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  • Kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • I am a geek!!

    • March 02, 2027, 11:00:00 pm
    • 🇰🇷
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #140 on: July 27, 2020, 10:50:24 am »
Three areas that I haven't much followed, unfortunately, but it's encouraging that ESL demand is increasing again! That bodes well for Korea, as they're only a month or two behind China's Covid19 event timeline!
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 01:17:27 pm by Kyndo »


  • Kayos
  • The Legend

    • 2413

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #141 on: July 27, 2020, 12:31:42 pm »
Honestly, even though China seems to offer more, I wouldn't want to live there.
From heavily censored internet, to it being difficult to send money back home, to how crazy their government is; I'd rather stay in Korea, TBH.
Outside of Hakwons, Korea offers decent vacation time, cheaper cost of living, ease of living, and a decent wage. I'm at 3mil won in public school. I don't live frugally, and still my outgoing expenses are only around 800k won per month.
I would like to live in Japan, but even for public schools there, you get very little paid vacation time, and wages don't go as far there.
I wouldn't want to live in the middle east - too hot for me, and generally not interested in their countries / culture.
Vietnam seems to be difficult to get set up in, but gets good once you pass that initial set up phase.

As much as people complain about stuff here, I do think in terms of pay, benefits, and ease of living, Korea is definitely a great place to be. It does have its share of problems but, so does every other country.


  • Colburnnn
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1182

    • August 10, 2015, 05:52:37 pm
    • South Korea
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #142 on: July 27, 2020, 12:58:17 pm »
Yeah, I'd agree on the whole with you Kayos.

Most of us are not here to get rich. We are here because we somewhat like living here. There are better places to be but definitely worse places to be. A few small changes and Korea would be perfect.

I'd go ME in a heartbeat (but married now and want my wife to be free to be herself), but never even setting foot in China. Hell no! Not for all the tea in...China!

The wage has go to see a rise though. OR a rise for experienced teachers. Entry level, sure, 2.0 mil for those that are just here for the BTS pilgrimage. But those who have put the work in should be looking at 3.0mil+ min.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 01:06:08 pm by Colburnnn »
Haven't you got some pictures of birds to be jacking off to, son?

Colburnnn: Complains a lot, very sassy. Has a loudmouth.


  • stoat
  • The Legend

    • 2085

    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #143 on: July 27, 2020, 01:01:00 pm »
Honestly, even though China seems to offer more, I wouldn't want to live there.
From heavily censored internet, to it being difficult to send money back home, to how crazy their government is; I'd rather stay in Korea, TBH.
Outside of Hakwons, Korea offers decent vacation time, cheaper cost of living, ease of living, and a decent wage. I'm at 3mil won in public school. I don't live frugally, and still my outgoing expenses are only around 800k won per month.
I would like to live in Japan, but even for public schools there, you get very little paid vacation time, and wages don't go as far there.
I wouldn't want to live in the middle east - too hot for me, and generally not interested in their countries / culture.
Vietnam seems to be difficult to get set up in, but gets good once you pass that initial set up phase.

As much as people complain about stuff here, I do think in terms of pay, benefits, and ease of living, Korea is definitely a great place to be. It does have its share of problems but, so does every other country.

There's a guy who used to make youtube videos in China who left recently and reveals what it's like to live there. There used to be a lot of positives according to him but a lot have been eroded recently. Also the stories about the hassle foreigners get are pretty disturbing. Having to register with the police every time they travel within China, not being able to stay at hotels because they don't have a system set up to process foreigners,  having to queue for ages to buy tickets for stuff because they don't have Chinese ID cards etc.  The hassle he got as a youtuber was even worse, police visits at night,  threats to his family etc. 


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 4618

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #144 on: July 27, 2020, 01:17:10 pm »
Having to register with the police every time they travel within China, not being able to stay at hotels because they don't have a system set up to process foreigners,  having to queue for ages to buy tickets for stuff because they don't have Chinese ID cards etc. 
yeah, a couple of years ago i went to china to visit a friend who lived there. the registering where you go thing was crazy. queuing for tickets at the station was one of the most stressful things i've ever done. when i applied for my visa, i had to write a huge list of things i planned to do, and when. right down to the precise hour. every hour had to be accounted for (in detail)....for the entirety of the 2 weeks.

i'm glad i visited china, and i had a good time, but it is a very strange place. but there is absolutely no way in hell i could ever live there.


