After a challenging couple of years, where travel has been restricted and things seemed to have got pricier by the day, it is a relief to feel as though there is finally some respite from all the doom and gloom. In fact, with many travel companies wishing to entice customers back with some great deals, and the world now more than ever relying on being connected globally, this could be the perfect moment to consider making the big move to live and work overseas.
There are so many benefits to seeing the world first-hand, from having those unforgettable moments in the bank of memories, to making new friends, or maybe even meeting a life partner. The door to all of these chances lies at the other end of a work abroad experience, so perhaps it is time to start making plans for a career in another country.
With that in mind, one country that offers a wonderful synergy between Eastern and Western cultures is South Korea. With one foot firmly planted in Asian culture, and another looking across the vast Pacific Ocean to the Western world, South Korea is optimally placed to consider both points of view, and give them a sense of equilibrium and harmony together.
This article will present some reasons why South Korea could be the right place to go for any expat willing to go the extra mile and find out their future for themselves. By exploring this in more detail, the open minded traveller may just end up being able to combine the South Korean way of life with their acceptance of other ways of life in their own lives moving forward.
TEFL (or Teaching English as a Foreign Language)
One wonderful career option is becoming a TEFL teacher in South Korea. As there are so many non-native English speakers who live across the nation, from the capital Seoul, all the way to smaller towns and villages, a TEFL instructor may have the pick of great places to live across the whole country.
An effective TEFL tutor should first get qualified, in order to attract the optimal English teaching job in South Korea. The most obvious upside of achieving a certification is the increase in knowledge that the TEFL teacher will obtain, all the way from a refresher in the basics of English grammar, all the way through to the latest idioms and phrasal verbs.
Additionally, the friendly and experienced course leaders frequently have years of classroom knowledge and know-how to draw upon, meaning that the advice they give is grounded in real case studies and scenarios. Last but by no means least, there is the chance to meet other new TEFL tutors, who are all in the same boat, and can share their own thoughts and feelings along the way.
Once the course has been completed, the new TEFL instructor can go into the field with more confidence and self-belief, ready to take on the challenges that teaching in person or online may present. On top of that, each lesson should become a moment to both teach and learn, building the skill level of all students, while simultaneously refining and honing a real life skill day in, day out.
Whether it be music or anime, or even TV shows such as the universally popular Squid Game, South Korea has a range of cultural experiences that are unparalleled anywhere else in the world. As the world becomes more and more aware of the unique take on life that South Koreans possess, with a sense of humour that ranges from silly to occasionally dark, going to live there in person offers the ideal platform from which to learn more about this fascinating heritage.
In the capital city of Seoul, the hustle and bustle of life is attractive for many who love to feel the action moving at a mile a minute. It does feel as though there is something happening at every moment of the day, from cultural events like theatre and music performances, all the way through to bars and restaurants that are often open around the clock.
For other individuals, who might prefer a more sedentary approach to life, smaller cities such as Busan offer a good compromise between access to modern amenities and getting away from all that noise all the time. In fact, a lot of major South Korean cities are in a prime location, close to a natural place of seclusion, such as a mountainous region or beach hideout.
Beyond that, the food culture is another aspect not to be missed, with kimchi bowls now a staple part of South Korean restaurants around the world, but there are so many other local variants to try. Each region seemingly has their own take on cuisine, with some in the very south of the country favouring a more spicy approach to dining, whereas a few northern towns prefer to play it safer with a milder palette most of the time. Either way, there is something for every taste to be found in South Korea!
A blend of East and West
As mentioned above, South Korea has far more in common with many Western countries than it appears at first glance, including developed nations such as Canada. One great example of this is the burgeoning motor industry, with KIA (otherwise known as Korean International Automobiles) now a global icon in that particular field.
As a nation that prides itself on a hard-working ethos, South Korea also lends itself well to integrating positive facets of other global cultures, as well as seeing famous stars such as Tottenham Hotspur football player Son Heung-Min (affectionately known as Sonny by South Koreans) ply their trade abroad.
Because of this, the option of teaching business English in a South Korean is extremely attractive, because this provides a TEFL teacher with the chance to teach adults who are hungry to grow in their English repertoire, while also teaching a lesson plan that might take place at a slightly calmer rate than a kindergarten group.