South Korea is a super advanced country and Seoul is the world’s most connected city, brimming with people working hard to gain a competitive edge. Malcom Gladwell’s book “Outliers” will tell you that the reason Maths teachers are not in high demand there is because of the way they were raised – growing and farming rice is much harder than growing wheat, and this cultural difference is what makes a South Korean (or many Asian kids) work harder at solving numbers problems, because it’s ingrained (pardon the pun) in their culture.
But teaching English is a completely different story. South Korea forged strong ties with the United States after the Korean War that last to this day, and this is one of the reasons English is such a sought-after lingual commodity. South Africa, like the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, is one of only a handful of native English-speaking countries from which teachers are accepted.
Depending on experience and qualifications, pay can be anywhere north of R20k per month, with accommodation paid for, and in some cases flights to and from. There is also the possibility of a one-month bonus at the end of the year contract, and the option to renew.
A precursory online search of potential savings that could be made, given the low cost of living in South Korea, could be anywhere from R100,000 per year upwards, provided that expenditure on trips to the Korean countryside and jolling on weekends are within reason.
Rumour has it that the bucks are better in the Middle East and worse in Thailand, but if you place a high value on saving, all indications are that you can do a fair amount of travelling and still save money, either to invest or to have one last amazing trip before you return home.
Some suggest that it is possible to still get hired even to the age of 55, but obviously the younger you are the easier it is, provided that you have the qualifications.
If your day job is drab and dull, this may just be the scene change you were looking for.