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Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by memphis12, Jan 23, 2011.
Anyone else of the the Seoul of Asia or anyone already there that has some tips!
In the winter it can be very cold. Last week (January 15th, 2011) the temperature in Seoul was -16 degrees (real feel of -25 degrees). In the summer it can be very warm. This does not mean you have to bring your entire wardrobe as there are plenty of shops, but depending on your size you may have problems. Most Koreans are not that tall, so if your over 6ft, or rather large around the waist you may have greater difficulty. That said, in Itaewon (where the US Army base is located) there are many western shops, so you should be able to find things here.
Dont bother buying an expensive mobile phone before you leave for Korea. Its not that Korean phones are more advanced, but the fact that Korean sim cards wont work in foreign phones. So you will have to buy a new Korean mobile phone. Some shops may try to screw you over, and charge you for the phone even if you are getting a 1 or 2 year contract. Dont let them. If you go to the right place they will give you the phone free once you sign up to a contract. (Where is the right place? Ask your new colleagues).
Bring plenty of deodrant. Koreans dont use it - thats what i was told anyway. I have never looked for any since i arrived as i still have some left But I bet you can get some, especially since you're in Seoul....
Koreans use 2 pin European style plugs. Korean flats are very small. Search on U-tube for flats in Korea and you will see what i mean. The cost of living is relatively low, so you will be able to save and have fun. The local transportation is excellent and cheap.
Daves ESL cafe has plenty of articles on Korea.
I live in a city north of Seoul. This winter has been freezing cold. Its been below freezing since before christmas.
August and September were humid and wet. We had a typhoon hit in early september. Rather scary.
Take a korean with you when you want to get a mobile phone. I got the Samsung galaxy tab free when i opened the account. There is a wide choice of phones available.
Be prepared to have people stare at you. Esp the older Koreans. Its just a kind of curiosity.
Come with an open mind and you will really like it here.
Thanks for the info. Anyone got any information on the coat of living and ability to save I will be taking home around 4.8 million Wong per month.
If your single, 4.8 Million Won a month is an excellent salary.
The ESL teachers usually get in the region of 1.9-2.4 million (info from Dave's ESL cafe).
Can you save on this salary -- of course (the ESL teachers do, and your making more than double what they are).
Internet = 35,000 won per month.
Phone = 35-65,000 won per month (depending on contract)
TV = Not sure.
Flats here are small - rent is in the region of 400,000 won per month for a normal sized 'studio'. I dont know the prices for other flats. Note that a studio does not have a seperate bedroom. Depending on your contract you may have to pay all of this, some or none....
900 Won per 20km on the subway (thats about 50 pence)
900 Won for buses.
Taxis start at 2100 ish, and are not really expensive. They are cheaper than the UK.
Food - depends on what you eat. I buy expensive food, because thats what i do..., others can eat like the locals and save bucket loads.
Drink - bottled beer in bars can be expensive. Usually around 7000+. Coffee in Starbucks is around 3000 Won.
My guess would be that you should find it reasonably easy to save about 3 Million per month and still be able to have plenty of fun at the weekends, eat at local restaurants etc.
PM please with the name of the School.
Thanks for the info. I get a furnished 3 bed apartment free as part of the package and I will be there with my wife. Also I get a free lunch at school, health cover, flights and shipping allowance etc
Anyone else with experience of Seoul?
Thats a sweet deal, is your wife teaching as well? I am hoping to do the same but my wife is doing her masters full time by distance. Anyone know if that is a problem? Bringing your spouse who is not teaching??? Sounds like a really sweet gig you have there though, you must be excited!
I'm off to Seoul in August, very excited! Everyone I've spoke to who knows anything about south Korea says its an amazing and beautiful country and the food is amazing. Everyone who knows nothing about South Korea says Why the F*** would u wann go there. I wonder who to trust.
Every school I've looked at and applied to have welcomed non teaching spouses and families, if that helps.
Another attractive thing about Seoul is that it is less tourist/ex pat than most places, although so people may not see that as attractive!