5 Types of people who move abroad

5 Types of people who move abroad

Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of expats moving to South Korea and China, and by working with them, amongst others teachers, co-workers, acquaintances and friends, we’ve boiled it down to 5 types of people who generally move abroad.


The Wannabe

The Wannabe

1.The Culture Freak / The Wanna-bee

Kpop, hangul, Korean movies and slang… He’ll be able to tell you about it all. He’s the one who started studying Korean, before he even knew whether he would ever set foot on the Korea Peninsula , and he has seen every YouTube video about it.

Why teach abroad:

If you have a passion for the country, its cultures and traditions, why would you not go? You’ve seen it all already on the web, so you know all the reasons why you need to go. What are you waiting for?



The Traveler

2. The Traveler

The guy with the list – Not your average To-Do list: This list includes everything that haven’t been mentioned by Trip Advisor and more. This is the guy who would love to see the world and is able to live out of a suitcase. It’s the person who has friends all over the world and enjoy making new connections and trying new things. It is possible that he already knows people in Korea, or that he is interested in traveling to South East Asia.

Why teach abroad

With Japan, Thailand, and China so close, who wouldn’t want to go? This is the ultimate place to teach at, and still be able to visit South East Asia on a budget. You can live the adventure you’ve always dreamed about, you’ll see a different part of the world and you’ll be able to expand your horizons, and fill that passport of yours.



The University Student

The University Student

3. The University student

This is the person who just finished college. Excess money is a foreign concept, and the amount of debt is too much to even mention. He does not have  work experience in “The Real world”

Why teach abroad

Gaining international teaching experience will be an asset in your future career. This is a great way to set your foot in the door, and still get paid a pretty decent income. Korea is one of the higher paying Asian countries, and the cost of living is quite low. You’ll be able to save anything from $1 – $1000, depending on your spending habits. It is possible to save a lot, without living the lifestyle of a hermit.



The Opportunist

The Opportunist

4. The Opportunist

Gaining international experience – That’s the dream.  He is interested in building an international community of contacts and to enhance his resume with skills and abilities.

Why teach abroad

To work for multinational companies, will create a good career prospective. You’ll be able to expand your skill set and the ability to adapt to different workplaces. Korea will ensure that you are exposed to being flexible, developing communication skills on a different level and being adaptable to circumstances. The world will become your Teacher.




The Runaway

The Runaway

5. The Runaway

He is the one who is unhappy with his life at home. He feels stagnant and might be in a dead-end job. There’s a lack of opportunities at home; It’s a location burnout.

Why teach abroad

By teaching abroad, you’ll be able to create a life for yourself in another country. You don’t need to carry your past with you; you can recreate yourself. Be whoever you’ve always wanted to be… That doesn’t mean that you’re allowed to change your name on your passport though…

You might find better career opportunities, than back home, but  ultimately, going abroad makes you more open minded and this might change your perspective of home in a year of two.


Differences between expats and travelers

You spot them both in the street. It’s Saturday.

The expat is walking with confidence; you wouldn’t realize that he* is actually lost. He is walking with a smile on his face and along the way, he has picked up some little cultural quirks. He’s not even aware of the fact that he’s doing it. He asks for help, using mostly body language and waits at the bus stop, for the next bus to arrive.  He’ll find his way.


A girl* is walking past. She is trying to make sense of her map. I’m almost certain that it’s the wrong way around, but hey, I’m just observing.  Her schedule is tight: She’s got places to go and people to see. Everything has been planned to the minute, and she’s getting frustrated. She signals for a taxi to stop, because he’ll be able to get her to the address, written on the back of one of her many tourist flyers…She’s called, a traveler.

There are a lot of differences between expats and travelers.


1. Going with it vs Planning

He has a broad idea of things to do, but he will take lemons and make lemonade. He’s got a lot of time (even though a lot of expats don’t use it as well as they should), and instead of having a list from TripAdvisor, he keeps his ears open and listens to recommendations from the people around him.

A traveler has a limited amount of time. Every second counts, and therefore, it’s easier to do research beforehand and follow the plan

2. More Adventurous (Risk takers) vs Comfort zone

The expat likes to take risks. After all, he left his home country, everything he knew, for the unknown. He gave up the privilege to spend Christmas at home as well as the luxury of understanding people. He took a step, and had no idea where it would lead to. It takes courage not to run back home at the first setback.

3. Friendly, more adaptable to culture vs their own way of doing things     

The expat is a lot more flexible and adaptable than the traveler. The expat is aware of the fact that he is the visitor in another country, and he has to adapt to their way of doing things.

The traveler is used to her routine, so she sees no reason why she needs to change for other people. She’s frustrated pretty quickly, because she expects things to go according to the way it is in her home country. She’s not too fond of changes.


