My name is Anthony. I am en ESL teacher living in Korea for 4 years. AMA about travel, working abroad and saving money!

Anthony Carchidi
Dec 5, 2017

I have saved and traveled to 11 countries in 3 months. I vlog about my journey. Sine 2013, I have been to 18 countries due to saving form teaching ESL in Korea. Sometimes finding a good job in Korea can be tricky, but I think I know the system now. It was a difficult transition moving from Canada to Korea, especially the cutural differences and food. I have learned a lot in the past 4 years and now I want to give back to the travel community.


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Are you working as a home-based ESL teacher?

Dec 8, 7:25PM EST0

no... I work at a school

Dec 8, 10:39PM EST0

How long is your contract for?

Dec 8, 6:11PM EST0

most contracts here at 1 year

Dec 8, 10:39PM EST0

Did you get any training before starting?

Dec 8, 5:25PM EST0

no haha

Dec 8, 10:39PM EST0

Do local Korean schools have a set curriculum? How about if I want to integrate some of my material from home?

Dec 8, 4:55PM EST0

depends what school you work for.. usually private academies have their own stuff, but you always try and slip in your own stuff! as long as the cirruculum gets done

Dec 8, 10:39PM EST0

If one decides to be a ESL teacher, who pays for accommodation or flight?

Dec 7, 8:19PM EST0

you can try and negoiate a round trip flight, most schools just do 1 way though and they will usually pay your way home upon completion of contract. Accommodation is just paid for by the school owner.

Dec 7, 9:05PM EST0

For ESL teachers, how is the pay calculated?

Dec 7, 5:37PM EST0

depends on the school, and experience and level of education.

Dec 7, 7:50PM EST0

Do I need the TESOL certificate to work in Korea?

Dec 7, 12:16PM EST0

nope, most school do not require it.. It may increase your pay. All you need is a degree and no criminal record.

Dec 7, 7:49PM EST0

Can one get a ESL job without a degree in Korea?

Dec 7, 10:57AM EST0


Dec 7, 7:49PM EST0

  • Which foods do you miss most from home?
  • Do you need a bachelors degree to teach in Korea?
  • How do you go about meeting women? Bars? Tinder? 
Dec 7, 8:31AM EST0

Mommas home made cooking


All of the above ;)

Dec 7, 8:36AM EST0

How's life overall in Korea for you?

Dec 6, 12:51PM EST0

9/10. Other then a few cultural differences that can be frustrating at times, it's great!

Dec 6, 7:52PM EST0

What are the most attractive places to visit in Korea, in Your opinion? 

Dec 6, 11:32AM EST0

Jeju Island.  All of the mountains are beautiful here. I really love the national parks, especially Seoraksan! It my favorite national park.

Dec 6, 7:51PM EST0

If one has a criminal record, can they still teach in other countries?

Dec 6, 9:03AM EST0


Dec 6, 9:06AM EST0

Do you need to have previous teaching experience to be hired in Korea?

Dec 6, 6:36AM EST0

I didnt.  But I learned quickly with almost no training at my first job.  If you can think on your feet, you can do it. 

But I would imagine teaching experience would help. Especially with classroom management.

Dec 6, 6:39AM EST0

What about health benefits, insurance, accomodations, etc?

Dec 6, 5:54AM EST0

50/50 health insurance from my school.  Free accommodation although it isnt always the best. Plus if you complete a contract you get 1 months salary bonus plus pension money.   It's a good gig when you are finished!

Dec 6, 6:02AM EST0

Is it better to teach ESL in person or via a computer?

Dec 5, 7:13AM EST1

computer allows more freedom for nomadic travel I guess. I have never done it. I have only taught in person in classroom.  It has allowed me to save a lot of money and travel for long periods of time without worry of money.

Dec 5, 10:09AM EST0

What’s the best part about going on a 3-month travel adventure?

