Teaching English in Korea Archives

Last call at 2 am? Umm, how about 8 am?

Bars and clubs are just as popular in Korea as anywhere else in the world. From world class night clubs in Busan and Seoul to hole in the wall pubs throughout the cities and towns alike, hitting the town always a good option.

Similar to western countries, Thursday through Saturday nights are usually the busiest, while most popular places are packed every Friday and Saturday night. Teachers in Korea who teach private school typically start at 1:00 or 2:00 pm and finish around 9:00pm, so the party usually gets started pretty late for these teachers.

This is okay in Korea because most bars and clubs do not have a specific closing time. There seem to be no rules or laws saying that a bar can’t serve alcohol or be open at a certain time. In a highly competitive market, bars will usually stay open as long as there are people buying drinks. A typical night usually ends around 4am, but many times you can expect there to be a crowd going strong until 6am or later!

Post Credit: Mitch Benvie 

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Korean Age..? You are older than you think.

A woman in Korea might tell you she is depressed because she is now 30 years old and not married. 30 is typically the the age where people think they should be settled down and married, with Korea being no different. The only problem is that in Korea when someone says that they are 30 years old, they are actually 29, or even 28!

These people who are facing a personal crisis because they are 30 years old, should consider how most of the world determines age and breathe easy for a year or two more!

What am I talking about?

In Korea when you are born you are automatically 1 years old, not zero like most countries. Also, all Korean people change their age, or get a year older on January 1st, not their birthday. So, someone who is born in December could be considered 2 years old on January 1st, even though they are only one month old!

Depending on your actual birthdate, you will always be a year older than back home, or sometimes 2 years older! Sure makes life more stressful!

Post Credit: Mitch Benvie 

Lost in Korea and Need an English Speaker? 

If you need to ask help from a stranger, ask a young adult.

The English boom in Korea is relatively new. While a very small percentage of the older generation can speak some English, the vast majority can’t speak a word.  They will often smile and laugh while trying to help and mime their sentences to you.  However, if you are in more of a rush, or really need assistance now, it is better to go younger.   A lot of University students or young adults can speak at least basic English and will usually be more than willing to help you.  Actually even if you look lost, a younger Korean will probably ask you if you need help.  A lot of Koreans will take the opportunity to help you in order just to practice their English skills, a win-win situation.  Everyone in Korea takes English classes these days starting from elementary school normally.  Many also attend after school programs for more extensive English studies (the hakwons where many of you will end up teaching at if you go to Korea).

I was in my friend’s city, about 4 hours from mine when I was attempting to take the bus home. In my city they have the schedule in English as well as Korean, but that wasn’t the case here. I could not read Korean at this time, and therefore could not find when my bus was scheduled to leave, and did not know how to ask. Luckily for me, as I was staring at the schedule (probably with a confused, or perplexed look on my face), a random Korean guy asked me if I needed help. I told him where I was going and he showed me the schedule and even helped me buy my ticket!  Again, “thanks man! Appreciated.”

Post Credit: Mitch Benvie 

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