4. Less snobs, your group of friends is as dynamic as ever

As the year goes by, the expat makes friends. Lots of them. One as dynamic as the other. The main thing they have in common, is the fact that they:

  1. Moved abroad
  2. Get homesick
  3. Like to explore

It doesn’t matter as much where people are from or what they are doing here. It’s more about the fact that you are her now, and that’s all that matters


Travelers can come across as being a bit more pretentious. They choose who to hang out with, with a bit more care…….


5. Expats know they don’t know, Travelers “know”

The expat is the one who will tell you all about the city that you are about to visit. He’ll refer to the fact that there’s just way too much to do, and that you’ll never have enough time to see it all.

The traveler will tell you how she got everything done in a few days… she was actually bored by the end of her trip. They’ll tell you “everything you need to know”

You don’t know what you don’t know, Ms. Traveler…


6. Think about life vs not to

The expat is the one who is moving to a different country, a new life. He has time to ponder about life, to think about the things that matter and the things that don’t…


It’s very different that being on vacation. You see the world around it, you see the beauty in it, and on impulse, you might decide that you want to move there too… Know that traveling through a country and living in it, would be 2 different experiences. Know that you’ll have a job, do dishes and pay bills, just as you did back home. This time, you might just find it a bit more difficult to communicate to those around you.


This is a generalization to the extreme of the differences between expats and travelers. You might  know some travelers who are more adventurous than some of your expat friends. True. Expats just tend to be, according to the stereotype.

* The fact that the guy is an expat, and the girl is the traveler, has nothing to do with genders, but it is merely to make it easier to distinguish between the two people.

Weird facts about North Korea

15 Weird Facts about North Korea

1. Kim Jong-Il was so afraid of flying that he would travel in 6 custom-made armor trains, built just for him.

2. Kim Jong-Un’s basketball hero was Michael Jordan.

3. Most traffic control is performed by female traffic directors (reportedly handpicked by Kim Jong-Il for their beauty). Traffic lights are switched off to save electricity.

4. North Koreans can’t turn off the Government radio installed in their homes. They can only reduce the volume.

5. Many North Koreans have not heard the news that humans now walk on the moon.

6. No dogs are allowed in Pyongyang (the capital).

7. North Korea has the fourth-largest military in the world, at an estimated 1.21 million armed personnel.

8. Only military and government officials can own motor vehicles.

9.  North Koreans must abide by one of 28 approved haircuts. For example, unmarried women must have short hair. Married woman have many more options.

10. Women are not allowed to ride bicycles in Pyeongyang. Men are only allowed to bike through parks, alongside streams, and next to the Daedong River.

11.  The elder brother to current leader Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong Nam, was passed over  to become the heir apparent leader after being arrested in Tokyo in 2001 for traveling to Disneyland on a forged passport.

12.  Pyeongyang is built similarly to Seoul, with a big river running through it — the Daedong River is North Korea’s equivalent of the Han River in Seoul.

13.  According to South Korean government + UN estimates, some 154,000 North Koreans live in prison camps.

14. According to Kim Jong-Il’s biography, he was born under a double rainbow as a new star appeared. He  started to walk at 3 weeks old, and claimed to be able to control the weather by his moods.

15. With the exception of residents in the captial city, the Internet is almost completely inaccessible in North Korea. Access is granted by permission by government authorities.


What are some other weird facts you’ve heard about North Korea?



Gwanghwamun: a Landmark and symbol of Seoul’s long history

Gwanghwamun is one of our favorite spots in Seoul because it provides great mountain views, people watching and long stretches of walking. It is central to so many spots (the Palaces, Insadong, Cheonggyecheon Stream, CineCube (our favorite indie movie theatre in Seoul) & Line 5 (purple).

A bunch of countries’ embassies can be found in the area of Gwanghwamun, as well. Plus, we love the King Sejong Statue. And in the summer there are in-ground fountains that offer must-needed relief from the city’s heat.

If you could pick one spot in Seoul, what’s your favorite? Tweet us @ATAbroad or send us a message on Facebook! We’d love to hear.

Goyang Flower Festival

Goyang Flower Festival (Ilsan, South Korea)

Have we mentioned how much we adore spring in Korea? We love it, and the Goyang flower festival is one of those reasons.

The colors are so vibrant – blue skies, bright flowers, shining sun (without the unbearable heat!) and just a general happiness among everyone. It’s so great.

The Goyang Flower Festival is an annual showcase of flowers from all over the world – over 100 countries are represented!

