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Samcheok, South Korea

Travel Forums Asia Samcheok, South Korea

1. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 7y

bwiiian has indicated that this thread is about South Korea

Has anyone been to Samcheok in S Korea? I have just got a job there so I will living there for a year so if anyone has been there it would be good to get an idea of what it is like as there is not much info on the web apart from it has great beaches and mountains which sounds great.

2. Posted by emit72 (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

Hi,

Before answering properly, can I ask what you're going there to do? I didn't like to just automatically presume you'd be teaching... ;)

And have you had any experience of time in South Korea before now?

3. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 7y

I am going there to teach. I haven't been to Korea before.

4. Posted by emit72 (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

OK, well... I personally didn't have any experience working in Korea, but I did stay there with an old girlfriend a couple of years ago, down in Suwon which is about an hour's bus drive south of Seoul - along with a bunch of other Canadians, Americans, Brits and Irish people, she was also teaching so I got to hear all the complaints...

I google-mapped where Samcheok is and as you know, it's miles and miles away from the capital.

In short, my advice is this:

1. Learn some basic korean before you go (read and speak at least). Even in Seoul there's very little english (signs, menus, papers, books etc etc) and surprisingly very few people that will be able to understand you considering how much ESL teaching there is going on there. I'm learning Mandarin at uni and use this web site as an alternative source of lessons and yes it does korean: www.livemocha.com (99% free too)

2. Get yourself stuck into this: http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/ - it's a very popular and brutally honest (and often funny) forum for ESL teachers from native english speaking countries around the world and since Korea seems to be the most popular country to go teach ESL (probably due, I believe, to the relatively cool wages / accomm / flight package you get in your contracts)

3. Depending on what sized "frame" you're built with, if you're taller than the average korean, or larger don't expect to be able to buy much in the way of shoes or clothing, so take plenty of your own and look after it.

Suwon and Seoul had great expat / ESL teacher communities, altho they tended to hibernate more in winter and came out en masse in summer, so do try to get yourself stuck in to the forums and see who else is already there so you have some contacts / guides on the ground before you get there - local "guides" are invaluable and will ease your transition immensely - for advice on anything from public transport, where to shop for korean or western food, where to get english language papers (the International Herald Tribune was my staple), how to ensure internet is set up in your accommodation, etc etc. And also how to not let the locals rip you off or give you any shit!

But for what it's worth, Samcheok does look to be very beautiful. And as I read once in the IHT, the koreans are almost like the Irish of the far east - they're funny, sarcastic and enjoy a drink ;) Learn to love them.

5. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 7y

Quoting emit72

OK, well... I personally didn't have any experience working in Korea, but I did stay there with an old girlfriend a couple of years ago, down in Suwon which is about an hour's bus drive south of Seoul - along with a bunch of other Canadians, Americans, Brits and Irish people, she was also teaching so I got to hear all the complaints...

I google-mapped where Samcheok is and as you know, it's miles and miles away from the capital.

In short, my advice is this:

1. Learn some basic korean before you go (read and speak at least). Even in Seoul there's very little english (signs, menus, papers, books etc etc) and surprisingly very few people that will be able to understand you considering how much ESL teaching there is going on there. I'm learning Mandarin at uni and use this web site as an alternative source of lessons and yes it does korean: www.livemocha.com (99% free too)

2. Get yourself stuck into this: http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/ - it's a very popular and brutally honest (and often funny) forum for ESL teachers from native english speaking countries around the world and since Korea seems to be the most popular country to go teach ESL (probably due, I believe, to the relatively cool wages / accomm / flight package you get in your contracts)

3. Depending on what sized "frame" you're built with, if you're taller than the average korean, or larger don't expect to be able to buy much in the way of shoes or clothing, so take plenty of your own and look after it.

Suwon and Seoul had great expat / ESL teacher communities, altho they tended to hibernate more in winter and came out en masse in summer, so do try to get yourself stuck in to the forums and see who else is already there so you have some contacts / guides on the ground before you get there - local "guides" are invaluable and will ease your transition immensely - for advice on anything from public transport, where to shop for korean or western food, where to get english language papers (the International Herald Tribune was my staple), how to ensure internet is set up in your accommodation, etc etc. And also how to not let the locals rip you off or give you any shit!

But for what it's worth, Samcheok does look to be very beautiful. And as I read once in the IHT, the koreans are almost like the Irish of the far east - they're funny, sarcastic and enjoy a drink ;) Learn to love them.

Samcheok does indeed look very beautiful. In fact I keep thinking is it too good to be true? Perhaps it will be a boring town or something as to have the beach and mountains and surrounding countryside that Samcheok has then there must be something bad about it, otherwise it is unreal!!
the eslcafe forum is very good, although i can't post on it as you have to have your application personally looked at by someone and they haven't got back to me yet.
I am already starting to learn Korean, I do like my languages anyway (I have a degree in French) and I always learn some of the language wherever I go. But i really want to learn to speak Korean fluently, which I am sure will happen whilst I am there and thrown into the culture totally!
I'm sure in a few weeks when I am there I will post my thoughts on the place here at travellerspoint. Lets hope they are good thoughts!!