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Three Steps in Moving Overseas to Be an English Teacher

English is the language of the world now, and thus, the demand for Native English speaking teachers has gone up dramatically around the globe. Many people and countries will pay well for English teachers. The problem is figuring out from getting from point A to B. 

Getting an idea of what’s available is essential. There are a lot of options for countries and programs to look at. We are going to give you some tools to use to figure out what will work best for you.

Choose Where and Why 

‘Why am I going’ is the most critical question to ask yourself before you begin this program. Do you want to experience a new place? Asia might be your pick with a radically different culture and style. 

Would you like to spend money to travel a lot and see new places? Eastern Europe would be a great choice with their low cost of living and the ease of travel around all of the continent. 

Do you want to experience a friendly culture and enjoy the tropics? South America might check all your boxes with its friendly nationals. 

Does being a volunteer for a while sound very attractive to you? With this, you can go to many countries, the Americas, Asia, or Africa. These questions and contexts are meant to aid you in figuring out why you want to go, and to find where the best place to choose is. 

Choose Your Style

Discovering schools to teach in can be a challenge. It means you’ll have to spend a great deal of time looking around in various countries to find a job. Otherwise, you could attempt to be a private tutor. Facebook groups can be useful for finding these jobs. This method is only for independent challenge seekers, but it can be gratifying.

Going overseas to get some more schooling is another way to become an English teacher abroad. This option is not very intuitive, but it makes absolute sense when you think about it. It will provide a means for you to go into the country, and in some states, further education may be more affordable. 

There are many sorts of programs available as well for getting teachers to where they are needed. TEFL provides many opportunities all over the world to get involved in local education. However, it can sometimes be limited. 

There are a few search engines that’ll help with determining which course is the most suited to you. If you know where you want to go, it becomes a simple process of looking through the options available in these countries. The website even has a section for volunteer work. 

Some countries will hire teachers for their public schools from abroad. Spain, Japan, and France are all great examples. With a government job, they generally are more flexible in extending periods. Most of them pay rather well and sort all the potential issues with immigration readily. 

There’s no end to the opportunities available to find a way to get overseas to become a teacher. If you want this, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t be able to find a position. 

Figure Out the Requirements

Diamond and Diamond lawyers state that it’s wise to check out all the requirements needed, so you don’t find yourself in trouble with the law and unable to get on a flight. Many countries have different rules in place regarding teachers, but many have similar conditions. 

Most locations require you to have a bachelor’s degree and an ESL teaching certification. The most popular of these is the TEFL certification, which, as mentioned above, excels in finding places that need teachers. 

Beyond that, it usually depends on the country. Many of the superior institutions will require a more advanced skill set. For example, a degree in English or Education might come in handy for this purpose. Just remember to make sure your passport isn’t expired and has at least 6 months left on it. 

Have a Safe Journey

Teaching overseas can be a fun learning experience. It’s worth giving it a chance for a year of your life. There are a lot of pros and very few cons for heading out to see the world. Keep the advice in mind and conquer the world.

8 Hour Essay Cheap – Best Custom Essay Writing Service

How many times did you see questions left on search engines similar to – What essay writing service is able to do my homework for me and meet the deadline? This is one of the most frequently asked questions among students. College students from the USA, UK, Australia and other countries of the world seem to constantly run out of time. They must meet the deadlines for their academic papers, but sometimes they fail. Accordingly, they hope to receive professional help online.

American students know that there are numerous writing services, which propose exceptional conditions. Thus, 8houressay.com is one of the best academic writing companies that ensures papers of the highest quality. Moreover, every paper will be written extremely fast to meet the toughest deadline. However, many students don’t know how to choose such resources and so, buy a cat in a sack.

We’ll help you because we know how to identify a good trustworthy writing website. Consider the following essentials of 8HourEssay.com:

  • It’s rated high amongst the top writing platforms;
  • The company functions for 2 years and longer;
  • It provides different guarantees;
  • Its assistance is affordable;
  • You can count on instant feedback;
  • The website protects its databases and your privacy;
  • It returns your money if your writer fails your expectations.

Obligatorily take into account these features. Thus, you’ll be able to define what essay writing service can be trusted. Accordingly, you’ll submit your assignment on time.

The Benefits You Reap from Collaboration with an Essay Writing Service

It’s essential to define what other advantages are available. Undoubtedly, you’ll enjoy quick assistance and support. Nevertheless, it’s not enough to write a great assignment and receive an A+ grade. Using 8HourEssay.com as an example, we’ll explain what to expect from professional writing platforms. We have chosen it because it’s one of the frequently recommended companies.

Students commonly ask about the quality of this 8-hour essay writing service. It hires only skilled writers who are officially verified and hold at least a bachelor’s degree. They know how to compose any piece of writing without any procrastination and according to the academic requirements of every school, college and/or university.

Another frequently asked question sounds like this – How much money should be paid? A respectful writing company sets relatively cheap prices and so, students are able to buy its assistance. Everything depends on the settings you make. The price depends on the quality, length, urgency, and type of your order. For example, a dissertation costs much more than different essays. You’re free to customize your order until the price suits your budget.

Using 8HourEssay.com, you automatically enjoy other benefits. Among such are:

  • Quick support. To save more of your time, the company works 24/7 and accepts urgent orders. Besides, its technicians provide quick consultations.
  • Full uniqueness. The company always verifies the papers released by its writers. It implements a dependable plagiarism checker to detect and delete non-unique elements.
  • 100% refunding. Your personal writer is obliged to fulfill all the conditions, he/she has accepted. Otherwise, your investments will be returned to the fullest.
  • Full safety. You may not worry about the safety of your personal information. The company never shares any facts about its customers with anybody else. Besides, it uses efficient software, which easily fights back different kinds of viruses, malicious programs, as well as hacker attacks.

Our experts recommend using this reliable rush essay company. It provides all the necessary guarantees and advantages. It’s famous, highly reputed and works for many successful years in the sphere of academic writing. If you place an order here, you definitely write papers of the highest quality.

Staying in Asia After Teaching? How to Start a Business as a Foreigner

Your teaching gig in Asia is going great. You’ve mastered the culture (and the lyrics to the latest BTS album). So what’s next?

If you decide to stay in Asia, you may need more financial support besides your teaching job. Your first thought might be getting another one, but how about starting a business? Awesome idea, right? 

Your teaching job will give you an edge, but there’s still a lot you need to learn on the business end. It can be anything, from work ethics, to navigating good service tax for the goods or services you’ll offer.

 

What Kind of Business Can You Start in Asia?

The trick to any good business idea is having one that fills a gap in the marketplace. It doesn’t mean you have to invent something from scratch. For example, your business idea can be an improvement of an existing product. 

Here’s a list of a few business ideas you can consider.

Teaching

Since you’re already familiar with this, it’ll be a more comfortable venture. Your business can focus on teaching career-based skills such as computer programming. The diversity will help you grow your business.

Fitness

Staying healthy is a growing trend, and more people are searching for ways to achieve their goals. There are plenty of opportunities to tap into this market. You can offer yoga classes, personalized fitness regimens, or anything else. 

