Korea long term travel/stay?

I went to Korea for a few weeks this winter and I really liked it... has anyone traveled/lived there for an extended period of time? How was it for you? Tips, advice, stories, etc?

I've been steadily learning more about its language and more highbrow culture (not the kpop stuff), and it's made me even more interested. I'm a 28 year old grad student who just got his masters and is starting a PhD, and if that doesn't work out, I was seriously thinking of applying for South Korea's English teaching program or something and going to a rural area for a few years before figuring out what to do next.

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Maybe, what's in it for me?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      The psychic profit of helping out a fellow traveler, of course 🙂

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >The psychic profit of helping out a fellow traveler, of course
        I have sent you positive energy and compassionate psychic advice.
        Nameste!

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Hi OP. Here's my blog post, since you asked.

    I moved to Korea in my early 20s after getting my BA. I simply wanted to travel for a year. My first job was at a shitty hagwon. The job itself sucked, but I liked Korea, so I went back home, got my CELTA degree, then returned to Korea to work as a public school teacher (EPIK). EPIK is fine, much better than working at a hagwon. The problem is it offers no long term career benefits. The EPIK system fully expects you to stick around for a few years (at most) and then go back home. However, I was really enjoying my life in Korea, so I decided to pursue the most common next step for teachers after EPIK, which is to become a university lecturer. I got an MA in teaching through an online program (it took 2 years) and got a job working at a university. I'm in my 30s now, still working at my uni, and married to a Korean woman. My life is comfortable, and the job is very cushy: I have an extremely relaxed schedule, 4 months of paid vacation, and a decent salary. Alas, Korea is currently experiencing a birthrate crisis, and the number of students is in sharp decline. This has resulted in fewer classes for lecturers, a hiring freeze at universities, and lots of layoffs. To be honest, the future is bleak for uni teachers in Korea. I fully expect to be teaching at a high school or a junior college in my home country within a decade.

    My advice to you, if you come to Korea, is to come here with an exit strategy in mind. You mentioned a PhD: if you get that, you will be more qualified than 90% of the foreign lecturers here in Korea and you could probably land a uni gig (won't be easy tho, uni gigs are very competitive). But keep in mind that a uni job in Korea won't offset the cost of your PhD. The reason that there are so few foreign lecturers with PhDs in Korea is because they can get better pay in western countries.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      what did you do on your off time? how did you meet your wife?

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    If you decide that you want to apply to EPIK, you should be able to get in easily since you're young and have a MA already. Just remember, it's not a career. Eventually, you'll get pushed out (by admin, bureaucracy, a new secretary of education who wants to shake things up).

    Living in Korea is fun. Give it a shot, if you want to try something new. It's not perfect, but there's a lot to like.

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >has anyone traveled/lived there for an extended period of time?
    yeah i worked at samsung for a bit and spent a lot of time in korea
    >How was it for you?
    it was ok. after a while i even started to like kimchi a bit
    >Tips, advice, stories, etc?
    not reallly. it's just a place i worked for a while
    seoul isn't bad as big cities go but it's nice to get away from there sometimes
    some of the more remote industrial type towns are the most boring fricking places imaginable
    i haven't been for a while but i'm not really itching to back

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >as if this anon is still around 3 weeks later

      >yeah i worked at samsung for a bit and spent a lot of time in korea
      Have you actually been working in Korea, or have you just been there from time to time? I wonder what it's like to work in a big tech company in Korea. I work in electronics, and there's plenty of positions in Korea that look interesting enough, and I do speak Korean to some extent, around 3-4급, but I'm unsure if I want to say frick it and actually send my CV to some Korean companies.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >as if this anon is still around 3 weeks later
        he's the one bumping this dogshit thread. done it like ten times

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    It's always curious that foreign people wanting to live here for long term.
    What i can think of the benefits of living this country as a born native
    1. Living conveniency
    2. i can't think of more

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      cheap delicious food and expensive delicious women

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Clearly, you’ve never spent any time in an American city or had to deal with it’s taller pests.

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    [...]

    >their hair gets super curly too
    kek it's called pama

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    [...]

    you should pick some other place than one with megaconsumerism, feminist propaganda, old population, and one of the lowest birthrates in the world

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    [...]

    hot as frick if don't care about their fat ugly bodies and prefer plastic surgery and tons of make up
    have you ever been there? the same applies to Japan: most of larpers here never been there and just get their impression from JAV, in reality Japanese women aren't so special compared the rest of the Asia

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    [...]

    I agree but I just think Korean womens standards are too fricking high. I think even in America it's easier.

