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Author Topic: Long-term expats, what did you do after public school?  (Read 2998 times)

Offline ajr30

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Long-term expats, what did you do after public school?
« on: August 25, 2014, 09:48:26 AM »
I'm about to sign my 3rd contract at the same public school. Honestly, everything is fine; I really like the school and they really like me. I can't really complain about anything. I'm actually pretty content to stay at this school for quite some time unless conditions change.

But there's this creeping fear in the back of my head... "what if". What if conditions change? What if the new principal in March hates English and hates me? What if EPIK downsizes and me with it? What if I can't maintain my current standard of living in the future working where I am now? What if, what if, what if?

I suppose this all started when I realized that this year I'll be at the top of the pay scale. So, basically, no more promotions, no higher pay. This got me thinking what should I do next? It was a lot easier to think about the future when it was just me. I could easily pack up and move to another country doing basically the same thing and probably enjoy it just as much as i do now. But that changed now that I have a wife (Korean) and a family here. I got an F-visa and intend on staying in Korea for quite some time (maybe not forever, but more than a few years). But I'm really not sure what to do next.

So I wanted to ask those "lifers" that plan on staying in Korea for life (or at least long-term), what did you do after public school? What long-term job opportunities are out there and how did you find them? What advice do you have?

Offline basic69isokay

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Re: Long-term expats, what did you do after public school?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 09:58:31 AM »
Very intelligent and understandable thoughts.
Current govt is anti-English and if you're at the top of the pay scale then yea, time to think about this stuff.
You have many options:
Private lessons (can be lucrative, but also unstable)
University (usually requires MA)
Biz English (Seoul/Gyeonggi area)
After-school job (12-6pm, 3.0m)

Or, if you have capital and an idea,  start your own business.

Offline kjritchhart

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Re: Long-term expats, what did you do after public school?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 10:00:57 AM »
I have nothing for you but I am interested in the same thing.  Posting so I can keep an eye on this thread.  Great question.   :azn:

Online thunderlips

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Re: Long-term expats, what did you do after public school?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 10:35:07 AM »
Very intelligent and understandable thoughts.
Current govt is anti-English and if you're at the top of the pay scale then yea, time to think about this stuff.
You have many options:
Private lessons (can be lucrative, but also unstable)
University (usually requires MA)
Biz English (Seoul/Gyeonggi area)
After-school job (12-6pm, 3.0m)

Or, if you have capital and an idea,  start your own business.

Park Geun-hye herself is near fluent in English, I wouldn't say they are anti-English, but rather anti-crazy English obsessed parents spending their life savings on hagwons. http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/3280/correction-english-education-president-park-calls-fundamental-changes-%E2%80%9Cexcessive%E2%80%9D

I think English education is here to stay, for better or worse. There will be a down turn in jobs for Native English Teachers for sure, as can be seen recently with the deteriorating benefits given to NET's, i.e. less pay, more work hours, one way airfare, high turn over, etc.

As for the OP start studying Korean if you haven't already. F-2 visas are slowly becoming reality, 3-5 years ago they were a pipe dream to show how multicultural Korea is. Now they are actually issuing them. *Gasp!* You can open a business, tutor, or apply for different jobs if you are fluent. The biggest issue to become a long timer is usually visa related. Network with both Korean and foreigners is huge to surviving here.

There are some sites/ facebook groups to meet other foreigners here doing their own thing. Here is one to start:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/foreignentrepreneursinkorea/

Good luck OP and way to think ahead.

Offline popeye2u

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Re: Long-term expats, what did you do after public school?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2014, 08:06:16 AM »
Once you get the top pay brac ket, you start going down.  Don't waste your time in Korea is my advice.  I see people with 2-3 degrees here making 2.5 a month when they could be making more in their fields.  The longer you stay, the more competition you will have back home.  Think hard about staying in Korea. 
Illegally Screwed By Employers in Korea:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1628928127347749/

Offline weigookin74

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Re: Long-term expats, what did you do after public school?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2014, 04:06:47 PM »
Once you get the top pay brac ket, you start going down.  Don't waste your time in Korea is my advice.  I see people with 2-3 degrees here making 2.5 a month when they could be making more in their fields.  The longer you stay, the more competition you will have back home.  Think hard about staying in Korea.