Beauty

The beauty industry has been around for ages and will likely stay relevant forever. There are many possibilities to explore with such an enterprise. You can sell beauty products or even offer services like makeup and manicures.

Jewelry

We live in a fashion-forward world, and the fashion scene is always changing. This means tonnes of people will always be ready to buy the next in-thing from you.

What You Need to Start a Business in Asia

The exact requirements vary according to the type of business you want to start and the location. Regardless, the general requirements for starting any business are the same. The only difference might be the documentation you might need to run a business in a foreign country.

The list below contains some of the most common requirements you’ll need to get started.

Business Plan

A business plan outlines your idea in detail, target market, goals, and startup costs. Having this plan in place will give you a guideline to follow to ensure the success of your business.

Funding

It’s no mystery that running a business comes with a lot of expenses. Getting estimations of how much money you might need is a good start to planning for how you’ll cover the costs.

Legal Business Structure

Choosing what type of entity your business is before you register it is a necessary legal step. It affects certain aspects of a company, like how you file your taxes. There are several business structures to choose from based on how you want to run your business.

Documentation

The documents you’ll need to register your business will depend on the structure you choose. So, if your business is a corporation, you’ll need an “articles of incorporation document.” You may also need an Entrepreneur Pass, especially if your business will be in Singapore.

Registration

To make things official, you’ll need to register with the government and local tax authorities. This involves submitting the documents mentioned above and other company details during registration. During the registration process, you’ll have to open a business bank account as well.

Insurance Policy

The right kind of insurance will protect you in the event of incidents such as theft or a customer lawsuit. 

When you’ve taken care of all the legal stuff required to get started, you can focus on marketing your business and building your brand. You may need someone familiar with the area to help with your marketing. It’s the best way to ensure an effective campaign.

Pros and Cons of Starting a Business

Pros

  • You create your wealth and have full control over your finances
  • Some countries offer incentives for foreign investors and tax advantages for business owners
  • Flexible schedule

Cons

  • A language barrier between you and local customers
  • Breaking even may take a while
  • You’re likely to meet a lot of failure along the way

Conclusion

Owning a business is quite fulfilling, even though it comes with a whole lot of work. It’s even more challenging when you’re trying to break into a foreign market, but that’s nothing proper research and perseverance won’t fix.

10 Things To Know Before Relocating To South Korea

Westerners may find living in South Korea challenging. The culture is different, and the language barrier can be difficult to overcome, but the country continues to attract many foreigners every year. In fact, more than 1 million foreigners are living in South Korea. Whether you are relocating for work or vacationing, here are some of the things to expect when you arrive. 

Passports and Visas

There is an array of visas South Korea offers visitors. The most common ones are:

  • Temporary Employment (C-4)
  • Intra-Company Transfer (D-7)
  • Foreign Language Teaching (E-2)
  • Special Profession (E-5)
  • Specially Designated Activities (E-7)
  • Training Employment (E-8)
  • Non-Professional Employment (E-9)
  • Temporary Journalism (C-1)
  • Short-Term Business  (C-2)

As you can see, the majority of visas issued are job-related. If you plan on taking up gainful employment, you probably need a temporary employment visa (C-4). 

Cost of Living

Seoul’s housing market is the most expensive in South Korea, but many areas are still more affordable than other developed countries. The housing quality, selection, and availability can be limited, however many places offer convenient access to businesses and provide comfortable living, especially for foreigners. 

Housing

If you are thinking about living in Seoul, expect apartments to be tiny by Western standards. Not surprisingly, the further away from the city one moves, the more spacious the accommodation becomes. An interesting feature of Seoul’s many apartments is that they have switched out  traditional locks and keys for electronic locks with magnetic door keys and number pads.

Culture

If you are experiencing homesickness or culture shock, large cities have ex-pat groups who hold regular meet-ups. If you stand out from the crowd, expected to get stared at by curious natives. This is not ill-intentioned, but reflects different social norms about staring and personal space.

Cuisine

Traditional Korean food is everywhere, and it is often at a reasonable price, depending on where you eat. Always be open-minded about new foods. If you are at a company dinner with your coworkers, to refuse a soju makes you seem unfriendly and unwilling to embrace the culture.

Climate

South Korea has all four seasons, and you can expect extreme temperatures for summer and winter. There has been no volcanic activity for well over a century, and earthquakes and typhoons are rare. Pack sensibly with outfits appropriate to the season during which you plan to visit.  

Work and Education

South Korea has a strong work ethic. If you are a student, you can expect to study for long hours, and don’t even think about skipping work. If you do nap at your desk, it shows that you have worked hard and deserved it. Koreans traditionally form strong coworker bonds, so you can look forward to going out with your workmates in the evenings. They can be considered your second family. 

Transportation

Since public transportation is well-developed and abundant, owning a car is not necessary. Seoul’s subway system, the Seoul Metro, is one of the best in the world. As a pedestrian, be careful when crossing the streets as traffic can be unpredictable. Some tourists have complained about aggressive drivers, but overall it is quite safe for locals and tourists alike.

Safety

There is crime in all corners of the world if you know where to look for it, but in South Korea it is rare. Since firearms are illegal and only carried by law enforcement, crimes tend to be less violent. Like any foreign country, use common sense and always be aware of your surroundings. 

 

It is important to note that while North Korea and South Korea haven’t engaged in open hostilities since the ceasefire of the Korean War, they are still technically at war. Stay updated with the news, and set a plan to reach your nearest embassy if needed. 

Health Care

If you are from the US or Canada, then you will  be accustomed to the high standards found in Korea. They have excellent healthcare and a well functioning legal system, so if you are used to law firms like Diamond & Diamond, you’ll not be disappointed and will have no problem adjusting. In fact, South Korea is a rapidly growing destination for medical tourism. 

 

Similar to Canada and the UK, South Korea has National Health Insurance, which is a universal health insurance program created by the Korean Ministry of Health. If you do not have your coverage upon arrival, it is mandatory for you to enrol in the program once you obtain your Alien Registration Card (ARC). 

Conclusion

Be sure to inform the embassy of your stay, and keep your visas updated. If you are excited about learning new things and exploring a new lifestyle, South Korea is a great place to start.

The Best TSA Locks for Your Travels

Airline theft has been on the rise, and securing your luggage with a quality lock is your first line of defense.

A good lock should deter would-be thieves, but should also be accessible to TSA workers. Most of the time, bags only need to be electronically screened. However, sometimes a TSA agent would need to open the case.

TSA-approved locks can be opened with a master key, which is only given to TSA agents. Using a TSA lock ensures that if they need to open the case for security reasons, they aren’t going to have to break it.

You should be aware that no lock is 100% secure. Any lock can be broken into, but a good lock can reduce the odds of that happening.

Below, you’ll find our recommendations for the best TSA locks, as well as how to choose the one suitable for you.

Editor’s Pick: Tarriss TSA Luggage Lock with SearchAlert

These popular locks come in packs of two and have three color variations. They’re 3-digit combination locks with a retractable cable. The flexible cable is not as sturdy as a metal shackle, but it allows the lock to work on different types of bags.

If a TSA agent opened your lock, there’s an indicator that changes from green to red. The TSA agent can’t take their master key back unless they re-lock, and the only way to reset the indicator is to open the lock with the number combination and close it again.

