December 12, 2018, 12:47:22 PM


Author Topic: What's a good place to work, teaching wise and etc? Seoul, Tokyo or Taipei?  (Read 1022 times)

Online Sautee

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Assuming the factors like the pay scale being consistent between the three cities.
What do you think would be best in terms of environment, work culture, interactions and etc?

--
Also thinking of getting dermatology(acne)/Lasek work done.
What would be a better place to have it done?

Online eggieguffer

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 4644
  • Gender: Male
Assuming the factors like the pay scale being consistent between the three cities.
What do you think would be best in terms of environment, work culture, interactions and etc?

--
Also thinking of getting dermatology(acne)/Lasek work done.
What would be a better place to have it done?

Seoul is the world capital of cosmetic surgery, but personally I'd rather live in Tokyo. Assuming I could have the same accommodation that is. Japanese schools don't usually provide accommodation so you'd be living somewhere very small and very far out probably. Don't know much about Taipei. Went there once and it was pretty underwhelming. 
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 03:59:37 PM by eggieguffer »

Online zola

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 2399
  • Gender: Male
I've lived in both Seoul and Tokyo and spent probably a month total in Taipei. So,

1.Tokyo - By a country mile. I lived in 2 different places, one in Akabane and one in Saitama. Even in Saitama it was only 25 minutes or so to Shinjuku by train. The winter's don't get as cold as Seoul, the summers can be brutal, though that's true for all three. I preferred the people, food, culture, nightlife, cleaner air, almost anything else you can name, I preferred.

2. Taipei - I thought it was a pretty cool city. Doesn't get cold winters, though it can be a bit too tropical, without respite. They get their fair share of typhoons. A good range of food. I thought the people were a good mix of not as up tight as the Japanese but not as...boorish? (sorry I don't mean to offend anyone) as the Chinese mainlanders. The air quality is better than Seoul in general.

3. Seoul - This is personal obviously, I know a lot of people who love Seoul. And I think if you are a certain age or into certain things, it can be great, but for me it is a soulless grey, repetitive, boring city. The city and me never got on. The train system is great and cheap, the food is OK and improving. The air quality is getting worse every year.
But yes, anything skin/cosmetic surgery wise, it is the place to be.
Kpip! - Martin 2018

Online eggieguffer

  • The Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 4644
  • Gender: Male
Quote
3. Seoul - This is personal obviously, I know a lot of people who love Seoul. And I think if you are a certain age or into certain things, it can be great,

You'll probably find it's the first foreign city they've lived in for most of them.

Online oglop

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1639
  • Gender: Male
what's teaching in taipei like? the city is cool, and i always quite wanted to live there for a year

Offline DMZabductee

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 806
  • Gender: Male
if I could do it all again, I'd do it in Taipei, provided the job paid decently

zola makes a good case for Tokyo, and Seoul is fun if you're young and drunk, but Taipei is the best of all possible 'Asian city' worlds

it does get hot af there though

Online Sautee

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Thanks for the 411 guys!

Side note: I'm also East Asian-American; so I think appearance-wise I can pass for Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese or Korean. But I'm straight up native New Yorker.

Which of these cities do you think Americanized Asians would feel most comfortable in?

Online MaximusPrime

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 206
Thanks for the 411 guys!

Side note: I'm also East Asian-American; so I think appearance-wise I can pass for Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese or Korean. But I'm straight up native New Yorker.

Which of these cities do you think Americanized Asians would feel most comfortable in?

Do you speak any asian languages? Obviously if so it would be easier in the city where you spoke the local language.

Online Sautee

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Thanks for the 411 guys!

Side note: I'm also East Asian-American; so I think appearance-wise I can pass for Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese or Korean. But I'm straight up native New Yorker.

Which of these cities do you think Americanized Asians would feel most comfortable in?

Do you speak any asian languages? Obviously if so it would be easier in the city where you spoke the local language.

