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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2011, 07:55:57 pm »
I couldn't find work back at home in the US
BUT I NEED to pay for my student loan
So, I am an economic migrant


Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #41 on: August 28, 2011, 08:10:57 pm »
I would say that I am definitely an economic migrant because I have no driver's license back home (I know), which makes it incredibly hard to find work that I can actually get to. Even teaching at multiple schools here, I am able to get to all of them no problem because of the excellent transportation system here. I love it.


Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #42 on: August 28, 2011, 08:51:55 pm »
if you think you're an economic migrant then you will eventually become one. keep your head up, it's not that bad. i have a hard time believing this is the worst place in the world to live, as some have suggested.


Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #43 on: August 28, 2011, 09:11:43 pm »
I quit my old job to come here because I was sick of it. Did web development.


  • yellow_menace
  • Adventurer

    • 53

    • August 29, 2011, 08:55:38 am
    • Yeongcheon, Gyeongsanbuk-do, South Korea
Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #44 on: August 29, 2011, 09:37:02 am »
I did want to spend a year living in Korea, but I'd be lying if I said that the current economic climate back in the States was not a major factor in me deciding to come here.


  • shaungoose
  • Waygookin

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    • August 26, 2011, 09:07:38 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #45 on: August 29, 2011, 11:13:50 am »
You gotta go where the work is right?? Couldn't find a decent job after graduation so travel and work seemed like a good solution.


Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #46 on: August 29, 2011, 03:24:30 pm »
It's sad to say this, but this is quite possibly the new normal for all Westerners...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.

As somebody who worked here for 3 years from 2003 to 2005 and as somebody who just came back a few months ago, I would have to agree here. It has to be because of the economy. I came back for a mixture of reasons (partially economic, but also because of my girlfriend).

My observations of Korea in 2005 when I left and 2011 when I returned:
-The number of ESL teachers in Korea is significantly higher than just 5 years ago. There were often times where I was the only foreigner on the subway in 2005, but now there are several foreigners whenever I get on.
-The number of elderly couples working here as teachers is astonishing. I never met anybody older than their mid 30's back in 2005, but now I see people in their 40s and 50s all over the place.
-I was one of only two "brown" people in a company of around 25 foreign teachers back in 2005, and I never met any other brown teacher during those three years. I never met a black teacher either. There are significantly more brown and black teachers in Korea. I think it's because the sheer number of teachers in Korea have increased dramatically.
-The number of hot white female teachers here in 2011 is significantly more noticeable. My theory about that is that it's because of the economy.


And I agree that this is going a bust that is trying to be pushed back up but will continue downwards. With the productive economy that Asia has with its high savings rate and balance surpluses, the century belongs to Asia. Economic power shifted from Europe in the 19th century to America in the 20th century and is now heading to Asia in the 21st.


  • JohnnyBoy
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    • June 07, 2011, 03:21:18 pm
    • South Korea
Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #47 on: August 29, 2011, 07:18:49 pm »
Yes it is economics that brough me here, and its what keeps me here.

How do I know? Because I have enjoyed only 10% of my time in Korea. I can barely handle the "angry" Korean staffer/select student/crazy cacasian at work. (I use angry as a nice word for barbaric/predjudice/racist, ect.)

I have/had the option of returning to grad school this Sept., but I stay, because I need to earn a living.

I'm being honest...taking on a student loan (say 20k) to do something I love, in this state of the world, is simply a very bad decision.

(Yes, Warren Buffett is most likely correct, and yes productivity will most likely increase; but today a recovery has not started, so don't lie to yourself)

(I also am lucky in some ways, a wonderful girlfriend came into my life here (the 10%). But while I am here, I am a wreck. I lookforward to leaving.)


  • EllaRing
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    • August 29, 2011, 07:35:55 am
    • Daegu
Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #48 on: August 30, 2011, 09:32:34 am »
I think it's fair enough to say that a good chunk of us are here as economic migrants. I'm sure the trend used to tend towards the "gap year," but now people like me who could only find substituting positions in my home country desperately needed the money and experience on the ole resume. The amazing perks of being able to save and travel makes having to travel to the other side of the world to find a job (!!!!) a little less of a bitter pill to swallow  :D...


Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #49 on: August 30, 2011, 09:40:17 am »
Yup, couldn't find a job back home that had anything to do with my degree - was gonna end up working in a coffee shop.  I would much rather have a job that is relevant to my career, helps me pay off my student loans, and allows me to travel/see the world than work at a job I could've gotten in high school.


  • Paul
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    • September 21, 2010, 10:28:58 pm
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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #50 on: August 30, 2011, 10:04:50 am »
I suspect I may be a bit of an outlier then. Moving into ESL for "a bit" was a decent cut in pay for me. The deal-maker is that I get to live in a large city and work decent hours. I always wanted to live abroad for a while and didn't like the idea of blowing a good portion of my youth in a shack in the desert doing 16 hour days. Returning home after a stint to find more of my friends skipped town in fear of the dreaded Dutch Disease got progressively more depressing. The job was not bad at all and there are definitely parts I miss, but you're basically locked into the singles lifestyle through it.

I'll have to go back sooner or later though. Too many years out here and I risk losing the value of my degree through inexperience.
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    • August 30, 2011, 08:16:12 am
    • Jecheon
Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #51 on: August 30, 2011, 10:08:55 am »
Yes....and no.

I plan on attending graduate school and teaching here is a great way to make money for that. But i'm not avoiding the bad job climate in America. I'd just be attending grad earlier and with less money.

But i am also an adoptee and teaching is an excellent way to see my birth country and seeing my biological mom.


  • megharp
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    • August 30, 2011, 08:58:37 am
    • seoul, south korea
Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #52 on: August 30, 2011, 10:20:11 am »
I think this is a pretty good option for most people.  The pay is good, but for me it's more about the valuable experience you gain.  Not only teaching experience, but cultural.  Yes, there are no jobs in the US or Canada and that's why most people are here, but I think that if you really think about it, it becomes a balance of getting good money and falling in love with this place.  At least, this is what it's about for me.  It's all about the attitude you chose to take when you step out of your apartment every morning.


  • Ley_Druid
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    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
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Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #53 on: August 30, 2011, 10:54:55 am »
I definatly think that the majority of people in Korea are here for two reasons:

1. Money
2. Experience

For myself, I am after neither. My major was all focused on Korea so unlike most people here, I was well prepared to come.

However, I don't think there is anything wrong with "following the money." The problem is that too many of us are encouraged to "go to school" and get a "better education" however, after you get it, there are few places where one can work. Before I finished my degree, it was damn near impossible to find a part time job as a senior at my university. No one wanted to hire me because I was "over qualified." But the problem is that I have no skill outside of my degree. I am American, but I have no idea why Obama is pushing so hard for people to go to school in general. He should be pushing for people to get SKILLS! Skills pay the bills. There isn't much you can do with a BA in History in the States. Studying an academic is fun, but studying a skill is necessary to be worth much in your own market.

So yeah, some people might say "economic migrant" but then again, most people are. And in the eyes of Koreans, we are not migrants, because they expect we won't stay long in Korea. We are guests. (Those who are on E-1 or E-2 visas).


Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #54 on: August 31, 2011, 03:14:15 pm »
I definatly think that the majority of people in Korea are here for two reasons:

1. Money
2. Experience

For myself, I am after neither. My major was all focused on Korea so unlike most people here, I was well prepared to come.

However, I don't think there is anything wrong with "following the money." The problem is that too many of us are encouraged to "go to school" and get a "better education" however, after you get it, there are few places where one can work. Before I finished my degree, it was damn near impossible to find a part time job as a senior at my university. No one wanted to hire me because I was "over qualified." But the problem is that I have no skill outside of my degree. I am American, but I have no idea why Obama is pushing so hard for people to go to school in general. He should be pushing for people to get SKILLS! Skills pay the bills. There isn't much you can do with a BA in History in the States. Studying an academic is fun, but studying a skill is necessary to be worth much in your own market.

So yeah, some people might say "economic migrant" but then again, most people are. And in the eyes of Koreans, we are not migrants, because they expect we won't stay long in Korea. We are guests. (Those who are on E-1 or E-2 visas).

How does a BA in History prepare you for Korea?

