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

Rimbey-area landowner believes earthquake damaged his electricity supply

Underground line was damaged at same time quake hit, says landowner

Open call for musicians to play Ross Street Patio Parties in Red Deer

The City of Red Deer is inviting musicians from various different cultural… Continue reading

Rocky Mountain House citizens recognized in awards show

Mayor’s Recognition Awards handed out in ceremony last Friday

Red Deer monitoring creeks during spring melt

Residents advised to use common sense when approaching ice

Businesses worry about pricey budget promises

Alberta businesses are bracing for expensive promises the federal and provincial governments… Continue reading

WATCH: Celebrating francophone Canadians at the 10th annual Red Deer Winter Carnival

The event was hosted by the Red Deer region of the French-Canadian Association of Alberta Saturday

Family: Time to shed winter clothes and inhibitions

It has been a long, crazy cold winter. But, if the thermometer… Continue reading

Chelsea Carey rink registers two wins at world women’s curling event

SILKEBORG, Denmark — Canada’s Chelsea Carey rebounded nicely Sunday at the world… Continue reading

Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her first WTA title, winning BNP Paribas Open

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her first WTA title.… Continue reading

‘Captain Marvel’ soars even higher with stellar 2nd weekend

LOS ANGELES — “Captain Marvel” has continued to dominate the global box… Continue reading

Budget to focus on affordable housing changes on supply, demand, regulation

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government will take steps in Tuesday’s federal budget… Continue reading

Kenney lieutenant denies running ‘puppet’ candidate in party leadership race

EDMONTON — The staffer at the centre of a spreading scandal over… Continue reading

RCMP find ammunition, machete after searching for ATV reported stolen

FROG LAKE, Alta. — Police say they found 600 rounds of ammunition… Continue reading

Most Read