When asked about their location preference in Korea, most people quickly blurt out Seoul or Busan. Seoul is an easy choice – it’s the capital and for many aspiring teachers, it’s the only Korean city they know. Busan is right behind Seoul, which intrigues many people with its close proximity to the beach. Don’t get me wrong – Seoul and Busan are both amazing cities. The problem, however, is that there are many other incredible locations that most people completely gloss over. Here are just a few of the best cities in Korea for teaching!
Returning teachers in Korea (teachers who have already taught one year and are looking for another position) most frequently request Daegu. It is located in the southeastern part of the country and has a population of 2.5 million people. That means that it has all of the amenities of a major city, without the hassle and traffic that comes with Seoul. Additionally, the nightlife of Daegu is very centralized. Unlike Seoul, Daegu’s main going-out areas are located very near each other so you can bar hop, restaurant hop and walk around to most of the popular spots quite easily.
Daejeon is the fifth largest city in Korea and is connected to Seoul by subway. It is a cultural hub and boasts one of the country’s most popular events – the Sintanjin Cherry Blossom Festival. Located near the center of the country and at the intersection of Korea’s two biggest railways, it’s probably the most convenient city in Korea for weekend getaways. If you stay in Daejeon, you can hike any one of its impressive mountains or enjoy its seemingly never-ending nightlife!
Gwangju is one of Korea’s historical and cultural epicenters. One popular activity in Gwangju is hiking Mt. Mudeung, which offers spectacular views of the city as well as beautiful Buddhist temples. Afterwards, you can browse the markets at Chungjangno, Gwangju’s main shopping district. Be sure to also check out the area’s countless restaurants, bars and clubs. You’ll find young people there every day of the week!
Home to Korea’s state-of-the-art international airport, Incheon is another great place to live. It shares a metro line to Seoul so you can easily visit there on weekends. It’s also home to Korea’s largest Chinatown, a great place to appreciate authentic Chinese architecture and eat jajangmyeon – a Korean/Chinese noodle dish with a salty black soybean sauce. Another fun activity is visiting Wolmido, a boardwalk replete with games, carnivals and great restaurants. Lastly, head to Songdo, Korea’s most high-tech “smart city” that has a replica of New York’s Central Park.
The fifth and final city on the list is Suwon, which is 30 kilometers from Seoul. It is the only city in Korea that is completely walled and it is also the location of Samsung’s headquarters. Suwon also boasts several impressive fortresses and palaces and is close to Korea’s most famous amusement park, Everland. Lastly, Suwon is famed for a fun and bustling nightlife, which takes place prominently in two neighborhoods: Ingyedong and around Suwon Station.
Everyone has heard of Seoul and Busan, so next time you’re researching places to teach in Korea, do yourself a favor and consider some of the other best cities in Korea for teaching.
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