Thursday, September 2, 2010

Reader Question: Country vs. City

Another reader question:

"You say you work "out in the country" at a "low-level uni"  But you seem to be in a position to have (or could acquire) options.  So why did you choose (or continue to choose) these conditions as opposed to city life or a different school?"

I'll address this question in 2 parts.  First the country vs. city thing and then the low vs. high level uni question.

Working out in the country has many advantages.  In general, it's much easier to find a job in the country since most people want to work near Seoul or Busan.  Plus, pay or vacation is often much better because they need to entice you to the countryside somehow.  And, the clean air, and peace and quiet away from the concrete jungle is obviously a benefit as well.  Cost of living is lower too, because you are away from the obvious temptations of Western goods and services that abound in Seoul and Busan.

Working at a low-level uni has some advantages.  Expectations for teachers are much lower, from the students as well as the administration.   High level uni teachers have a lot of pressure on them for results and the students there are used to the best.  Also, it's much easier to get a job at a low-level uni since all the students (and a lot of foreign teachers) want jobs at the big unis.  Korea is all about appearances and connections and having a high-level uni on your resume, with a recommendation from one to go along with it can be a ticket to bigger and better things.   

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