I would absolutely recommend choosing Shenzhen. Shenzhen is a foreigner-friendly city with lots to do on any given day or night and, overall, a great community for foreigners. It is easy to get involved with many different groups here depending on your interests. They have something for everyone. The nightlife is great. You will definitely find all of your friends down at Coco Park on pretty much any night of the week/weekend. You can find everything from dance clubs to local bars to just sit and have a chill evening. Another great thing about SZ is that you can easily find an array of local and western food. Between Coco Park and SeaWorld (as well as other areas), you can find pretty much anything you're craving whether its American food, Mexican, Indian, etc. Local cuisine is everywhere, you can't miss it. Public transportation is amazing and very easy to figure out. The fact that the weather is warm all year round is a plus. Once you meet a few friends, you will find that it is very easy to live in Shenzhen. Your friends will know someone who knows someone who is in a group and knows about this thing going on. And before you know it, you know all these different people and know about all the places to go and things to see. SZ is a great city and I love living here!
Daejon, South Korea
I work at a private school. I teach about 27-29 classes each week. I don't really have office hours. I do have to prepare my lessons for the day. I mainly have to provide the materials because our lessons are in a textbook. Yes, there are lots of foreign teachers at my school. There is ten to be exact, but our middle school foreign teachers teach with us as well, so there are 14 of us. I think the classes are rewarding to teach because the kids can improve so much in each class. Seeing their progress is very rewarding and learning about them is rewarding as well. Work and life are quite balanced. I have a lot of time for myself everyday. I really enjoy being able doing a lot of things before work. Back home, my life was quite busy because there were lots of things I had to do before work and had to help lots of people. Out here, I get the chance to focus on myself and to grow. I do feel respected at work. My coworkers are kind to me and we do not have issues with each other. I would recommend my school to a friend.
Mokpo, South Korea
Mokpo has lots of outdoor stuff you can do. There are mountains to climb and hike, rock climbing gym, running paths everywhere. You can sign up for yoga classes, go bowling or swimming at the pools. There are taekwondo gyms, lifting gyms and even more Instagram style gyms for posing as a fitness enthusias. In the summer there are kayaks you can rent on the river. The community is easy to set up events too. You can post your idea and get people together easily for pretty much anything. I've seen knitting groups and even a Settlers of Cataan group pop up. Basically you can do lots of activities here.
Gwangju, South Korea
The expat community here is great, I can see why people say Gwangju is the best city in Korea for expats. There's a foreigner run musical theatre program, sports teams, volunteering opportunities as so much more. These would all be great options for making friends and meeting people but I have to be honest and say that most of the connections I've made have been either by looking through the Gwangju hashtag on Instagram and messaging people, or by just walking up to people on nights out and starting a conversation! People are super welcoming and friendly here.
Gwangju, South Korea
Gwangju is a great city for travelling; we have one of the best bus terminals in the country and you can get to Seoul or Busan in just three hours by bus. They're super comfortable and very convenient. You can make reservations on your phone, but that's not usually necessary. You could also take a train to a lot of places, too. I frequently travel on weekends. Gwangju is great because you also have access to a lot of natural areas or small towns in the surrounding province that might otherwise be hard to get to. Within the city itself, public transportation is also great. I take the bus to work every day and to the downtown area almost every weekend. Kakao Maps is great for working out bus schedules and directions, and Kakao Taxi makes it extremely simple to hail a cab anywhere by using their app.
I work at a public school and teach 18 classes per week, but don't have office hours. I prepare my own lessons for two grade. I have one foreign colleague and we both love our classes and our school. Our students are high-level, so we are able to speak quite a bit with them during lessons, and after. Work life balance is good, although the older I get the more tired I am at night, ha. I would say the main difference here, compared to my old job in marketing, is that I don't get stressed and sad on Sundays. I used to always get anxious about what the new work week would bring, but now it doesn't phase me and I'm happy to go to work on Monday.
Sandy & Fey
Daejeon, South Korea