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Provincial NETs, how diverse is it where you are? (Poll)
« on: March 31, 2017, 11:56:33 am »
For the provincial and small town and small city teachers out there, how diverse is your NET circle of friends? How many nationalities are represented?

Also, if your circle includes foreigners from other countries who are not teaching, but speak in English and you regularly hang out with them, feel free to include them as well.

I think some people are under the impression that provincial ESL in Korea is boring and isolated. Is that the case for you?


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1542

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: Provincial NETs, how diverse is it where you are? (Poll)
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2017, 12:01:37 pm »
Big town, 400,000. It's kid of like Seoul, lots of people not from here, so during Seolla, and Chuseok it empties out.

Circle of NET's that I know maybe 20-ish, 12-ish nationalities represented. This includes Japanese, Chinese, Philippinos, and a French, and a Dutch lady.


Re: Provincial NETs, how diverse is it where you are? (Poll)
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2017, 12:06:21 pm »
We just have 4 (including myself) teachers in our rural area. It's a big island but we have a small population of 50,000. Two are from the U.S.A and the other 2 are from South Africa.


  • yirj17
  • The Legend

    • 2782

    • September 16, 2015, 02:23:16 am
    • Korealand
Re: Provincial NETs, how diverse is it where you are? (Poll)
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2017, 12:20:09 pm »
Well, I don't have NET friends in my town village but my friends from orientation include mainly Canadians, a smattering of 'muricans, and a British person. 

My location is definitely isolated but I enjoy living in the countryside.  When I wish to socialize I just hit up the city. 


  • Mister Tim
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1531

    • September 08, 2013, 10:33:54 am
    • SK
Re: Provincial NETs, how diverse is it where you are? (Poll)
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2017, 01:11:12 pm »
In the town where I live (10k people or less), I'm the only westerner.

In the town where I teach (30k or less), there are three NETs, all American.

In the nearest city to me (700k+), there's a decent sized expat community with a typically diverse range of nationalities.


  • What?What?
  • Expert Waygook

    • 602

    • October 14, 2016, 10:29:17 am
    • Korea
Re: Provincial NETs, how diverse is it where you are? (Poll)
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2017, 03:07:16 pm »
Where I live population is approx 140 000. NET's about 25ish.
Mixed bag Saffas, Americans, British, Australian, Kiwi.
Other foreigners  (that I know and have met) Filipinos, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, a Frenchie, Chinese, Indian. (The total of which I wouldn't even hazard a guess).
People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
-A.A. Milne


Re: Provincial NETs, how diverse is it where you are? (Poll)
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2017, 03:10:21 pm »
I think some people are under the impression that provincial ESL in Korea is boring and isolated. Is that the case for you?

It's all about your personality and mindset. 

The people who find country placements boring and isolated tend to be highly extroverted.  They do well with lots of English speaking friends which tend to be hit and miss in the boonies.  Fortunately for them, even in the countryside, Korea is a small place.  You can usually hit a decently sized city in less than an hour.  Facebook has a lot of groups where you can meet people and meetups are common.

If you are introverted like me then the boonies are your best friend.  My hobbies are running, cooking, and studying, all of which I can quite happily do by myself (and maybe the internet and podcasts).  I lived >5 years in Incheon and hated it.  I felt isolated among the smog and the noise and restricted to my home.  I've lived <2 in the countryside and now I don't want to leave.  I'm outside everyday (when it's not raining) and even though it's life in a fishbowl, my students and their parents love me so I am happy to bump into them on the street/in the store.  It helps being able to speak the language a fair bit and to be familiar with the culture but even a fresh teacher could get by here as a first-timer.

Extroverted or introverted, it doesn't really as much as how you feel about yourself and your life.  If you are generally a happy person, then you will still generally be able to find happiness in the boonies.  If you are generally a grumpy person, then you will still be a grumpy person even in the big cities.  Wherever you go, there you are.  You are still you.  If you want to be happy, change your mindset and start thinking happy.

My life is far from boring and it's only as isolated as I want it to be. 


Re: Provincial NETs, how diverse is it where you are? (Poll)
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2017, 03:19:37 pm »
My town has less than 5000 people, 2 American NETS (both speak Korean quite well), an older Russian lady (who also speaks Korean well), and older Peruvian lady (who also speaks Korean well), and quite a few Vietnamese (who I assume speak Korean).  I'm sure there might be a few more nationalities around these parts but I haven't seen them yet.

The next town south has ~1000 people.  Three of which are American NETS.  I dunno bout the other non-NET foreigners.

The next town north has ~500 people.  No NETS and at least two Vietnamese women.


  • Mezoti97
  • The Legend

    • 2666

    • April 14, 2011, 03:02:50 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Provincial NETs, how diverse is it where you are? (Poll)
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2017, 06:44:20 pm »
I'm not anymore but I used to be a provincial NET in a small rural town, and there were about 7 other public school NETs (including one TaLK NET) there besides me (and maybe another NET who worked at a hagwon, although I never saw him).  We represented 3 different countries (at the time -- this was already a few years ago). They were all nice enough, although I never hung out with them or spent time with them outside of teaching English camps with some of them or the occasional English teachers meeting we (and the Korean English teachers) were required to attend. I'm not really proactive about befriending other NETs in general, since it's not that high on my priority list, but that's just me.


  • elsbethm
  • Veteran

    • 134

    • September 29, 2016, 09:26:54 pm
    • gangwondo
Re: Provincial NETs, how diverse is it where you are? (Poll)
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2017, 06:55:31 pm »
I'm in a small city (popn=60,000). There's 12 EPIK NET's and then a quite the sizeable hagwon NET population.  The EPIK NET's represent Canada, the US, and South Africa. The hagwon group is pretty diverse, but I don't really know most of them. We have a really diverse age group, from early twenties to early forties. I'm lucky because our city coordinator is incredible and is always planning social occasions and dinners-we're a really tight-knit group.