Dec 5, 7:05AM EST0

freedom and meeting new people. My favorite thing in life is meeting new people and hearing their story. Then becoming close with them over a short period of time and reconnecting in a another country.

Dec 5, 10:08AM EST0

Do you make money out of vlogging your travels online?

Dec 5, 7:03AM EST1

no yet

Dec 5, 10:07AM EST0

What was the most difficult part as you transitioned from Canada to Korea?

Dec 5, 6:46AM EST0

probably work culture, it is much different here in Korea. For example, Korean private school owners may expect you to work exterme hours for no extra pay and go above and beyond contract without even asking. Then they will blame you for what hasn't been done even though they didn't ask you for it.

Dec 5, 10:07AM EST0

After living in Korea for a long time, do you still plan on moving anywhere else?

Dec 5, 3:16AM EST0

I will move to Australia next year around october 

Dec 5, 7:44AM EST0

Aside from the obvious language barrier, how is dating like in Korea? I’m a man in my mid-20’s planning to move to Korea in a few months.

Dec 4, 10:13PM EST0

Language is a huge barrier. Don't underestimate it. Western culture and mannerisms are completely different than in Korea. For example, I think Korean women tend to be more needy as in, they will start fights with you fi you havent texted back in .000001 seconds. Also when you first meet a girl in Korea you should text her almost immediately and it's okay for her to ignore you. It shows that you "care." 

With that being said, I know tonnes of guys who are in long lasting, commited relationships here and get married. It's just not for me.

Dec 4, 10:20PM EST0

What drove you to move from Canada to Korea and live there permanently?

Dec 4, 1:36PM EST0

I will not live here permanently, as I plan on doing a 1 year working holiday in Australia next year. But, life here is so good. Life as an expat is Korea is amazing.  Food is great, night life is great, people are so friendly! It really is an amazing country!

Dec 4, 7:58PM EST0

For those teaching ESL online, where is the best hub to find available jobs or clients?

Dec 4, 6:52AM EST0

I would say anywhere in Asia is great! China is a huge market right now. I have never taught ESL online, but I do know from research that China is a big market, especially for online learning and parents are willing to pay a lot of money.

Dec 4, 7:57PM EST0

Do you ever miss your family back in Canada since you’ve been gone for quite long already?

Dec 4, 6:37AM EST1

I am always thinking of them. I chat with my parents almost daily and with social media like Facebook and snapchat, I can see what they are up to weekly and vice versa. 

One thing I miss is the gatherings that my family has with cousins and aunts and uncles. I know they are making great memories that I can't be apart of, but I love what I do and they understand that so, as much as I miss them, I am so grateful to have such a supportive family!

Dec 4, 6:39AM EST0

If I would tour the world in 3 months, how much money should I set aside?

Dec 4, 6:01AM EST1

Depends what countries you would go to? South East Asia is fairly cheap.. for 3 months you can do it for around $3000... Europe on the other hand... closer to $7000. 

Where do you plan on going?

Dec 4, 6:05AM EST0

Is it possible to continue working as an online freelancer while touring the world?

Dec 4, 2:28AM EST1

Anything is possible if you REALLY want it to happen!

Dec 4, 6:04AM EST0

Aside from friends and family, what’s one thing you absolutely miss about Canada that you can’t find anywhere in Korea?

Dec 4, 2:28AM EST0

Being able to drive for a long period of time and never actually getting to a destination. It is so densely populated in Korea that you kinda always arrive at a destination quickly.

Dec 4, 6:03AM EST0

During the 3-month travel period, did you continue working as an ESL teacher online?

Dec 4, 1:53AM EST0

Straight backpacking! No work. But this in 2018 I will go backpacking again and I will try to find work this time.. I don't do online ESL.

Dec 4, 6:02AM EST0

Among the 18 countries you’ve visited in the past few years, which one is your favorite?

Dec 4, 1:11AM EST0

Great question! Korea will always hold a special place as I lived here, but either Philippines or Japan. I loved El Nido in the Philippines and Tokyo is absolutely incredible!

