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Re: What's a good place to work, teaching wise and etc? Seoul, Tokyo or Taipei?
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2018, 12:17:38 pm »
I've lived in Japan and currently in Seoul. I only briefly visited Taipei so I'm not sure if I can offer much.

I honestly think it just depends on your situation, though!

I personally really love it here in Seoul! The downsides are definitely the air and the cold. However, my work is nice, it's wayyy cheaper than Tokyo so I can save and invest my money, I have a lot of extra time (deskwarming) so I am using it to work on starting businesses and learning new skills. This is my first year here but I'll be here for another year! Also traveling around Korea is so easy. There's more to Korea than Seoul. When I hiked up Seoraksan near Sokcho, it was absolutely breathtaking! I've visited other smaller towns in Korea and it was so neat to see new places.
Also, I personally find the people really nice! I know nothing compares to Japanese politeness, but I still find Koreans to be kind. Despite being a foreigner, a lot of older people smiles at me, tries to talk to me, and randomly gives me things. I think it helped that I try to learn Korean too in order to connect more with the people here. My experience is really nice, though so far!

That being said, I also loved Japan! It's one of my favorite countries and was my first country to live in 6 years ago!
Japanese food is nice and there's so much to do! I also love the nature it has and the culture overall is really beautiful. Despite having some bad things in their history, I still appreciate a lot of what it has to offer. A lot of my close friends are Japanese, and I am so thankful to have met them!
Buttt - I do find Japan to not be the place for me at this moment. Tokyo is really expensive and would eat up my money, and the workload is more and therefore not as much free time to invest into myself. Also, I found Koreans to spark up conversations with me more than Japanese randomly.

Taiwan- I LOVED it! I never lived there, but it's definitely on my list. The food is amazing, the people are SOO friendly and warm - everyone tried to talk to me. It's realllly affordable and therefore you can save money or invest it into yourself. It's really humid, but so is Tokyo and Seoul lol
You don't have to deal with cold winters too!
I hope to visit Taiwan again! The small experience I had was super positive. I felt there was so much to learn and see and I loved visiting the palaces and museums.

Honestly, I love all three! I think it depends a lot on your situation and mindset. I can see why people think Seoul is boring, but there are definitely a lot of hidden gems! And take advantage of a weekend getaway to a nearby place!

You're from New York, and to this day, it's probably my favorite major city I've visited!

I would love to see what people have to say about Taiwan though!

Anyway, good luck!!


  People told me different things about Taiwan. One woman I worked with at a summer school said the pollution there depressed her. Other people loved the convenience of a small island with all its different landscapes. Some people have said that the social life there is much more laid back than in the other 2 cities.


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

    • 311

    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
There is loads of Youtubers saying you should NOT teach in Japan. Just google that phrase.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0YHo_U4Ufc
green everything


  • voittaa
  • Explorer

    • 5

    • March 08, 2019, 09:11:05 am
    • Japan
I've taught in Seoul and currently work in Tokyo. I'll speak to the pay for teaching.

Korea is definitely more lucrative even if just for the housing. The contract benefits are usually a lot better, and everything else is cheaper too. Go here if you're looking to pay off debt and save some money.

In Japan, your rent is rarely subsidized unless you're on the JET Program (in which case you'll most likely placed in bumfuck nowhere).  This is the probably highest paying teaching job outside of international schools and universities (first year = 280,000 yen, 2nd = 300,000, 3rd = 325,000, keeps going up to the 5 year limit).

A typical starting salary for private academies is less, at about 230-250,000 yen (about 2000-2250USD). Knock off 500-700USD for rent depending on where you're living.

What is Korea these days, still 2.1/2.2 million won? So that's 1,853USD, but you're also getting a contract completion bonus and free rent.

It's all relative though. I could talk pros and cons all day about which country has been more enjoyable to live in, but in the end it's apples and oranges. Strictly from a pay perspective, Korea is way better.