The indicator encourages you to check your belongings before leaving the airport, in case any object went missing during the search.

Another good thing about this lock is that the numbers are large and easy to read, making it good for the elderly and anyone with weak vision.

The Good

  • Polished appearance
  • Flexible cable
  • TSA search indicator
  • Re-locks after TSA search
  • Large, easy-to-read numbers

The Bad

  • 3 digits only, which limits the number of possible combinations
  • The cable isn’t very sturdy, may not hold up to frequent traveling

Budget-friendly: Forge TSA Approved Travel Luggage Locks Dimple keys with Zinc Alloy Body

These U-locks use dimple keys instead of single-bitted keys, which makes them much more secure. They come in packs of two, four, six, or eight, and in many vibrant colors.

You can use the same key with several locks in the same pack. Keeping keys can be a hassle, so this, at least, reduces the number of keys you need to carry.

In case searched by the TSA, the TSA agent must re-lock the device to retrieve their master key.

One problem with these locks is that they’re made in batches of 1000. So any key can open any lock in the same batch. It’s highly unlikely that a thief would’ve bought a key from the same batch you have, but it’s enough to unsettle some people.

The Good

  • Dimple keys
  • Sold in a variety of packs and colors
  • Reasonably sturdy
  • Re-locks after TSA search
  • Same key can be used for the entire set

The Bad

  • Locks are identical in batches of 1000

Runner-up: Keyless TSA Approved Luggage Locks with Lifetime Card Keys

This lock is small compared to the notoriously bulky card key locks. It locks with a metal shackle, which is more secure than a cable, but the U-shape is too small and may not fit some cases.

You can buy these locks in a set of 2 or 4. The same card key fits into all the locks in one set.

The cards come in a variety of combinations for maximum security. The lock is “non-pickable” according to the manufacturer, but you shouldn’t take this literally for any lock. It just means that picking it would be difficult.

Using the lock can be confusing to some people, and there are no instructions available. However, a customer service agent would gladly walk you through it.

If you ever lose your card or lock, the manufacturer can send you one free of charge.

The Good

  • Small size for a card lock
  • Sturdy metal shackle
  • Manufacturer offers free lock and card replacements
  • Difficult to pick, unlike key locks
  • You don’t need to remember a key combination

The Bad

  • Shackle is too small and may not fit some cases
  • May be confusing to use, doesn’t come with a manual
  • Expensive

How to Choose the Best TSA Lock

There are so many locks on the market, so choosing the right one can be a daunting task. Below, you’ll find some information you should know to make the best purchase.

Lock Types

There are many types of locks, depending on how you open them. Some require an external key of some sort, others make use of a number or word combination.

Key Locks

The oldest type of locks available. These locks are designed to be opened with the appropriate key. This is useful if you aren’t good at remembering number combinations, but you have to be careful not to lose the key.

If the key is lost, there’s always the option to saw the lock open, but it may be a hassle.

Combination Locks

These locks use a 3-digit or 4-digit combination. It’s a popular choice among travelers, and you wouldn’t need to worry about losing a key.

Combination locks are great as long as you remember the number. Consider using a meaningful combination, or to keep it written safe somewhere in your wallet or on your phone.

A rarer type of combination locks uses letters instead of numbers, so you can just use a password. For many people, this is easier to remember.

Combination locks are convenient if you need to share access with another person since they don’t need to have a physical key at hand.

Key Card Locks

These locks are a little bit bulky. They use a key card, very similar to the one found in hotel room doors. They’re convenient because you can keep the card in your wallet next to credit cards, IDs, and so on.

Key card locks are a bit more sophisticated, and more expensive than the other types. They’re also less common. Their complexity can be a good deterrent for thieves.

Locking Mechanism

Travel locks can also be categorized by the type of locking mechanism. The most common being the U-lock and the retractable cable lock.

U-Locks

U-locks are the traditional locks with a metal clip. Most of them are key locks, but some can use combinations. They’re very sturdy.

One problem people may have with U-locks is that the clip isn’t flexible. It may not fit into smaller zippers or work with certain bags.

Retractable Cable Locks

Retractable cable locks use a flexible cable instead of the fixed metal clip. The cable isn’t as sturdy as a metal clip, but it’s still good enough for most situations.

The flexibility of the cable allows for a wider variety of applications. You can even use the same lock to attach two bags together. You can also lock bags that don’t quite fit into a traditional padlock.

Steel Cable locks

Cable locks aren’t really “locks” by themselves. They’re a flexible cable that can be fitted into other locks. They can be used in combination with padlocks or retractable cable locks for when you need to attach several objects together and keep them secured.

Cable locks are commonly used to secure bicycles, but they’re useful when traveling as well.

It’s worth noting that a strong pair of handheld wire cutters is enough to cut through most cable locks, so even though they’re good at keeping your bags together, they aren’t very secure by themselves.

Wrap Up

No lock is completely secure. Knowing this, using a good lock can still ease your mind and lower the chances of tampering and theft.

If you don’t like having an external key, a combination lock such as the Tarriss TSA Luggage Lock with SearchAlert is a very popular choice. If you don’t mind having an external key, Keyless TSA Approved Luggage Locks is a fun alternative.

For those who prefer traditional padlocks with a key, go for the Forge TSA Approved Travel Luggage Locks.

Tips for Teaching English in Thailand – Make Your Experience Easier

Thailand is the go-to spot for a lot of English-speaking slow-travelers looking to indulge in South Asian cultures.

With tourism being the country’s top industry, the need for learning to speak the global language is on the rise and the demand for teachers is bigger than ever!

If you’re thinking about spending some time to soak up the essence of this tropical paradise or even land a long-term visa, then you’re probably considering putting your language skills to use.

So I’ve put together this list to present you with tips for teaching English in Thailand to make your experience easier!

1. Fulfill the Qualification Requirements

The first thing you need to get out of the way is making sure you’re actually eligible for teaching in Thailand. So here are the qualification requirements:

  • You hold a 4-year diploma from a university (bachelor’s degree or higher).

Unfortunately, you can’t start teaching English in Thailand without a degree, at least in official schools. If you want to teach English at a university level, you’ll need to have a master’s degree, preferably in Education.

  • You’re a native English speaker (NES). If you’re a non-native English speaker (NNES), then you’ll need a TOEIC score of 600+ or an IELTS score of 5+.
  • You pass a police background check conducted in your home country.
  • You pass a basic health check.

Keep in mind that if you plan to continue teaching in Thailand for more than 2 years (or up to 4 years if you request an extension), you’re going to eventually have to apply for a Teacher’s License, which has its own criteria to fulfill.

Additionally, note that many foreigners in Thailand are still able to teach English despite missing 1 or more of the above conditions. You can also do it and earn money, however, this is considered illegal and you won’t be eligible for a Work Permit or a Non-Immigrant B Teaching Visa.

Do you need a TEFL certification to teach in Thailand?

Contrary to popular assumption, you’re not legally obliged to hold a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification to teach in Thailand.

That being said, a TEFL certification does give a certain edge over other candidates with similar qualifications during job interviews.

