Category Archives: Expat

Korea more foreigner friendly?

Seoul wants to make expats’ lifestyles easier

April 27, 2010

A blueprint to improve life for foreign residents and entrepreneurs in Seoul was announced yesterday by the Seoul city government, including a one-stop help center for expats, a “global business zone” and new Web sites to help foreigners navigate the city more efficiently.

More here…

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Hagwon Advice…

esl kidsI’ve been around the (Korean) block a few times…

More specifically, I’ve been in the English as a Foreign Language (and as CDI or Chungdahm Learning likes to call it their patented ESL programs) industry for more than five years in Korea.  I get questions constantly about how to enter the industry, who to choose for work and honestly what to do if interested in this field if you want work.

Well, I just got another question (or should I say set of questions) asked of me about work here in Korea as an English teacher.  Instead of just answering this gentleman directly and minimizing the impact, I thought I’d write it up here so a few more can read and hopefully benefit from my advice.  In addition to reading the following, you can also read my piece called “Advice for Teachers” (they titled it that way even though I didn’t) which should actually be named “Advice for ‘Prospective’ English Teachers (in Korea).”

The guy asks: Continue reading

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Fascinating article about targeting foreigners in Korea…

ScreenHunter_01 Jun. 18 21.26From my brief scanning of the article titled “How the Ugly American Ate the Ugly Duckling“, I thought I’d bookmark this for future reference because it has some interesting stats and observations of how foreigners are treated in South Korea.  While it’s a somewhat defensive opinion piece on Koreans targeting foreigners, I’d have to agree with many of the tenets of the piece and come back to this to reread what the author wrote.   I just wish they had more sources (a bit better citing) and who the author was.

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“Live from Busan, South Korea, it’s…”

efm logoSome of you already know, but I’ve accepted a job as the Evening Host of Busan’s English Radio station eFM.   The station is at 90.5 on the FM dial and the website is http://befm.co.kr (where you can also listen off the Internet).

I’ll be starting on Monday, July 6th (2009). It’s definitely not something I had planned on doing for this juncture in life, but it’s a welcome change to the relatively stressful life that I was living the past 3 years with Chungdahm Learning (in the Busan region). I may blog about my time at Injoong Education (the parent company of the Busan+ branches of Chungdahm Learning & April English), but that will take a bit of time to write…

I’m looking incredibly forward to this experience and thus far, I’ve learned:

  • I have some REALLY cool coworkers like my sweet & awesome Producer Hana Jo and stylish and kewl writer Ji-wook.  Other cool foreign coworkers like Matthew, Petra and Dennis also prove I’m simply lucky in finding quality coworkers.  Sohee & Haejin along with our cool Team Leader Mikyung also make the days extra special and of course our Executive Director Mr. Koo (General Manager) as well who seems very cool for Korean management. Continue reading

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Talk about sh*t hitting the fan…

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Is it me?  Or did I just land in the country most well known for “drama?”  

Just visited my great friend Derek at his wedding in Hawaii with the beautiful bride Bonnie and great friends.  It was seriously a beautiful wedding. Here’s the couple dancing to “Bella’s Lullaby” played by you would think a professional piano player, but rather by their niece “Rachel” who is AMAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZING!!!! (think of Will Ferrell yelling this like he did at the Harvard Commencement speech).

Continue reading

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Writing addresses in Korea: How to write an address to someone in Korea

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korean-addressIt would seem quite obvious that when you address things from the West that you start with a person’s name, then the street address, moving then onto their city, state and zip code.  In Canada, there may be a Province and in many countries, the larger entities like the city or the state are towards the bottom.

However, in Korea, it’s the reverse.  I was reminded of it when I asked a Korean recently to create an address for me of the branch she manages so I could send the address to a future instructor who would be coming soon.  The teacher wanted to know where to send her goods, if she wanted to.  It looked like this:

Busan Bukgu Hwamyeongdong 2271-5 Bunji MokYang(목양) plaza 301 Continue reading

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US Embassy in Busan January 20-21st 2009

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Officials from the Embassy’s American Citizen Services Unit will offer consular services in Busan on January 20-21. Services will be provided at the offices of the American Presence Post in Busan. A Consular Officer will be available on Tuesday, January 20, from 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. and on Wednesday, January 21, from 9:00 a.m.–noon at the American Presence Post, Lotte Gold Rose Building (also known as the Job Center Building), #150-3, Yangjung-dong, Busanjin-gu, Room No. 612. Continue reading

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AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2009

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Korea US

Korea US

U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
January 2009

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea.  Please feel free to disseminate this message to U.S. citizens in your organizations or to other Americans you know.

In this issue:

1. Have a Safe and Healthy Lunar New Year
2. Add Blank Pages to Your Passport
3. Korean Guidebook for Foreign Patients Published
4. Korea Launches English-Language Legal Information Website
5. U.S. Government Web Portal
6. South Pacific Cyclone Season
7. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
8. Upcoming Holidays: January 19, 26-27
9. Embassy Contact Information Continue reading

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Will this reduce salaries for English Teachers in Korea?