 I have experience with languages and I can communicate at functional level in Korean, Japanese and Mandarin. The main factor to me reaching competence (like in-depth conversations and discussions) in either of these languages though would likely be my daily interactions at work and with locals though--being that in appearance I could pass but my mindset and values are American (which I imagine would clash..)

I've worked in the rural side of Korea, taken trips in Japan and visited Taiwan a few times. So I've gotten a taste of the standoffish nature that Asians (especially the older gen or conservative ones) can have to straight up American Asians.

So I guess I wonder which of these cities have the most opportunities?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 02:58:48 PM by Sautee »

Offline VanIslander

  • Moderator LVL 1
  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *
  • Posts: 1156
  • Gender: Male
  • Lovin' the southernmost islands
Jeju, Hokkaido or Taitung (gorgeous southeast coast of Taiwan)?

Now THAT question interests me tremendously.

Online Sautee

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Re: What's a good place to work, teaching wise and etc? Seoul, Tokyo or Taipei?
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2018, 09:50:16 PM »
Jeju, Hokkaido or Taitung (gorgeous southeast coast of Taiwan)?

Now THAT question interests me tremendously.

Why's that?

Offline VanIslander

  • Moderator LVL 1
  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *
  • Posts: 1156
  • Gender: Male
  • Lovin' the southernmost islands
Re: What's a good place to work, teaching wise and etc? Seoul, Tokyo or Taipei?
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2018, 10:24:49 PM »
WHY?

I have never enjoyed big cities for long.

I've been to Seoul twice or thrice a year since '02 on shopping and concert/stadium/museum events and after 2 or 3 days am glad to exit (gawd i couldnt imagine life in hell as any worse than a daily subway commute).

I have been to Japanese cities on six trips (Osaka girlfriend thrice, Tokyo and Fukuoka). I have no interest to return to zombie metropolis. Okinawa off to the south or to the north: Hokkaido with unique culture, cuisine, winter festival, is intriguing.

Taipei? People who have spent more than a weekend jaunt there say the best cuisine is NOT the overhyped street food but the fusion of Chinese and local fare outside the urban core and as for sights, the east coast has epic natural sights and can rival Hawaii as a drive if you got wheels (i lived three years on Geoje's east coast in Okpo and from there along the coast southward is epic and I imagine re-living such moments).

And, oh yeah, I have lived seven years on the southern coast of Jeju, so I could easily understand any benchmark comparisons between it and the northern island of Japan or southeast coast of Taiwan.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 10:32:34 PM by VanIslander »

Online Sautee

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Re: What's a good place to work, teaching wise and etc? Seoul, Tokyo or Taipei?
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2018, 11:29:15 PM »
Taipei? People who have spent more than a weekend jaunt there say the best cuisine is NOT the overhyped street food but the fusion of Chinese and local fare outside the urban core and as for sights, the east coast has epic natural sights and can rival Hawaii as a drive if you got wheels (i lived three years on Geoje's east coast in Okpo and from there along the coast southward is epic and I imagine re-living such moments).

And, oh yeah, I have lived seven years on the southern coast of Jeju, so I could easily understand any benchmark comparisons between it and the northern island of Japan or southeast coast of Taiwan.

I've actually heard from a number of people that Taipei, in terms of a large city, is actually a bit boring—lacking those cultural venues and attractions that the other big cities seem to have. And the main reason to work in Taiwan is likely the more relaxed work culture, food and weather.

Would it be safe to assume if I wanted to work in Taiwan, any area might serve? (Outside of rural farmlands of course)

It seems like the main attraction in living there would literally be being outside.
(Like motorcycling through the country?)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 11:30:53 PM by Sautee »

Offline kobayashi

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 966
  • Gender: Male
Re: What's a good place to work, teaching wise and etc? Seoul, Tokyo or Taipei?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2018, 08:37:08 PM »
anywhere except korea. the EFL scene is dying here. Tokyo and Taipei are streaks ahead in terms of quality of life, friendliness of the people, etc.

