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Old 11-07-2011, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
51 posts, read 130,446 times
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I spent over 2 years teaching English in South Korea, but that was 8 years ago. It had its challenges but overall it was an experience I don't regret. The food is FANTASTIC!!! I also liked the all-night bars and the gorgeous Korean girls.

The schools can be a bit sketchy. I got screwed at the end of my first contract but learned a lot in that year, and managed to negotiate a better one my second year.

Then I went off to Russia, which, although the pay was significantly less, was far superior to South Korea. The people were awesome, the school I worked for was amazing, the food sucked and the culture was incredibly rich.

I say do it. Korea is a great launching pad for new ESL teachers. So is Japan. Russia takes a bit of seasoning but is well worth it.
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:31 AM
 
29 posts, read 59,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atethepaint View Post
I spent over 2 years teaching English in South Korea, but that was 8 years ago. It had its challenges but overall it was an experience I don't regret. The food is FANTASTIC!!! I also liked the all-night bars and the gorgeous Korean girls.
I am happy to hear you enjoyed the life in Korea.

Quote:
I say do it. Korea is a great launching pad for new ESL teachers. So is Japan. Russia takes a bit of seasoning but is well worth it.
I don't recommend Japan. Korea is superior.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:15 AM
 
190 posts, read 528,082 times
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I don't think anywhere in Asia is particularly great to teach right now. If you have a personal interest in one country over another, it would help. Japan used to be the place to teach. High quality of life, higher wages, better contracts. All of that has changed a lot with their never-ending economic decline. I think Japan still edges out the others, but barely, and you have to add to that concerns about the lingering nuclear radiation problems, especially if you're in Tokyo or anywhere closer to Fukushima. Koreans are overworked and are supposedly quite nationalistic, sometimes openly racist against obvious foreigners. Not that some Japanese aren't as well, but they tend to keep it to themselves. They are also overworked, just not quite as much. Otoh, Korea is on the rise economically and I imagine that is affecting people's mood there for the positive, where as the opposite effect is seen in Japan.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:51 PM
 
32,071 posts, read 32,968,461 times
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Originally Posted by ErikJohnsson View Post
I don't think anywhere in Asia is particularly great to teach right now. If you have a personal interest in one country over another, it would help. Japan used to be the place to teach. High quality of life, higher wages, better contracts. All of that has changed a lot with their never-ending economic decline. I think Japan still edges out the others, but barely, and you have to add to that concerns about the lingering nuclear radiation problems, especially if you're in Tokyo or anywhere closer to Fukushima. Koreans are overworked and are supposedly quite nationalistic, sometimes openly racist against obvious foreigners. Not that some Japanese aren't as well, but they tend to keep it to themselves. They are also overworked, just not quite as much. Otoh, Korea is on the rise economically and I imagine that is affecting people's mood there for the positive, where as the opposite effect is seen in Japan.
Actually China is a good place if you are in a big city and work for a university (which one would need an M.A. for).
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:49 PM
 
190 posts, read 528,082 times
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Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
Actually China is a good place if you are in a big city and work for a university (which one would need an M.A. for).
I think on the surface, yes, but of course China is run by a totalitarian government that has health standards reminiscent of the US in the early 1900's (not that the US is a beacon for health standards now). The obvious plus being their rapid rise at the moment, which may feel exciting if you're living in a big city, perhaps similar to Japan in the 80's? I think South Korea is feeling a bit that way at the moment. Japan isn't, but they were so far ahead that they're still technically ahead of the pack. Learning Mandarin Chinese would likely be more useful than Korean or Japanese for the time being, unless you're into Japanese pop culture things. Tough choice.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,880 posts, read 6,167,376 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikJohnsson View Post
I don't think anywhere in Asia is particularly great to teach right now. If you have a personal interest in one country over another, it would help. Japan used to be the place to teach. High quality of life, higher wages, better contracts. All of that has changed a lot with their never-ending economic decline. I think Japan still edges out the others, but barely, and you have to add to that concerns about the lingering nuclear radiation problems, especially if you're in Tokyo or anywhere closer to Fukushima. Koreans are overworked and are supposedly quite nationalistic, sometimes openly racist against obvious foreigners. Not that some Japanese aren't as well, but they tend to keep it to themselves. They are also overworked, just not quite as much. Otoh, Korea is on the rise economically and I imagine that is affecting people's mood there for the positive, where as the opposite effect is seen in Japan.
I lived Korea for a year and didn't have any overly negative experiences with overt racism. Koreans are nationalistic, however, but this isn't as big a deal as you might think. For the most part, people are happy to get to know you and practice their English. I liked the food, nightlife in Seoul, the opportunities for hiking, and the community feeling among expats. I disliked the weather (too cold in the winter, and last summer is rained the entire time almost) and local beer. Thankfully there are plenty of bars and supermarkets that stock imports!
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,154,437 times
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Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
Actually China is a good place if you are in a big city and work for a university (which one would need an M.A. for).
From my understanding, Chinese universities are a bit relaxed about the M.A. for university teachers. You'd definitely need experience though.

