on the Korea forum on July 12, 2014:
My boyfriend has accepted a job in South Korea and we have been talking about whether I should join him over there. I am hesitant, because I am unfamiliar with the language/customs there, but do want to go. I'm just kind of unsure of what I would do there. I don't have a Bachelor's degree, which kind of limits my employment options (read: basically non-existent). I work in retail here in the US but obviously that wouldn't be a viable option in Korea because I don't speak the language. Anyone have advice? Namely: visas, employment, and things to do.
replied most recently with:
You don't say where you are moving to or from (USA? Canada?) but if you are moving to Seoul, you will have more than enough to do! Since you are not married, you will have to enter on a 90-day tourist visa, which means that you will have to leave the country and re- enter it every 90 days to renew your visa. Lots of people make these quick, cheap, weekend 'visa runs' to Japan and the Korean govt doesn't care as long as you have a visa and a means of supporting yourself . You are right that your employment options - besides teaching English - will be limited, but most of us 'trailing spouses' find plenty to do to fill our time, and since most expat jobs in Korea come with housing paid for or heavily subsidized, most people find that they have enough disposable income to travel and enjoy exploring this part of the globe. If you are interested in teaching or tutoring English, you will probably be able to find a part-time gig, even without a degree(and if you do, your employer will provide you with a visa,unless it's something informal like tutoring) but even if you're not working, there is lots to do here and lots of support in the expat community. In Seoul, there is SIWA (Seoul Int'l Women's Association) and AWC (American Women's Club) who have coffee mornings, tours, trips, workshops, classes, activities, parties, receptions, and fundraisers - as well as British, Aussie, and many other national women's groups, many of whom do activities together (I have several American friends who are members of the British group, LOL.) The Korean government provides all kinds of low-cost or free classes and programs for foreigners to learn Korean language and culture, and you can meet people at all the activities and classes. In addition, you will find that the people at your boyfriend's company (especially the other expats) will invite you to participate in all kinds of activities. You do not need to be able to speak Korean to get around here, although it is always good to try and learn as much as you can. It is easy to travel in Korea, and even better, it is fairly cheap to travel to many countries in Asia from here. I can't give you much more information without knowing where you're moving, but almost everyone I've met in the expat community in Seoul loves living here. Feel free to ask any specific questions and I'll answer if I can. Best of luck to you!
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I'm not retired but we live on Jeju Island and I can't imagine why anyone would retire here for medical reasons. The air is bad and people who have never had asthma have it here. I've been in Seoul many times and only seen blue sky twice so it's not different there. On this island the medical care is not good and it's not just my experience (though it did take them over three months to cure a simple bladder infection). If you are hospitalized the nurses give you your meds and food and that is it. Your family has to stay with you 24/7 to help you to the restroom or get you anything else you need. If you want to be x-rayed for almost everything, move here. The cancer rate is high too I've been told by physicians. The cost is cheap but the adage you get what you pay for is so true here. I can't wait to get home where I can get organic food instead of vegetable full of pesticide. I feel this place is damaging my health.
replied to the thread Moving to Korea Need Help
on the Korea forum:
First off thanks for taking the time to read through this post I really appreciate it. My girlfriend and I are planning on moving to Korea in early August of this year and I could really use some help. She will be working as an ESL teacher and I would love to as well, but I am unable to secure an E2 due to the FBI Criminal Background Check. I received a misdemeanor three years ago, for which I was never even booked, simply detained and ticketed, so from what I've been told it wouldn't even be worth my time applying for the visa.
Basically my main question is what kind of work can I find outside of ESL? As an American with no knowledge of Korean I feel like my options may be severely limited. I do have my Bachelors in Business Administration, and am a musician as well (maybe giving guitar lessons?), I work at one of the top Market Research Firms in the US and am 27 years old. Anybody that could possibly give a couple of tips would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks a bunch for your time and help.
Unfortunately it did fall under one of those categories. I was never booked or fingerprinted for the charge, just called in on my court date and paid the fine, I doubt that makes any difference though?
You might still be able to get visa. If the charges were drug or alcohol related you will not be able to.But if it's a minor offense and the school likes you, they can help you with the visa.
I have a misdemeanor in Florida. I was able to write a note to the immigration office and get the E2 visa processed.
Asfar as other work goes..very slim pickings.