  • stoat
  • The Legend

    • 2085

    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #145 on: July 27, 2020, 01:37:39 pm »
yeah, a couple of years ago i went to china to visit a friend who lived there. the registering where you go thing was crazy. queuing for tickets at the station was one of the most stressful things i've ever done. when i applied for my visa, i had to write a huge list of things i planned to do, and when. right down to the precise hour. every hour had to be accounted for (in detail)....for the entirety of the 2 weeks.

i'm glad i visited china, and i had a good time, but it is a very strange place. but there is absolutely no way in hell i could ever live there.

Sounds like it's got a lot stricter. I went 15 years ago and didn't have to do that.


  • Kayos
  • The Legend

    • 2413

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #146 on: July 27, 2020, 01:45:51 pm »
yeah, a couple of years ago i went to china to visit a friend who lived there. the registering where you go thing was crazy. queuing for tickets at the station was one of the most stressful things i've ever done. when i applied for my visa, i had to write a huge list of things i planned to do, and when. right down to the precise hour. every hour had to be accounted for (in detail)....for the entirety of the 2 weeks.

i'm glad i visited china, and i had a good time, but it is a very strange place. but there is absolutely no way in hell i could ever live there.

I went 2 years ago, and didn't have to go into that much detail when I got my visa.
I gave rough ideas of what I'd do: e.g. august 10 - 14, beijing, meet my chinese friends and hang out with them. August 14 travel to Shenzhen, 15 - 17, meet my chinese friends in that area and hang out with them. And that was enough that it caused no issues.
I didn't have to do anything to travel within China. However, they let me take deodorant on my way to the hotel, but when I left the area, I had to toss it. Both times it was in my suitcase.

But yeah, I enjoyed traveling there, would hate to live there now.


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5570

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #147 on: July 27, 2020, 02:15:33 pm »
Honestly, even though China seems to offer more, I wouldn't want to live there.
From heavily censored internet, to it being difficult to send money back home, to how crazy their government is; I'd rather stay in Korea, TBH.
Outside of Hakwons, Korea offers decent vacation time, cheaper cost of living, ease of living, and a decent wage. I'm at 3mil won in public school. I don't live frugally, and still my outgoing expenses are only around 800k won per month.
I would like to live in Japan, but even for public schools there, you get very little paid vacation time, and wages don't go as far there.
I wouldn't want to live in the middle east - too hot for me, and generally not interested in their countries / culture.
Vietnam seems to be difficult to get set up in, but gets good once you pass that initial set up phase.

As much as people complain about stuff here, I do think in terms of pay, benefits, and ease of living, Korea is definitely a great place to be. It does have its share of problems but, so does every other country.

Korea has a cheaper cost of living now?  I think it has a more expensive cost of living.  It is true you can live here well enough if you make 3 million a month and have no debts to repay.  I make 3 and have debts to rapay.  (My own fault got into a snit.  Student loans repaid a few years ago.)

In fairness if you were here for 2 or 2.1 million won with one way flight and a terrible exchange rate as an American, I honestly don't know how you would get your loans repaid quickly.  Folks use to come here to make money and repay their debts more quickly.  Impossible now with these lowball salaries for many. 

While I am okay, I know if I lost my job, I would have no choice but to leave Korea unless I got a comparable level salary.  But even with this, the way inflation is going, it will be hard even for us in another 2 or 3 years if we don't start getting raises as well.

Our wages are okay to sustain us for now (3 million).  But there's no way I could dink along on a 2.1 million won a month wage in this decade.  As for China, I think you get a Chinese to send the money for you, send through a bank with ridiculous paperwork and daily limits.  I had a friend that did it via Western Union and had to obviously have a family member he trusted back home to get the money and put it in his bank account.  So, there are ways around it.  A hassle.  But honestly, free housing and 30,000 rmb, once Corona clears up may make me reconsider if Korea doesn't get it's ass in gear.  (If they don't want experienced teachers, keep the salaries stubbornly low.) 
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are still blocked and I can't see them.


