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Teaching English in South Korea
The learning of English takes place mainly in the business context used as a practice to maintain usage and fluency. Many Koreans need conversation classes after having returned from being educated abroad. Private institutes as well as public schools have a demand for native speakers as English is rather compulsory at the lower levels as well. Often termed as a hotspot there does loom some hesitancy for foreigners to live in the country due to the prospect of bad relations with North Korea.
Therefore, there exist promising job placements for the native speaker. High education is looked upon as an important consideration in the country so there is great interest from employers in the foreigner that holds a degree and certification. Fixing up a position in advance to arriving in the country makes obtaining work papers a relatively easy task. Numerous agents exist to assist in placing the foreign teacher. There are hundreds of language schools in Seoul. The general salary offered in schools is approximately $1200 US dollars per month many will offer as well return airfare, accommodations, medical insurance, paid holidays and a bonus. Many teachers are able to save money working in Korea. The interviewing process can be done through the internet or on the phone. Going to interviews is made very easy once one has arrived because the subways in Seoul make announcements in English. Working under the table is not an option as in Korea the government highly regulates the teaching sector so caution is given to those who want to set up some freelance lessons. Life in the smaller cities may be more peaceful than living in Seoul however the hours that one puts in per week are great so these positions are for those who want to work hard.
Traveling to South Korea
South Korea is geographically mountainous with a range called T’aebaek-sanmaek that forms a chain due east parallel to the coast. Flat lands are concentrated on the west side of the country but don’t amount to very much area. The coastlines are known to be wild having very high tides. Many long rivers flow throughout. South Korea has dry, very cold winters with temperatures from 19 F to 33 F; the summer season is hot and rainy with temperatures from 71 F to 83 F. Rain falls heavy in the months from June to September characterized by typhoon speed wind velocity. South Korea has been swept into being an industrialized nation at a tremendous rate. Known as one of the poorest countries recovering after the devastation of the Korean War to becoming one of the most productive economically in a span of approximately 40 years. Government has multi-levels with a president and a prime minister in charge of a cabinet. Presidents are elected every five years. Despite some recent struggles within government factions the country has prospered.
Ethnically Koreans are very homogeneous with the largest minority being Chinese. The population is estimated at 48 million people. The currency is the won which is approximately 1300 to 1 US dollar. Korean people are outdoor enthusiasts having the natural inclination toward climbing mountains.
Seoul has a large population of approximately 10 million people and having survived invasions from both Japan and North Korea the architecture is thoroughly modern. There are still some intriguing areas hidden away that have the dynastic old temples and beautiful gardens. It is recommended to join in on the bustling market scene by day. A night out must include dining on an array of dishes washed down by beer and of course going to a noraebang (singing room) to sing like a pop star. Other attractions to investigate are the Seoul Grand Park which is a zoo set amongst hills, trees and has a river running through it, Seoul Museum of Art showcasing the most modern collection of works and the N’ Seoul Tower with sweeping views and a revolving restaurant.
The port city of Busan is a good place to explore while in South Korea; it is the site of the largest spa in Asia a good place to contemplate while soaking in a tub or having a massage. If night life is of interest Youth Street is lined with many bars becoming a good place to meet and watch people. Water sports are easy to access and the beaches are good places to relax.