The experience of being an ESL teacher in Korea and China can be very different for single teachers as opposed to couples. Both countries offer a great opportunity to travel and meet new people. From our experience, single teachers tend to a have a great time and often decide to stay on after their initial contract is complete.
Single in Korea
The majority of schools in Korea, prefer to hire single teachers. One of the main reasons for this is that many schools can only accommodate singles in their rented or owned apartments. Couples usually request a larger apartment or housing allowance.
Public usually on hire one teacher per school, so this makes it easier for them to hire single teachers
Schools believe that unattached teachers are less likely to return home and might be more willing to re-sign their contract.
Single in China
Start up costs in Korea can be a bit higher for single teachers, as they won't be able to pool their accommodation allowance with another teacher. However, it is sometimes possible to get accommodations through the school or company or to find roommates to share the cost of a larger apartment.
Schools in China are just as open to hiring single teachers as they are couples
Single teachers in China can chose to work more and save more and the generous vacation time offered by public schools, allows them plenty of time to travel
WHAT TEACHERS SAY
In terms of meeting expats, everyone who came in August has been really great and we have all become good friends! I am really lucky we all came at the same time, as I'm sure sometimes it doesn't work out so well for other teachers.
I’ve planned a trip to Hong Kong this weekend with a couple of teacher friends. And I’ve already done a bit of traveling on my own to meet friends in Guangzhou and Hengyang. So, I’ve had a good time so far.
It was easy with work and making other connections through my fellow English workers. Outside of school, church has been another area that I have made English speaking friends.