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.


Going Abroad? The Ultimate Checklist

It’s crunch time, and you’re preparing to actually GO ABROAD! It probably feels like everything is happening way too fast… and truth be told, it probably is. With that in mind, here’s the ultimate checklist to help ensure that you have everything covered.

Adventure Teaching Presents: The Ultimate Checklist

1. Documents

Some important items you don’t want to forget:

  • Passport (duh)
  • Copies of your passport – bring with you when you travel, too, in case you lose your actual passport
  • A photocopy of your immunization record –  if you travel to an area where certain immunizations are recommended/required, this is helpful to have on hand
  • Contact info for your friends/family – once you get a cell phone set up, you’ll want all of those phone numbers!

2. What to pack

How do you pack a year’s worth of stuff, when your airplane allowance is 23kg / 50lb?

  • A must: Photos and other small souvenirs from home, and a few of your favorite snacks. DVDs and TV Shows.
  • Items connected to your hobbies. Small instruments. Basketball shoes. Knitting needles. Your Xbox or other gaming console.
  • Extra passport photos – you’ll need 4-8 more after you arrive. They’re handy to have for traveling, too, as some countries will need photos for tourist visas.
  • Gifts for your co-workers – not mandatory or expected of you, but a nice gesture. A small trinket or souvenior from your home town/state/province/country.
  • For everything else: What to pack

3. What you don’t need to pack


  • Bedding: a comforter, a pillow, a sheet
  • A mattress pad
  • Full size bath towels
  • Water filter
  • A cleaning kit
  • A transformer:  are you from the States or Canada? Check the voltage of your electronics. Make sure that they will be able to handle 220V. Double check specific appliances, such as your hair straightener, blow dryer, electric toothbrush and gaming systems.  For these appliances, you will most likely need a transformer.

4. Money

  • Find out what you will need to be able to wire money back home. Bring proof of your bank account. You’ll be able to link your Korean account with your account at home.
  • Make someone at home your power of attorney, so they can have access to your accounts on your behalf.
  • Understand the currency conversion for USD / ZAR / GBP…. to Korean Won
  • Bring enough money to last you until your first paycheck (which you’ll receive about a month after you arrive)

5. Communication

  • Consider buying or renting a phone in Korea
  • Speak with your current carrier about getting your phone unlocked so that it works in Korea (and then set up a phone plan with a Korean carrier after you arrive)


Hopefully some of these tips are helpful. Don’t miss checking out what we wish we had realized before going to Korea.


Did we miss anything? Comment below!


Gift-giving in Korea

Gift-giving in Korea is a strong tradition in Korean culture. If you ever invite Korean friends to your home, you’ll notice that they will always bring you some fruit, dessert, a drink, or sometimes all of the above! Of course, gift giving on special days (holidays, birthdays) is a must. But what about giving a gift to your director/principal and Korean coworkers when you arrive?

We recommend something small from your home country. A souvenir, something symbolic of your home town, local region, or just your country in general (maple syrup from Canada, for example). Here are some gift ideas you can consider for your boss, head teacher, and Korean coworkers:

The Boss (director/principal):

  • A bottle of wine or other fancy drink: something that can be used as decoration. The more expensive it looks, the better (it doesn’t have to actually be expensive)!
  • A tin of fresh coffee: ground or unground will work. It’s surprisingly hard to find good stuff in Korea!

Your Head Teacher:

  • A big jar of multivitamins: vitamins in Korea are not nearly as strong, and Koreans are very health conscious.
  • A jar of delicious, fresh honey: as always, the more expensive something looks, the better.

Your co-teacher(s):

  • Because you are probably not sure how many co-teachers you will have, the best option is to get something that can be shared by multiple people. Some candy, a box of chocolates, a selection of nice tea to put in the teachers lounge, etc.

Of course your friends and family members will be eager to receive little trinkets from you when you come back home a year later. Here are some ideas:



Personalized Stamp

A Personalized Stamp

  • You can get their name engraved on it…. in Korean! Or, you could be sneaky and write something totally different. They’ll never know!

A Magnet

  • Cliché, we know, but you can find some pretty hilarious ones!

An “Engrish” T-shirt

  • Engrish refers to grammatically incorrect variations of English, often found in East Asian countries. An Engrish t-shirt would be the ultimate gift and you won’t have trouble finding them. Anyone who has spent time in East Asia will know that the shirts you find here are shirts you cannot find anywhere else.
Animal hats!

Animal hats!

Animal Hats

  • Keep an eye out for the ones that have long “paws” that hang down to your waist. Hilarious!

Metal Chopsticks

  • Korea is the only country in Asia that eats with stainless steel chopsticks. Korean chopsticks are also flat, like the handle of a western fork or spoon, rather than round or square like other Asian countries.


  • Interesting fact for you: the most popular item tourists want to purchase in Korea is beauty products. Some of the popular brands include Skinfood, Etude House, The Faceshop, Missha, Innisfree and Nature Republic.

Phone Covers

  • Cell phone cases are a dime a dozen in Korea, and they come in the strangest shapes and sizes. You’ll struggle to find such a variety elsewhere! You’ll find them everywhere- vendors on street corners, markets in the subway station, or for a larger variety, you can visit the popular shopping districts in Dongdaemun, Myeongdong and Itaewon.


  • Interesting fact #2: Soju is the top selling alcohol brand in the world! Who wouldn’t love to have that checked off their list.  Maybe stock up on some yourself, as the price of Soju at home will be at least triple the cost of what you can get it for in Korea.
Korean socks!