Yeah, you have a good point.  Out in the provinces, the top public school pay scale takes a few years to get up to and then caps off at 2.7, plus any other money you get if you're also in a rural area and not a city by provincial standards.  But, then inflation will eat into that over time.  Unless you marry a Korean who makes good money with a good job herself or have saved up enough to start an academy, then you should eventually have an exit plan.  The rising exchange rate helps, but eventually inflation is the silent robber.  This is only combatted if wages start rising again, but short of a full recovery in the States, that prob won't happen.  Oh well, there's always Alberta.  Work sucks but the pay is good at least.   :lipsrsealed:

Offline Fanwarrior

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Re: Long-term expats, what did you do after public school?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2014, 05:50:03 PM »
Once you get the top pay brac ket, you start going down.  Don't waste your time in Korea is my advice.  I see people with 2-3 degrees here making 2.5 a month when they could be making more in their fields.  The longer you stay, the more competition you will have back home.  Think hard about staying in Korea.

If you aren't much of a forward thinker sure.

Anyone staying here long term should really be looking at the F2 points visa if you aren't getting married.

If you've been here a year, and you like it and expect another 3-4, then get signed up for the integration class and start earning your points. Also start saving up the cash if you can. If your back home debt is paid off, no reason you can't be saving at least 10 million a year here.

Save up 30 million or so and get yourself a reasonable little villa or something like that.
Something with at least one decent sized room you could use for a home school.

Get yourself a couple morning corporates to pay the bills and run a study room in the afternoon. It'll take you a little while to build it up (but that's what the corporates are for) then once you have a reasonable amount of kids, look at moving to a commercial space outside the home. If you get yourself up around 20 kids or so, look for a small space to open a 교습. Probably cost you something similar in deposit, 10-30 million depending on where you live. keep building that up and upgrading your space as you go.

Hard work and you'll be putting most of your friend's salaries back home to shame.

Of course I only recommend this for people who are driven, capable and competent individuals.

Offline amoonbot

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Re: Long-term expats, what did you do after public school?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2014, 09:15:06 AM »
You could also delve into the corporate world if you don't mind the occasional/frequent non-paid overtime. Although the work and hours are generally longer, you have a lot more room to go "up". Of course, it really depends on which corporate job you decide to do.

Offline hockeyfan_inkorea

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Re: Long-term expats, what did you do after public school?
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2014, 01:11:26 AM »

If you aren't much of a forward thinker sure.

Anyone staying here long term should really be looking at the F2 points visa if you aren't getting married.

If you've been here a year, and you like it and expect another 3-4, then get signed up for the integration class and start earning your points. Also start saving up the cash if you can. If your back home debt is paid off, no reason you can't be saving at least 10 million a year here.

Save up 30 million or so and get yourself a reasonable little villa or something like that.
Something with at least one decent sized room you could use for a home school.

Get yourself a couple morning corporates to pay the bills and run a study room in the afternoon. It'll take you a little while to build it up (but that's what the corporates are for) then once you have a reasonable amount of kids, look at moving to a commercial space outside the home. If you get yourself up around 20 kids or so, look for a small space to open a 교습. Probably cost you something similar in deposit, 10-30 million depending on where you live. keep building that up and upgrading your space as you go.

Hard work and you'll be putting most of your friend's salaries back home to shame.

Of course I only recommend this for people who are driven, capable and competent individuals.

Pardon the ignorant question, but what do you mean by "corporates" exactly?

Online Life Improvement

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Re: Long-term expats, what did you do after public school?
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2014, 06:38:43 AM »
I heard when a corporation wants their workers to learn English, they pay a recruiter triple what the F-visa holder is paid. (In other words the recruiter is skimming two thirds of the money off the top. One half at the very least.) F that. It'd be better to approach corporations directly to offer English teaching services. Traveling somewhere early in the morning to teach a large class for 40-50K is teh suxzors.

Offline stemarty

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Re: Long-term expats, what did you do after public school?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2014, 07:45:09 AM »
Most of the ideas I had have already been stated so I'll just add a few others:

OP are you interested in staying in Korea and learning Korean?
If you become fluent, TONS of opportunities will open up to you.
Also, I often think about how interesting my daily life could get if I knew Korean.....

You can study in Seoul for a semester or while teaching with a tutor/friend.

My other suggestions are:

- Go home and get more education (unless of course you have a B.Ed or MA in teaching) so that you can come back and look for Uni jobs.

- Go home, rest and relax, and then come back. If your school gets cut then come home. You can always come back. Consider coming to Jeollanamdo Province. The JLP program doesn't look like it's going anywhere for a bit (*knock on wood*)

- With the right credentials and experience, international and private schools are an option too. (usually getting these jobs are about who you know)

- Have you thought about going somewhere else? China (has both good and horror stories) has opportunities for experienced teachers at international and private campuses for teachers certified to teach in their home country.
With the right research, you may be able to land yourself a school teaching a Canadian or American Curriculum in a discipline you studied in University.