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5570

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #148 on: July 27, 2020, 02:32:03 pm »
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are still blocked and I can't see them.


  • NorthStar
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1362

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Mouseville
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #149 on: July 28, 2020, 03:34:03 am »
No new teachers are coming into Korea right now.  The schools want people already in Korea.  That means you have a bit more power.  Ask for a higher salary.  Upper 2.0s with experience.  2.5 should be for those with no experience minimum.  Stick to your guns.  The problem has been lots of foreigners being pussies who won't push back. 

Nah, they won't.  These folks are clueless about the power they have to obtain a higher salary ,don't research the exchange rate and only have K-poop life on their minds.


  • NorthStar
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1362

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Mouseville
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #150 on: July 28, 2020, 03:37:24 am »
At what point does the inflation of living costs and the stagnant wage cause issues? Surely in 15-20 years you cannot be paying an NET worker 2 million for a months work.

Well...it seems to be the case now.


  • 745sticky
  • The Legend

    • 2350

    • March 26, 2020, 01:52:57 pm
    • Korea
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #151 on: July 28, 2020, 07:56:06 am »
The wage has go to see a rise though. OR a rise for experienced teachers. Entry level, sure, 2.0 mil for those that are just here for the BTS pilgrimage. But those who have put the work in should be looking at 3.0mil+ min.

Agreed. I'm fine with 2.1ish for EPiK, pays low but its a low workload and also guaranteed not to screw you over the ways hagwons can. But if I were to work at a Hagwon then I'd sooner leave the country than take 2.2 (even with the state the US is in these days)


  • Kayos
  • The Legend

    • 2413

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #152 on: July 28, 2020, 08:15:41 am »
Korea has a cheaper cost of living now?  I think it has a more expensive cost of living.  It is true you can live here well enough if you make 3 million a month and have no debts to repay.  I make 3 and have debts to rapay.  (My own fault got into a snit.  Student loans repaid a few years ago.)

In fairness if you were here for 2 or 2.1 million won with one way flight and a terrible exchange rate as an American, I honestly don't know how you would get your loans repaid quickly.  Folks use to come here to make money and repay their debts more quickly.  Impossible now with these lowball salaries for many. 

While I am okay, I know if I lost my job, I would have no choice but to leave Korea unless I got a comparable level salary.  But even with this, the way inflation is going, it will be hard even for us in another 2 or 3 years if we don't start getting raises as well.

Our wages are okay to sustain us for now (3 million).  But there's no way I could dink along on a 2.1 million won a month wage in this decade.  As for China, I think you get a Chinese to send the money for you, send through a bank with ridiculous paperwork and daily limits.  I had a friend that did it via Western Union and had to obviously have a family member he trusted back home to get the money and put it in his bank account.  So, there are ways around it.  A hassle.  But honestly, free housing and 30,000 rmb, once Corona clears up may make me reconsider if Korea doesn't get it's ass in gear.  (If they don't want experienced teachers, keep the salaries stubbornly low.)

Well, it has a cheaper cost of living compared to NZ. If I had the same job in NZ earning the same amount, I wouldn't have much disposable income.
6/12 months of the year, my power bill is only like 19k won, in NZ, it would probably be much higher. I get more paid sick leave, and vacation than NZ too.

And it's exactly my point with sending money from China. In Korea, I can easily send money to myself in NZ, I don't need to rely on a family member / friend back home, and don't have to rely on a Korean national in order to do it. I'm not sure there is a daily limit on sending money home, but I can only send up to 10mil won back at a time. And on top of having to deal with a lot of the other bad stuff about being in China, it makes China not worth it to me, TBH.

