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View Full Version : I might be moving to Korea..


belljr
05-02-2005, 04:21 AM
Hello Everyone! My name is Jameson and I am from Boulder, Colorado. I am graduating this May and I am thinking about taking an ESL job in Korea. As such, I have a few questions.

First, I have heard mixed reviews about what living in Korea is like for a Westerner. A lot of the people on the ESL forums seem to be waiting until their contract ends so that they can leave. Do you think these people were lured to Korea by the money for ESL, instead of the desire to live in a foreign country, and that is why they are unhappy? Is life so vastly different that it is not enjoyable? I can't figure out if these unhappy people were the type that should not have moved to Korea in the first place...

Second, being someone who is really into climbing I think that I would have some sort of vent for any culture shock that may arise, as long as there is some sort of climbing around me (indoor, outdoor, whatever). Where is the best place to live for someone who is really into climbing/hiking, etc.? Korea has been described to me as a concrete jungle...true or false?

Last, is everyone here glad they have come to Korea? I know this is general but any feedback would really help. Thanks for your time everyone!

Best,
Jameson

Putz1am
05-02-2005, 03:31 PM
Life here isn't that different from the states except for everything here is in Korean (obviously). There are all the modern conviences. There are some cultural differences of course but you can get the hang of them and if you make the effort, people will go to no ends to help you. I think that is really what makes it difficult. Come on over, it is a good experience.

I will say this. Stay away from the YBM-ELS schools. The money is pretty good, the housing here in Incheon is great,the students are good. BUT the hours are terrible. Watchout for any school that does a split shift. YBMs (and such schools) run on a 7am to 12pm and then 6pm to 10pm each day schedule (at YBMs you work about 6 to 7 hours out of those two time slots). Shoot for a school that is either night or morning classes.

As for climbing, I would say don't come to incheon. I can't speak for anywhere else, but I have heard good things about everywhere else (I wish i had thought about how much i love climbing before coming here, I never would have come to incheon. In the three week whirlwind between idea and flight it didn't cross my mind).

I am glad to have come here (been here 4 months) but at the moment i can say i'll probably not stay pasts my contract.

Colin T
05-02-2005, 03:31 PM
G'day Jameson,

Let me preface my response by saying I am not an english teacher though I have recently met some english teachers who made me ashamed to have the same skin color as them (fortunately enough though not the same nationality :-) ... they were arrogant, ignorant, socially retarded and quite frankly could do with a good culling. ... and on with the rant ;-)

Life in Korea is vastly different ... and if you're not an adaptable, open-minded (and very tolerent) sport of person you may not like it (but you can just carry on like an igonrant arsehole and get by on Korean politeness if you want to).

Korean society is very heirarchical which takes some getting used to (for the most part foreigners seem to be exempt from the normal rules ... but if you're not gonna accept and embrace this country's way of life why the f**k are you coming here). Sure it is hard and sometimes I am personally very disinclined to accept some aspects of the culture, but it is their country and their culture and I chose to live amongst it, as long as you can come to grips with that it is no real dramas.

Climbing here, like everything really, is generally crowded (a big change for me ... I used to climb to get away from people ... hahahahaha). can't say I've been too many places but what I have done was good.

My thoughts are like this ... coming to Korea ?? Learn Korean. It is not that hard, maybe as a full time worker it will take more time, but if you make a point of avoiding english speaking foreigners you'll pick it up a LOT faster. Koreans generally appreciate that you try and speak Korean (though it is an unforgiving language when it comes to mispronunciation) and in a lot of situations (regardless of how many times a stupid person may repeat him or herself at ever increasing volumes) a Korean might(shock horror, my god how does something like this happen!) not speak english.

So yeah there it is in a nutshell (from my perspective) Korea is different but great, a challenge at times, but come here with a humble attitude, realise your country/culture is not the be all and end all and just generally don't be a ******** and I'll like you a lot more :-) (Koreans might as well :-).

My 2 cents (can ya tell I am a little purturbed just at the minute? ;-)

Colin
P.S. my ankle is the size of a cricket ball at the moment so Ganny on thurs is looking dodgy.

P.P.S. no offence was intended to any elglish teachers here ... just those few who came to our uni lecture series on Korean history and culture and asked (among other, ignorant and arrogant questions) why Koreans are so bad at english ... WTF?!?!?!?!?

Baek Su
05-12-2005, 06:10 PM
Well said.