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December 13, 2009



Over 4 years til 2009, I taught at two private schools and 2 Universities in Korea. I have visited most of the country on my motorcycles.

To work in Korea as an English teacher, you have to be a citizen from a native English country such as US, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa. You also need a 4 year college degree in most cases.

The food was horrible for Westerners since most people eat rice and Kimchee (rotten vegetables with red pepper)...so I mostly ate pizza slices, and most meat was deep fried in oil. I got arterio-sclerosis from all the fats they fried the food in...due to few ovens or broilers used in Western countries for baking bread, and roasting meat. Their stoves are only burners or hot plates. I don't drink much, but their soju will give you a bad headache and most of the University teachers and many of the students went drinking 2-7 nights a week.

Their management was often totally incompetent, sometimes violent, and usually unfair (you have a problem with a Korean, you're fired since you are not Korean!). The managers often would get rid of the books the students could learn from and buy badly written books for bribes from the publishers. They would often give us a week of extra work the day before our vacations, with our flights pre-purchased.

However the people were very friendly and the country is very safe. They preserve their lovely mountains, forests, and beaches well, and though the ones accessible by bus are very crowded, with my own transportation I found very lovely isolated places. There is almost no crime or theft in the country, though you do have to lock your vehicle.

Their language is difficult to learn and their writing is circles and sticks with multiple vowel sounds for most letters.

Their students study very hard, up to 18 hours a day in high school, then party it up in college unless they are in a very difficult field.

Emelie Staffas


I am a girl from Sweden and in about 1 and a half years time I will be in my third year of high school (Am. system) which mean I will be 18.

At that time i will have to go for practicing in being out on a job. I don't know really how to translate it. And my high school can provide me to do that practically anywhere in the world and my greatest wish would be to go and work at a school in South Korea. I just found your blog today and it seems like you know some things about South Korea.

Please, if you would like to help me, send me a message on facebook or similar and give me some names on S Korean middle schools.

Best regards,

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