I started 4 years ago on 2.1 in public school, and even then I was easily able to save about 1mil won per month, which I used on my student loans, traveling, or frivolous spending. Still got my student loans paid off in 3.5 years. I didn't live frugally. While I do understand that salaries do need to go up, especially with hagwons, it can still allow you to have fun and save. However, I'm not an American, and the NZ has actually gotten better in my time here. Last time I sent money back, I got a little over 1300NZD for my 1mil won; about 2 years ago, I was getting just under 1200. However, I'd be the same, if I lost my job I'd be leaving Korea. However, I'm already working on getting into something else to change my career in a few years time. I'm planning to study online via a university, and work on a new bachelors degree and then a masters after that.


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5570

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #153 on: July 28, 2020, 12:04:57 pm »
Well, it has a cheaper cost of living compared to NZ. If I had the same job in NZ earning the same amount, I wouldn't have much disposable income.
6/12 months of the year, my power bill is only like 19k won, in NZ, it would probably be much higher. I get more paid sick leave, and vacation than NZ too.

And it's exactly my point with sending money from China. In Korea, I can easily send money to myself in NZ, I don't need to rely on a family member / friend back home, and don't have to rely on a Korean national in order to do it. I'm not sure there is a daily limit on sending money home, but I can only send up to 10mil won back at a time. And on top of having to deal with a lot of the other bad stuff about being in China, it makes China not worth it to me, TBH.

I started 4 years ago on 2.1 in public school, and even then I was easily able to save about 1mil won per month, which I used on my student loans, traveling, or frivolous spending. Still got my student loans paid off in 3.5 years. I didn't live frugally. While I do understand that salaries do need to go up, especially with hagwons, it can still allow you to have fun and save. However, I'm not an American, and the NZ has actually gotten better in my time here. Last time I sent money back, I got a little over 1300NZD for my 1mil won; about 2 years ago, I was getting just under 1200. However, I'd be the same, if I lost my job I'd be leaving Korea. However, I'm already working on getting into something else to change my career in a few years time. I'm planning to study online via a university, and work on a new bachelors degree and then a masters after that.

I assume you'd be earning more money in NZ.  Salaries were lower here but the payoff was that the much cheaper living cost and lower taxation made up for it.  Officially our taxes are the same, but for some reason in recent years, they are hitting us with extra money required to be paid.  That didn't happen 10 to 12 years ago.  I am usually paying an extra million won.  So, they are sneak taxing us more now.  Living costs have risen sharply especially in the last 3 years but has been creeping up for a decade.  Also, it depends on what your exchange rate is.  For Canadians its okay.  It was crappy from late 2007 to 2014.  I should have left during this time but I was dumb and stayed.  Now exchange rate is back to historically decent level for us but now living costs are soaring.  In another 2 or 3 years even our 3 million salaries will be a struggle unless we get a raise.  I am reading the writing on the wall. 

I do okay on my salary, but my point is if we lost these jobs and crapwons were pulling 2.1 to 2.3 million bs, it would be a steep drop in income and living standards.  It was good money 10 to 12 years ago.  Heck 2006ish, I started off at 1.9 slightly below hogwans and still had decent purchasing power and could pay a lot towards debts etc.  Now that is just above minimum wage and things are much more expensive.  I'm not sure why idiots would come here for 2.1 million in 2020 and be poor.  Just because they love BTS and Mr. Sunshine?  They want to fantasize about becoming Korean or something?

I do know whats coming even for us soon the way the cost of living is coming along especially if we don't get a raise for it.   

As for the rest of what you said, it depends on how much you have for a loan.  If a small loan can pay off quickly.  If a large one or other debts can take longer.  Exchange rate is key too.  Americans get really screwed now.  So, not worth it.  But exchanges can fluctuate up and down.  Been decent for me too.  But the past 2 or 3 years has seen rising living costs.  You use to be able to keep 500 thousand won a month for yourself if you lived cheaply in Korea and send the rest home.  Now, I'd say in 2020, you should aim to keep almost double that to get through a month.  Wanting to eat out once a week, cooking at home (not ramien but real food), paying utilities, maintenance fee, transportation, maybe buying something or taking a mini trip on the weekend somewhere.  If you eat ramien gimbap nara etc I suppose you could cheap out and live very frugally.  Have a beer or some other drink occasionally, etc. 