    [...]
    hot as frick if don't care about their fat ugly bodies and prefer plastic surgery and tons of make up
    have you ever been there? the same applies to Japan: most of larpers here never been there and just get their impression from JAV, in reality Japanese women aren't so special compared the rest of the Asia

    Lived in Korea. You don't know shit. I also lived in Thailand and the Phils and I'll always take 1 Korean girl over 100 disgusting sea monkeys. Simple as.

  10. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    It's true that the consumerist thing is common there, but I actually admire the effort the Koreans make to preserve their own culture and innovate on it, I could sense that effort when I was over there. I don't know if it's how hard they have to work to get through university or whatever, but they definitely have an aesthetic streak in them as a people, you can see it in the artwork, the ceramics they make even today, the way they make their films/documentaries, etc.

    Although they don't have as many distinct historical artifacts as the Chinese or Japanese, they are often of high quality and with unique elements, louder colors, less somber, more rustic and have a bit of wryness to them. Their high culture seems to have come into shape during the Joseon Dynasty in the 1400s, so modernity shaped it early compared to its neighbors, and Korean arts definitely seem more adaptable to the modern world. Not to mention that it was ravaged by war relatively more than China or Japan, so it had to start from nothing many times and did that well. East Asian countries seem more connected with the continuity of their past (maybe the Middle East, India, and Russia are similar in that regard), and it's interesting to see how aware they are of being part of a greater era

  11. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Don't go to Jeolla

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      What's wrong with that place? I heard it has some sort of rivalry with another area (not that it matters as much when Seoul is a black hole)

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        It's just politics. Don't mind it

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      yeah. leave all the food, the hanok villages, the islands off Mokpo, and the Suncheon Bay area to people who actually appreciate them.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        ok hongeo communist

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          cringe

  12. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    What's the deal with all those $400 p/m shoeboxes in Seoul with no reviews on Airbnb? They look like a good deal but I've read anecdotes about people going with them then getting a different, subpar apartment instead

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Same frickery as the States, different codes

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        wdym? I'm not a burger so idk what you mean by that

        they are small little one room apartments/officetels. they seems cheap a month, but you have to pony up a bunch of cash for key money. Some are complete cess pits as well.

        gotcha

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      they are small little one room apartments/officetels. they seems cheap a month, but you have to pony up a bunch of cash for key money. Some are complete cess pits as well.

  13. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Hi I am the resident trv anon who lived there for 10 years. Please don't teach English here, there is demand for a reason, the job isn't good, the housing isn't good, the pay isn't good. If you want to come for a long visit find another visa and tutor kids privately. It starts with knowing someone who wants to hire you for their kid and then all their friends and their friends' friends will ask for you. Adults are options too but way more flakey, but I had the same children as students for many years.

    Visa options for this could be academic student, korean language student, artist, trainee, seeking employment, working holiday and these are all not tied to your work so you don't end up at the mercy of some hagwon threatening to sue and deport you (which they can't do) because one of your kids doesn't enjoy class and a parent complained or whatever (I have heard of this happening but personally my work was not with them, however I can say Koreans are really crazy in this way with their grievances so you really don't want them to have power over your visa, housing, and paycheck lol)

    Also with tutoring you get paid in cash after each lesson so no waiting for a deposit or dealing with taxes. They'll say you cannot do this without long term residency but really they don't care, don't cause issues like getting drunk and picking fights and you go unnoticed)

    You'll still need housing and you may fee tempted to room share or live in a goshiwon to save money but it's really not ideal for longterm, and most apartments will refuse you or expect a high deposit, so I would say to find a private room in a living hotel or guesthouse, or a private vacation rental apartment and make a deal with them. If you want to try a roommate as a grown adult, keep in mind if it is their home and you rent a room they can attempt to boss you around or kick you out, and there is no one to help you.

    Food is cheap, anything you need is at daiso, public transport is convenient

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Be wary of dating locals, they see you as temporary and assume you see them as temporary too, so unless you end up as a serious relationship they'll probably cheat on you easily. And from all the couples in Korea with a foreign partner, they really all seem to be struggling financially and mentally, and your mixed kids would be bullied a lot.

      Language has an alphabet but the letters stack together, still easy to learn. Pronunciation is kinda difficult but you'll learn fast.

      People tend to stare at you once outside Seoul, even there are many neighborhoods you would stand out in.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Do you have any more specific tips on "long term" accomodation? Especially the living hotels. Right now I've only been looking at AirBnBs, but living hotels sound interesting.
      I'm gonna be in Seoul for 7 months.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        You'll have to look around but there are or at least were hotels that offer long term rentals. The room can be like an apartment with everything in there beyond a typical hotel room, and you still get to use all hotel services. I remember it being a thing because they don't require deposits and contracts like typical housing and because travel went down during 2020 and hotels wanted to keep up income. The long term rentals are the top floors away from short stay guests.

