I taught English in Korea in 1994 and 1995, and am curious to go back and see what has changed.
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Straha has written 2 entries about this goal
I did it twice.
The first time was after college graduation in 1995. I was an English teacher at a private high school. I lived in Chonan, which is famous for walnuts.
(In Korea everyplace is famous for something. They also have four distinct seasons.)
The job was cool. I lived with a host family, and they were nice, but only the two kids spoke English. Although I didn’t learn Korean, my host father became fluent in broken English. I did 6 months, then the contract was over.
I went back again in 1996, this time working at an English Academy (a hagwon or hakwon). It really sucked. First of all, it was in Seoul, which is a big city just like anywhere else. Second, the housing really blew. The heat didn’t work, leaving the place meat locker cold in winter. It was so cold indoors we could actually see our breath.
The school also tried to screw us on hours and pay. In addition, the curriculum really sucked. I’m talking 10 minutes of content and 80 minutes of supplemental work. This means stupid shit like playing games, watching television, and other meaningless activities.
Academy teaching can be good. I know some teachers who had great experiences teaching. Some academies have great curriculum and high standards. Still, the majority of academy teachers were pissed about pay, work standards, and housing.
Even with a contract, good luck. In Korea (at least back then) a contract is the starting point for negotiation.
I’d love to go back and see how things have changed.