Obtaining this certification is also recommended because you’ll receive prior training in lesson planning, class management, as well as basic teaching techniques, so you’ll be better prepared for your upcoming position.

2. Get a Legit Organization to Sort Your PaperWork

A smart move on your side would be applying for teaching through an organized school or program.

Such legitimate establishments will save you the hassle of completing the necessary paperwork for your visa and work permit. This will cost a bit of extra money, but it’ll

allow you to dedicate enough time and effort to the job rather than worrying about official aspects and over-exhausting yourself.

Otherwise, you’ll need to do all the work on your own, which will have you jumping through bureaucratic hoops! So here are some pointers if you decide against applying through an organization:

  • Work Permits – The government in Thailand requires a lot of documents to grant you a work permit, including numerous contracts an official papers to be signed by the school’s director. The school won’t prioritize taking care of such business for you.
  • Non-B Immigrant Teaching Visa – this one needs an even more complicated process that involves obtaining the visa first then changing it into a work permit.

In any case, you want to avoid working for a school that doesn’t want to give you proper documents and permits, or you can get into some serious trouble.

3. Choose Between Private, Government, or International Schools

After securing a legit organization to apply through, it’s time for you to decide what type of school or institute you want to be teaching at. In Thailand, you can choose between private, government-owned, as well as international schools and institutes.

But what should you base your decision on? Well, I’d say there are 3 main points for you to consider which are: working hours, pay rates, and communication.

  • Working Hours – government schools are on the winning side when it comes to working hours and schedules. They generally offer a simple Monday to Friday schedule with little to no obligations to work nights or weekends.

Government schools also give you the chance to celebrate and enjoy all the public and local holidays, so they can be a better choice if you’re more interested in learning about the culture of the country.

On the other hand, private and international schools are likely to require you to work on nights and weekends, especially in language institutes where your students will mostly be working people, business professionals, or students attending after their official work or school hours.

  • Pay – this is perhaps the most important aspect for teachers trying to make a decent living abroad. Typically, private schools will offer a bit more pay than government schools and international schools will offer the most.
  • Communicating – another aspect you should probably consider is communication.
  • For private and international schools, there’s a bigger chance the director will be a native English speaker and the staff will consist of several other ex-pats, so you won’t have trouble communicating with individuals at work.

On the other hand, if you choose a government school, you’ll probably be the only foreigner working there (or one of the very few). Unless you speak Thai, this will make it difficult for you to understand and communicate with colleagues.

Remember, private and international schools are far more competitive than government schools when it comes to qualifications. Applicants with TEFL certifications and lots of experience are typically favored when hiring.

4. Closely Review Your Contract

You made your decision and managed to land a position at a suitable school or institute? Well, before you celebrate and embark on your new journey, take the time to understand exactly what you’re signing up for.

Employers in Thailand will often request that you sign a contract that’s written fully in Thai. Now unless you’re really diligent in this language, you won’t be able to read, much less understand, the conditions printed on the papers.

In such cases, demand an English copy and don’t take no for an answer. This way, you’ll be able to closely study the ins and outs of the contract to know your duties and rights.

If you’re not careful, you may end up obligated to work on weekends at English camps or in your free time preparing students for competitions, unpaid hours of course.

So do yourself a favor and don’t sign anything you don’t understand. This is your livelihood at stake.

5. Know When, Where, and How to Find a Job

To find a teaching job, there are basically 2 options you can try: online application and in-person application.

Applying Online

The best advantage of online application is that you can land a job before you even land in Thailand! (See what I did there?)

You can secure a position right from the comfort of your home without having to dress up and make your way door to door handing out CVs.

You just need a device with internet access so you can search for online job listings and submit your resume/application. Yes, it’s as simple as that.

A fantastic website to help you get started is Ajarn, which is solely dedicated to listing jobs in Thailand.

Applying In-person

Applying in-person is exactly what it sounds like; going down there and doing it yourself.

This means you’ll travel to the town where you want to work in Thailand, make a list of schools there, print out a bunch of copies of your resume/CV, dress professionally, and visit each school to inquire about vacancies.

Obviously, this approach isn’t as convenient as applying online when it comes to effort, time, and money. However, it does have a couple of perks.

First of all, many schools (mostly government and private) in Thailand don’t post their available positions online. So you’re starting with an advantage here.

Secondly, your potential boss may be particularly impressed when they see your professional manner, fluent speech, and well-rounded personality. This can also quicken the hiring process.

When Should you Start Applying?

The school year in Thailand starts in early to mid-May and ends in March, while universities and international schools usually begin in August. The best time to apply for a teaching job would be about 1 month before the school year takes off, which is when the majority of hiring happens.

Alternatively, a good time to apply would also be during mid-year breaks in October (government and private schools) and January (universities and international schools).

6. Watch How you Act and Dress

A very important aspect of teaching and living in Thailand is how you conduct yourself. It’s crucial that you give this culture the respect it deserves, so don’t hesitate to ask and learn as much as you can about the acceptable etiquette.

The Teacher’s Council of Thailand actually requests this as a criterion for anyone thinking about taking up a teaching position.

This is because Thai culture is very different from what Westerners are used to, so it’s best to come educated in Thai manners, religion, customs, and monarchy departments to avoid unintentional conflict and establish good relations with students and colleagues.

  • Behavior – knowing how to act respectfully is shouldn’t be too tricky once you catch up on Thai traditions and etiquette. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll do something bizarre, but you may not know that a certain action is actually offending.

For example, students and teachers gather every morning to sing the national anthem and raise the flag. If you’re not there or if you show signs of boredom, it’d be considered offensive.

Another offensive act would be putting your feet up on a chair. Yes, that’d be considered rude because Thai people look upon feet as one of the dirtiest parts of a person.

You should also take into account the saying: “We run on Thai time” because, well, you’ll actually be in Thailand where people are never on time. So don’t be too surprised or upset about their lack of punctuality and just embrace it!

  • Attire – when in Thailand, you need to dress conservatively. So yea, don’t walk around in short shorts or tight leggings. Jeans, flip flops, and bold shirts are also considered inappropriate classroom attire.

No, you don’t have to dress like a nun, but be smart about your attire. Go for collared long-sleeved or short-sleeved shirts, dark skirts (no shorter than knees) and dress pants, as well as wrinkle-free shirts. Male teachers, in particular, should wear belts.

7. You Don’t Need to Speak Thai

You may not have been expecting this, but you don’t really need to know how to speak or even understand Thai, inside the classroom at least.

In fact, most schools prefer it when their native-speaking English teachers don’t speak Thai. The idea here is to create a fully immersive experience in your classroom so it’ll help the students learn faster.

Ideally, you’ll be teaching pupils with a decent knowledge of the English language from their previous studies over the years, so your role would be to aid them in improving their pronunciation and conversational skills, as well as guiding them in practicing what they already learned. You can complete such tasks without uttering a Thai word.

That being said, learning a few simple words and commands can come in very handy when you’re working with younger students, teaching abstract words, or being unable to use your hands in miming certain concepts.

Wrap Up

Recently, more and more foreigners are choosing Thailand as their destination to spend an easy year off (or a couple!) while earning a solid living by teaching English.

