Want to Travel All Over Asia? Start By Teaching English in KoreaPosted: 2011-12-05
Asia holds an attraction for us that we can’t always put our finger on. Maybe it’s the aromatic cuisine, the variety of cultures and languages, or the famous landmarks we’ve always dreamed of seeing. Whatever your reason for wanting to travel through Asia, teaching English in Korea is a great way to start your adventures. Not only will your ESL jobs in Korea fund your travels, but they will give you the opportunity to experience each country in an authentic way that you can’t do as a tourist. Korea, in particular, is a great place to start because of the high demand for English teachers, the competitive salaries, and low cost of living. You’ll be able to save enough here to jumpstart the rest of your travels. Here are other highlights of life in South Korea.
Teaching English in Korea is the ideal job for someone entering Asian culture for the first time because you will be able to interact with other English teachers in Korea as you slowly pick up the Korean language. Understanding a new culture is enough of a challenge without having to learn a new language as well by total immersion! ESL jobs in Korea provide an easy transition into an amazing culture.
Korean culture is based on social harmony and hierarchies that maintain the order. Gift-giving is an important Korean custom to learn. What will take more time is understanding the Asian custom of placing the needs of the community over the needs of the individual. Of course, it’ a good idea to read up on Korean etiquette before you go, but don’t worry--Koreans are very appreciative of any gesture you make to show that you respect and want to learn their customs.
Korean cuisine is distinct from that of its neighbors, although you will see the Japanese and Chinese influence in their foods. Korea offers everything from street vendors to upscale restaurants, and plenty of Western foods as well. If you´re adventurous, you´ll immediately take to kimbap and kimchi jiggae. If you´re not that adventurous, head for Pizza Hut, Burger King, Subway or Bennigans Korea.
Like Japanese and Chinese cuisine, rice and noodles are staples of the Korean diet. They also use many of the same meats and vegetables, as well as seafood and seaweed, but Korean food is set apart by their unique use of spices. By the time you finish teaching English in Korea, you’ll be hooked on kimchi, a condiment that goes with rice and is eaten at every meal. Kimchi is a spicy fermented vegetable dish, often made with cabbage but also made with other vegetables. It’s very healthy, like most of the banchan, or side dishes, that accompany a traditional meal. A full meal can include a dozen or more banchan, each one with a distinct flavor! You’re bound to find at least one that you absolutely love.
Since teaching English in Korea is usually a one-year commitment, you will be able to spend enough time in one place to appreciate the different times of year in a way that tourists will never be able to. The highlight will be experiencing a variety of traditional Korean festivals throughout the year.
There are at least 18 major festivals throughout the year, celebrating things like the harvest and the start of the farming season, as well as others which are religious in nature. The two biggest festivals are Seollal, the New Years Day celebration, and Chuseok, which celebrates the harvest.
South Korea is also filled with amazing relics of its colorful history, including palaces that date back to the 1300s. Seoul has five of these palaces to visit. The most famous of these, called Gyeongbokgung, is under restoration and includes the National Folk Museum of Korea. The whole country is small enough to cross in a few hours by public transportation. The best thing to do is to travel with other English teachers in Korea who know a little more about the sights near where you will be assigned.
Tens of thousands of people every year use ESL jobs in Korea to make their dreams of world travel a reality. Korea has so much to offer, and you should easily be able to save half your salary to start hopping to other Asian countries that attract your attention. It will give you a good basis to understand other Asian cultures, and a taste of living outside your comfort zone. And who knows? One year in Korea might just turn into five or ten!
Keywords: teaching english in korea,esl jobs in korea,english teachers in korea