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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2011, 05:53:10 pm »
To the poster that is 45 years old, I would definitely say that you've got to think about making a move of some sort. Unless you want to live the rest of your days in Korea(<shudder>), then you've got to think quick. If you think it is bad to go back home now, what do you think it will be like in 10 years when you are 55? That's a very dangerous age, dude. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and just do it.  Otherwise, those years will pass and the you'll find yourself old and gray here and that is not a pretty sight. Actually, this fear of living here for an even longer time than I've been is what is partly compelling me to leave. Good luck with it.


  • timash
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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2011, 07:45:26 pm »
I do feel this was the easiest way to get a job and get experience abroad which looks good to employers. I guess if the economy was better a lot of us including me would have never taken the opportunity to come abroad.


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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2011, 09:05:19 pm »
I was on the way out the door. Had been accepted to grad school at a "name" school, and thought it would be a piece of cake to at least get a part-time job in the field in which I am studying. But about 50-60 applications later, the reality sank in that nearly every branch of the public sector is tightening its belt and cutting back on hiring as much as possible. Nearly every job now states "bachelor's degree required, masters degree preferred", which means if you don't have a masters degree in your hand, your application is more than likely going right into the shredder. I applied for a clerical position (using Office, answering phones, filing) that required an associates degree, and received an email back that they had received over 400 applicants for the position and selected someone better qualified.....

Now add on top of the economic ugliness the insane right wing Republicans, pleding allegiance to government of the corporations and by the corporations, are holding the citizens of the United States hostage and actually driving the spear of recession deaper into our hemoraging naton. 
With certifiable loonies like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry having legitimate chances at becoming our next President, and the ineffectual and aloof current Commander-in-Chief tucking his tail between his legs and running scared at every crisis, I am confident the tailspin will only continue.

So all of a sudden getting paid well, with generous holidays, for doing something I love anyway (teaching and working with children) doesn't seem such a bad thing. In fact, I've reevaluated exactly what my motives were for getting the masters, the eventual career trajectory in which I would undoubtedly follow, and decided that its not something that will ultimately make me happy. So I've signed up for the GRE in Seoul, and will set my sights a little higher academically.

So yes I am an economic migrant, but I'd also label myself a political refugee as well. And someone who enjoys visiting places that friend's state-side could only dream of. And someone who's tired of conforming to the ever stringent standards of corporate America. And someone who believes you should actually derive enjoyment from your work. And......

You couldn't have said it better. The year before coming here I actually had to take a post as a bellman b/c it was the only job placement I could find in the city we were in. I actually made a lot more money than now but HATED it. I just made rich men feel good all day by carrying their heavy sh#$, nodding my head as they spewed the latest capitalist bs they heard that day on Fox news, and took advantage of their manly evolutionary instincts to "one up" other men by making them feel "small" and "weak" so that they had to "one up" me by giving me big tips (crazy how it works that way).

Doing something (like teaching in Korea) that pays well, gives you a lot of independence at work, AND you enjoy is probably why a lot of us end up in Korea. Stress-free and allows us to be more true to who we are.
"When in doubt...ask Troglodyte" ~0mnslnd


Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2011, 09:16:25 am »
Quote
Doing something (like teaching in Korea) that pays well, gives you a lot of independence at work, AND you enjoy is probably why a lot of us end up in Korea. Stress-free and allows us to be more true to who we are.

There are HONESTLY people who enjoy teaching koreans AND find it stress free AND (this one I find the hardest to believe, no offense) allows you to be true to who you are?

I have found it always the complete opposite outside of that rare class of all female AND conscientious students or kindy kids who haven't been indoctrinated yet with the ele school uri nara classes and chant sessions where they chant about how Koreans are different from foriegners etc (this is not trolling, I have worked in 2 ele schools and I've seen and heard them, it's really is what happens.)  Kindy kids just be themselves and don't treat you like an 'other' so I've never had any discipline issues or passive agressive behaviour issues with them.

Not trying to be a contrarian, it's just so the opposite of my experience, I find it literally mind boggling and shocking.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 09:19:31 am by DWAEDGIMORIGUKBAP »


  • Yu_Bumsuk
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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2011, 09:57:51 am »
No, I'm more an economic refugee.



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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2011, 09:23:42 am »
I was going to say yes I am, in that I chose to go into a the field of EFL, though I suppose I could transition to ESL and try to find work here (I honestly never looked for ESL work in the states before deciding to work overseas, so I really have no idea what that sort of work pays...)

Then I saw the above post from Yu_Bumsuk, and I have to agree. Economic Refugee (in training...)


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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2011, 10:50:09 am »
Without question, yes. I'm here for the money.

Having been raised a military brat, I don't have the "home" connection the rest of you have. I am Canadian but the only connection I have to that country is a passport. I don't care  if I ever set foot on its shores again.

