Why Korea?

A lot of people have asked me why I chose Korea, and why I chose the city (Daegu) that I did. Before I answer that, I’ll give you a little update. I was supposed to leave this Sunday for Korea. A plane ticket was purchased and everything. I called the Korean consulate in Chicago to check the status of my visa, and was told that they haven’t even started my visa yet. So that means I’m not leaving Sunday. Basically I’ll leave whenever I do get the visa, so it should be sometime within the next week. I’m getting antsy. I just want to go!

So, why Korea? When I first started thinking about teach English, I didn’t really have a preference of where to go. I’d like to teach in many different parts of the world, but I had to start somewhere. I don’t know why, but I picked Asia. I started applying for jobs in several countries, and I was specifically interested in Thailand. A school in Thailand was interested in me but didn’t have any job openings. I did get job offers from a school in Korea and a school in Vietnam. I was more interested in the school in Vietnam, but had a lot of problems communicating with them. Now I can’t even find that school’s website anymore. Sketchy. A recruiter I applied with in Korea contacted me, and I was able to get a job immediately. I don’t remember if I had the option of picking a city, but the first job my recruiter told me about was in Daegu, so I checked out the city and thought it seemed like a good place to live. I think I would have been fine with being anywhere, but I do prefer to live in a big city. I loved living in the city when I was in Barcelona, so I wanted to live in a city again. So I didn’t really have a specific city, or even a specific country that I want to teach in.. this is just how it ended up working out.

Another thing I had to watch when I was looking at jobs was how much I would be paid, only because I have student loans I pay already, and I have to make enough money to pay my loans. This automatically eliminated a lot of countries. I even checked with CLI in Yemen (where I was going to teach over the summer), but I wouldn’t make enough to even cover my loans, let alone pay for food, housing, and other things! India, Nicaragua, and Guatemala are other places I looked into, but my salary wouldn’t be enough in those countries either. Student loans are such a bummer!

I’ve heard Korea is one of the best deals as far as salary goes.. especially when you include the benefits like free housing! I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m obsessed with money.. I’m not. I just have to make sure I can still pay all my bills, so it kind of had an important role in figuring out where I was going to go. I hate money.

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