Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
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.
Korea is an advanced country when it comes to medicine, and there are plenty of 병원 (byeong-won, or hospital) and 약국 (yak-guk, or pharmacy) around. Find your way to a pharmacy for a wide selection of over-the-counter fixes, and be prepared to explain what ails you. A lot of things will be available for you to grab and pay, but the medicine is kept – literally – behind the counter. In most cases, the cure is a small box and a few thousand won. The pharmacist may understand you between your English and pantomiming, but here's the Korean just in case. See if you notice a pattern.
You should have fun while you’re teaching abroad! But it’s also just as important to be safe. When thinking about my scariest moment abroad, I automatically think about when I was living in Hong Kong with no health insurance. Realizing I was quite sick, I was hesitant to go to the hospital knowing I’d have to pay for the visit entirely out of pocket. But I had no choice and tried the cheapest doctors I could find. Thus, it took over a month to be diagnosed with mono. I wasted hundreds of dollars in the process, about a thousand dollars all together in hospital fees and various medications that were not necessary. Luckily, I didn’t end up with thousands and thousands of dollars in medical bills before I returned to the US. However, if something more serious occured this easily could have been the case!