Categorized | Expat Life


I really didn’t know what to expect when I moved halfway around the world to teach English in South Korea.  I had done a lot of reading on various websites, but you never really get the feel for things by reading about it on the internet.  I have worked in different places in the past, and I have had many different bosses so I felt I was ready for anything.

I have been in South Korea now for just over 2 months, and the one thing I have learned is nothing will make sense.  Logic just doesn’t seem to exist here, and common sense really isn’t all that common.  The old adage of “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” seems to be lost here.  Things are constantly tweaked or, what is more common, completely changed.  The constant change is actually quite comical at times.

However, none of this bothers me in the slightest.  I really don’t see the point in complaining or trying to change certain things.  It really does not good.  So why waste my energy on trying to change something that will not be changed, and instead put it into something more productive to help both my students and myself.   Sure I have my bad days where I grumble like everyone else.  I think that is only natural, but I refuse to let it rule my life at work.

This isn’t the case with a lot of others here however.  I get the feeling a lot of people don’t want to be here.  It makes me stop and wonder why someone would travel this far to be miserable.  If I have learned anything in my years of working, it is you have to like your job.  You don’t have to love it, and you don’t have to love your boss.  But if you don’t like your job, you will be miserable and you will make those around you unhappy as well.  I think we are all in search of something that makes us happy in life.  Some people find it right away, and others spend years chasing what seems elusive.  This may not be my dream job, but I am very happy with what I do.  I might not have much influence on the system, but I can help mold a young mind and teach them English along the way.  To me that is a very important job, and I take that seriously.

So what have I learned about what to expect in South Korea?  Expect the unexpected.  Things can change in an instant.  It is best to roll with the changes no matter where you are.  I love where I am at right now, and I am thankful to be here.  Everyday here is a new adventure, and I look forward to tomorrow’s.

‘Till then,


About Eric Bynum
I taught ESL for three years in South Korea and now I am looking to set out on a new journey after just finishing my teaching certification in the US. I hope to continue teaching and traveling and you can follow his journeys here.

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