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  • Piggydee
  • The Legend

    • 2642

    • October 15, 2013, 07:32:43 am
    • South Korea
Should I stay or should I go?
« on: November 20, 2019, 09:51:41 am »
I've been here for a total of 10 years and I'm debating wither to stay or go.

I wanted to make next year my last year (2020-2021) because
-I wanted to see my current 5th graders graduate from school. (They will be 6th graders next year and I'm the only teacher they have had since 1st grade)
-I wanted to get more pension money
-I wanted to get more severance.
-I have two more countries I want to go to while I'm here and making great cash.  Once in America and back in  a hometown I'm from, I don't see myself traveling anytime soon.

I realize I can't stay in Korea forever because renewing my visa every year is becoming a pain, I'm getting older, and I'm not married to anyone here in his country so there is no reason for me to plant roots here. 

Unlike a few foreigners I've ran into, I love my time here in Korea (a little too much; I guess I tick off one of the boxes on that hakwon blacklist of teacher "here for fun" teacher  :P)   

I don't know I'm sort of leaning towards leaving this February because
-I think my lower level student 4th and 3rd grade at my main are sick of me.
-My travel school the 6th graders every year turn terrible. (but I only see them once a week)
-My travel school will get a new co-teacher and I don't know if we will have a good working relationship like I have with my current co-teacher.

If you were in my pants LOL j/k what would you do.  Asking the for the sage advice of the Waygook community because you guys have given me good travel tidbits.  Might as well ask about this here. 


  • Mister Tim
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1580

    • September 08, 2013, 10:33:54 am
    • SK
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2019, 09:53:51 am »
If you have a job to go back to, go.
If you don't, don't.


Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2019, 09:58:50 am »
If you go there will be trouble....
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 10:00:21 am by TexasChicken »


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3609

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2019, 10:04:39 am »
And if you stay it will be double...


Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2019, 10:13:59 am »
If you have a job to go back to, go.
If you don't, don't.

This is very important. 

By the sounds of it, you're umming and ahhing, which means that you may have already decided that you fancy another year.  Leaving more financially sound is definitely a big plus, especially if work is not lined up.  Doing your travelling here is also a really good thing as it depends whether you can see yourself coming back over this way for a holiday in the future when you're living on the other side of the world.  It's very possible, you don't for whatever reason.

Your situation is similar to me.  It's comfortable here.  Attached to the students.  Daily Korean life is fine, nothing springs up that really throws you off your stride.  For me anyway, as I have a high school job, I have one of those jobs that once you leave are very difficult to get back into due to their rarity.  Love my school, teachers and students.  It's tiring, but I get the feeling that the school really appreciates my work.  In the end, it'll either be this February or next and then that's it.   


  • thunderlips
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1645

    • June 07, 2012, 10:01:55 am
    • South Korea
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2019, 10:17:02 am »
Finish up and start a new chapter. Keep in mind now would be a great time if you ever wanted to live somewhere for a bit and check it out (ie Hawaii). You can always come back to Korea or take your experience and go someplace new.

Good luck and don't stress about not having a job lined up, it takes time to reenter society.



  • Piggydee
  • The Legend

    • 2642

    • October 15, 2013, 07:32:43 am
    • South Korea
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2019, 11:04:58 am »
Finish up and start a new chapter. Keep in mind now would be a great time if you ever wanted to live somewhere for a bit and check it out (ie Hawaii). You can always come back to Korea or take your experience and go someplace new.

Good luck and don't stress about not having a job lined up, it takes time to reenter society.



Actually....about the job thing.  I already have an online gig set up but it's very "secret shopper" money as of now (aka a few bucks to buy you a meal) but  I've been told that if I throw myself deep into it I will make a livable wage.   
As far as coming back to Korea, I'm too long in the tooth at this point to come back very late in my age.  Believe me I've seen how Korean treat older foreign women living here (over 40) and we are seen as strange.  I don't want to feel like that here. 

There is all the severance and pension money I could get now but I'm not trying to blow through that.

You are right Ronnie Omelettes, I do want to stay one more year!  But my mother is 63 and I'm also in a long distance relationship that is slowly being tested the longer I stay here. 
I already told my co-teacher I'm THINKING of leaving and she gave me the form to sign, but I also told her I'm still thinking about it.  She gave me till the end of this month to make a strong decision.   


Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2019, 11:10:21 am »
I would go because it will always be "oh, just one more year".

Don't worry about not having a job lined up when you go home because honestly, what are the chances of that?  As Thunderlips says above, it will take time to get back into the swing of things in your home country.

I think about it like this...it was a huge leap to quit my job back home and come to Korea and I'm so happy I did it.  But it works in reverse too.  Once you get comfortable here after a lot of years, the leap back will be just as big and requires some courage (if not more).   But I'm sure you'll be happy that you did it.


  • Piggydee
  • The Legend

    • 2642

    • October 15, 2013, 07:32:43 am
    • South Korea
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2019, 11:16:49 am »
I would go because it will always be "oh, just one more year".

