There are many things that I really like about living and working here. It's definitely an easy life.
1. Free rent and flight: This has to be the best thing about teaching in Korea...at least for me...it's what brought me here. That and the fact that you can teach here without any kind of certification (you just need a Bachelors degree in anything). Every school will pay for your return flight, give you a furnished apartment and pay for half of your health insurance (which is mandatory).
2. Finishing bonus: All schools (I believe) give you a month's worth of pay upon completing your one year contract. Also, all schools are meant to take out close to $100 of every paycheck and then double it at the end and give it back to you...something to do with a pension plan.
3. Minimal work: The job itself isn't hard. Yes, it is often very exhausting because you are working with children and they require a lot of energy...but if you work in a private school the curriculum is laid out for you and you don't need to create lesson plans. This means you don't have to come into work early, stay late, or take your work home with you.
4. Living in Asia: I went to China over my summer vacation and I am going to the Philippines for a week over Christmas. There are so many interesting places within reach that I would love to travel to. Unfortunately, I was pretty stupid with my money within the first few months of living in Korea so I don't get to travel as much as others. However, I hope to teach in Shanghai next year and travel around South East Asia during that time.
5. Alcohol availability: I am referring to the convenience. Being from Canada - a country where you can only purchase alcohol between the hours of 10AM and 10PM from a government owned establishment - I have really enjoyed being able to buy alcohol at 7 elevens anywhere and at any time. You can't buy hard liquor there. But they've got all the Soju, beer, rice wine and coolers you want. I guess nothing is perfect.
6. Seoul: I have to admit it is a good city! There are some really cool areas to explore that I wish I could have gotten to know better by living there. And because its population is so big there are always people out doing things, which I really like. From what I've seen, the city doesn't really sleep. And it's a great place for people watching. Oh, and you can drink in public.
7. Bibimbap: It's by far my favourite Korean dish. It's vegetarian, really cheap and available everywhere! It's made up of rice topped with some seasoned veggies, an egg and a chilli pepper paste. It costs between $3-$5. Oh and like most other Korean meals, it comes with unlimited sides!
8. Super Color Super: An amazing production company that puts on a lot of live shows here. They get a fair amount of indie bands from North America and other parts of the world. I went to see Toro y Moi a few months ago and it has been my favourite show in Korea!
9. Staying fit: This is really easy to do in Korea because people are quite health conscious. There is an abundance of gyms and memberships are decently priced. I go to the gym and yoga everyday and love both. A lot of teachers get into taekwondo while they are here. Also, there are a few hiking groups, and plenty of places to go hiking.
10. Transit: Although it's super inconvenient that the public transit stops running so early, Seoul still has a great transit system. It extends out really far and connects the city really well. It's quite cheap, very reliable and clean.
If you stumbled upon this blog because you are considering teaching in Korea or have already signed a contract and have any questions for whatever reason, feel free to send me a message.