Korean socks!


  • Whether you’re looking for PSY’s face, flags from different countries, or just plain ol’ cartoon characters, there’s something for everyone!



For those who have been in Korea for awhile —  what would you add to the list?



6 Awesome Korea Expat Video Channels

Last year, Alexa Hart from Atlas Sliced released a great YouTube video highlighting six awesome Korea expat video channels. Together they give a great insight into the many amazing (and at times, very strange) aspects of life in Korea! Check out her video and once you are done, be sure to visit the video channels that we ever-so-kindly broke out for you below!

[Update] The original video posted by Alexa Hart from Atlas Sliced is no longer available – but you can still check out the channels linked below!]

Here are the 6 Korea Expat Video Channels that Alexa mentions:

Backpacking Travel TV

  • Samuel and Audrey are the faces behind Backpacking Travel TV, a food, cultural & travel channel. Their videos will take you around Korea (and the world!) through culture, food and humor. Topics include visiting markets and temples, eating street food, traveling by train, and their daily quirky adventures.

Eat Your Kimchi

  • You can’t live in Korea without watching the uber famous Eatyourkimchi duo, Simon & Martina. They make high-end videos about K-pop, Korean Food, Traveling in Korea, Korean Indie Music, and much more.


  • Kerri posts great weekly videos about travel, expat life, and all things Korea!


  • Part travel show, part cultural documentary, this series shares the stories of interesting expats while showing the city through their eyes. One to watch!


  • Long-time expert expat, Steve Miller (QiRanger) releases popular travel videos and video blogs about travel and Korea. Great, engaging videos on a number of awesome topics including new Korean beers and Korean pizza vending machines.

Michael Aronson

  • Awesome parodies and songs from this former New Yorker and now honorary Seoul citizen. He writes songs, make music videos, and talks about Korea! Don’t miss these!

If you have any favourite expat video channels about life in Korea or China, send us an email: [email protected].


Facebook Groups in Korea

Teachers, Expats, Foreigners and Tourists.
Find them on Facebook in YOUR area…

One of the best parts about living and working in South Korea is the long lasting friendships you make with other expats. Sometimes it can be hard to know where to find people – especially if you’re in an area that has less foreigners.

This interactive map should be able to help you connect to other areas of Korea. Perhaps you’re considering a move to a new city, or maybe you just want to find out more about the people…

Either way, here is a tool that you can use to get connected easily with other expats in Korea.


Ilsanite Club Jeonju Knowledge Adventure Teaching Anseong Newbies Iksan Foreigners Association The Northern Alliance Wonju English Teachers

Let us know about Facebook Groups in Korea that can be added,
Comment below.

English Magazines in Korea

Various Free local English magazines in Korea.

These English magazines in Korea, provide information on the following topics:

– Things to do, Korea’s Treasures (Places to go), Events, Comprehensive Guides, Interviews and so much more!!


Groove Korea 

More expats turn to Groove Korea than any other publication in the country for our news analysis and extensive community, music, sports, travel and food coverage.
Groove Korea is the country’s most-read English publication, including the three daily newspapers. 

This is their online issue for November 2013:


Seoul Magazine

Seoul Selection is a Seoul-based book and magazine publisher. They publish SEOUL, a monthly English language magazine that provides a wealth of information for foreigners traveling and living in Seoul.

With in-depth reporting on culture and living, foreigners’ perspectives on living in Korea, an overview of Seoul events and cultural news, SEOUL magazine is an indispensable resource for those who want an insider’s viewpoint of Seoul life.

An online edition of November 2013:


Busan Haps

They claim:

“It’s for you. The reader. The Writer. The Photographer. And the people typing weird things in Google.”

Busan Haps Magazine is a bi-monthly print magazine featuring stories of people from all walks of life in Busan, covering news and trends in lifestyle, society and more.

If this is for you, you can find the issue of Fall 2013 here:


10 Magazine is more than just a magazine. In its many forms, it’s the #1 resource in Korea for expats and tourists who are desperate for information on where to go and what to do in this country.

Find their Facebook page here:



PIK is an online photography magazine featuring contemporary photography from established and emerging photographers living in Korea.

PIK publishes in-depth exhibitions, tips, reviews, and interviews and care- fully curated imagery, with the goal of helping to showcase lesser known but significant photographers, and bring their originality, creativity and style to a wider audience.

Find below the link to their second issue, November 2013:



Can you advise on any other English magazines in Korea worth reading?

Let us know!

[email protected]





Life in the countryside

Live in the countryside: Eumseong

This is a town with no Lotte Mart or E-mart, no subways or shopping mall, and definitely no Dunkin’ Donuts.  It was rare to see a new foreigner, and there wasn’t the same “bustling nightlife” as you find in bigger Korean cities. Live in the countryside was a little bit different than life in the city.



Eumseong is best known for being the birthplace of Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General.


One of the things I miss most about the countryside is the bus ride to Seoul. It was the one time where I could totally switch off and let my mind wander.


I loved how close I was to authentic Korean culture. The friends I made then are friends I will have forever! Now, I live in Seoul. I have more access to Western amenities and expat friendships.


My Korea was a lot smaller back then. I love Seoul, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the quiet town of Eumseong.


Life in the Countryside of Korea was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Whether it is the city or the country, make the best of what you have! You’ll miss it the most when it’s gone.