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  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1852

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #280 on: September 07, 2020, 07:58:54 am »
That's why you find a country with a cheap living cost where the pay and savings potential makes up for those things.  Plenty of them do exist.  Not sure if it's Taiwan, though it does have a cheaper living cost than Korea.  But is it cheap enough to make up for flights and rent?  Well, I probably would do Vietnam and others where your savings would make up for those things.  If you are a single person and have no debts or student loans back home, you can live okay if you live frugally here.  But loans, saving up, etc wouldn't be worth it.  I wouldn't stay here if I made 2.1 million won a month.  Liking BTS or Super Junior or whomever doesn't make it worth it to put up with that.  (I'm speaking to you young teachers.)

I'm a single person, and came to Korea with debt. In my 4 years here, I never lived frugally, and have paid it all off.
I also don't like BTS and stuff like that. I also started on 2.1, but am currently on 3.0 - and have been public school all the way.
I still feel Korea is cheap enough to save a fair bit. But, I guess it depends on what you enjoy during the weekends and stuff. I'm mostly a shut in and don't go out much - but by choice as I don't like going out much. I've traveled abroad every vacation, minus this summer as we couldn't because of the 'rona.


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2027

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #281 on: September 07, 2020, 10:34:39 am »
I'm a single person, and came to Korea with debt. In my 4 years here, I never lived frugally, and have paid it all off.
I also don't like BTS and stuff like that. I also started on 2.1, but am currently on 3.0 - and have been public school all the way.
I still feel Korea is cheap enough to save a fair bit. But, I guess it depends on what you enjoy during the weekends and stuff. I'm mostly a shut in and don't go out much - but by choice as I don't like going out much. I've traveled abroad every vacation, minus this summer as we couldn't because of the 'rona.

I had a similar situation in some ways to the rookies now.  Cheaper cost of living back then but got raped on the exchange rate.  (Cdn dollar and won rate was horrible after the Great Recession for several years.)  Took me years to pay off that 50k in loans.  (I think with interest I paid off 64k in total plus a bunch more in credit card debts.)  I guess if you only owe like 10 or 12 K you can pay off easily in a few years with a low wage.  The bad exchange rate we had at the time makes it comparable to the low wage high cost of living for many newbies now.  But towards the end of this time was when China, Vietnam, and other countries were rising up as alternative teaching destinations.  Got the debts gone or nearly gone and made a higher salary.  But staying here year after year for 2.1 is dumb. 

But I rest my point about you being a shut in and living frugally. 


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1852

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #282 on: September 07, 2020, 12:38:58 pm »
I had a similar situation in some ways to the rookies now.  Cheaper cost of living back then but got raped on the exchange rate.  (Cdn dollar and won rate was horrible after the Great Recession for several years.)  Took me years to pay off that 50k in loans.  (I think with interest I paid off 64k in total plus a bunch more in credit card debts.)  I guess if you only owe like 10 or 12 K you can pay off easily in a few years with a low wage.  The bad exchange rate we had at the time makes it comparable to the low wage high cost of living for many newbies now.  But towards the end of this time was when China, Vietnam, and other countries were rising up as alternative teaching destinations.  Got the debts gone or nearly gone and made a higher salary.  But staying here year after year for 2.1 is dumb. 

But I rest my point about you being a shut in and living frugally.

I said I never lived frugally though. I admit to being a shut in. I don't like going out much. But I'd buy things I want, and buy decent amounts of groceries - but instead of going out and getting drunk with people. I'd buy games and technology related items. I've also set up a small home gym this year.

Also, it helped being from NZ - the exchange rate between NZ and Korea has gotten better during my time here. dropped slightly between the start of the year and now, but not by too much.
Living in China now would suck - they offer the same things as Korea, and only slightly more pay. But more things, like internet and sending money home, are much more of a hassle.
Vietnam I won't comment on, cause I don't really know about it too much - but what I have heard, it sounds like it's more of a hassle to get set up there, but after your first year or so - give or take a bit, it gets much better once you pass the starting hurdle.


Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #283 on: September 07, 2020, 01:48:21 pm »
Well if you are on 3.0 million a month then China might not seem so appealing particularly with a new “Cold War” possibly brewing between them and the USA now.

