One thing that really stood out for me when choosing to teach English in South Korea was location. Traveling around Asia is so easy, mainly because many of the airlines have budget friendly fares, meaning you can have an amazing week long vacation for less than a few hundred dollars. Since moving to South Korea, I have already visited China, Japan and Thailand, and soon I will visit Bali during our Christmas vacation. Friends of mine, who are also English teachers in South Korea, have visited Vietnam, The Philippians, and even Australia.
(Thailand, Koh Samui)
Depending on your contract, your vacation time will vary. Usually people will get seven days vacation and some people will also get Red days or Public holidays off also (there are around 21 public holiday days each year in Korea). If you re-sign your contract you can get anywhere from one to three months vacation, so there are plenty of opportunities to travel. A couple of weekends ago I went to Japan from Saturday – Monday.
(map of Asia)
When looking for the best airfares, there are many websites you can use (personally, I always use govolo.com and then check their prices against the airline's own website). Once I find a flight, I like to use Agoda to find cheap accommodations. Again I will then check their prices against the hotel's or guesthouse's own website. There are also many travel agents in Korea, so if you would rather not search for flights and accommodations, you can get them to do it all for you. My friend used a travel agent to fly to Phuket, Thailand and he got a round-trip ticket for just over $400.
(Japan, November 2014)
As I mentioned above, I will be heading to Bali for my Christmas vacation which is in less than three weeks. To say I am excited is an understatement. My flight was $458, which considering it is peek travel season is a really great price. Some of my family will also be in Bali, so I will be staying with them at their Villa. I did however look at hotel fees, and for 8 nights you could get a hotel for just over $100 a night, which is insane. I will be flying out on Saturday morning at 2am and staying until Sunday night. Luckily, with my work schedule, I can arrive in Korea on Monday, and still make it into work for my 7pm class (again work schedules change depending on term and branch to branch).
One of the benefits of being an English Teacher in South Korea is that you get to do a lot of traveling. You can go to China or Japan for a weekend, and it will not break the bank. I am already looking at going to Tokyo in January for the New Year.
John May grew up in Dublin, Ireland where he is from & went to Trinity College – one of Irelands best known universities. He graduated from here in November 2012 with a B.A. (Mod) in Geography & Sociology. John has always had a passion for travelling and having been to most of Europe, he decided to explore Asia after Uni. He has always wanted to teach and thought what better way to travel than teaching English on the way. John is currently teaching English for CDI in Daegu, South Korea a position he found through Aclipse; John felt nervous before his departure, but now that he is in Korea he loves every minute of it. For more information follow his blog.