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Well, if economics can predict the future, there will definitely be an addition to the supply of English instructors in Korea for the next 2 years through 2010.  The following story shows how the Korean government decided to open up the Immigration standards to allow Indian citizens to teach English in Korea as long as they have an English related degree or have a teacher’s license.  In the past couple of years, there has been a decrease in the number of applicants from the normally accepted countries of the U.S., Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa due to heightened Immigration requirements which include a somewhat difficult to obtain (in some locations) Criminal Record check.  (the check isn’t always the difficulty, but sometimes the Apostille or official notarizations have complicated matters)  Continue reading

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The (Apostilled) Criminal Record Check for an E-2 Work Visa in South Korea – U.S. Citizens version

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While I won’t go into much detail about the default documents that have always been a part of the process (Original diploma, Sealed transcripts, Passport photos, Copy of the front page of the active passport, Contract & Signed health statement), I will detail a bit below about how to obtain the Apostilled (a.k.a. Internationally Notarized) Criminal Record Check which seems to be the most complicated and time consuming document(s) required to obtain the E-2 Visa to Teach English in South Korea.  Also, I am focusing on how to do it for U.S. Citizens in this post.  If time permits, I’ll try to write one for Canadians, then the other countries who can also work in Korea legally as Native English Instructors.  Before continuing, I must also point out this is NOT an official set of recommendations or instructions, but simply what I’ve found to clarify the much to do about nothing confusion that’s been created since the start of this document as a requirement to work in KoreaContinue reading

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Overlooked work opportunity?

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Free flights, Free housing and Easy work conditions?

 

Sounds like an advertisement from a con artist, doesnt it?  However, most of its true and tens of thousands of Americans, Canadians, Australians and other native English speaking citizens can give you living proof that its a fact.  Not only are many doing it every day, but many are also saving, paying off student loans and literally building more financial wealth than they could back home. Moreover, the friendships made, the contacts added to ones rolodex and the overall experience has given many justification in coming back (and in many cases making a career of it).  Continue reading

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Filed under Advice, Busan stuff, ESL, Expat, Financial, Globalization, Great finds, Inspirational, Interesting..., Jobs, Korea life, Kyopo - Korean American, Kyopo life, Linguistics, My writings, Opinions, Theories by Brandon

Koreans can enter the U.S. and Americans can enter Korea visa free for 90 days NOW

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As of the 2nd week of November 2008, Korea and the USA have entered into agreement to allow each others’ citizens to visit “visa free” up to 90 days.  Americans don’t have many restrictions, but Koreans have to check with the U.S.’s Homeland Security 72 hours before they depart.  More about the changes below (originally published in the Korea Times): Continue reading

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AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES NEWSLETTER (in Seoul, Korea) OCTOBER 2008

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U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
October 2008

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea.  Please feel free to disseminate this message to U.S. citizens in your organizations or to other Americans you know.

In this issue:

1. Absentee Voting in the November Elections
2. October 15 Deadline for Economic Stimulus Payment
3. Website for Expatriates in South Korea
4. On-Line Records Checks No Longer Allowed for Teaching Visas
5. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
6. Upcoming Holidays: October 3 and 13
7. Embassy Contact Information Continue reading

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AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2008 – Absentee Voting, Improved English websites in Korea, & next visit to Busan

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U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
September 2008

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea.  Please feel free to disseminate this message to U.S. citizens in your organizations or to other Americans you know.

In this issue:

1. Absentee Voting in the November Elections
2. Next Consular Services Visit to Busan, September 23-24
3. Scammers Use Email, Fax to Pose as IRS
4. Korean Government Launches Improved English Language Website
5. On-Line Records Checks No Longer Allowed for Teaching Visas
6. Foreign Roads Deadly
7. Travel Document Tips
8. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
9. Upcoming Holidays: September 1 and 15
10. Embassy Contact Information
Continue reading

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Filed under Communications, Expat, Korea life, Politics

Some advice on getting cell phones in Korea (for foreigners)

Update (08-20-2012):
2012 Guide on Getting Cell Phones in South Korea (including the iPhone 4s)

Mobile Woes Over for Foreigners

By Kim Min-jung

As many of you I’m sure already know, the prospect of integrating in to an entirely new culture can be a somewhat daunting experience. Such fears can be further widened when one is without certain basic necessities.

One of those necessities is a cell phone. As phone booths in Korea have become nearly obsolete, the need for cell phones has grown exponentially. With this in mind, I want to shed some light on the services LG Telecom provides that are tailored exclusively to the needs of foreigners in Korea. Continue reading

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Filed under Announcements, Communications, Expat, Korea life, Seoul, Telecommunications