However certainly those on 2.3 or below in crapwons may consider an international school there with salaries exceeding 25k renminbi a month with the holiday benefits, flight benefits etc. Demand is so high there and China so huge that a native speaker without a teaching license can land such a job.

I guess they would have to wait out COVID though


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2027

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #284 on: September 08, 2020, 01:47:58 pm »
Well if you are on 3.0 million a month then China might not seem so appealing particularly with a new “Cold War” possibly brewing between them and the USA now.

However certainly those on 2.3 or below in crapwons may consider an international school there with salaries exceeding 25k renminbi a month with the holiday benefits, flight benefits etc. Demand is so high there and China so huge that a native speaker without a teaching license can land such a job.

I guess they would have to wait out COVID though

Well, as I said repeatedly, my current salary is enough to keep me here for now.  But, as the living costs shoot up here a lot, even a 3 million salary won't be enough in the next 3 or 4 years unless inflation slows down a lot.  But at 2.1 to 2.3, I wouldn't even think it worth it to stay.  Unless you have rich parents who paid your way through school and you have no loans or just owe 10 grand or something small, you'd be here for years struggling to pay that back.  Not worth it. 

China will have it's issues.  But, English teachers who shut up about politics while there, can do fine.  It is not a place to settle long term though.  Make some cash and get out.  Kind of like Saudi Arabia, I guess, in those ways.  (But Saudi was much harder to get into.)  Vietnam relatively free in comparison.  But even countries like Myanmar, Malaysia, and others in Asia will have jobs for teachers if you search and can make 2 thousand US a month or more (but with very cheap living costs). 

I have also seen some Vietnam job offers giving accommodation and flight.  But you should have a proper class TESOL and experience. 

As for me, I got myself an actual apartment.  A renovated one in a modest aged building (20 years old) that I rent.  So, the deposit and some other expenses (IE Car and stuff) did run up my cards again.  My choice not to live in a one room and so I now pay more but not a lot more.  Still I couldn't live this lifestyle on a 2.1 million job.


  • L I
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5115

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #285 on: September 15, 2020, 05:01:38 am »
I'm a single person, and came to Korea with debt. In my 4 years here, I never lived frugally, and have paid it all off. I also don't like BTS and stuff like that. I also started on 2.1, but am currently on 3.0 - and have been public school all the way.

In four years you went from 2.1 to 3.0?

How'd you manage that?


  • waygo0k
  • The Legend

    • 4213

    • September 27, 2011, 11:51:01 am
    • Chungnam
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #286 on: September 15, 2020, 05:36:38 pm »
In four years you went from 2.1 to 3.0?

How'd you manage that?

You increase 200k per year on average so by your 4th year you'll be on 2.7. Add in some overtime and 3.0 is in the bag.


  • L I
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5115

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #287 on: September 16, 2020, 03:11:10 am »
How many public school teachers are getting overtime year round? None I know. It’s uncommon to get it ever. Kayos and others who snagged overtime, how’d you do it?


  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 2018

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
    more
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #288 on: September 16, 2020, 04:42:46 am »
I was paid 2010-2017 a base salary on Jeju Island of 2.2-2.4 for 20 "contact" hours a week. With overtime pay, I worked usually 26-34 hours, including 2-4 hours early Saturday, for 2.7-3.1 million at a hagwon that never opened its doors before 2pm.

I left the sweet gig to explore other parts of the country. After 7 years, even paradise seems ho-hum. I took a 2.2 base salary with no extra hours and have enjoyed my time here on the mainland equally as well.

There is more to life than money. (I know this is easy to say when you have enough of it; enough is less than most people expect, though, imo, well, at least for me.)


  • L I
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5115

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #289 on: September 16, 2020, 06:41:25 am »
I was paid 2010-2017 a base salary on Jeju Island of 2.2-2.4 for 20 "contact" hours a week. With overtime pay, I worked usually 26-34 hours, including 2-4 hours early Saturday, for 2.7-3.1 million at a hagwon that never opened its doors before 2pm.