My permanent residence has been and will continue to be SE Asia. Korea is a stepping stone that I hope to keep my foot on for as little time as possible. That being said, I'm having a good time here both personally and professionally.
"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge."
Bakunin


  • Happyhan
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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2011, 10:56:02 am »
Cereal- where do you want to end up and why?


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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2011, 12:34:32 pm »
Sure, I could say I'm an economic migrant.  I see absolutely nothing wrong with this, either, and am not sure why anyone would try to deny that finances motivated them to move here.  That's usually what motivates people to work, period.  But I understand why people take issue with the label "economic migrant" because at least for me and I'm sure a good number of NETs, it wasn't like a choice between Korea or being homeless; it was a choice between Korea or keep being a 20something with an expensive degree still living off the parents because they can't get a job.  I understand not everyone has that safety net, but I mean, I COULD be living in a big house in the suburbs, driving a nice car and not doing jack to earn it.  I'm not proud of this, but it's a privilege a lot of us have as upper-middle-class Westerners, and I would say I'm more motivated by a desire to do something respectable with my life than the actual raw need to feed and clothe myself.  In that sense, I don't think my or many of our situations are quite the same as say, migrant workers from other parts of Asia who are here literally to feed their families. 


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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2011, 08:24:27 pm »
Cereal- where do you want to end up and why?

I married a Laotian and built a house in Vientiane alongside the Mekong River. It's a little slice of paradise and as yet still mostly untouched by the commercialism that the West has. For example there are no fast food restaurants, huge shopping mall complexes; every business, restaurant, disco and bar must close at 11:30pm. It's quiet and the people are the nicest I've ever met. Every visitor is welcome and truly made to feel that way.

I plan on spending my life there. However, I could also see me and my wife moving across the river to Thailand where her mother is from.

I like the weather, the food and the people. It's still inexpensive, 20 dollars will get you a good meal and plenty to drink with change left over. It's not the party hearty life style, but I've had 20 years of that already. Give me a beautiful day, a hammock, a good book, a cold beer and a loving wife and family and I'm a happy man.

It has all of that and palm trees too.
"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge."
Bakunin


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    • August 01, 2011, 12:43:17 pm
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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2011, 06:17:18 am »
In my case, yes. I majored in Japanese in college, and found out too late that most employers in the U.S. want you to have additional skills besides foreign language; foreign language should only be a supplement. So for me, coming here was definitely an economic move. Student loans don't pay themselves, you know. But the aspect of traveling and living abroad also enticed me.


Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2011, 10:26:33 pm »
about 75% of Western teachers here have student loans to pay off.....at least according to what I've seen. 
honestly, this was my chief motivation in coming here.  So, yes, I am.
Actually, most of the jobs I had back in the US paid more than I make in Korea, but the cost of living was so much more.
The average graduate these days has 25k in loans so realistically you're going to need to be making a lot in order to pay that off and live any kind of a decent, adult lifestyle. However, I do believe the people who say "well, I just wanted to travel and teach and get out of the suburbs for a while" because I have met some people here like that. Usually it's the younger, north american women demographic.  And usually, from what I've seen, they go back with renewed appreciation hahaha. I mean really, if anyone JUST wants to travel and teach without money being a factor, they go to south america or SE Asia.....NOT korea


Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2011, 07:18:30 am »
If it weren't for the money, I certainly wouldn't be teaching ESL overseas.

But it's easy and sure beats working construction, so, I'm back for another year.

Dude if the savings potential in Korea suddenly dropped to same as Japan or China, esl teachers would be leaving Korea in droves within the month.  All whom would be left would be those with Korean significant other's and masochists.  Some stalwarts would finish their contracts out of a sense of responsibility.  I predict within six month the number of esl teachers here would drop from the current 45k to around 15k.  Of course, it would make the job markets in other countries more competative, such a sudden movement, so things might not work like that...

Oh but we all know what I'm saying essentially - working for and for the most part 'with' Koreans sucks.


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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2011, 08:42:32 am »
Quote
Doing something (like teaching in Korea) that pays well, gives you a lot of independence at work, AND you enjoy is probably why a lot of us end up in Korea. Stress-free and allows us to be more true to who we are.

Not trying to be a contrarian, it's just so the opposite of my experience, I find it literally mind boggling and shocking.

I can easily see how your experience would be the opposite. I guess what I mean is: Compared to doing menial, mechanical work that requires no deep thought or creativity in a job situation where you don't have any independence and openly disagreeing with the political views of the boss means you lose your job, this 'teaching' work is heaven for me at least. It really is stress-free compared to other work I've done and does allow me to be more true to who I am compared to, say, being a bellman. Is it an ideal work situation? Hell no, not even close. But it's better than the immediate alternative.