So, on 2.1, you end up with 1.9 after deductions aproximately.  Now many hogwons don't pay the flight home. So, you have to take 100 thousand off the salary to save towards flight home.  So, down to 1.8.  I will err on the side of caution and say leave 1 million won for expenses, extra purchases, and bills, etc.  You could argue whether to leave 900k instead or less if you eat ramien every meal and refill your water at school and other cheap ridiculous things.  Anyhow, Korea was cheaper back then.  Same salary and round trip flight meant 1.9 after deductions and you could leave yourself 500k a month and send the rest home.  1.4 million won for Americans came to 1500 dollars at the time.  Exchange rate was better.  Now, you send home 800 thousand won and end up with 700 dollars a month due to higher living cost and poorer exchange rate.  So, if you are American it's a shitty deal now.  Most student loans are 500 or 600 dollars a month.  Good luck paying off fast unless you have a very low amount.   For a young American, it is a raw deal.  Recruiters might be hooking the kids in using outdated info from 10 or 15 years ago.  Telling them they can save lots of money and K girls  will chase after white guys or something.  Hasn't been that way in years.  Lying douches. 

As for China, what I have heard is that if you are on a Z Visa and not an illegal you can go to the bank and transfer money home up to the amount of your salary.  But you can only do 500 US dollars a day which is a pain admittedly.  Have to go back 3 or 4 days in a row to send home a couple grand.  But that's a good amount to save each month.  Better than 700 USdollars a month.  Both amounts higher in other currencies.  I have seen 30,000 rmb offers with free housing and flight reimbursement.  Cheaper lliving costs.  So, I would assume 24,000 rmb send home? 

Actually I stand corrected. 

24,000CNY =
4,111,057.72
KRW

30,000CNY =
5,139,200.39
KRW

So, may be able to send home even more than 24000 rmb depending on taxes and other expenses. 

If you are American, that's

4,111,360.31KRW =
3,427.77932
USD

$3400 dollars a month is better than $700 dollars a month in savings.  Yes, country has it's problems but shut up about politics, make money, and go home.  I'm almost talking myself into it and kicking myself for wasting so much time here. 

Even some official jobs may pay less like 20 to 25 thousand rmb and offer some overtime or extra.  Lots of saving potential. 
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are still blocked and I can't see them.


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5570

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #154 on: July 28, 2020, 12:11:47 pm »
Though I should add I may accept a laid back public school gig for less say low 20's.  I see some giving free accomodation and going up to 22k RMB.  But probably less work and stress. 

So, if I sent home this,

17,000CNY =
2,910,701.17
KRW

2,910,701.17KRW =
2,427.65201
USD



Better than what I am getting now.  If I exchanged the money I sent home into US dollars, I am getting aprox.

1,251.066
USD

Okay but nothing steller.  Had a bunch of credit cards I got into a mess with and have to pay off. 

ze=" class="bbc_link" target="_blank">https://www.eslcafe.com/postajob-detail/public-high-school-teaching-positions-in-jian-16?koreasearch=&koreapageno=&koreapagesize=&chinasearch=&chinapageno=1&chinapagesize=60&internationalsearch=&internationalpageno=&internationalpagesi ze=

(I have a lot of experience which is why I would demand 22k, but at least 20 or 21k.)
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are still blocked and I can't see them.


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5570

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #155 on: July 28, 2020, 12:13:49 pm »
I know there can be a month unpaid in summer sometimes with these gigs unless you renew and can then get partially or mostly paid.  But still adds up to more overall.   

ze=" class="bbc_link" target="_blank">https://www.eslcafe.com/postajob-detail/salary-25000-rmb-all-benefits-25-lessons-no-o-1?koreasearch=&koreapageno=&koreapagesize=&chinasearch=&chinapageno=1&chinapagesize=60&internationalsearch=&internationalpageno=&internationalpagesi ze=


Korea really had better get it's shit together because they will lose more and more experienced teachers once COVID clears up. 
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are still blocked and I can't see them.