The above-mentioned tips for teaching English in Thailand will help you get on the wagon and make the experience both rewarding and enjoyable for yourself as well as your students.

The Stages of Writing Development

writing development

From their first year, young children start their long journey to be able to read and write. However, this journey isn’t a straightforward process. It passes through different stages of development.

Whether you’re a parent or a caring teacher, you’ll find everything you need to know about these stages here. Today, we’re going to explain the stages of writing development and the best ways to make the most out of each stage. Let’s dive in!

What Do the Stages of Writing Development Mean?

When young children learn to write, they pass through a lot of stages. Each one of these steps reflects the growing knowledge in the child’s brain. This knowledge is among other multiple aspects, where they all share in the final process of writing.

These aspects include the different rules of literacy. This also includes the children’s ability to add letters, sounds, and including spacing between words within a sentence.

Almost every interaction a child has with the surrounding world can help them to become a writer and a reader.

Are Stages of Writing Development the Same for Every Child?

It doesn’t necessarily need to happen in the same way among all children. A child may find difficulties through a specific stage, while the other doesn’t. However, the second kid may find a generally easier step a harder task, while the first kid considers it easier.

They can also vary at the time of development. This indicates that there isn’t a definitive barrier between the stages. As a result, we conclude that these stages of development are more fluid than we think.

What Are the Different Stages of Writing Development?

In the past, several models of writing development used different words to label these stages. Not only did they use different labels, but they also had various descriptions for them.

However, they were all close in meaning and carry the same general idea. This helped researchers rename, merge, and expand these stages over time.

Since then, we have more robust terms to describe each stage. These stages are the foundations of writing. Here’s a list with each one of them in order:

  • Drawing
  • Scribbling
  • Letter-like forms
  • Strings in letters or random letters
  • Writing with invented spelling
  • Conventional spelling

Students start in the preliterate stage. This stage includes drawing and scribbling. Then, they move to the early emergent stage, where start making letter-like forms and structures.

By the end of the early emergent, the students mature into the full emergent stages, where they begin writing strings in letters or random ones.

After the emergent stage, students start using inventive spelling, which is known as the transitional stage.

Finally, they reach the fluency stage, where they find themselves flowing writers who can use standard spelling.

Drawing

This is where most children begin their writing careers. Before this stage, toddlers, aged 1 to 2 years old, hold on crayons but in a clenched fist.

Although they gradually understand the purpose of crayons, they don’t seem to correlate it with writing. This is mainly because they don’t fully understand language yet, as it’s just beginning to take off.

However, this stage is followed by the preschoolers’ stage, in which kids (aged 3 to 4) continue to grasp the crayons with a full fist. But, they start to explore differently as they continue to learn from their surroundings.

When they first begin to draw, they can start anywhere on the page. These drawings are in the form of some wavy lines or large circular strokes. They can also use random marks that don’t resemble anything.

The drawings look like any random assortment of strokes on a child’s paper. Sometimes, these marks are larger or more circular. With time, they shift to the symbolic stage, in which these random strokes might have some resemblance with a drawing or carry a meaning.

They start to tackle different drawings and forms. These drawings are a record of their thoughts and ideas. You might also find them extremely proud of their accomplishments. The best tools at that stage are crayons, thick markers, pencils, and white paper.

When students start drawing, they believe that their drawings represent words and writing. They always convey a message that has a specific meaning.

That’s why whenever you ask them to read out what they’ve drawn, they can always read these drawings as if it were writing to them.

There’s no surprise in that. parents and teachers teach children this technique when they read picture-books to them. Although it’s indirect and there aren’t any words, they start to tell the story by reading these pictures to children.

Even when students are learning to write naturally, they keep doing this behavior. When they shift from drawing to scribbling, these scribbles carry definitive meanings as well.

Helpful Teaching Tips for the Drawing Stage

To help children speed up the transition to meaningful drawing and scribbles, you can do the following:

Set a Regular Time for Drawing Sessions

You should dedicate a specific amount of time every day for this purpose. Give the child a large sheet of unlined paper along with colorful markers and crayons.

Ask them to draw anything they want. These sessions should last for at least 10 minutes every day. Remember to call this session a writing session. “Let’s write!“

Engage with the Drawing

You should be there when they’re drawing. As the children start scribbling, engage them in a conversation about things that make sense to them. For example, ask them to write a “ball” or a “bike”.

After they’re finished drawing these items, ask them what are they. When they say what the drawing means, you can write the word next to the picture. This can help them get exposed to more words.

Scribbling and Letter-like forms

In this stage, they gradually stop holding crayons in a clenched fist. Instead, they start to hold their writing tools in a similar fashion of how they see adults hold them. It’s usually common for kids at that age to use both techniques at the same time.

They can also combine scribbling and drawing together. At this point, kids begin to understand what is a word and what isn’t. This means that from here on, scribbling as well as drawing are both intentional and mean something.

By this stage, the children gradually move towards the directional scribble stage. They become more aware of the direction of words. They know that words are written from left to right in a linear way.

They continue to develop in their writing, in which they reach the stage of the symbolic or mock letters. As children are exposed to more prints, their scribble starts to take more letter-like formations.

This represents the beginning of the early emergent stage. The students also grow more aware of the different symbols and shapes that make up words.

While their scribbles might resemble letters at this stage, it isn’t intentional. It usually features numbers and has less spacing between each scribble.

At this stage, students can talk about their scribbles and drawings. They slowly start moving from mock letters to real letters. However, the letters stay random.

Helpful Teaching Tips for the Scribbling Stage

Similar to the drawing stage, there are some helpful tips that can aid children and students in this stage.

Relate a Story to Words

Write simple stories along with the students and repeat the words as you speak them. This encourages them to be exposed to more letters and words.

Use Labels on Items

You can also add labels to items such as fruits, toys, and school supplies. Additionally, you can label the children’s desks with their name.

Similarly, you can have a morning message every day for the children, and read it out as you write it.

Ask the Children to Write Lists During Pretend Play

For example, if you’re playing shopping, ask them to write a shopping list. You can also ask them to write a list of things they want in other games. This can help them to ad more space between their scribbles, and you’ll notice letter-like forms quicker.

Strings in Letters or Random Letters

Through the late stage of letter-like scribble and the beginning of the random letters, children achieve remarkable growth. They learn how to write their names. They also learn to write the same letters differently and read their own writing.

They become able to write simple forms of writing, such as letters, messages, and lists. Their language is simple and close to the oral structure of the words. This means that they began to correlate between spoken and written words.

They also realize that these printed words carry a message that they should understand. Upon more development into this stage, children become able to write understandable letters. Despite their little development in the sound-to-letter relationship, they still can’t match all sounds.

You can notice long strings of various letters that go left to right. Children at that stage usually write in capital letters and are yet to fully understand the spacing concept. You might also notice that children label the picture with a letter that matches the word.

It’s also at that stage that you’ll notice that they copy letters and words from their surrounding environment. It’s also observed that they use letter sequences that are mostly learned from their name.

Helpful Teaching Tips for the Random Letters Stage

To help children through this stage you should continue using the tips from the previous stage. Additionally, you should add new applications to your method.