Online Cyanea

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 920
  • Gender: Male
Re: What's a good place to work, teaching wise and etc? Seoul, Tokyo or Taipei?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2018, 02:31:28 PM »
anywhere except korea. the EFL scene is dying here. Tokyo and Taipei are streaks ahead in terms of quality of life, friendliness of the people, etc.

It mostly depends on the job you have. If you're going to be in entry-level then Korea is easier. Buxibans suck worse than hogwons with their massive class sizes, shared house accomodation and total absence of discipline. Not all of us want to have to ride a scooter through crazy traffic every day either.

Koreas brutal summers are bad but the humidity and and pollution in tw is worse. Not to mention the daily monsoon downpours.

I'll agree with you that the people are friendlier though. Unlike Koreans they smile, they are open. In Korea you will likely have unrelenting isolation, boredom and loneliness unless you make a superhuman effort to put yourself out there. In Taiwan it all just comes to you more.
Catch my drift?

Offline Allpointseast

  • Waygookin
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • Gender: Male
Re: What's a good place to work, teaching wise and etc? Seoul, Tokyo or Taipei?
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2018, 12:50:19 AM »
  Well, this question is intriguing, and I can give you some answers, but:
   
Quote
Assuming the factors like the pay scale being consistent between the three cities.
What do you think would be best in terms of environment, work culture, interactions and etc?
is a more complex question than it looks. Also, for many people, the pay scale is very significant, because the salary-and potential to save money-varies quite a bit across the 3 cities.
  I assume though that you are talking about quality of life. Which of the three cities would you enjoy the most? What are the inconveniences?
  I have lived in Seoul and Tokyo, but I haven't been to Taiwan. However, I want to visit. What would attract me to Taiwan would be stuff like the wonderful food, the fact that one can go hiking to the top of Yu Shan, or visit Sun Moon lake, or visit one of the numerous hot springs, and that none of these sites are very far from Taipei. I rate that as a real plus. Somebody said that there's little culture in Taiwan, but that's not quite true. The National Palace Museum in Taipei is well worth a visit.
  TOKYO: Tokyo is huge,  absolutely humungous. One consequence of this is that you have to think carefully when travelling to meet people: How long will it take? I worked and lived on the very edge of Tokyo, so transport was a headache. I found that I had to deliberately overestimate travel time. Delays can be caused because you may have to transfer from JR Rail to Tokyo Metro, and you are charged extra for this. Also, I remember going to Shinjuku Station and being unable to meet my friends. I had come via the metro, and they had come via JR Rail. The sections of the station that serve each transport company are separated from the others by walls. So to meet people, I had to leave the station completely and walk a fair bit. Transport in Japan is also much more costly per mile than in Korea.
   I taught English in Japan and it was tough. Culture shock is a thing, but the bigger issue is that students had a tendency to nitpick, about tiny little, unimportant things and these anonymous complaints were used against me. I also had to watch what I said to Japanese staff. I felt that I was under pressure a lot, and I was unable, and in the end unwilling, to stay longer than my initial year in Japan.
   The Japanese diet is amazing. I loved all the different types of sushi and sashimi. I like odd things like seaweed, and natto and fried tofu, and I do miss the food. Where I lived, it was very easy to go jogging. I jogged so much that year that I became super-fit. I would say that Tokyo was good for my body, but psychologically troubling and anxiety-inducing.
   SEOUL is big, but not as big as Tokyo. Last year I lived right on the edge of Songpa-gu in Seoul, but my hagwon was actually outside Seoul. Transport from my home to places like Itaewon (the foreigner nightlife area of Seoul), and Gangnam was somewhat awkward by metro, but nowhere like as bad as in Tokyo. A Korean friend lived nearby, and he encouraged me to take the bus to Itaewon and that was more fun, oddly enough. Transport in Seoul is more convenient and user-friendly than in Tokyo, and you only really have to transfer to a different metro company if you are going into the suburbs outside the capital.
   I did visit a couple of temples, and museums and the tombs of famous Korean kings. But I found Seoul's nightlife to be one of the most amazing things about the place. The foreign community I met was really a community and there were also Koreans willing to join in. I had enormous fun there, and my friends buoyed me up during awkward times. I had good friends in Japan too, but it was straight up New Yorkers like yourself. In Seoul, I also made Korean friends.
   Working in Korea seems to me to be less stressful than in Japan. The hagwon dress code was more relaxed-in Japan men should all wear ties, and be clean-shaven. Still, there was a bit of pressure, and sometimes I taught 7 classes per day. One significant problem is "Small Boss Syndrome" where your small boss decides the law doesn't apply. I had a Korean boss who did not pay for health insurance and who skimped on holidays. This is a problem in Korea. One problem is that at least in Seoul, hagwon bosses are less likely to hire people who don't fit the young blonde, white, Christian American stereotype. Some recruiters actually have ads saying "female only," or "North American teacher only" or whatever, and it can infuriate. But once I got a job, I did not have to stress about this.
   I quite enjoy Korean food, but I would get annoyed about fresh fruit and vegetables being so costly. Don't get me wrong: I do like kimchi but I got sick of having it at every meal, because it contains a lot of sodium.
   Taiwan might be your best bet in terms of convenience. But before going there, I would urge you to read up about things to see and do in Taipei, and how best to make friends there.
  If it was me, I would have to cross out any job which has high start-up costs, such as key money (Tokyo), or big rental deposits (Beijing) because I need to save money.
  So, if you feel you need to have skin treatment, you can include Seoul.
 