It’s just north of Seoul and in a new area. The Festival surrounds a lake park that is perfect for a picnic and laying out on a sunny day. There are tons of grocery and convenience stores nearby, as well, so you can pick up some snacks & drinks for the day.

We cannot recommend the Goyang Flower Festival enough.

What’s your favorite festival in Korea?

Let us know: [email protected]

Market in Hongdae

Market in Hongdae

Interested in going to a Market in Hongdae? There are 2!

One of our favorite things to do on a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon is a little shopping in Hongdae.

Located in the park near Hongik University is an eccentric little market in Hongdae, full of exotic jewelry, colorful paintings, beautiful wallets, journals that seem to scream “write something pensive in me!”,  and so much more.

And the best part is that everything is hand made! The artists proudly display their work in individual booths, and you can be assured that everything is made by hand.

These 2  markets take place on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, starting at 1pm, from March until November. The Saturday market is called “Free Market,” and the Sunday market is called “Hope Market.” The Free Market on Saturdays displays a lot of clothing items, paintings, hats, shoes, and bags, while the Hope Market on Sundays is often filled with more accessories, jewelry, and craft items.

Hongdae’s Free Market and Hope Market are the perfect place to get a little shopping done. So grab a coffee, grab a friend, and buy some beautiful hand made items from some of Korea’s most creative artists!

  • How To Get There: Get off at Hongik Univ. Station (line 2) and take Exit 6, walk straight to the four-way intersection, make a left, continue until the end of the street, make a right, follow the uphill road on the right.
  • When To Go: Saturday and Sunday starting at 1:00pm, running from March to November.
  • Contact Info: For more information on this and other markets around the city, click here.

…brought to you by the Adventure Teaching Korea team…

Korean Temple stay

Korean Temple stay

Last year, we went on a Korean Temple stay and it was so much fun.

It was quite a different experience for us and something we’ll always remember. We went with a group from Adventure Korea and they did a great job leading the trip. We got to meet and get to know a Korean monk, we stayed in temple housing, we wore temple clothing, we ate temple food, and took walks around the beautiful temple ground. Plus, we found time to meditate & write in our journal.

Unfortunately, it was a bit cold and rainy for the end of April so we’d love to go again & experience a Temple stay during a warm and sunny weekend. It’s a unique experience that we cannot recommend enough while living in Korea.

Here are a few photos from our weekend – we’re looking forward to going again this year!

…brought to you by the Adventure Teaching Korea team


Korean baseball

a Korean Baseball game

“More intense than a playoff game at Yankee Stadium” was one of my many thoughts as I observed a packed Jamsil Stadium of 27,500 fans cheering on their teams during a close game (3-2) between the LG Twins of Seoul and Samsung Lions of Daegu last month, with the Lions coming out on top.

Korean baseball has grown in popularity a great deal over the past few years, and judging by the unbridled enthusiasm of the fans, excitement for this sport is not dwindling anytime soon.

Korea Baseball Championship (also referred to as Korea Professional Baseball) was founded in 1982 with six franchise teams and has since grown to eight. All teams are named after the Korean company that owns them – Doosan Bears (Seoul), LG Twins (Seoul), Nexen Heroes (Seoul), Lotte Giants (Busan), Kia Tigers (Gwangju), Samsung Lions (Daegu), Hanwha Eagles (Daejeon), Nexen Heroes (Seoul) and SK Wyverns (Incheon) are the current teams.

In terms of popularity, all teams have a decent following but while taking an informal poll of my students’ preference, the Bears, Tigers, Lions and Twins are most often mentioned as being their favorite. All four teams also happen to have been part of the original group when the league was started 30 years ago. The Kia Tigers (formerly Haitai Tigers) have been the most successful team thus far – winning 10 championships to date. And next season, the NC Dinos of Changwon will be added as the ninth team.

Currently, each team plays 133 games in the regular season, playing every other team 19 times. Each team has a stadium in their home city – the largest being Sajik Baseball Stadium, home to the Lotte Giants in Busan with a capacity of 28,500.

Interestingly, the league places a cap on the number of foreign players allowed on club rosters, currently set at two allowed per team.

In order to prepare for a Korean baseball game, it takes some effort. Here are a few tips to get you ahead of the curve.


As a foreigner, I found it pretty difficult to get tickets. Most team websites are in Korean without an English option (except Doosan). It appeared the only three ways to buy tickets were at an ATM (Family Mart or GS), over the phone (in Korean) or at the stadium itself, with limited hours.

After asking my Korean co-teacher for help, it turns out you can buy tickets online but need a Korean credit card. The only seats available were the cheap ones (8,000 won!) in the outfield bleachers, and she was kind enough to purchase mine for me.