Provide a Dedicated Writing Spot

Prepare a writing center at home and provide more chances for the children to use it. It should contain different types of writing materials. For example, it should have glitter crayons, markers, envelopes, magnetic letters, and a whiteboard.

Engage Them with Real Writing

Let them see you write down shopping lists, messages, letters, and fill out forms. Also if they’re students in a class, you can use various methods such as word cards and pen-pals within the class.

Writing with Inventive Spelling

At this stage, the children should know most of the alphabet and correlate them with letter sounds. They’re able to write their names consistently and label pictures with their first letter at the very least.

They occasionally use a single letter to represent an entire syllable. When they don’t know the conventional spelling, they create their own invented spelling to make up for it. However, they advance in using spacing but not completely.

They advance from writing the first sound to writing the final sound. Eventually, they’ll be able to write the middle sound. For example, the word “brown” is initially written as “B”, then “BN”, and finally “BRN”.

Helpful Teaching Tips for the Invented Spelling Stage

Practice makes champions. It’s highly essential to keep the writing time on a daily basis. This provides the children with more time to develop their writing towards the fluency level.

Here are some additional tips to implement on this stage.

Don’t Spell Every Word

Now that the children can have some sort of spelling for each word, it’s advisable to fight the urge of spelling every word for them. Give them time to improve their sound-to-letter relationship.

Alphabet Chart

Bring a simple chart with letters and pictures to give the children a reference for the spelling-sound.

Conventional Spelling

As the writing level matures, the number of invented letters decreases. At a certain point, the children enter the fluency level. At this stage, they’re able to write more words with correct spelling and standard letters.

Helpful Teaching Tips for the Conventional Spelling Stage

Now that writing itself is getting out of the way, it’s time to develop the ability to write for different purposes. You can apply this through the following:

Expand on Writing Structure and Word Sources

Teach the children to use spelling dictionaries when they don’t know how to write a word. Additionally, whenever they’re ready, introduce basic punctuation and capitalization rules to them.

Teach Them Writing for different Purposes

This includes letters, messages, and notes. You can also teach them to write journals and choose topics for them.

Wrap Up

It’s important to remember that every child learns at their own pace. This means that there will be variations between each kid moving through these writing stages.

With that said, you now know everything about the different stages of writing development. By applying the valuable tips we provided for each stage, you’re going to ensure the maximum learning capacity for the children.

The Three Magical Words In Korean – How to Say ‘I Love You’ the K-Style

I love you in Korean is a simple expression. The way to say I love you in Korean is Sa Rang He.

Learning the language of love might not need words but the simple phrase saying I love you in Korean will help you get started. More and more people are getting attached to the Korean language every day.

While it’s impossible to learn an entire language from an article, let me introduce a simple sentence in Korean.

“I Love You” might be your introduction to Korean because after all, this easy phrase could be one of the most helpful and important things you can say.

I Love You in Korean Culture

There are different ways to say it in the Korean culture; it’s based on how close you are to the person you’re addressing and on the context. Because it’s not the same speaking to your significant other and talking to a member of your family, the Koreans have developed their own ways of saying this sentence.

It’s not like English, where the word “love” is limited to a certain use or occasion. You’ll find that people in America, for instance, take this word more seriously, while Korean people use it more comfortably.

Love in Korean doesn’t necessarily mean you’re serious about your relationship with someone if you use it. But in America, you’ll use the L-word after you’ve thought thoroughly about your relationship, and you’ve decided it’ll last for a lifetime.

Also, the person receiving it will know this is a big deal. After all, it’s a matter of difference in culture and traditions.

Different Ways to Say “I Love You” in Korean

1.   The Formal Way to say I love you in Korean

사랑합니다 (saranghapnida)

This way is used when addressing a person you don’t know. But it’s not common due to its nature. However, there are occasions you might need to use it, like after you’ve given a wedding toast or speech.

2.   The Standard Way to say I love you in Korean

사랑해요 (saranghaeyo)

You can use this form when addressing your family members or your friends. Although you’ll find a special way to tell your significant other that you love them, you can use this phrase nonetheless. Also, you use it when you speak to elders.

3.   The Informal Way to say I love you in Korean

사랑해 (saranghae)

You’ll find the only difference between this phrase and the one before it is the polite ending 요. You must be aware of this simple change, because now you’re being more intimate. This phrase is usually used when speaking to your spouse.

You can also use it when speaking to your dearest friend, or people younger than you.

Pro tip: if you want to ask someone if they love you, just simply say the same phrase with a higher intonation at the end. 사랑해?

4.   The Special Way to say I love you in Korean

사랑행 (saranghaeng)

Here’s your chance to get extra mushy with your spouse or significant other. Simply, add the to the previous informal way, and you’ll get a cuteness bonus.

Including Korean Names

Now that you know how to use different ways to express affection, you might try using I Love You with a name. It’s pretty easy, just add the person’s name as follows, but remember to pay attention to social hierarchy.

‘저는 (person’s name)씨를 사랑해요’

However, if you’re addressing a Korean person, there’s an important grammar rule when saying Korean names:

●      If a Korean name ends in a consonant, add 아(ah) to the end of it.

●      If it ends in a vowel, add 야 (ya) to the end of it.

Extra Phrases

If we’re talking about expressing love, then we might as well consider other related expressions. In the following shortlist, you might find some helpful phrases. These are other phrases you might say other than I love you in Korean.

1.   Will you marry me?

나와 결혼해 줄래요? (Nawa gyeolhonhae jullaeyo?)

This is the basic and straightforward way to propose in Korean. Just to be sure I haven’t been to vague here… Asking someone to marry you is not taken lightly in Korea. You’ll need to do a lot a lot of preparation before you can pop the question. So be sure you have everything in order first.

2. I have a crush on you

나는 너에게 반했어 (Naneun neoege banhaeseo)

If it’s a simple crush and you’re feeling lucky, go ahead and seize the day by saying this phrase. No one really uses this but if you want to be bold then try it out.

3. Would you like to go on a date with me?

저랑 데이트 하실래요? (Jeorang deiteu hashillaeyo?)

Here’s your shot to ask your Korean crush out. Use this cute-sounding question. Be sure you ask this. You don’t want to have someone think you are just going out as friends.

4. Why do you love me?

왜 나를 사랑해? (Wae Na-reul Sa-rang-hae?)

Sometimes we feel the need to hear the answer. When the time comes, ask away without hesitation! This you will probably hear a lot. Most Koreans are extremely modest by nature its synonymous with politeness. It’s best to answer this sincerely and not ask it too much.

5. I want to stay friends.

난 친구로 지내고 싶어 (Na-do, Na-do Bo-go-sip-peul-ggua-ya!)

You might as well learn how to reject someone. It’s not easy, but you have to say it anyway. This almost doesn’t exist in Korean culture. Once you break up, you don’t talk to eachother anymore. Even if its a good break up. This might be changing in more modern parts of Korea (like in Seoul) but don’t count on it. If you are ready to take things down a level don’t be surprised if you lose a friend as well.

Wrap Up

By now you know plenty of Korean phrases, including the life-changing three words. Hopefully, you now know how to express love, ask someone out on a date, and even reject the person you’ve been running from for long!

