20 Reasons To Teach In South Korea In Your 20’s (Part 1)
As of late, I’ve seen tons of articles circulating the internet toting the best reasons to travel in your 20’s and other travel posts geared at the younger generation of college grads. It got me thinking about that age group, which I’ll only be able to call my own for a couple more years, and how traveling really does affect a young mind.
While I full-heartedly feel that traveling to any country is beneficial to anyone at any age, I’ve decided that Korea is the best country to explore in your 20’s. As you know by now my deep affection for list style posts, I’ve made a list of the 20 reasons to travel through South Korea as an English teacher in your 20’s.
Korea is one of the safest countries in the world. While you should always exercise a certain level of caution in any country you travel through, Korea has a reputable low crime rate. I lived in a small middle-of-nowhere city for a year in Korea, and never once did I feel like I was in an unsafe situation.
Even as I’d walk home late at night after my favorite bar’s last call, I never worried about being mugged or hurt. Your family and friends will sleep much easier at night knowing their recent college grad is in such a safe country.
2. Confidence Boost
If you happened to have had a case of “Ugly Duckling Syndrome” (no shame in that by the way. I didn’t learn how to properly comb my hair until university), then Korea is just what you need to give your self esteem a little boost right after you graduate college. Living in Korea is really the perfect pick-me-up because Koreans are so generous with their compliments of foreigners. “Wow! So beautiful!” “So handsome!” These are just a couple of the many compliments you’ll receive daily in Korea.
One of my friends actually had a class erupt in applause when he entered the classroom on day one because they thought he was “such a handsome foreigner.” Just be wary that you might not understand some of the complements tossed at your feet. For example, I was told my head was shaped like an egg. Doesn’t sound sweet to me, but apparently it was a nice thing to say. Read more strange compliments I received in Korea here.
Are you lacking real teaching experience after graduating from university? No problem! Korea is the perfect place to gain classroom experience because you’ll have a Korean teacher in the classroom to help you with lesson planning and implementation. After only one year in Korea, you’ll be comfortable in any classroom. Not to mention, going abroad to teach English looks great on resumes for when you’re ready to tackle the classrooms in your home country!
4. EPIK Perks
EPIK truly is one of the best programs for 20 somethings fresh out of college to enter. The perks are amazing for recent grads who aren’t entirely sure how to handle real world jobs and money yet. Instead of staying home and going into debt as you learn how to pay bills and keep your social life afloat right after you graduate, move to Korea and save money joining the EPIK program!
You don’t have to worry about paying rent or for your flights. You’ll learn to safely manage money, and best of all, most EPIK teachers are paid so nicely that they’re able to pay off student loans within one year in the EPIK program!
Korea is great to travel through because of the wealth of information available online about the food, culture, community, and teaching programs. You’ll never have to spend a single weekend at home because you don’t know how to use the subway or high speed rail. Anything you could possibly want to know is waiting for you at the touch of your keyboard. With the number of teacher blogs and travel websites dedicated to traveling in Korea, you’ll never have a dull moment in the land of morning calm!
6. Tight Community
Most of the time I spent in Korea felt like an extension of university because of the tight knit expat groups. The high number of foreigner led language exchanges, bar meet-ups, and sporting events are guaranteed to make sure you never feel isolated or in need of social interaction with people from your own culture.
7. Friends Your Age
I found that the majority (but not all) of EPIK expats I met were around the same age group as myself. We were adventurous, twenty-something individuals just trying to find our place in the world. I loved being able to connect with other people who felt the same as I did after university.
The Korean alphabet is easy as pie to learn. Seriously. I’ve heard of people who mastered it in an hour on the plane ride over. Since a good amount of words are English but written in the Korean alphabet, your life will be made much easier when you can read out menus and transportation signs.
Do I really have to tell you that Korean street food is probably the best in the world? Well, it is.
10. Ease Of Travel
Korea’s transportation system is amazing. The bus routes, subways, and trains are easy to navigate and inexpensive. Most often public transportation workers speak English, too. There’s never any reason to fear having to buy a ticket to another city or worrying you might get lost because there will always be at least one person who speaks enough English to help out.
Keep your eyes peeled for part 2 of 20 reasons to teach English in South Korea in your 20’s.