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Future of ESL in Korea. Helping my curiosity
« on: July 25, 2021, 10:52:43 am »
Hi everyone, just here more out of curiosity than anything else. I have always entertained the idea of doing ESL in Korea via EPIK - preferably by trying to get into SMOE but that's not really important to the rest of this post - however I've been put off in recent years as I've heard rather mixed things in relation to job security, the standard ESL wages no longer being comparable with local wages and the inflation. I've also heard the cost of living has gone up rapidly compared to near by places.

So my questions are targeted for ESL teachers in mainly Seoul but would really like to hear experiences from Busan or other smaller cities too. Also these questions are asked by someone who just holds a Bachelors degree in a tech field from the UK and nothing related to education except a TEFL and teaching experience in Asia for context.

- What is the quality of life like these days for ESL teachers?
- Can you see the quality of life remaining the same in the future for ESL teachers?

- Is ~2.3 million won liveable?
I guess as a single person that's fine, but what if you have a family and kids in the future?

- What are the long term prospects of ESL teachers in Korea?
For example, is this a dead end job that will never see pay rises and will continue to edge towards
the minimum wage?

- Is there a big job market outside the ESL sector for foreigners to move into?
My experience here in Taiwan has been there are tech jobs if you can learn Mandarin but the
salary is lower here than that of ESL jobs, so I turned it down.

- How easy is it to achieve a permanent resident status with open work rights in Korea?
In Taiwan it is effectively only working in Taiwan for 5 consecutive years and with the final year
making at least double the minimum wage. What are the Korean requirement for this?

I probably won't move to Korea at this point in my life anyway, as I am happily living in Taiwan. I would maybe consider the idea if something major happens here in Taiwan but I'm feeling it's unlikely. If I did move out of Taiwan however I would look for somewhere I can stay for a long period/permanently and Korea would be a place I would consider.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.