hobby to get involved in during your weekdays and some may even turn into friends!

Online Chinguetti

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 2491
  • Gender: Female
Re: No life outside of school
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2018, 10:11:16 AM »
Are you into fitness? I've met a few people at my gym (some work there, others are just members) and they really love interacting / working out together. It could be a good hobby to get involved in during your weekdays and some may even turn into friends!

This is true. A lot of fitness buffs are very open to working out together and helping new people get started with a routine. I've had workout buddies become very good friends in the past.