When you are in a foreign country, whether to travel or to Teach English the last thing you want to do is visit a hospital. Many people that explore the world face getting sick or having an traumatic accident. Thankfully, expats that teach in Korea do not need to worry because the Korean health care system is one of the best. This is especially true if you are working for Chungdahm and are covered under the national health insurance plan. Below I detail some of my experiences dealing with Korean doctors, from a sprained ankle to a stomach bug, and how each time the service I was given proves how good the Korean health care system is.Read More
Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
I can see! I had been wearing glasses since I was 7 years old in the first grade. Between then and my late teens, my eyes progressively worsened into a strong astigmatism. Before going to college, my parents bought me contacts. Because my astigmatism was so high, my parents at first and then I paid over $500 for contacts every year since college. But now fresh at 26, I can see without glasses or contacts after receiving an affordable LASIK eye procedure in Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea.
As you might remember from last week's post, I visited a Korean hospital because of some stomach pain. Last week’s blog covered the first hour I was at the hospital. I had 2 blood tests and 2 xrays done. By having them done in Korea and not America, I saved over $300. Here is the second hour of the the incredibly affordable and efficient hospital trip.
One scary thought that crosses many minds when thinking about risks of teaching English abroad is “what happens if I become seriously ill or injured, and I cannot communicate with doctors effectively?” Well in South Korea, you’ll be fine. You’ll be more than fine, actually. The health care I received a couple weeks ago was incredibly quick, thorough, and affordable.
For women coming to teach in Korea, you will need to find a women’s clinic you can rely on and feel comfortable going to. After reading other blogs on peoples’ experiences with finding the right women’s clinic in Korea, I began to get nervous. Many girls said they felt like they were being looked down upon, and felt awkward as if their privacy was being invaded. They claimed that in Korea there is a lot of stigma towards women having sex before marriage. However, this upset me because women should be getting regular check ups with an OB/GYN even if they are not sexually active. My coworker recommended this hospital to me because there is an English speaking doctor. I was welcomed and treated very respectfully with smiles all around.
Despite your best efforts while teaching abroad in Korea, chances are you will get sick. Colds, sore throats, and headaches are common challenges that teachers frequently encounter. Even with my best efforts of avoiding coughing children and students with fevors, I recently came down with a bad cold. Thankfully for me, Korea is a very advanced country when it comes to healthcare.
Even for the most health-conscious among us, being put in an unfamiliar environment can certainly take its toll on our fitness goals. While teaching in Korea, you may have more idle time than you may be used to and no shortage of opportunities to indulge yourself in Korean cuisine. The combination of these two things can turn you from the gym rat you were at home into a couch 감자 (potato) by the end of your first term teaching in South Korea.
You’ve made the decision to teach in Korea. You’ve had your interview with your Recruiter, got an offer from ChungDahm Learning, accepted the offer, and put together all your visa paperwork - including everyone's favorite: the background check. Now, you’re waiting for your visa code to be issued. This waiting game shouldn’t be frustrating. Instead use this time to prepare for your move across the world! There are lots of different ways to prepare, but here are a few key things to do before you board the plane to Korea. Not only will these things get you more excited about coming while you wait, but they'll make your transition to life in Korea a whole lot easier!
You wouldn't believe how many of my students come to class wearing protective facemasks. At first, I could not comprehend the masks' purpose: perhaps my students all aspired to be doctors or, better yet, Michael Jackson? So, I started asking around and discovered that there are several cultural reasons for such a bold (and seemingly ridiculous) fashion statement. I also discovered that, though some concerns are legitimate, others are often based in myth or overblown fear. So, read on for the scoop about various cultural health concerns, some myths to be aware of when teaching and traveling in South Korea, and a Fear Factor Rating (1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest) ranking each concern's legitimacy and potential danger to your health.
One of the fun things a foreigner can do while teaching in Korea is explore all the activities and sports that are open to us as ex-pats in this country. A big part of the mentality here in South Korea is being healthy and staying in shape. There may be a lot of focus on how you look here, but it’s important to realize how hard they work to stay healthy both inside and out. I had been looking for something to do to get in shape by the summer that didn’t involve doing boring activities at a gym or playing sports. I finally decided to sign myself up for yoga, because it was time for me to try something new!