  • Kayos
  • The Legend

    • 2413

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #156 on: July 28, 2020, 12:51:59 pm »
I assume you'd be earning more money in NZ.  Salaries were lower here but the payoff was that the much cheaper living cost and lower taxation made up for it.  Officially our taxes are the same, but for some reason in recent years, they are hitting us with extra money required to be paid.  That didn't happen 10 to 12 years ago.  I am usually paying an extra million won.  So, they are sneak taxing us more now.  Living costs have risen sharply especially in the last 3 years but has been creeping up for a decade.  Also, it depends on what your exchange rate is.  For Canadians its okay.  It was crappy from late 2007 to 2014.  I should have left during this time but I was dumb and stayed.  Now exchange rate is back to historically decent level for us but now living costs are soaring.  In another 2 or 3 years even our 3 million salaries will be a struggle unless we get a raise.  I am reading the writing on the wall. 

I do okay on my salary, but my point is if we lost these jobs and crapwons were pulling 2.1 to 2.3 million bs, it would be a steep drop in income and living standards.  It was good money 10 to 12 years ago.  Heck 2006ish, I started off at 1.9 slightly below hogwans and still had decent purchasing power and could pay a lot towards debts etc.  Now that is just above minimum wage and things are much more expensive.  I'm not sure why idiots would come here for 2.1 million in 2020 and be poor.  Just because they love BTS and Mr. Sunshine?  They want to fantasize about becoming Korean or something?

I do know whats coming even for us soon the way the cost of living is coming along especially if we don't get a raise for it.   

As for the rest of what you said, it depends on how much you have for a loan.  If a small loan can pay off quickly.  If a large one or other debts can take longer.  Exchange rate is key too.  Americans get really screwed now.  So, not worth it.  But exchanges can fluctuate up and down.  Been decent for me too.  But the past 2 or 3 years has seen rising living costs.  You use to be able to keep 500 thousand won a month for yourself if you lived cheaply in Korea and send the rest home.  Now, I'd say in 2020, you should aim to keep almost double that to get through a month.  Wanting to eat out once a week, cooking at home (not ramien but real food), paying utilities, maintenance fee, transportation, maybe buying something or taking a mini trip on the weekend somewhere.  If you eat ramien gimbap nara etc I suppose you could cheap out and live very frugally.  Have a beer or some other drink occasionally, etc. 

So, on 2.1, you end up with 1.9 after deductions aproximately.  Now many hogwons don't pay the flight home. So, you have to take 100 thousand off the salary to save towards flight home.  So, down to 1.8.  I will err on the side of caution and say leave 1 million won for expenses, extra purchases, and bills, etc.  You could argue whether to leave 900k instead or less if you eat ramien every meal and refill your water at school and other cheap ridiculous things.  Anyhow, Korea was cheaper back then.  Same salary and round trip flight meant 1.9 after deductions and you could leave yourself 500k a month and send the rest home.  1.4 million won for Americans came to 1500 dollars at the time.  Exchange rate was better.  Now, you send home 800 thousand won and end up with 700 dollars a month due to higher living cost and poorer exchange rate.  So, if you are American it's a shitty deal now.  Most student loans are 500 or 600 dollars a month.  Good luck paying off fast unless you have a very low amount.   For a young American, it is a raw deal.  Recruiters might be hooking the kids in using outdated info from 10 or 15 years ago.  Telling them they can save lots of money and K girls  will chase after white guys or something.  Hasn't been that way in years.  Lying douches. 

As for China, what I have heard is that if you are on a Z Visa and not an illegal you can go to the bank and transfer money home up to the amount of your salary.  But you can only do 500 US dollars a day which is a pain admittedly.  Have to go back 3 or 4 days in a row to send home a couple grand.  But that's a good amount to save each month.  Better than 700 USdollars a month.  Both amounts higher in other currencies.  I have seen 30,000 rmb offers with free housing and flight reimbursement.  Cheaper lliving costs.  So, I would assume 24,000 rmb send home? 

Actually I stand corrected. 

24,000CNY =
4,111,057.72
KRW

30,000CNY =
5,139,200.39
KRW

So, may be able to send home even more than 24000 rmb depending on taxes and other expenses. 

