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View Poll Results: Should I Go to South Korea?
Yes 19 86.36%
No 3 13.64%
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Old 02-04-2005, 08:52 AM   #1
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Should I or Shouldn't I?

I'm at a crossroads. I have a chance to work in South Korea for a year doing one of the "teaching English" gigs that are quite common. If you're wondering where in South Korea, it's in Bucheon, which is just west of Seoul. It's about a 15-30 minute subway ride to Seoul from Bucheon.

I've been talking with a friend of a friend whose been there for about four years, so this is quite the gig. It's in a school versus a private "hagwon." I don't have to sell additional products. It's an 8 hour work day, five days a week. The pay is decent. The plane ticket will be paid for. The rent and utilities are free.

The question now, really, is whether or not I want to commit myself to a year there. It's mostly practical in that I won't be able to afford to come back to the U.S. right away, if I don't like it. I might like it, but I don't know.

I guess I'm disappointed that I'm even at this level. I went to school to study media, and now no one even wants to hire me. I could spend the money to go to LA, but there's no guarantees that anyone there will be any more responsive than NYC was.

But here I am. Should I give up on "Jesusland" and head to South Korea? Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Melon
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:18 AM   #2
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Go for it. I spent two years in Chile, a semester in Brazil and two months in Portugal. My international experience has taught me so much about myself as a human being and a world citizen. I consider my foreign experiences as very special parts of my identity.

But then again, if you hate it, it really can be a drag.

Good luck!
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:20 AM   #3
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By the end of the year, I might find myself in a similar situation so I am watching this thread closely.

Assuming you wouldn't have a problem leaving home, friends and family, I'd say go for it. A year abroad would look good on your cv, though I'm not familiar with your line of work so maybe it's different in the world of media. I can see why it would be a bit scary, I spent five months alone abroad for my studies and I was nervous at first because I knew I had to finish my project and wouldn't have been able to go home if I wanted to. But in the end I made it by being flexible and addaptive (I'm just guessing if that's a word).

There's no beating about the bush here, it's a gamble. There's a chance you might hate it, but then prehaps you can save some money and buy a ticket back, it wouldn't be the end of the world. But in the best case scenario, it will be the experience of a lifetime. I know going abroad was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:36 AM   #4
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My mother has been teaching ESL/EFL for a very long time, and she also worked as an educational consultant, so many of her coworkers and our family friends have gone abroad for these types of deals.

I asked her and she said South Korea is one of the better placements (the standard of living is high, but not as expensive as Japan or Hong Kong), along with Taiwan.

The only thing is, you don't really have experience in this and you've not been trained to teach English abroad, so I think for you it would be a much bigger learning curve than for somebody who'd been doing this for decades. That might be something to consider - do you LOVE this work (because teaching is a calling, no matter what people say), or are you just doing it because you've got nothing better to do? IMO, if it's the latter, stay home and save yourself the money.

I've lived abroad in a number of countries and I did enjoy myself, made friends, learned a lot of the local customs and languages. It can be an awesome experience. As long as you're prepared for a culture shock and isolation here and there, you will do well, you just can't hate it right from the start.

I made an exception posting in this forum for this thread, lol.
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Old 02-04-2005, 09:41 AM   #5
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You only live once, so I say go for everything that is possible, but make sure you have internet acess
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:23 AM   #6
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Go, only if you promise to keep posting here and you promise to continue to keep the Hetros in line.

thank u
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Old 02-04-2005, 11:02 AM   #7
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South Korea has, on average, 20 Mbps internet connections...and cheap ones at that. Compare that to my 5 Mbps connection in Boston.

So internet access would be the least of my worries.

Melon
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Old 02-04-2005, 11:10 AM   #8
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Well then your set to go
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Old 02-04-2005, 11:23 AM   #9
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A friend of mine did this a couple of years ago, but she is also Korean and went there primarily to spend time with her grandmother and to strengthen her Korean. She loved teaching ESL. Her students consisted of everything from housewives and businessmen to the most famous fashion designer in Korea. She said, and I quote, "It's the only truly honest work I've ever done."
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Old 02-04-2005, 11:41 AM   #10
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I say go.

You are young enough to spend a year.

I believe U2utah2U's statement about understanding being a world citizen is a great point.

These life experiences will only add to your immense pallet for future media work.
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Old 02-04-2005, 02:17 PM   #11
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This is an opportunity! One that I think youwould not regret!

Do it!
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Old 02-04-2005, 02:26 PM   #12
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Beware: Koreans can be ultra-nationalistic and ultra-insecure. To many Koreans, pride and self-image are everything, both at the individual and at the national level.

You ever hear stories of people doing things to "save face", like men who get laid off from work, except they don't tell their wife and kids and go out the door every morning and spend the day at coffee shops? Believe them.

Not saying that you should or shouldn't go, just something to be aware of.
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Old 02-04-2005, 02:26 PM   #13
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Its your choice...... DO IT!
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Old 02-04-2005, 02:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer
Beware:

Most often one finds what one looks for.

Feeding sterotypes is of no value.

Being exposed to a different culture helped me see our own from a more objective vantage point.
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Old 02-04-2005, 02:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep



Most often one finds what one looks for.

Feeding sterotypes is of no value.

Being exposed to a different culture helped me see our own from a more objective vantage point.
I'm Korean.
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