Don't worry about not having a job lined up when you go home because honestly, what are the chances of that?  As Thunderlips says above, it will take time to get back into the swing of things in your home country.

I think about it like this...it was a huge leap to quit my job back home and come to Korea and I'm so happy I did it.  But it works in reverse too.  Once you get comfortable here after a lot of years, the leap back will be just as big and requires some courage (if not more).   But I'm sure you'll be happy that you did it.

AlexisAlex, thanks for the advice.  Back on the age thing,  if I was a man I think it would be no problem for me to find another lover here if I were to break up with mine.  But as a older woman (mid 30s) who's no longer "fighting weight" LOL.  Let's just say I've eaten my way out of the dating pool.  Sure I could lose weight but finding a local or foreigner here would be very tough and the road might be long as most Korean men my age either are married, want someone young and thin, and also want someone blonde (or black or Southeast Asian) and the foreign guy community either see me as a buddy ol' pal or a gateway to a greencard.  The dating scene would be really depressing here if I stayed for a longer haul. 

Oh but ONE MORE YEAR THOUGH....I don't want to give my kids away to some noob LOL


  • stoat
  • Super Waygook

    • 423

    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2019, 12:09:39 pm »
The best advice anyone could give you now is get in shape. Reading between the lines you're thinking about a long term relationship and this would massively open up the dating field. Not being sexist or cruel, i'd say the same to an overweight guy in the same situation. If you still don't think you'll find a decent partner here, move somewhere with more possibilities. This sounds like the most pressing issue in your life at the moment so act to sort it out.


  • buckybee
  • Adventurer

    • 51

    • August 30, 2015, 02:36:08 pm
    • Gunsan
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2019, 12:32:33 pm »
First: The students will have to face a new teacher eventually. No reason not to start in the 6th grade. And your younger grades are probably not tired of you, maybe they just need a change of activities.

Second:  Think about if you would feel like you have missed out on good opportunities if you leave or stay.
Third: Family is important and so are relationships. If spending more time with your mother is a priority, go to her. If your relationship is important enough to leave Korea, than go.

Fourth: I've seen many of overweight not blonde women dating a Korean man. Sorry, to generalize here, but straight men like women in all shaped and sizes. There is always someone out there. If you feel like your only dating the dude back home because your of age to marry and your worried you won't find someone else, how much of a valuable life will you be giving your future self.

Fifth: I don't know anything about you but from what your wrote, you enjoy Korea, you like your students, you enjoy your day to day life, but living here is taking a toll on your relationships. The importance of the relationship to your family and SO will have to be the deciding factor, in my opinion of course.


  • leaponover
  • Expert Waygook

    • 555

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2019, 12:36:37 pm »
Seems like all your questions are centered around Korea for leaving, when really they should be centered around where you are going.  That's the determining factor.    I wouldn't count on "I made $2,632 a week working from home.  Click on this link to see how I did it!" nonsense.


  • Aristocrat
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1949

    • November 10, 2014, 01:04:27 pm
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2019, 12:55:40 pm »
I would go because it will always be "oh, just one more year".

Don't worry about not having a job lined up when you go home because honestly, what are the chances of that?  As Thunderlips says above, it will take time to get back into the swing of things in your home country.

I think about it like this...it was a huge leap to quit my job back home and come to Korea and I'm so happy I did it.  But it works in reverse too.  Once you get comfortable here after a lot of years, the leap back will be just as big and requires some courage (if not more).   But I'm sure you'll be happy that you did it.

AlexisAlex, thanks for the advice.  Back on the age thing,  if I was a man I think it would be no problem for me to find another lover here if I were to break up with mine.  But as a older woman (mid 30s) who's no longer "fighting weight" LOL.  Let's just say I've eaten my way out of the dating pool.  Sure I could lose weight but finding a local or foreigner here would be very tough and the road might be long as most Korean men my age either are married, want someone young and thin, and also want someone blonde (or black or Southeast Asian) and the foreign guy community either see me as a buddy ol' pal or a gateway to a greencard.  The dating scene would be really depressing here if I stayed for a longer haul. 

Oh but ONE MORE YEAR THOUGH....I don't want to give my kids away to some noob LOL

Let's address the weight issue first. As a guy who's daily highlight, for the past 5yrs, has been going to the track or gym, I'd put my money on you reaching any fitness goal you set your mind to. 99% of the time, the obstacles for fat loss or in the mind.
You've addressed that you have a problem and that's the biggest hurdle. Next, you need the confidence to follow through; I'm not talking about hugs and lame support groups, I'm talking about doing research and understanding the cold, hard fact that following the correct plan will turn a fitness dream into an inevitability... then it's just a matter of ENJOYING the journey to your goals.

Aim for self improvement, not self acceptance.

Should you stay in Korea?

- While the money is great, Korea stagnats your professional development (this is the trap). The longer you stay, the more intimidating and difficult it might be to enter the workforce again.