South Korea is the same way, in that, if you're living in the country, and have had some teaching experience, it's not unheard of to get a positition teaching at a university.

Mostly it has to do with not enough supply for the demand.

China has more university teaching opportunities, as they also pay extremely poorly. Something like $750-1000/month to teach at a university in China as a foreigner. Of course, that money will go a long ways, and they'll give you housing on top of that. But, if a person has student loans, and many foreigners do, especially American ones, than they usually won't accept those wages.

In short, making it more likely that others who do want those jobs and to live in China, will have an easy shot at them.

Places like Japan or Taiwan though, if you're going to teach at a university, you need the MA degree. Actually, in Taiwan, it is required by law to have a MA degree, to teach at a university. In Japan, you aren't required by law, but the oversupply of well-educated english teachers, you absolutely must have a MA degree just to be considered for a uni job, and usually throw on a bunch more demands on top of that - publications, presentations, japanese ability, etc.
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Old 11-08-2011, 03:54 AM
 
29 posts, read 59,014 times
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Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
China has more university teaching opportunities, as they also pay extremely poorly. Something like $750-1000/month to teach at a university in China as a foreigner. Of course, that money will go a long ways, and they'll give you housing on top of that.
In China, you can enjoy polluted air/water/foods and fake soy sauce/meat/eggs/milk/money/watches/DVD's etc.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:56 AM
 
Location: In the heights
22,132 posts, read 23,648,900 times
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Originally Posted by Kkakdugi View Post
In China, you can enjoy polluted air/water/foods and fake soy sauce/meat/eggs/milk/money/watches/DVD's etc.
Yes, in all of China for all those things for all the time you're there. Exactly.
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Old 11-09-2011, 05:11 PM
 
32,071 posts, read 32,968,461 times
Reputation: 14945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
From my understanding, Chinese universities are a bit relaxed about the M.A. for university teachers. You'd definitely need experience though.

China has more university teaching opportunities, as they also pay extremely poorly. Something like $750-1000/month to teach at a university in China as a foreigner. Of course, that money will go a long ways, and they'll give you housing on top of that. But, if a person has student loans, and many foreigners do, especially American ones, than they usually won't accept those wages.

In short, making it more likely that others who do want those jobs and to live in China, will have an easy shot at them.

Places like Japan or Taiwan though, if you're going to teach at a university, you need the MA degree. Actually, in Taiwan, it is required by law to have a MA degree, to teach at a university. In Japan, you aren't required by law, but the oversupply of well-educated english teachers, you absolutely must have a MA degree just to be considered for a uni job, and usually throw on a bunch more demands on top of that - publications, presentations, japanese ability, etc.
As far I have seen Chinese universities do require the M.A. for teaching English the same as the South Korean & Japanese do.

I think the Chinese experience is good for someone young with no commitments (who doesn't have big student loans to pay back) or for an older person who doesn't need to rely on the Chinese salary to pay for their expenses back in the USA while they are in China.

I have heard that life in Japan is very expensive so one doesn't save much.
On the other hand, I have heard that in South Korea one earn a good wage and the cost of living is lower (so one can save money in South Korea).
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