        A quick search now I found a serviced hotel https://www.sofitel-seoul.com/en/serviced-residences/one-bedroom-deluxe-suite/

        And another place to find rentals that are more budget friendly https://stay.enkor.kr/

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      So people who simp for Korea and expat there, is it really mostly for the kpop? Is it that simple? Why else would they go?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Without starting a huge war Korea is just a good cheap Asian country with just a really shitty external tourism business. It's stupid the amount of teeth pulling or 'things you should just know happen' in korea to get anything past the normal Seoul museum->DMZ->Seoul Downtown->Itaewon->leave route.

        Unlike Japan or other places you won't just find most things on a huge tourism campaign run website by various businesses outside a few very basic things. Some event's might only be accessible via LINE Korea which you can't use until actually in Korea + phone number + just know to look for it. Other things might not even be promoted because it's on some obscure only accessable korean website that unless you've heard about it from locals wouldn't even remotely bring up in normal conversation. All cities are super business focused and built all the same structure Big train station in the center, next to a big mall, next to a small bar alley, and then not much else. Want to do some party? Go to the mall/bar section. Want to buy something. Mall. Want to ... Yup mall. Everything is always centered around the local shopping district of the city the second you leave Seouls weird sprawl.

        The mountains and geography is pretty nice but expect cops to constantly ask what you are doing compared to Japan. The history of Korea is basically farms+some small trade, but everything was wiped off the face of the earth for some reason 60 years ago, I think something happened then. Everything in Korea is basically about how amazing they jumped forward after the war and really had tons of history but it was all wiped out, records are basically trust me! The beaches are meh outside jeju.

        If you qualify for their 2 year digital nomad visa program Korea can be insanely cheap given the reliability of infrastructure. You're just going to need to really dig into Korea for the enjoyment of tourism there to reach levels of virtually any other asian country.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          good description, thanks

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          What were your favorite things to do in Korea? Anything better than Japan?

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          it's not even cheap its about the same for cost as japan but with a whole load of extra obnoxiousness. don't even bother to reply with some "cheap if you go to x town instead of le cookie cutter tourist trap" answer, no one cares to go to some random shithole town with nothing to do, nothing to see, where nothing significant has ever happened in the entirety of history, and a population that doesn't want you there just to find a $200/month place to rent for their travels

          What were your favorite things to do in Korea? Anything better than Japan?

          >Anything better than Japan?
          no, unironically

  14. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    No but kimchi sucks

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      No it doesnt

  15. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    [...]

    Kek are a you a little white boi who is mad because korean women don't want you, like in your shitty wmaf fantasies?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      no I'm azn sorry race card can't be pulled here. Go into a Korean shop when they open as a first customer of the day, walk around, then leave and see how they act towards you.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        What happens?

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          im a diff guy, they do the most insecure, pettiest things all the fricking time to show how they're the coolest guy around in any situation. even just walking around the streets is like being in a school room of little (male) wienery brats just hitting puberty. it's seriously tiring

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          why do you keep bumping your shit thread? what fricking advice are you looking for?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      A walking piece of plastic isn't a woman

  16. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Tips, advice

    -Korea is pretty GOAT if you need cheap visa resets, you can get a small room place with a shower+fridge for around 300-400/mo
    -You'll need to make sure any data sim you get has a korean phone #, holy shit it will you will need it
    -Get a wowpass
    -Don't bother with trains from 5PM-7PM unless you want squish mode
    -Get a VPN of some sort before going to korea their internet safety BS is annoying
    -Unless you know Korean don't stay outside busan/seoul (maybe I just have bad luck but the amount of NO ENGLISH! bs seemed to be worse than Japan or other countries)
    -Jeju is fine but everything is couple focused
    -Korean men are hilariously cringey
    -If you expect Seoul to be Tokyo 2.0 lower you expectations
    -the beaches outside Jeju are depressing
    -turn off emergency alerts on your cellphone they are stupidly annoying

    Lastly, assume all women you might date or mingle with are looking for a way to leave korea. I thought this use to be some meme but holy shit it is 1000% accurate, if you have some stable job back home that is not in the military you're going to be looked at as a way out.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      yep, good looking well-adjusted korean women don't racemix.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Lol ok

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        is that what you tell yourself when you keep striking out in Hongdae every night as you take the late night taxi ride back to your one room reeking of soju and powerade?

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Sounds pretty specific... nice projection moron

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            cope incel

  17. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >mom moved to the USA with my grandparents when she was 5
    So I’m not a Korean citizen right? I won’t get drafted or thrown in jail or something if I go, yeah?

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