- Financially, I wouldn't leave until:

(minimum)
- I could afford a 20% deposit on a decent place
- I could pay the rent/mortgage for a year
- I could support myself for a year

(ideal)
- I could afford a 50% deposit or buy a place
- I could pay the rent/mortgage for a year
- I could support myself for a year
- I had a job or plan to get a job waiting

- Enjoy your students and have fun with them, but DO NOT form emotional attachments. These aren't your "kids" they're your
  students. Keep the relationship pleasant and professional, same goes for your co-workers.

- If you're keen on marriage and kids, you should go. Aside from the companionship and satisfaction of raising a family,
  2 paychecks are a hell of a lot better than one, particularly if owning a house and living off a retirement fund are of interest to
  you. Having kids after your mid 30s, particularly if you're overweight, is pretty damn risky. Get healthy and fit to save yourself
  the fun of birth complications, medical issues and medical bills.


  • Piggydee
  • The Legend

    • 2642

    • October 15, 2013, 07:32:43 am
    • South Korea
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2019, 01:11:06 pm »
Great advice guys!  I've got next week to make the big D!  I will let you guys know if I take the plunge or not. 


  • CO2
  • The Legend

    • 4855

    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
    • Gunpo
    more
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2019, 01:11:46 pm »
Great advice guys!  I've got next week to make the big D!  I will let you guys know if I take the plunge or not. 

Plunge that Big D, Piggydee!
The joys of fauxtherhood


  • Datasapien
  • Super Waygook

    • 443

    • February 04, 2012, 09:36:25 pm
    • Chungcheongbuk-do
    more
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2019, 01:30:22 pm »
Good luck Dee, I'm thinking of making similar moves too, can't do EPIK forever. If only Koreans were having more kids, at the current rate there'll be more teachers than students in a few years :(
"A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man." - Jebediah Springfield.


  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1500

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
    more
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2019, 05:31:04 pm »
You can't lose either way.

Leave sooner and you avoid potential misery with new korean teacher and younger classes that don't behave well.

Leave later and you get the extra money, can visit the two countries you still want to visit and see your 5th grade students graduate.

I would personally choose the later because i have had the joy and fond memory of teaching a class from kindy to first year middle school, through their entire elementary school years and it was a cool thing to do. I'll never forget that class. (Also, i have been here 17 years and still have Malaysia and Hokkaido on my list of East Asian places to visit.)





  • Cohort 2019
  • Veteran

    • 157

    • August 17, 2019, 08:09:23 pm
    • 90S.- 0'E
    more
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2019, 05:39:11 pm »
Sounds like you want to stay.
But if you run off, come and marry me! I like all type of women! ;D

Also, your kids are of course very cute and all, but you are just a teacher or as my trainer once put it when I didn't want to punish students who were misbehaving, fearing the backlash on 'our' relationship: "You are just a teacher to them." After this hour they leave and meet another teacher and so on. As far as I am concerned, it is nice to have a great bunch of kids and seeing them progress but I have missed out on many graduations myself and no harm done really.
incumbo studiis


  • Mr C
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1737

    • October 17, 2012, 03:00:40 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2019, 10:12:58 pm »
I'm going to agree with those who say don't put much weight into the "staying for the students" argument.  They'll survive, and hopefully their next NSET will get them to send you some cards.  SMOE moved me to a new school and even big sixth grade boys actually cried at the farewell from my old school, but they're fine now, I'm sure. (I arranged to go to their graduation, and it was a nice closure.) (Here's how old I am: back home, I actually taught children of students I had taught!)

But, I think your desire to travel to those two more countries should carry a LOT of weight in your deliberations, because once you leave immediate access to ICN, your chances for such travel will become much smaller.  I didn't realize it so much when I came, but the ease of travel is a big factor in the quality of life our jobs provide.  While I (and I think you) really enjoy living here, traveling takes it to the next level.

Visa? Sure, it gets more annoying year on year, but you scrounge up the paperwork, visit the hospital for an hour, then trek to Immi (all on company time), and you're set for another year.  Whatevs.

Before making the move back home, you might consider a year or two living in another Asian country on the flight path.  If you take your severance and pension in cash after 10 years, you've got quite a kitty, and only a few thousand bucks can get you well set up for a stint in, say, Vietnam.   

I did not come to Korea until I had a chopped contract in my hands and a paid plane ticket.  While those are ideal, I don't think a guaranteed job back home is absolutely necessary.  OTOH, you need a realistic plan, and I kind of agree with leaponover.  And by the way, mid-thirties is far from ageing out--I came here at 46 and I have two female friends hired by SMOE around the same age.

Anyway, good luck, and keep us updated.


  • dippedinblush
  • Veteran

    • 105

    • November 21, 2013, 11:15:05 am
    • Yangpyeong, South Korea
Re: Should I stay or should I go?
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2019, 11:09:18 pm »
Stay

It seems you have unfinished business.  Get your mind clear during this year and travel. save save save.  Get more healthy.  (Sprout Seoul) Then go home.

You will not regret staying.  Its just one year.