I notice a lot of people seem to defend the idea of economic migrant like someone has criticised it when i see no one posting anything negative about it. I think people who defend it seem to be struggling with their identify as an economic migrant, probably cause it has such negative conotations in the West. The truth is America was built in economic/social/religious migrations.

I think the better way of looking it which i think might stick in some peoples throat is the simple fact that coming to Korea is moving from an economically declining nation to a growing one just like people moved to USA in the last century.

Jim Rogers a famous American billionaire moved his family to Asia just so his children can grow up in Asia and learn mandarin. He says if you were smart a hundred years ago you moved to America and if you are smart today you would move to Asia. Its a better way of looking at things. And its how I look at things.


  • tomcore
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    • August 31, 2011, 01:55:45 pm
    • Mokpo
Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #55 on: August 31, 2011, 03:38:50 pm »
I learnt a lot about the Asian economies and business models whilst at uni. I wanted to come and see them first hand and I really enjoyed teaching here so decided to stay a little longer. I have had much better paid work in the UK but whilst I am still young I wish to enjoy my work.


Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #56 on: September 01, 2011, 12:41:21 pm »
Quote
I think the better way of looking it which i think might stick in some peoples throat is the simple fact that coming to Korea is moving from an economically declining nation to a growing one just like people moved to USA in the last century.


We're temp migrants at most here.  Waht, like 1% will stay and have a Korean spouse, less maybe. 

People went to the US and started communties and settled.

West declines = rest decline.  No escaping it.


Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #57 on: September 01, 2011, 02:46:16 pm »
Who are the rest of the world going to business with at the prices they want to sell their exports for?

If the dollar fails as a world currency the chinese are screwed and they wont be the only ones.

And as many, many non sensationalist economists have been pointing out over the past 5 years - it's not so much the west is in a dreadful decline (not as whole anyway though the pigs countires are pretty buggered), more the rest of the world is catching up.

Just look at the top ten gdps, UK, US, Germany, France all doing just fine.


  • danieljoonlee
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    • September 01, 2011, 06:34:47 pm
    • nonsan, chungnam, korea
Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #58 on: September 01, 2011, 10:16:44 pm »
Yeah finding a job in the us is really bad atm


Re: If your honest with yourself...Are you an economic migrant?
« Reply #59 on: September 01, 2011, 10:48:53 pm »
If the dollar were to fail as the world currency, the Chinese will be screwed in the short term, but they will find a way to survive as they have for thousands of years. Plus, they have all the factories to produce products which the rest of the world will purchase. They are an export economy, unlike the U.S. which is a consumer economy. Meaning that they are in a much better position to pull themselves out of their situation if the dollar fails as the world currency. A lot of countries in the Asian block foresaw the dollar situation, and started to gradually invest in and put more focus on their exports to other countries other than the U.S., and they have been slowly reducing the number of bonds they have and have been stocking up on gold.   

100% of the economists are not all on the same page, and there are many who see the Asian block as owning the next century. I never lived in the U.K., but the massive protests against tuition hikes, the country's austerity measures and the recent riots tell me that the GDP numbers is not telling the whole story. The same thing goes with the U.S. with the drastic cuts that it has to make. Yes, the GDP may look good, but there is 9.1% unemployment in the U.S. with 16% underemployed, meaning 25% of the population is suffering. I consider that a decline, yet Asia hasn't really seemed to suffer so much. The Asian block overall has done quite well for itself despite the world economic crisis. That's why you see sooooo many foreigners here. There are even hots foreign women now, which was incredibly rare just 6 years ago.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I agree that our lifetime belongs to Asia (and Germany).

And economic prosperity (or security) has always attracted people from countries all over the world. A lot of people in this thread have personally confirmed it.


Jim Rogers a famous American billionaire moved his family to Asia just so his children can grow up in Asia and learn mandarin. He says if you were smart a hundred years ago you moved to America and if you are smart today you would move to Asia. Its a better way of looking at things. And its how I look at things.

Jim Rogers is a cool guy. He holds the Guinness book of world records for the only man to drive around the world on a motorcycle. He drove around the world again in a custom made Mercedes SUV, and he had the chance to see so many countries in an aspect no other traveler, millionaire, billionaire or any other person out there has. It really does say something that he moved to Asia to give his kids the best opportunity.