Teachers find good careers in Korea

Most of us know at least one person who moved to South Korea to teach English for a year. But what happens when the year is up?

Most of us know at least one person who moved to South Korea to teach English for a year. But what happens when the year is up?

For Stuart Scott, 53, that day has yet to come.

“At 53, I think . . . I’ll probably stay about six more years and then that would allow me to just retire.”

Scott lives in Jeonju, a city of about 650,000, and cites the tight-knit foreign community as its biggest draw.

Fellow Canadian expat and Jeonju resident Dave Van Breda said it was that community and the lack of job prospects in Canada that prompted him to return after his first contract.

Van Breda, 26, originally planned to spend just one year in South Korea, but couldn’t find an appealing job when he went home.

“None of the jobs were what I was looking for. I remember just lying in bed thinking how my paycheque was going to be chopped up and how I’d worked for maybe 30 hours a week in Korea and get paid $2,000 a month virtually tax free and I set a deadline for myself. If I hadn’t found a job by my birthday, I was going to actively apply for a job back in Jeonju.”

Finances aside, Van Breda had other motives. “The main reason why I’m staying here — I know it sounds corny — is the community.”

Outside of Jeonju, other expats have their own reasons for sticking around.

Valerie Paulo, 28, moved to Seoul from Montreal in March 2005. She completed two contracts, returned to Canada to get a teaching degree, and came back to Seoul yet again.

Native English speakers don’t need a teaching degree, but Paulo said one of the biggest benefits is the “good salary. I knew with a teaching degree you could get a better salary.”

Paulo said there are other advantages to teaching here. “One of the biggest factors is I love hugging kids, and in Canada you can’t hug a child. Here you can sit them on your lap and tell them it’s gonna be OK if they cry, and they run to you and hug you. Back home there’s so many laws it’s like you can’t even pat a kid’s head. I feel too restrained back home to be myself and be a teacher.”

———

Steph Davidson is a freelance writer in South Korea.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Officials tour Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange

Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman and local MLAs visit construction site

Bike thefts becoming ‘significant problem’ in Red Deer

Residents are sounding the alarm on the growing problem of bike theft… Continue reading

Red Deer approves 10 cannabis retail stores

Locations approved around the city

One trillion litres of sewage leaked into lakes and rivers over last five years

OTTAWA — Last Wednesday, a team of people from the Lake Ontario… Continue reading

Woman bitten at Red Deer dog park

Dog owners reminded to control their pets

WATCH: A horse was neglected by its owner. Now the horse is suing

ESTACADA, Ore. - Justice is an 8-year-old American quarter horse who used… Continue reading

Red Sox old-timer’s memorabilia going up for sale

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Some items belonging to one of the Boston Red… Continue reading

Rival Korea leaders to meet in Pyongyang in September

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — The rival Koreas announced Monday that North… Continue reading

Charlottesville anniversary: Peaceful protests, few arrests

WASHINGTON — Thousands of people wanting to send a message that racism… Continue reading

‘I believe music heals people’: 12-year-old records tribute for shooting victims

YARMOUTH, N.S. — Twelve-year-old Josh Cochrane of Yarmouth, N.S., watched the news… Continue reading

Fallen officers’ families gather with Justin Trudeau after tragedy

The prime minister laid flowers at the growing memorial to the four victims of Friday’s violence

Fallen officers’ families gather with prime minister after tragedy

FREDERICTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with families of fallen Fredericton… Continue reading

Liberals showcase benefits of billions spent on infrastructure projects

OTTAWA — Little more than a year before the next federal election,… Continue reading

Fredericton parade ‘a way to celebrate even in the midst of this grief’: mayor

FREDERICTON — Two days after four people were gunned down in a… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month