If you are American, that's

4,111,360.31KRW =
3,427.77932
USD

$3400 dollars a month is better than $700 dollars a month in savings.  Yes, country has it's problems but shut up about politics, make money, and go home.  I'm almost talking myself into it and kicking myself for wasting so much time here. 

Even some official jobs may pay less like 20 to 25 thousand rmb and offer some overtime or extra.  Lots of saving potential.

For teachers, 3mil won per month here without the free housing, is about what a new teacher gets in NZ, if not slightly more here. Teachers have been fighting the government in NZ for a fair wage for a while, it picked up a couple years ago and they had multiple strikes over it last year. However, teachers are also working 18 hour days, 6 - 7 days a week because of all the paperwork and stuff they have to do, and they don't get paid overtime for that.
However, my education office does agree about the needed pay rise for foreigners. At the meeting I had to go last year, it was brought up, and the education office workers admitted themselves they've noticed how much things have increased over the last few years.

3mil KRW = 3756.546 NZD = 45k NZD per year. A new teacher in NZ gets around 44 - 48k, and considering the amount of work here is much less, it's pretty decent when you add on housing.
I agree that coming over for 2 - 2.1 at a hagwon is terrible and avoided at all costs, cause working at a hagwon is terrible enough itself, but at public school it's usually not too bad.

Again, I live on about 800k won per month, my budget is: 100k for power (in summer and winter it's usually a bit less than that, or slightly more - usually a little under in the summer, but a little over in winter), 40k for internet, 40k for cellphone - I round up to 100k for both; then about 600k for food. I rarely spend that, usually about 400k - that's buying meat, fruit, and vegetables. then about 200k for eating out / emergencies. Sometimes when I have to buy once every couple months purchases, like razor blade heads, it goes up a little more, but not by much. After taxes, I get around 2.6 out of my 3mil, so 1.8 left. I usually keep 300k for whatever, and save 1.5mil. 1.5 = usually gives me around 1.8k - 2k NZD. And there is no way I'd be able to save close to that in NZ.

My student loan was about 20k NZD. maybe a little higher. And done that in 3.5 years, paid it off this Feb, and that was starting at 2.1 in public school. Public school pay rises go up pretty quick if you are able to stay though. But again, I do agree they will need to raise the pay some point soon, cause of the cost of living going up. Though, if you are American, I can see this being a raw deal, for NZers, it's not too bad TBH.

And again, while China does offer more, I wouldn't, personally, want to live there. Their internet is terrible; even if I was shutting up about politics, I wouldn't feel safe cause of the government there; Sending money back home is a huge hassle.


  • nightninja
  • Expert Waygook

    • 529

    • April 02, 2018, 03:20:32 pm
    • Korea
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #157 on: July 28, 2020, 01:23:44 pm »
As an American, yeah the exchange rate sucks and the pay has been capped with EPIK but I've still been able to save and pay off/send home $70,000+ over 5 years. I paid off $54,000 in student loans and about $15,000 in other debt. That was also with about 2 years of not watching my money here....I didn't really start saving much until about my 3rd year here because I spent a lot buying clothes for 4 seasons (don't need that at home) and traveling within Korea, plus trips to Japan, China, and yearly trips home. I am married now and so that does have a positive effect on my financial situation, but I still pay 90% of the household bills (with leftover from my salary alone) and I am saving more money here in Korea because I am in a position, now, to not have to send much money home, but I am still sending money to my US savings account as well. I am at the top of the EPIK payscale now, but I would say the reason I was able to save so much was that I did not eat out much and honestly didn't buy many groceries because I usually ate lunch at school and then a snack at dinner time (wasn't concerned about money just never hungry,) didn't have to pay for TV or internet, electricity and gas bills were low most of the year, phone wasn't that much, and I usually don't spend money on entertainment...I usually go for the free things when traveling and stayed at jimjjilbangs.