Korean is a fun language, and maybe after reading this article, you’ll want to know more about Korea’s culture and tradition. Also, you might find yourself drawn to the language itself.

For the first while it might look difficult, but you’ll find out that its grammar and alphabet are easy.

If this article shook your inner linguist, then go ahead and learn Korean. You might find yourself fluent quicker than you think!

 

20 Things You Must Know About Korean Culture

A foreign country means foreign customs and cultures – exactly what most of us are looking for. While South Korea is quite modernized in many ways, there are some eccentricities to expect while in Korea. If you really want to dig into Korean culture you need to learn the language. Click here to visit Korean Class 101 to get started learning online.

Before the list lets take a quick look at some general ideas about Korean history and language.

Here are some important facts to Know About South Korean Culture:

  1. Take off your shoes when you arrive
  2. Don’t be too surprised to see the Korean people using their middle finger
  3. Lots of Korean people do not speak English
  4. The Seoul subway system is huge but not too difficult to navigate
  5. Ladies, the typical Korean female has little problem showing off their legs

(Continue Reading the rest of the list below)

Korea has a history of being isolated and neutral. They have changed a lot during the 2oth and 21st Centuries. There is a strong social family feeling. To fit in with the culture you need to show interest in the language. It is also a good idea to try all the food and learn to love it.

Korea feels a bit like an ‘inside group’.  You remember when you try to talk to a group of friends and they laugh about something random and then say “oh that’s an inside joke, sorry.” You feel kind of left out and wanting to know what the story behind that joke was.  I feel like the whole country of Korea is like that.

>>Click here to read the List of Differences between South Koreans and Americans<<

But admission to that “group” requires some basic things: proficiency in the language, a love of the food, and unfortunately a Korean face. This is not always the case but I’d say around 80% of the time (as of this writing in 2017) if you have at least 2 of those 3 things you can fit in culturally.

So keep this in mind as you travel to Korea.  That the people here have always had a strong identity and that identity is strongly associated with their language and appearance. Once you pass the first few months of welcome then you may start to wonder why you can’t seem to get “in.” Don’t worry. It isn’t easy. But the people I have seen succeed are always those who just stay positive and learn to love the food.

And Now for the List of the Top 20 Things You Must Know About Korean Culture

Photo of shoes outside a temple, South Korea

1. Take off your shoes when you arrive – or not.

An increasing number of time-crunched locals are going the Western way and keeping their shoes on their feet. Since you probably won’t know which camp your host is in, follow their lead to be absolutely sure. Korean people are getting more comfortable with non-Koreans wearing shoes in their house. Its still best to ask but generally they will tell you its ok to wear your shoes, if they don’t then the default should be to remove them.

I had a friend the other day ask why Americans wear their shoes on the bed. He saw a movie or tv show where someone just plopped on the bed after coming home from work with his shoes on. I told him that isn’t common but he was very shocked.

2. Don’t be too surprised to see Korean people using their middle finger to point, tap a touch screen, or otherwise refer to something.

There’s no insult intended with the gesture – it’s just the longest finger hitting the button first.

I had a few co-workers who were ‘older’ and always used their middle finger when pointing at something (or someone) during a work presentation. We started having more American clients and they were a bit shocked when they first saw the middle finger used like this.

We tried getting them to change but it was too tough. My 5 year old now uses his middle finger for everything and its not easy getting him to change either.

Photo of a sign with a poor English translation, Jeju Island South Korea
Photo of Poor English Translation, Jeju Island South Korea © benkucinski

3. For most locals, English is sorely lacking

This means good job prospects for English teachers, but finding a local to communicate in good English is a tall order. Don’t be surprised to be mistaken for an English teacher, and try to handle their practiced questions gracefully. This is actually changing. Now it isn’t difficult to find an English speaker. If you just ask around in Seoul in any crowded area or on the subway you should find at least a few English speakers.

4. The Seoul subway system is huge, the lines sometimes long, and the ajummas are pushy.

The trains don’t run 24 hours, however, so making a long trip or more than one transfer after 11pm begins to push it. Instead, keep your eyes for some of the buses that run well after the subways shut down. Several late-night buses leave from Yangjae station (line 3) while others leave from Sadang station (line 4). If you’re close to one of those stations, try one of the buses there before resorting to a taxi.

5. Ladies, the typical local has little problem showing off their legs – thus the abundance of short shorts and skirts.

Most of the locals would look (stare) at someone with uncovered shoulders, however. Don’t ask me what’s going through their minds – just avoid sleeveless shirts or spaghetti strap shirts. Also cleavage is getting to be more common but in general the rule is cover the top and show off the legs. (unless you want to be stared at then go with the opposite :).

<<2019 Update>>

This seems to have really changed in the past year or so. Especially in Seoul. So pretty much all fashions are accepted. Have fun!

>>Click here to go over to Korean Class 101 and start learning Korean.<<

6. Men, if out on a date, be prepared to pay for most everything.

Equality in paying is becoming more common, but a woman might lose face if she’s the one handing over a card. This goes double if you’re the oldest one at the table. And split checks is usually frown upon especially by the restaurant so if you want to split up the check with friends then its best to do it on your own and not involve the restaurant.

Photo of a hooka lounge in Hongdae, Seoul South Korea
Photo of Hongdae Hooka Lounge, Seoul South Korea © seafaringwoman

>>2019 Update<<

This is still a thing. I personally am not in the dating scene anymore but from what I hear this hasn’t changed much. But open dialogue about paying is more accepted now. Also you’ll need to pick up on some cues but don’t over think it. Just play it cool and say something.

7. Hongdae and Itaewon are the two most popular areas with foreigners that like to party.

If you like to be catered to and see English menus, you’ll feel right at home. If you came to experience the Korean version of nightlife, get thee to Kondae (Konkuk University, line 2) or Sinchon (also line 2). While some foreigners also visit these areas, you’ll notice fewer English menus (a great chance to practice your Korean!)

8. Speaking of Sinchon, there’s actually two of them.

One is Sinchon (pronounce it ‘Sin-CHOWN’) and is in northwest Seoul near Hongdae. The other is Sincheon (pronounce it ‘Sin-CHAWN’) and is in southeast Seoul near Jamsil. More than a few locals have to pronounce it carefully to make sure they meet their friends at the same one!

9. When you’re ready for a day trip out of Seoul, the country is your oyster.

Virtually all of mainland Korea is roundtrippable in one day, thanks to an excellent train and express bus system. While the Korea people often reserve their tickets ahead of time, the process is bit harder for foreigners to do. Your best bet is to head to a train station, where you can reserve tickets well ahead of time – in ENGLISH! – through an automated ticketing machine.

10. Speaking of trains, sometimes the train has sold out of seats and you’ll have to take a standing room ticket.

This does not mean you’ll be standing the whole time. It just means there’s no seat available for your entire trip. When you first get on, take a look around to see if there are any empty seats. Be prepared to give up your seats to the legitimate ticket holder as you approach a station, of course. On most Sunday night trains coming back to Seoul, it’ll be PACKED – something to experience once, but otherwise it’s worth avoiding.