I've lived in so many countries and travelled almost everywhere and have discovered that Korea is definitely (by far) my least favourite culture...but it's manageable, and I still like what I do now compared to what I could be doing.
"When in doubt...ask Troglodyte" ~0mnslnd


Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #34 on: August 22, 2011, 08:47:04 am »
Oh I hear you Jrong.  Despite my own obvious feelings about Korea (being a forienger in) I'd still take the stresses that come along with it over jobs I had back home too based on boredom (I worked for city hall) and the financial disparity (I lived in shared houses) at least as a temporary measure until I can afford a third option that is not a boring job back home or working in Korea.

You actually were fired over a difference in political outlook?  That's pretty unfair man (unless you worekd in politics, obviously).  Is that even legal...?  Sorry to hear that.


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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2011, 09:32:27 am »
I wasn't fired, but I was told to keep my views quiet, and it was made evident that I would be fired if I expressed my opinions openly in front of the "clientèle". Kind of hard when you have to listen everyday to businessmen espouse their political views and expect you to agree and all you can do is go "mmm...uh...sure...". Though it's illegal to fire you for those reasons they can always think up a million other reasons to fire your a$$ when you work a menial job.

Yeah, sounds like most of us are in this for the short term -- hey, at least there are amazing places like The Philippine Islands only 4 hours away from here where you can actually go to the beach without being surrounded by fully-flowery-clothed, visor-clad, glove-wearing, umbrella-toting women in life preservers ...as long as you don't go to Boracay or Cebu island at least, ha ha!
"When in doubt...ask Troglodyte" ~0mnslnd


Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2011, 08:34:04 am »
It's sad to say this, but this is quite possibly the new normal for all Westerners. I'm a political migrant, not economical, so my situation is permanent. For those of you who are economic migrants... Economic or business cycles fluctuate between boom and bust, and right now we are experiencing a bust cycle. The only problem is this bust is going to be epic. Maybe even of Great (er) Depression proportions. Be prepared to stick around Asia for a decade or more cause Asia will be the growth engine of the world for the next century or so in the same way the US was for the last century. And if you want to "thank" anyone for the mess we're in right now, thank the governments of the West for their massive spending financed with debt, and everyone who participated in the biggest economic bubble in history...the easy credit bubble. Now we have to pay for it.


  • Katey
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    • August 25, 2011, 10:02:30 am
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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2011, 01:38:32 pm »
This discussion is fascinating... I am here as a gap year student, hoping to return to the States for graduate school, but after that who knows what will happen. I am just starting my year teaching in Korea, but many of the people I've interacted with seem to be staying for an extended gap year. Many more of my friends (recent college graduates) are teaching or working abroad before grad school (and maybe indefinitely.) So much has been shifting in the last few years. In high school, going abroad seemed like such a rare occurance. (I'm from the Midwest.) Now, so many of my friends, middle class college students have studied, lived, and worked abroad. I am curious to see how the economic landscape evolves over the next few years. I don't know which direction I'll be pulled in. It'll be an adventure! At least it feels like that now.


Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2011, 02:57:26 pm »
Quote
close to awesome vacation destinations, downtime for hobbies, and yeah, okay, kind of being a big deal to people because you're exotic...


I find it interesting that I hear a lot of teachers here mention the exotic vacations thing.  I always hear also 'I want to see as much as Asia as I can whilst I have the chance to do so.'

Always makes me think 'what you don't feel like when you leave Asia, you're not ever again going to be succesful enough to be able to afford to visit Thailand or other parts in Asia?  I mean a return to bkk costs pretty much same from London as it does from Seoul....

Also (I'm not arguing here or being contrary, just making conversation) I despise being a big deal to people.  I long for nothing more than to be completely ignored by anyone other than my friends and service people whom only react to me if I actually ask them for something.  I'm old school English, so it kind of comes with the psyche ha ha.  Nothing makes me want to commit both homicide and then suicide closely afterwards than when I'm on the phone and / or have my mouthful with food, or have earplugs in my ear and some idiot makes their kid run up to me and shout at me in English.  Like 'really, you don't think my privacy is important, you think I'm goign to interrupt my dinner or phone conversation to talk to a brat I've never seen before, are you really that completely ignorant???'
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 03:00:23 pm by DWAEDGIMORIGUKBAP »


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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2011, 06:08:45 pm »
Yes I'm an economic migrant.

I have a Masters degree but didn't have any luck at all for the jobs that I applied for. I always wanted to study abroad or live abroad. The military was my first potential ticket to do that but the branch I wanted to join was full for Officers...

So teaching English in Korea was my other option so this is the path I'm choosing until the job prospects become better in America. Not sure if I'll teach for more than a few years but it's too early to tell. All I know is that if I want to have the same financial success as my dad it's gonna be a lot tougher in this economy.