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Living in Korea
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What is the difference between cities?
How do I choose the right school for me?
Is calling home expensive?
Is there internet?
Can I buy English books and newspapers?
What is the shopping like?
Where do foreigners hang out/party?
Where should I work?
Is Korea safe?
 
 
What is the difference between cities?

teach english as a foreign language South Korea
With a population of approximately 15,000,000 people, Seoul is the largest city in Korea. Korea has many satellite cities such as Bundang, Ilsan, Suwon, amongst others. They are connected via an excellent subway system. Although they are much like our North American suburbs, they are still relatively large, densely populated and bustling places. There are smaller cities such as Daegu, Busan, Daejeon, Kwanju all of which have populations around 1 – 2 million people, maybe a little more. Life in all the cities is fast-paced and there is always something to do. There are smaller towns spread out between the major cities where the Western influence is barely noticeable and the pace is much slower.
 
How do I choose the right school for me?

During the interview we will talk about what you are looking to gain from this experience. We will discuss your options and help you choose an area that would be best suited for you. Each school we represent has some differences. We will discuss them with you during your interview for teaching English in Korea. You should decide what age level you would like to teach and where you would like to be placed. This will help us select the right school for you while teaching English overseas.
 
Is calling home expensive?

If you buy pre-paid phone cards it will not be expensive to call home. These are readily available at Korean convenience stores. Hopefully you will have your own computer in which case you can use Skype, VoIP, MSN, Google Talk and Yahoo Messenger.
 
Is there internet?

There are Internet cafes wherever you go in Korea. South Korea probably has one of the highest percentages of Internet use per capita! High speed internet access is available at all internet cafes and costs around a $1 per hour.

Should you have your own computer with you while you work in Korea, you are able to get high-speed access in your apartment. This can be arranged for you by your school. It will cost you approximately US$28 per month for a broadband connection with unlimited access time and US$8 per month for an ISP connection with unlimited access time.
 
Can I buy English books and newspapers?

teach english as a second language Korea
Yes, you will find English language books, magazines and newspapers quite easily. English language books can be found in all the major bookstores in Seoul. The best Kyobo store can be found at the Kwanghwamun stop (533) on the Purple Line subway line in Seoul. They probably have the largest selection of books and there will be very little you cannot find there. If they do not have what you are looking for, they will order it for you.

There are two English language Korean newspapers available. They are the Korea Times and the Korea Herald. Both are readily available at newsstands and hotel gift shops.
 
What is the shopping like?

Where do I start? There are so many shops in Korea. However, buying clothes and shoes can be a little problematical for Westerners but will still find things to fit. Itaewon has some places that specialize in larger sizes but mostly for males. COEX mall is a great mall with a great deal for you to do. There are also the underground markets at Express Bus Terminal which are very cheap as well as many other markets. Don’t be afraid to bargain. It’s quite normal in Korea.

If you are looking for electronics, then Yonsan electronics market and TechnoMart are the places to go. The electronic equipment is not that much cheap in Korea but you may still find some bargains.
 
Where do foreigners hang out/party?

teach english as a second language South Korea
The nightlife in Seoul can be amazing. Many of the people teaching English in Korea hang out in Itaewon. There are many great places to go to . If you want to mix with the Korean university students, then head for the Shinchon/Hongdae area where there are several dance clubs and good jazz bars.

More upscale areas with good restaurants and bars are Apgujeong, Gangnam, Myeong-dong and Jongno3-ga.

You will find great places to go once you have made friends and start asking.
 
Where should I work?

This is a difficult question to answer as a lot depends on what you are looking for. Korea is a country that you can really fall in love with but you can also find it most frustrating. Seoul being the major city is where you will find most foreigners living and working. All ten of the largest cities in Korea now have active foreign teaching communities. Having an open mind with regard to where you work will make your selection easier.

When considering your work location for international ESL jobs, remember that Korea is a small country when compared with the USA. Most Korean cities are densely populated. You can get from coast to coast in 5 hours and from top to bottom in 6 hours when traveling by car. It is very easy and cheap to travel within Korea. They have an excellent railway system and express bus service that is reliable and runs frequently.
 
Is Korea safe?

Korea is a very safe country to live in and incidents of violent crime are substantially lower in South Korea than they are in North America. As always, you need to be aware of your surroundings as in anywhere in the world when you teach and travel.
 
 
 
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