Why Should I Teach in Korea?
In Asia, you can find an English teaching job in all countries. Of course, some of these counties offer better conditions in terms of salary, working time, accommodations and general standard of living. When choosing a place to travel and work, you need to consider all of these factors.
There are now four main countries that desire Native English teachers. These are Korea, Japan, Taiwan and China. These countries have the most teachers and the demand for new ones is always high. If you want to teach in one of these countries, then there is a job for you.
Most people with a university degree, no job, and an eagerness to explore the world will choose Asia as their first place to come teach. The main reason for this, is that Asian countries pay the highest compared to South America and Europe. Also, Asia offers that sense of adventure as cultures and customs are certainly more exotic than what most new English teachers are familiar with.
Teaching in Korea for one year is a big decision to make. A decision that must be thought out carefully. Unfortunately many teachers come here with unreal expectations, ethnocentric views and are often unaware of the real situation. They did not take the time to carefully research what it will be like to live and work in Korea for one year. This blindness will certainly result in sever culture shock and culture clash.
Why Should I Teach in Korea? Well, as I said, the payment is higher than other countries. The salary is not the best when compared to Japan, but including free airfare, free accommodations and lower transportation and basic living costs, Korea is certainly more attractive. I will be bold enough to state that it is the best country to save the most amount of money in Asia when considering the average salary and needs of a teacher working and living here. There are exceptions, as everyone’s conditions are different, but if you want to work less, commute less and save more, then Korea is the place for you.
Korea has changed a lot in the past 10 years. It used to be a place teachers were scared to work due to stories of being cheated by their bosses. Well, this still exists(like all countries), but it is much better now and improving yearly. In the past, it was common for a teacher to suddenly quit their job and do a “midnight run” due to loneliness or a corrupt boss, before they finished their first contract year. Now, it is quite the opposite. A larger amount of teachers finish their initial contract and remain in Korea for additional years. The jobs, accommodations, expat community and general standard of living has all improved so much that it a lot of teachers find it difficult to give up the easy lifestyle and move back home. It is also easier to get around and function in society with limited Korean speaking knowledge.
More English teachers are marrying Korean men and women and the term “lifer” is being applied to more and more foreigners who choose to stay here. The lifer of course is someone who will remain in Korea without going back.
Korea has been my home for more than 13 years now and I am a lifer. I enjoy working and living in Korea and consider it my new home. Although, Korea and Koreans will never accept me as their own, they are very helpful and supportive of my life here. Thoughts of returning to my home country are long gone. I am having just too much fun here.
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