Photo of K-Pop performers in South Korea
Photo of K-Pop Performers, South Korea © UNC – CFC – USFK

11. People tend to fall into one of two camps when it comes to K-pop: you love it or you tolerate it.

You’ll hear it almost everywhere you go, and there’s not much you can do about it. If it’s not K-pop, it’s either techno (even on a Monday morning!) or a selection of Western pop songs.

<<2019 Update>>

So, not sure if its just that I’ve grown up or that this has actually changed but there are a lot of genres of music in Korea now. And it seems to me like more and more Koreans are moving away from traditional KPOP style bands. But they will still know all the gossip and pop culture, just might not admit it.

12. Riding the bus – get on, pay your money, and get ready for a ride!

Bus drivers follow a couple rules of the road, but that’s about it. Don’t expect them to wait for you to find a seat or get your things situated – they don’t do that for the locals, and they don’t certainly don’t do that for the foreigners, either.

Photo of a bus ticket, South Korea
Photo of Bus Ticket, South Korea © LWY

<<2019 Update>>

Common theme on these updates… communicate! You can talk to your bus driver, even if its through a translation app on your phone (still don’t see many English speaking bus drivers) and let me know your situation. They will be accommodating for the most part.

*also, FYI thats an old picture of a bus ticket from Central City to Gwangju, its not quite that cheap anymore.

13. Speaking of buses, a number of in the front half of the bus are reserved for the old, the handicapped, and the pregnant.

Unless you happen to fit into one of those categories, make your way to the back of the bus. The older generation has no qualms about putting you in your place if you happen to be in ‘their’ seat! The same goes for the seats at either end of any subway car.

14. One of the biggest complaints among foreigners who live in Korea are the taxi drivers.

Most speak little English, although some might want to practice their English on you! Have your destination written in Korean if possible, and get in the car instead of asking through the window. Crossing town shouldn’t cost more than 35,000 Korean won (about $30 USD), unless there’s some serious traffic.

Uber does have a presence in Seoul (not other cities yet) but its more like a premium service. Most of the cars are high end cars and the drivers are older and have a lot of experience. Unless you get some kind of coupon or deep discount I would just stick with the regular taxis.

Photo of shop at an open market, South Korea
Photo of Shop in an Open Market, South Korea © Gaël Chardon

15. The easy rule to remember when bargaining: if a price is posted, it’s generally not open for negotiation; if no price is posted, take that as the first price offered.

Most places tend to offer a pretty fair price to begin with, so negotiation isn’t even really needed. If paying in cash, ask about a cash price – using a credit card will add a percentage to the final price, since most vendors will pass the transaction fee onto you. Department store or larger stores won’t charge extra to use a credit card, but you won’t find anyone willing to negotiate with you.

>>2019 Update<<

Negotiate all you want. More and more sellers, especially on the streets are just looking to get a customer. Posted prices or no, try a nego.

16. For better or worse, the Confucian mindset prevails and permeates throughout Korean culture.

Imagine a giant totem pole, where people stacked on top of each other. One is ‘above’ another based on their age, their gender, and their position in the working place. Therefore, don’t be offended when you’re asked your age. It’s a way of figuring out whether you’re above or below them. Age is actually just one of many ways of connecting. People want to find ways of having common ground with others that isn’t based on merit but on uncontrollable things like age. So just go along with it. If you are the same age as someone, show your enthusiasm.

17. If enjoying Korea on a Monday, you may notice a problem – lots of stores and sights are closed!

A lot of businesses are of the ‘mom-and-pop’ variety, and Monday is the best day to take a day off. A few places close on Sunday instead, leaving Monday an excellent day to go exploring. But keep in mind that you may not get the same customer service as you do in the big marts. The malls and nice restaurants will be super good service but the mom and pop shops might not even want to try and talk to you if you can’t speak Korean.  This is becoming more rare but just keep that in mind.

18. The country’s attitude towards recycling is wonderful – and sometimes completely ignored by the locals.

Don’t be that guy that stuffs food waste into the recycling bin or drops your bottle just because you can’t find a trash can. Any bathroom will have a trash can, and most subway stations have some by the turnstiles. Ask around to people about where you should throw things away. Most people know even though they might not follow it.

<<2019 Update>>

I’ve seen first hand that this is the case still. Remember save face, you don’t want people to see your not recycling but you may not be personally invested.

19. Speaking of bathrooms, the locals throw their used paper in a bin next to the commode instead of flushing it on down.

You’ll probably say this is unsanitary, and you’d be right. Public restrooms have gotten a lot better in recent years, but it’s still a good idea to keep a package of paper in your bag (or pick some up at a convenience store or the vending machine outside most subway station bathrooms)

Photo of a bottle of soju, Seoul, South Korea
Photo of Soju, Seoul South Korea © grahamhills

<<2019 Update>>

Ask Ask. Well maybe not the person in the next stall, but if there is a bin with toilet paper in it there will usually also be a sign (sometimes in English and Korean) telling you to throw away paper in the bin and not in the toilet. But most apartments and modern buildings have good plumbing. If that is the case then its pretty nasty and kind of rude to not flush that tp.

20. The last tip to pass on: watch out for the soju.

The green glass bottle of 20% ABV alcohol costs a mere 1,000 won at convenience stores (about 95 cents USD) and about twice that at a bar or restaurant. Drink it out of shot glasses, and sip judiciously unless you want to get drunk fast. A number of people prefer mixing it with yogurt (I personally enjoy cutting it with cranberry juice) to avoid the taste of rubbing alcohol. Alcohol is often the best way to meet people in Korea. I say meet but I mean get to know (been in Korea too long).

The Weather in Incheon

Current Weather in Incheon

The current weather in Incheon South Korea can be found by going to the link below on naver

https://weather.naver.com/rgn/cityWetrCity.nhn?cityRgnCd=CT001028

Sometimes this is gets changed up a bit but if you aren’t fluent in Korean you can still get some value out of this weather widget.

( I don’t recommend your normal weather apps, they might be slightly accurate but in Korea the Korean apps are way better)

You should be able to recognize the temperate in degrees (will be shown in Celsius, you can google Celsius to Fahrenheit to get the conversion). Above that you might see something like 06시 현재 (the first two digits will change depending on the current time). The next character means ‘hour’ so its talking about the current hour. This is telling you the current temperature.

Below that you might see:

어제보다 -2℃| 강수확률0%
미세먼지 보통

어제보다 – means difference in temperature from yesterday

강수확률 – chance of rain/snow

미세먼지 – airpolution/pollen/and dust particles

보통 – means normal

The next blocks will show the forecast with highs and lows as well as morning and evening averages.

Normal Weather in Incheon

Average temperatures in Incheon are very similar to Seoul. It does get a little more humid due to the proximity to the ocean but that also brings a more cool breeze in the summer time.

It does snow in the winter and there are a few places to go by the beach in summer.

History of Weather in Incheon

The coldest month is January with an average low of negative 5 Celsius or 23 Fahrenheit and the hottest month is August with an average high of 29 Celsius or 84 Fahrenheit.

Overall the weather is very pleasant. Locals do complain about the dust and pollution but it general it is a little better than Seoul.