 
 

 

 

Offline Kayos

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 934
  • Gender: Male
Re: What's a good place to work, teaching wise and etc? Seoul, Tokyo or Taipei?
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2018, 07:59:40 AM »
Jeju, Hokkaido or Taitung (gorgeous southeast coast of Taiwan)?

Now THAT question interests me tremendously.

I'd go with Hokkaido haha.
My hometown's sister city is within Hokkaido. :p

Online Sautee

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 32
Re: What's a good place to work, teaching wise and etc? Seoul, Tokyo or Taipei?
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2018, 11:44:40 AM »
  Well, this question is intriguing, and I can give you some answers...
 

This was an awesome read! Thanks so much for the write up!
Your observations seem consistent with what I thought about each city.

I'll do some more reading on Taipei but yeah, the difference in interpersonal interactions in between Tokyo and Seoul seems a driving difference. Work and interpersonal culture seems to be Taiwan > Korea > Japan from what everyone is telling me.

I guess I'm starting to lean more to Taiwan as food is a big one for me.
And, I imagine, I'll be able to make Korean/Japanese friends in Taiwan more easily than Taiwanese/Korean in Japan or Japanese/Taiwanese in Korea.

Offline Kayos

  • Expert Waygook
  • ****
  • Posts: 934
  • Gender: Male
Re: What's a good place to work, teaching wise and etc? Seoul, Tokyo or Taipei?
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2018, 12:23:13 PM »
I've also lived in Japan and Korea. But not Taiwan, so I can't comment on Taiwan but:
Japan is better for everything outside of work, but it is more expensive to live there.
Korea is better for working but, can be quite boring outside of work times.
However, this is based on my experience, and is only my opinion, yours may differ. :p

Offline orange6ur1

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Gender: Female
Re: What's a good place to work, teaching wise and etc? Seoul, Tokyo or Taipei?
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2018, 05:41:12 PM »
This may not be the best reason to work in taiwan but my sister lived in taiwain for a couple years (first to study abroad, went back later to teach) and all she did was rave about it. The food (omg esp the food), transportation ease and convenience, weather wasn’t tooo bad if you can already handle humidity and it wasn’t overly expensive living there either. In terms of like, “what is there to do” I have no idea but if you like food then...well....can’t be that bad :)