So, I would say 2.1 etc is really low especially without housing, but if the focus is on saving and not the extras associated with living in Korea, it is possible to save some on that salary, but it is definitely easier for someone who doesn't like to eat out and doesn't need to buy a lot of groceries because that is one of the more expensive budget items. Also, making sure to use points cards and transportation cards etc to save a little more. It may not seem like it makes any difference but its something. I often go to Paris Baguette and Hanaro Mart. I've saved enough for free cakes for whenever I need to buy one and for free items at Hanaro Mart.

Also, for anyone who has a Citibank account at home and can get a Korean Citi account transferring money that way will save the additional fees of about $15-$30 per transaction.

I would never take a job without housing or at least 400,000 won stipend for housing. That makes all the difference when comparing my salary in Korea to my salary in the USA and my income to expenditure ratio in both countries. In the USA I made about $42,000 and in Korea maybe about $30,000, but I can save in Korea and couldn't in the USA. If I stayed in the USA, I would have never gotten out from under my debts. Housing has really made all the difference, I think.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 01:33:43 pm by nightninja »


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5570

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #158 on: July 28, 2020, 01:30:54 pm »
For teachers, 3mil won per month here without the free housing, is about what a new teacher gets in NZ, if not slightly more here. Teachers have been fighting the government in NZ for a fair wage for a while, it picked up a couple years ago and they had multiple strikes over it last year. However, teachers are also working 18 hour days, 6 - 7 days a week because of all the paperwork and stuff they have to do, and they don't get paid overtime for that.
However, my education office does agree about the needed pay rise for foreigners. At the meeting I had to go last year, it was brought up, and the education office workers admitted themselves they've noticed how much things have increased over the last few years.

3mil KRW = 3756.546 NZD = 45k NZD per year. A new teacher in NZ gets around 44 - 48k, and considering the amount of work here is much less, it's pretty decent when you add on housing.
I agree that coming over for 2 - 2.1 at a hagwon is terrible and avoided at all costs, cause working at a hagwon is terrible enough itself, but at public school it's usually not too bad.

Again, I live on about 800k won per month, my budget is: 100k for power (in summer and winter it's usually a bit less than that, or slightly more - usually a little under in the summer, but a little over in winter), 40k for internet, 40k for cellphone - I round up to 100k for both; then about 600k for food. I rarely spend that, usually about 400k - that's buying meat, fruit, and vegetables. then about 200k for eating out / emergencies. Sometimes when I have to buy once every couple months purchases, like razor blade heads, it goes up a little more, but not by much. After taxes, I get around 2.6 out of my 3mil, so 1.8 left. I usually keep 300k for whatever, and save 1.5mil. 1.5 = usually gives me around 1.8k - 2k NZD. And there is no way I'd be able to save close to that in NZ.

My student loan was about 20k NZD. maybe a little higher. And done that in 3.5 years, paid it off this Feb, and that was starting at 2.1 in public school. Public school pay rises go up pretty quick if you are able to stay though. But again, I do agree they will need to raise the pay some point soon, cause of the cost of living going up. Though, if you are American, I can see this being a raw deal, for NZers, it's not too bad TBH.

And again, while China does offer more, I wouldn't, personally, want to live there. Their internet is terrible; even if I was shutting up about politics, I wouldn't feel safe cause of the government there; Sending money back home is a huge hassle.

Your loan was quite low then.  Many are double and triple that.  So, about 15 K US probably?  A low loan can be paid off quickly. 

As for the other person here, if you are willing to cheapout and eat ramien and snacks all the time, I am sure you can pinch every penny.  But your health will catch up with you unless it's just a year or two and you go back to eating regular food.  I eat real food and cook at home, only occasionally eat out. 
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are still blocked and I can't see them.


  • hangook77
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5570

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #159 on: July 28, 2020, 01:33:01 pm »
I guess my point was a decade or more ago, you didn't have to pinch pennies and hoard if you didn't want to.  You could still save and send money home and pay off even a large loan quickly so long as the exchange rate goes your way.  It did for a time, before getting bad for several years.  So, took me longer to pay shit off.  But after I finally did, living costs started creeping up and the last two to three years has accelerated.
745sticky, Augustiner, Bakeacake, D.L.Orean, Lazio, Mithras, Renma, Rye are still blocked and I can't see them.