Who doesn’t want that definitive travel experience at some point in their life, when they drop everything, move across the world and simply live and work in a radically different culture?
There’s no experience more broadening than being in a new and distant land, yet for Canadians, South Korean cities offer the perfect mix of being both stable and safe while remaining exotic and new enough to be thrilling. If you’re a Canadian considering teaching ESL in South Korea, here are some of the things you should know.
Get the Right Travel Company Behind You
Travelling is all about gaining new experiences, but you need support when you decide to live and work in a country that’s far away from yours, and filled with very different customs. You don’t want to land and have to navigate complex logistical concerns all alone.
The trick to being an English teacher in Korea is getting help from the right travel recruiting company, one that has been in business for years and whose staff members have also been in your position as a teacher. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in cities like Incheon, Daegu, Songdo, Geoje Island, Ilsan, or Seoul — there are schools everywhere across the country, and the right company should have connections to these cities and more.
Find a company that has enough resources to really help you out — some of the smaller travel recruitment companies lack the funds and experience to give you the true support you need. When you need help finding your footing in a new country and in the classroom, the right travel company will always have your back.
Steeping in the Culture Versus Dropping in
Working abroad allows you to experience a foreign country in a way you don’t get to if you’re only travelling there briefly. Whereas you tend to meet fellow tourists while you’re a traveler, when you’re working there, you’re more likely to meet a cross-section of local residents.
This can help you get plugged into the locale in a way that’s natural, but deep. Travellers spend so much time looking for restaurants that serve “authentic” cuisine of the region, but this is simply what you’ll eat when you make friends and share meals with people who live there.
Working abroad also gives you enough time to really steep in the culture and absorb its history, politics and other aspects. Travelling gives you a thrilling taste of these things, but it doesn’t last for long enough, especially given the complexity and richness of foreign cultures like South Koreas.
More than anything, travelling for an extended time gives you a great opportunity to make long-lasting friendships with fascinating people. Don’t see the people who live in the cities you visit as resources which supply you with local culture! They will become dear friends.
Canadians have taught ESL in South Korea for decades, and it’s the perfect country to get a safe but thrilling experience soaking in an old and rich culture. Consider all the above points before your plane lands, not after!