HELP! Should I accept a job in Gumi, or risk it and fly out on my own?

Hi Everyone,

Ok so I have pretty much been offered a job in Gumi City (near Daegu) but from what I can find on the internet, there does not appear to be a huge amount going on and the contract isn't as good as some of them out there (working until 2pm-9pm Mon-Fri with 5-11 year olds). I had been in touch with a friend of a friend who used to live in Korea & he said to avoid Gumi
& fly myself over and look for work once in Korea so I can see things for myself. I have a friend currently in Busan and she loves it there but, alas, her school isn't currently hiring.

So here's the issue - one the one hand I have a job offer at a place I would be happy with had I not been in touch with experienced people who say I could do better. But, on the other hand, if I fly over without a job, I could potentially either a) find myself a better job in a better city where I could enjoy a better quality of life or b) spend ages living out of a suitcase looking for work in various places, run out of cash and have to return to the UK with no money and my tail between my legs!

I feel I am quite a good applicant - 26yr old UK male with a 20hr TEFL certificate and experience of living abroad whilst working with young kids (in a summercamp in America in 2008) - and I have enough money to get me out there and spend a few weeks looking for work staying in hostels (my friend in Busan has offered to put me up for a couple of nights, but we don't know each other well enough for me to be living with her for ages. I am fairly good in interviews too.

The general gist of the advice I have had so far is that I shouldn't find it too difficult to get a job once I am in Korea, but I can't help thinking it's a potentially very expensive (and unnessecery) risk to take.

Has anyone been in a simiar situation? Is Gumi & the contract as poor as I have been lead to believe it is, or will I have a perfectly good time there? Am I worrying about the potential for everything going tits-up a bit too much? The people who have said to go over and look for work myself have all been out there for a while which suggests they may be correct, but I REALLY
don't want everything to turn to a disaster.

Any advice / help would be smashing.

Thanks, Chris. 

Re: HELP! Should I accept a job in Gumi, or risk it and fly ...

Hello Chris,

You seem to have a pretty good grasp of the potential pros and cons of coming with or without a job.  Sure, Gumi would be a bit of a slow place to live but you can always find a niche and be happy.  That said, if small town life doesn't suit you than it seems best to take a risk.  A few things to consider as well, 1) from what I've heard, a lot of hagwons these days are looking exclusively for female teachers (again, I haven't been in the job market recently, but my friend who does recruiting mentioned this to me in passing the other day), 2) while I would agree personally that Busan is a far better place to live, if you get stuck in a pinch you could end up being forced to work at a school with a bad rep here in Busan.  In my opinion, it's better to work for a solid school in a less desirable city than a bad place in a good city.  So if the school you have an offer from has a good rep you might want to take that into account.  After all, Busan is readily accessible from Gumi, so it's not like you would be stuck permanently in the hinterlands.  Again, these are my own personal opinions, so take them as that.  Best of luck in what ever course you pursue.



Re: HELP! Should I accept a job in Gumi, or risk it and fly ...

Dependant on what you are looking for Gumi isn't that bad a city. It has all the home comforts you will need, one of the toughest hiking courses in the country across a great mountain range and a good way to understand a few more Korean traditions compared to larger modern cities.

If you prefer tourist spots, nights out and the advantages of a big city then with Daegu so close and Busan only being about an hour and half on the train you could still experience that on the weekend.

You should find a job somewhere in Korea although most private employers prefer North Americans and females and for the better jobs you want at least a 120hr teaching qualification. The biggest thing is get your visa documents ready in advance so you can start as soon as they want you too and don't expect too much.

Re: HELP! Should I accept a job in Gumi, or risk it and fly ...

Gumi is not a bad place, your qualifications are not astounding, though not bad.

If you want a bigger city, tell the recruiter the name of the city you want. Or contact a recruiter on here and ask what they have, if you interview well, their is not any reason to buy your own plane ticked... Many Hawgan jobs are hit and miss.