I’m joined on this episode my one of my best friends from all time, Michael Laperle. Michael is a recovering alcoholic. He joins me on the podcast to talk about his life, his childhood, some of his lowest lows, his theories on addiction, relapse – and the daily struggle that is sobriety. It is a pretty heavy episode.
For anyone listening in Korea who may be struggling with alcoholism and wants to talk with someone about it, there are English AA groups that meet around the peninsula. More information about those can be found at www.aainkorea.org
If you’re interested in reaching out to Michael with comments or questions, he has given me permission to include his email address: email@example.com
If you enjoy the show, please recommend it to a friend, leave a review on iTunes or whatever app you listen to podcasts on – and remember I love ya.
There are many differences between spoken and written Korean - that is the Korean you'll actually hear Koreans using, and the Korean you might see written somewhere. They're the same language, but there are some fundamental differences that can make the two difficult. In order to master reading, writing, speaking and listening, you'll have to understand these major differences.
These differences include word order, grammar forms used and conjugations, verb endings, as well as vocabulary, phrases, and more. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments~
FOLLOW ME HERE:
SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL:
While getting an apartment in Korea may not be of much concern to you if you are only planning to travel in Korea, it will be a big deal if you’ll be working here and staying for longer. In that case, you absolutely should familiarize yourself with how the Korean apartment market works. And also, you should conduct research on your needs, what options there are out there, and what requirements there are. To make all that easier for you, we’ve done a lot of the research for you. Read on for our advice about getting an apartment in South Korea!
Can't read Korean yet? Click here to learn for free in about 90 minutes!
WHAT TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT BEFORE BEGINNING THE APARTMENT HUNT?
First and foremost, before you even start looking at apartments, you should organize your needs, wants, and requirements when it comes to where you’ll live. This can have a big impact on what types of apartments and accommodation you’ll be looking at. Here are some essentials:
- Your length of stay in Korea. As far as actual apartments go, the rental contracts typically start from 1 year. So if you’re staying for less than that, it may be less hassle to consider alternative types of accommodations instead, such as shared apartments and share houses.
- Your budget. Mind you, apartments in Korea typically have a higher key deposit to pay in comparison to other countries, usually starting from 5,000,000won (approximately $4500) and up. You’ll get this money back at the end of your stay, but it may be difficult to cough up that kind of money to begin with. But if paying a large key deposit is no objection then you have no problem!
- Can you live with other people? What about the layout and size of the apartment? These are also some questions you should ask yourself while making preliminary decisions, although remaining flexible will provide more options.
Once you have sorted out some of the basics of what type of place you want to live in, and what you can afford, it’s time to get started on the search itself. Know that the apartment market in Korea moves at a hectic speed, so there isn’t a strong need to sign up for anything until a week or two before arrival. Better yet, do not commit to anything until you are already in Korea and have seen your new apartment in person first. You’ll usually have a lot of options to choose from. Here are some of the main ways which you can find your Korean apartment or other accommodation while you’re living in Korea.
- Realtors – This is the absolute best way to get your own apartment and rental contract in Korea. Choose the neighborhood, or neighborhoods, you are interested in finding a home and visit realtors in the area to have them show you around. Tell them what kind of apartment you are looking for, and especially what your budget is. They’ll usually show you around 10 apartments in one go, depending on availability and your limitations. You don’t need to decide on an apartment on the spot, although it’s typically advised to choose quickly if there is one that interests you. The downside of going directly to realtors is that they do not usually speak any English, so you’ll want to take someone who can speak Korean with you.
- Apps – There are apps like dabang (다방) and jibbang (집방) with which you can view rooms and their prices in specific neighborhoods without actually visiting them. You can’t actually rent one directly through the app however. It will give you the contact information of the realtor in charge of renting it out. By using these apps, you’ll get some advance insight on the apartment you’re interested in, before you’re taken on the tour. And when you do go to the realtor’s office, make sure that they show you other rooms as well, since sometimes the pictures give out a different impression of the room than what it looks like in reality, or the apartment in question is no longer on the market but the information hasn’t been updated yet.
- Craigslist – There are a lot of apartments, and rooms in shared apartments available here. The price is usually lower than if you go through a realtor, but it typically won’t be you making the actual rental contract. Most of Craigslist is also in English!
- Other services – In addition, there are many websites and apps from small start up companies offering translation services as well as other help in finding an apartment in Korea. If you can afford this, it’s definitely a service to use in order to make your moving in process smoother!
When you are renting an apartment in Korea, whether it’s for 1 year or longer, there are two main ways with which you can pay your rent. These will be the same for Koreans and foreigners, although most foreigners will fall into the first category, and you’ll likely have been in Korea for a long time with a well-established status before you’ll try the second.
- Paying monthly aka wolse (월세): This is sort of a no-brainer, as it will be similar to how most of us would pay our rent in our respective home countries. You’ll pay the key deposit, which can be 5,000,000won or even more than 20,000,000won, and then you will pay the normal monthly rent each and every month. If you pay with 월세, there is some flexibility in extending your rental contract if you end up liking your apartment a lot, and you’ll get the key deposit back when you move out. It is possible to also negotiate whether it’d be possible to pay a higher rent for a smaller key deposit, or the other way around.
- Paying everything in advance aka jeonse (전세): In the long run, this is actually the more sensible option, but obviously it’s a lot of money to put in, think about multiplying that 5,000,000won key deposit by 6 at least. Typically the Koreans who go for 전세 get a loan from their bank, but while it is also possible for some foreigners, it may be overwhelming to navigate, especially if you aren’t fluent in Korean yet. The advantage to this option is that there’s no monthly rent fee and you even get the money back when you move out! This option is far less common these days though.
