Coming to Korea

Announcing a new e-book: 500 Korean Sayings - let your iPad do the Korean talking for you!

Think of it as 500 Korean phrases if you like - either way, the idea here is a bit different from most other 'learn Korean' books. Take a look at it on iTunes, or keep reading to learn more.

Question from a reader: what to tell your parents

A reader writes in:

My parents seemed quite impressed and supportive when I mentioned that teaching in Korea was a possibility for graduates like myself, but now that I’ve actually started the process, they’re, well… less than, shall we say.

Any advice/tips/resources you could recommend to help put them at ease? I’m going to go through with it either way, but it is nice to have them on one’s side..



“You’re doing WHAT? WHERE? WHEN? WHY?!” The questions are as varied as the people, and the responses aren’t necessarily straightforward.

For twenty-plus years, they’ve been trying to keep you safe, out of trouble, and possibly bailing you out of a tough situation. To most parents, choosing to leave your home country will come as a shock, or at the very least a change of plans. In most cases, however, being a twentysomething means the need to recognize your independence.

Some questions parents commonly ask:

Question from a reader: must-knows before coming to Korea?

A reader writes in:

Hi Chris! I love your blog and have learned so much about various experiences in Korea. I am leaving on Friday to Seoul for a week of training and then living in [city redacted] which is nearby Seoul. Just wondering if you have any must knows that you could share with me, as I am clearly becoming nervous as time comes. Thanks so much!


Coming to Korea remains a scary thing. Despite the abundance of information, it’s hard to cut through the out-dated and biased info to find the useful nuggets.

Life in Korea: your first week

Author’s note: ‘Life in Korea’ posts are geared toward the newer expats – in this case, those just starting out in Korea. Comments are open!

As one semester ends and another begins, a new wave of English teachers will be coming to Korea. If you just arrived off the plane, welcome – here’s how to get started in your new Korean life:

Day 1 – Unpack. This sounds simple enough, but it’s too easy to want to explore the country while living out of a suitcase. Korea will become your home, and it’ll still be there in a day or two. Anything you’ll need over the next month or two should be unpacked, but you can probably leave the winter clothes in the suitcase to save space.

Coming to Korea: 5 places to pass on while traveling Seoul

Author’s note: ‘Coming to Korea’ posts are written with tourists in mind. For the complete series, please check out the ‘coming to Korea’ category

Seoul is a huge place – beyond being one of the largest cities in the world, the surrounding metropolitan area is filled with plenty of other attractions. While you can spend weeks touring Seoul and not see it all, there are several places you can safely skip if you’re on a tight time schedule.

Question from a reader: coming to Korea with a kid?

A reader writes in:

Hi Chris,

I am considering moving to Korea; however, I’d be traveling with my 3 year old.
Do you think this is something feasible with a child. Would you happen to know any American teachers in similar situations.

I saw a posting from on my school’s career development site.
I am currently unemployed; I’m not able to find full-time employment in my field-user experience research. My last project was 6 months ago.

I don’t mean to bombard you with my specifics, just giving you enough back story to understand my motivation in looking to move overseas. I do enjoy teaching. I’m starting a part-time gig to teach ESL at a local school to get experience while I make arrangements.

I do appreciate your time & thanks for your time.



Hi Z.F.,

E-book reviews: Coming to Korea & Teach Korea Guide

Some of you wonderful readers hail from outside of Korea, and you might have wondered about how people get started teaching English in Korea. While providing the answers is beyond the scope of this blog, a couple of e-books are out there to help you learn the ropes. One of them, Coming to Korea, has been on my left sidebar for some time now. The author of a second recently contacted me through e-mail, offering a review copy for my perusal. I give you the Teach Korea Guide -  the goal is “to help good teachers find great jobs in Korea.”

Should you teach English in Korea? A 10 question quiz to help you find out

Author's note: this post is dedicated to the wonderful readers that aren't in Korea yet, but have been thinking about coming to teach English in Asia. For those readers already in Korea, do the time warp back to before you came to Korea - I'd be interested in hearing your scores as well.

OK, admit it. You've been on the fence for awhile now, and you've thought that teaching English in a foreign country might be kind of fun. Still a job, but fun. Take it from a guy that's doing it - there's a lot more to it than being an Education major or being good with kids. Your entire lifestyle will change, pure and simple. To see if you're ready for those changes - and to see if you're cut out for this line of work - take the quiz.

Question from a reader: hard choices and homesickness?

A reader we'll call 'J.A.' writes in:
I saw your blog today. You make it look like a lot of fun to be in Korea. My question is a little personal, I hope you don't mind. What made you decide to so far away? I have been thinking about going to Vietnam or China to do something similar. Was it a hard choice and you ended up loving it? I mostly ask because I am afraid I will be terribly homesick if I decided to go.

Deciding to leave your home country for anything more than a vacation is definitely a hard decision at first. The first questions are usually of safety, security, and 'stuff' are paramount - will I be safe / secure? Will I still have my stuff?

You've probably heard of Maslow's hierarchy:

Question from a reader: is it safe to move to Korea?


A reader writes in asking about safety in South Korea:

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