There were many factors to consider before making the final decision to come to teach English in South Korea. I probably thought about it for a good 6 months. Here’s a list of concerns I had and the reasons why I chose to come to Korea to teach English. Hopefully this list will help you decide as well or just calm your fears.
One amazing part of South Korea: Jeju Island
1. US Economy
I was working at a job that I dreaded every day. What I really wanted to do, real estate, was financially impossible because of the down market. Given how difficult it is to even find a job, I didn’t want to change to another job I didn’t enjoy again. I always wanted to travel and heard from friends who teach/taught in Korea, that it’s a wonderful experience. So I started looking into it. Surprisingly, the compensation was great and the opportunities were there. I posted my resume and got a call almost every other day from different academies/schools. In the end, Aclipse/Chungdahm presented the best offer.
2. ONLY ONE YEAR!
One year may sound long but it’s really not! Think about it, how fast did your last year of college go? I’ve been here 7 months so far and can’t believe how quick the time went. I’m already thinking about what to do next. Weather to resign or not. If a 2nd year commitment is too much, you may go home and decide to come back or your branch may give you the option to just resign for 6 months.
Korea isn’t really known as a top travel destination. It should be though. Je-Ju Island of Korea just got nominated for one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. In fact, Korea’s tourism is growing every year! South Korea is actually a very green country and has a lot of great scenic destinations. If sight-seeing isn’t your thing, Seoul offers one of the best night life and shopping as well. Additionally, Korea has many unique attractions such as the Hello Kitty café and dogs or cats café. Also, it’s a great country to have as your base to visit other Asian countries nearby such as Japan, China, Thailand, Taiwan, etc.
4. Doesn’t Build My Career/Resume
Read numbers 1 & 2 again. If you’re thinking about teaching English in Korea, might as well do it now when you’re young and there aren’t a lot of opportunities back home. It’s only one year of your life. When will you ever have this chance again? Especially if you’re married and/or have kids.
Everything you do builds experience. It’s what you make of it. Also, Chungdahm has many management and corporate opportunities. It’s also possible that you may find an opportunity geared towards your career while you’re here.
5. CarLESS and HAPPY
Korea has one of the best public transportation systems in the world. In Seoul and most other cities, the bus and subway literally goes everywhere. Also, you can catch a cab easily with a wave of your hand. When I calculated the cost of having a car back home (insurance, gas, & maintenance), it’s actually cheaper to take the cab!
After graduating college and receiving my first full time pay check, I was very, VERY disappointed. Nearly 30% went to taxes, Social Security, and Medicare. Here in Korea, you’re only taxed a minimum of 3.3% and a maximum of 7%! It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure how much more you can save or spend here. Also, you won’t be double taxed back home for 2 years I believe.
*Please note that I am not a Certified Public Accountant. As circumstances may differ per individual, consult with a CPA.
I hope this list helped you out. Every individual has a different circumstance. What are your main concerns or best reasons to teach in Korea?
Yoon escaped from Los Angeles, California after finding himself hating his job at the bank. Knowing of opportunities to teach English in Korea, he took this chance to take on the excitement of living in a foreign country. Thankfully, Aclipseplaced him at a great Chungdahm branch in Jamsil. He is enjoying almost every moment of it and would like to share his experience with you through his blog.