Of course, in neighborhoods like Itaewon you may find apartments with a smaller key deposit burden, so don’t break into cold sweat just yet! Additionally, for shared apartments, share houses, and other types of accommodation, the renting may happen a bit differently (and more cheaply) than it does for your very own wonrum (원룸) aka a Korean style studio apartment.
Regardless of how long you’re planning to stay, know that there are no shortage of options to choose from.
What house hunting advise would you give to would-be South Korea residents? Let us know in the comments below!
Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series: http://www.90DayKorean.com/learn
Please share, help Korean spread!
Want to teach English in Seoul, Korea? Are you looking for a job teaching English in Seoul, Korea? Well, guess what? So is everyone else!
In this article I am going to cover a few topics not usually covered about teaching English in Seoul. Teaching English in Seoul might be great for you, but like other things in life there are 2 sides to a coin.
I lived in Korea for 3.5 years and in that time I lived mostly in Busan and in Changwon. So how does Seoul compare to Busan? Well, from my point of view it is only better for one thing.
It's more cosmopolitan. Maybe you love K-pop, Korean dramas, you want a wide variety of restaurants and foods catered towards foreigners, or English bookstores, shopping experiences, nightlife, to be in a big Asian city or whatever. The bottom line is Seoul is going to have the most options in Korea.
So it just might be for you.
So what's the darkside of teaching and living in Seoul?
- Seoul is in Korea and there are reasons why some people don't like Korea
And unlike the rest of Korea it looks like they don't get plastic surgery.
Haha, very funny.
That's a joke you probably don't get now, but plastic surgery is very common there and Korea does have a growing film industry too hence the screen shots of "The Host" and "Colossal".
But what are the real monsters to teaching in Seoul?
But for starters...It's competitive
So if you are like half of the people that want to teach English in Korea then that means you probably want to teach in a public school in Seoul.
Or maybe you want to teach in a hagwon in Seoul? That's actually more likely and towards the end of this article I'll give you a tip for that.
But...What happens when you want to be where everyone else wants to be?
I spend a lot of time on Reddit answering people's questions about teaching in Korea. I see a lot of people asking questions about teaching in Seoul. Now it's possible that you will find a great job teaching in Seoul.
When everyone wants to be in a certain place that creates competition. It's good for the employers, but not for you. They don't have to pay you anymore money or treat you any better because if you don't work out there is always someone else that would love to teach in Seoul.
So you are more dispensable.
They could take you or leave you. They will be less inclined to treat you well because they don't have to. There is always another naive foreigner around the corner.
But hey you are different so maybe you will find a great school teaching in Seoul.
Lots of people want to teach English in Seoul. It's a big city. And it's going to have the problems that other big cities have: it's going to be crowded and polluted.Seoul is polluted
I see a lot of people complain on Reddit about pollution in Korea. But honestly I never thought it was that polluted, but hey, I didn't live in Seoul. I lived in Busan for 3 years and in Changwon for 6 months.
So if you really want to teach English in Korea and avoid the pollution then I would aim for smaller city on the east coast. Busan is not that small and it's not perfect, but the pollution never bothered me and I have traveled and lived throughout Asia.
So when I see people complaining about pollution in Korea I can't relate. It's not going to be Beijing or as bad as some cities in China.
Did you know that it snows in Seoul?
Yes, the white stuff, but also the yellow stuff and it looks like this.
Seoul joins the ranks of the most polluted places in Asia
It's caused by dust from the deserts in Northern China and Mongolia. Then as the winds blow across the most polluted areas (Northeast China) it picks up air pollution particles and then drops them down on Seoul and other places.
Doesn't it look nice?
"...It is normal seasonal dust with some increased year round pollution that has been around for years. All these people are complaining every spring when the dust comes, but not the rest of the year where it's just as polluted. If you look at the graphs it's been pretty polluted all year, and often it's most polluted in the winter, and indeed pollution has been a problem for decades, but for some reason you all are only dying from "pollution" exactly during yellow dust season every year."- bukkakesasuke
If the monsters, crowds, pollution and competition didn't discourage you then here is some advice you probably haven't heard of yet.
Go there and look for a job.
Sure you could get a job in Seoul online. That's definitely a possibility, but being there in person will increase your odds of finding a job teaching there.
Think about it like this...
The school has to make a decision between the teacher standing in front of them vs. the teacher online. Who are they going to choose? They will choose you because for them "a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush".
Well, you are going to have anticipation anxiety whether you get a job beforehand or not. It might not be for you, but there are a lot of advantages and really only one disadvantage to going there to find a job teaching abroad.
This would increase your chances - if done correctly of finding a job where you want to teach. It worked for me. I found a pretty good job in the center of Busan with a nice studio and loft because I went there and looked.Are you sure you really want to teach English in Seoul?
Because chances are it's not going to be what you expected. Things are always different. Yes, you might still like it or you might not. Also if you are 100% sure that's where you want to teach then don't complain about the...
- lack of "good" jobs
- plastic surgery and other sucky things about Korea
...because that's the other side of the coin. I personally think the desire to teach English in Seoul is overrated. It never really appealed to me, but I can understand as one time I wanted to live in Shanghai. I did and now I have no desire to do so.
I also lived in San Francisco. It's a nice place, but you know these big popular cities aren't that appealing to me now. There's too many people and yeah, it's too busy for me.
I'd rather live in a place with an easier going lifestyle, some place closer to nature.
If you are a socialite then Seoul or any other big city might be for you, but if you aren't then why bother enduring the crowds and pollution?
I think you could probably do better in a different place where there is less competition and you might find a better job there.Related:
ESLinsiderThings You Probably Didn't Know About Teaching English In Asia, But Should Know