I recently applied for EPIK (my preference was Seoul) and am currently gathering all the documents that EPIK/immigration requires.
I, fortunately, am being guided through the 'red tape' of the application process and am waiting on my interview. However, I have 2 personal concerns - or rather curiosities - of life and work in Korea.
1) HOUSING: Has anyone opted to take the housing allowance instead of taking the housing provided by their employer? I keep hearing lackluster comments about the housing situation provided by EPIK. I will most likely end up teaching in Seoul or Incheon, which makes me worry about the commute to work and the actual appearance of my apartment. I shouldn't be too picky; however, where you live is a major part of your life since it will be my home for the next year or two. I prefer the typical metropolitan style apartments over villa style housing; not to mention the small studio style stairway some apartments have to separate the bed area from the living space. I am reading comments about how EPIK currently offers KRW300,000/month for housing (I'm not even sure if they offer security deposit assistance), which is extremely low since that doesn't even calculate to USD300... Anyone with EPIK housing experience in Seoul?
2) WESTERNIZED NAME: I am a Korean-American and was born in S. Korea. I've lived in the US since I was four and have been a US citizen for the past 10 years. However, I don't have an Americanized first name. I have been considering a pseudonym for myself in order for students to call me by a Westernized name rather than a Korean name. Does anyone agree with me? Opinions? I have considered 'Simon', 'Toby' (my dog's name), 'Jacob', and 'Ethan' (I have always like this name, but Asians generally have a difficult time pronouncing 'th').
For anyone who has lived in Seoul, do you have any personal advice on things to avoid or do? I'm trying to avoid any costly mistakes and to make sure that I get the most out of my personal experience there; that way, I can focus more on being a great teacher.
Total votes 5What nickname do you like? (last name is 'Park')
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