Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I moved to South Korea in March of 2018.
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
I'd say 2.5 years. Two years in a government school in Bangkok and one semester in Esaan.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
I was living paycheck to paycheck. I wasn't saving any money and even if I wanted to stay, the visa laws we're getting stricter and more annoying. I was also getting tired of having to wear a shirt and tie in the heat on my way to work fighting traffic. What a drag that was.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
A number of things. My salary is twice as much and that doesn't include the free housing. I get flight allowance, start up allowance and a completion bonus among other benefits.
Korea is more developed too. The buses are clean and on time. Their subway system is quick and efficient. It's easier to travel from city to city too with no delays or need for a domestic flight like you'd need in Thailand if you want to get around on time.
The visa laws are also not as strict. I don't need to check in every 90 days for my whereabouts. I also don't need to pay for a reentry stamp if I make a visit to a neighboring country.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
I miss the easy lifestyle. It kept the stress level low. I miss the food and cheap beer. Although I didn't like the heat I'm no fan of winter so I do miss the weather for the most part. Lastly I guess the dating possibilities as Korean girls don't put out as easily as in Thailand. It also doesn't help that the xenophobia is higher here than in Thailand.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
It's a good starting point in my opinion, if you have little to no teaching experience. It's also a fun place to be if your main priority is the experience of the country and not the salary/benefits.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
Yes, I go every now and then. It's only 4-5 hours from Korea and I've realized I get much more satisfaction going there as a tourist than I every did when I lived there.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
Do your research before going there. Don't get taken advantage of for being misinformed whether it's being forced to teach Thai teachers or parents for free or being dual priced on the street.
Also find a way to progress or find an exit strategy when the time is right.