What time were the early Saturday classes? You mean 2pm is early for a Saturday?

I left the sweet gig to explore other parts of the country.

Leaving wasn't by choice.

I was non-renewed for the first time ever in April of this year (hence why I left Seogwipo, Jeju Island), and it came at a shock. The director had bought the hagwon while I was etaching there and trusted a local teacher who married a very lazy American hang-loose surfer guy and the director seemed to want to support them and they didn't like my 2-hour daily prep, biz-hustle attitude, start class within 5 minutes of start time commitment. After seven years at that hagwon, I was not renewed for an eighth year, and that couple could barely contain their excitement. Yay! they ghet to show up 30 minutes before class and chitchat and don't prepare and walk to the photocopier during class and not feel like they are doing anything wrong.

The first six minutes of this video is fitting. Speaks to human nature. About coping:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aq0eGdHMkA


  • 745sticky
  • Expert Waygook

    • 735

    • March 26, 2020, 01:52:57 pm
    • Korea
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #290 on: September 16, 2020, 08:12:05 am »
Christ L1, relax. No need to do a man like that


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1852

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #291 on: September 17, 2020, 08:04:10 am »
In four years you went from 2.1 to 3.0?

How'd you manage that?

In my second year, the education hired fresh out of university students at the rate you get after 1 years of exerperience, so they gave me a double pay raise to make it fair on me - I didn't ask for it, they just done it when they realized I had experience here.


  • L I
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5115

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #292 on: September 17, 2020, 11:08:39 am »
So did you suddenly get overtime, too? And/or things changed via an extra school? Public school pay scales cap out below 3.0. Did you opt for a housing allowance along the way?


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1852

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #293 on: September 17, 2020, 12:02:14 pm »
So did you suddenly get overtime, too? And/or things changed via an extra school? Public school pay scales cap out below 3.0. Did you opt for a housing allowance along the way?

Nope, I changed regions after my first year.
2.7 is the highest they offer, but I get a 200k rural bonus, and 150k for working at 3 schools. so get 3m per month.
I've always been happy with the apartments my school has provided for me.
I don't get overtime, cause I'm not working over the 22 hours per week. If I did, I'd get it.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 12:09:36 pm by Kayos »


  • Kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1339

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #294 on: September 17, 2020, 12:19:20 pm »
What? You get 200k for rural bones? Lucky ****! I only get 100k.  :cry:


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1852

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #295 on: September 17, 2020, 12:23:54 pm »
What? You get 200k for rural bones? Lucky ****! I only get 100k.  :cry:

Yeah. And pretty much the entire province is considered rural too - unless you are directly in a "city" you basically get rural as a guaranteed thing. :p


  • Kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1339

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #296 on: September 17, 2020, 12:35:49 pm »
Leaving us with only 1 important question:
So... would you prefer the nickname 'Hay'os, or Ka-y'alls?
 :smiley:


  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1852

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #297 on: September 17, 2020, 01:49:39 pm »
Leaving us with only 1 important question:
So... would you prefer the nickname 'Hay'os, or Ka-y'alls?
 :smiley:

Maybe Hay'os, cause I'm not understanding the other. :p
And "hay" is pretty O-"kay" ;P


  • OnNut81
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1313

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #298 on: September 18, 2020, 09:58:49 am »
Christ L1, relax. No need to do a man like that

Seems fair calling him out on a lie.  VanIslander frequently ups himself over others so I'd say exposing his BS was just desserts.  Plus, that hakwan job he described sounded terrible.  Long hours on an island that is nice to pop down for on a weekend so you can eat the same food at higher prices. 


  • 745sticky
  • Expert Waygook

    • 735

    • March 26, 2020, 01:52:57 pm
    • Korea
Re: It is 2003, again!
« Reply #299 on: September 18, 2020, 10:08:34 am »
Seems fair calling him out on a lie.  VanIslander frequently ups himself over others so I'd say exposing his BS was just desserts.  Plus, that hakwan job he described sounded terrible.  Long hours on an island that is nice to pop down for on a weekend so you can eat the same food at higher prices.

The callout itself is all well and good, but I'm not sure if the "cope" video was warranted