Should you go to Korea or China to teach? It’s a tough question that depends on your priorities and circumstances.
To give you some background about me: I’ve taught in Korea for nearly five years, and I’m currently doing my second year in China. I started out teaching at language academies in Korea, then took a job teaching subjects (Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts, Math) at an elementary school whilst pursuing certification. Once I finished that, I ended up heading to China from Korea. China was *not* on my radar at all but a good opportunity came up—so I took it!
I’ve noticed that a lot of misinformation gets tossed around about both places, so I wanted to spell out many of the differences that I’ve noticed.
I’ll write about Korea and China in general as much as I can, but in essence I’m comparing Seoul to Shanghai. I spent most of my time in Korea either in or around Seoul. Even when I didn’t live in Seoul, my entire social life was there. I’ve traveled around China a bit, but I live in Shanghai. I do talk to people who don’t live in Shanghai regularly.
I’ve taught EFL and I’ve taught at an international school. I’ll try to cover both—although I haven’t taught EFL here in China. Again, I am regularly interacting with people who do.