When our group of four arrived at Jamsil, with tickets in hand, turns out we had shown up too late for a seat. Korean families and couples had clearly been camped out for hours, enjoying their picnics in the shaded sun. We walked the entire section, from left to right field, twice, only to discover there were just a few single seats left.

The reserved seats also happened to be sold-out. So, our last resort was buying from a scalper. Which we did, from in 80-year-old ajumma, selling four seats together, in the visiting team’s section, for 5,000 Won more than the face value. We agreed immediately since it meant sitting together, comfortably, for the next three hours. 

For a stress-free arrival, I recommend finding a friend with a Korean credit card and trying to get reserved seats online before the game. Or if you are willing to show up at the stadium without seats, finding a scalper works too – if only for the story (ours was hilarious!) Just make sure to brush up on your Korean number vocabulary before negotiating.


Unlike most professional sports in the United States, food and drinks at Korean baseball games are very affordable. Fans are allowed to bring in any outside food of their choosing, which can be brought from home in coolers or bought outside the stadium, no questions posed by stadium security.

The choices are endless – ranging from Korean food (a wide variety of kimbop, rice cakes, fish chips) to Western options (KFC, Dunkin Donuts, Burger King and many GS marts are found surrounding Jamsil). Water, beer and other beverages are also sold without mark-up (unheard of in the U.S.).

My favorite part may have been the delivery bikes, that drive in from all over the city, lined up with loads of boxes of fried chicken, each costing just 10,000 Won.

And if you don’t pack enough to bring into the game, there are food and drink options inside the stadium, as well. Cass on-tap is 2,500 for a sizeable glass and most of the time, you don’t even have to leave your seat to enjoy it, as the “beer guy” comes to you, uniformed in a chilled beer backpack.



First of all, if you want to fit in as a real Korean baseball fan, purchase your chosen team’s thundersticks (colored, plastic air-filled bats) before the game; they sold in the subway station and outside the stadium for a mere 1,000 Won. Over half the stadium – men, women and children – used them to cheer on the Lions and Twins throughout the game. When hit just hard enough at the right spot, the sound can be deafening.

Each team also has cheerleaders and a mascot posted on each dugout – there are drums, signs in both English and Korean (one said “Save Us” towards the end of the game when the Lions were leading) and music to get the fans as involved as possible.

Songs heard throughout the game included “It’s a Small World,” Culture Club’s “Karma Chameleon,” “Hey Jude” by the Beatles, and Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”

One of the more common chants throughout the game was “Anta!” (meaning, “hit!”), followed by the player’s name. And “Home Run!” was also heard in unison. And try to learn some Hangeul before the game because the cheerleaders often hold signs up with each players’ names to be chanted.

With Korean baseball, it seems to be all about the preparations – getting tickets, arriving early, buying food and beer to last during the game. Then once at the game, you can settled in – with your team’s thundersticks – and have a good time yelling and cheering for a win.

The high-level of energy is sustained throughout the entire game, which may be the most impressive thing about it all. The fans just don’t tire. There was never a lull in action.

The most exciting moment, though, was in the seventh inning when the Lions scored three runs by putting together a few consecutive hits. Then there was a double play that caused the fans to go wild. Maybe one of the loudest moments I’ve experienced watching sports, ever.

I highly recommend a game that starts around 5pm because you get the last of the sun but still get to enjoy the lights coming on for a night game which always makes a baseball game that much more of a blast.

Whether you’re a sports fan or not, attending a Korean baseball game is well worth it.


…brought to you by the Adventure Teaching…

Noryangjin Fish Market

Noryangjin Fish Market

Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul is still one of Korea’s biggest seafood markets. It is an extensive farmers fish market in the neighborhood of Noryangjin-dong in Dongjak-gu, and is located east of Building 63.


To get there, take the subway from Chungmuro Station (Line 4) to Seoul  Station and transfer to Line 1. Alight at Noryangjin Station (Exit 1) and walk across the overhead bridge to the market.

Noryangjin Fish Market was established in 1927 as Gyeongseong Susan (경성수산) on Uijuro(의주로) in Jung-gu near Seoul Station and moved to its current location in central Seoul in 1971

At Noryangjin, you pick out your seafood on the lower level, and then you take it upstairs to one of the restaurants, where it is prepared for you.


For more information:

Culture Trip.


Seoul Rooftop

Seoul Rooftop

A few months ago, I stayed with my friend in Itaewon before an early morning flight from Incheon to Hong Kong for a quick holiday. I woke up early, anxious for my holiday and climbed up to his Seoul rooftop to check-out the city views from his tiled roof. It was a chilly morning and a beautiful setting for a few photos.

Seoul has some of the most amazing views in unexpected places! What places have you came across? Any other Seoul rooftop views we should know about?

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