Dec 4, 6:01AM EST0

Is it difficult living in a country where English is not the first or even second language?

Dec 4, 12:20AM EST0

At first it was really hard an even to this day it can be an issue ( espeically for medical stuff) but no its fairly easy living here :)

Dec 4, 6:00AM EST0

I’m assuming you’re a native English speaker since you’re from Canada - did this make it difficult for you to seek jobs in a non-English speaking country?

Dec 3, 10:17PM EST0

It's actually easier. Especially in Asia, they demand NATIVE speakers only plus a degree. Some schools demand a teaching degree as well.  You can search for jobs through recruiters.

Dec 4, 5:59AM EST0

I work as an online ESL teacher too - which countries or cities should I avoid because of poor internet connection? I plan to continue working while traveling.

Dec 3, 8:47PM EST0

Online ESL isn't my expertise but I would say anywhere in Asia, even South East Asia has pretty good internet speed. Once you get on island like in the Philippines, it tends to get bad, even blackouts at times (El Nido for example), so I would avoid there. But anything mainland in Asia you should be good. But I am not too sure on what internet speed you need to make sure that you have a stable connection.

Korea has the best internet, so you can 100% do it here!

Hope that helps!

Dec 3, 9:51PM EST0

When you decided to teach ESL, did you feel the need to learn other languages too like Korean?

Dec 3, 8:11PM EST0

When I first arrived I did feel the need, but after the years, it kind of becomes a personal choice. You don't need to speak Korean to teach Koreans as most school only want ENGLISH! 

It does help to know key phrases when order food and taking taxis, but for the most part, you don't really need to know the language. 

If you start to enjoy the culture and commicating with locals, I suggest learning it because it does make life much different here. 

SO again, personal choice if you want to learn or not, but I didn't indulge in it too much, but I know more than enough to get by and have basic conversation.

Hope this helps you :)

Dec 3, 8:17PM EST0

What are the tourist spots I shouldn’t miss out on when I visit Korea? I’ll be travelling to Seoul the beginning of next year.

Dec 3, 8:03PM EST0

Depending on how long you're here, but in Seoul you must visit Gyeonbukong Palace and wear Honbok (tradtional clothing),  visit Hongdae, Itaewon, Gangnam as they have their own unique feels in Korea. There are very many unique cafes in these areas such as meerkat cafe, archery cafe, cat cafes,  escape rooms, board game cafes, etc. You should also go see the Lotte World Tower in Jamsil. It is the 5th largest skyscraper in the world!

If you want to see some videos I made on some of these areas, you can check my vlog 



Honestly, Seoul is really the city that never sleeps! Always something going on with amazing energy! Koreans are also super friendly and most can understand English well enough to help you.

You should download something called Kakao to help you communicate and get around. It is a messaging app, but also have navigation and taxi services!

Hope this helps!

Dec 3, 8:14PM EST0

Have you also caught the K-POP fever while living in Korea?

Dec 3, 7:01PM EST0

I have not caught the fever lol. When I first came here, I liked Korean hip-hop but then I stopped. I don't own a TV either so to watch k-drama is too much for me. 

Dec 3, 7:38PM EST0

How do you date , do you need parents permision

Dec 3, 8:06AM EST0

I only dated Korean women a few times. But no, no parents permission. Dating here is difficult because culturally, I think we are different in many ways, but especially in dating culture. Korean women tend to be more needy and thrive off of over the top attention (constantly messaging, holding handbags, over the top voice, overreacting)

Dec 3, 7:37PM EST0

What made you decide to move to Korea from Canada?

Dec 3, 12:10AM EST0

I honestly got out a really bad relationship that made me question the stereotypical life, (marriage, house, kids, mortgage...etc.) Heard great things from friends about teaching and travel in Korea. Applied for a job. Within 4 months of graduation from university, I was on a plane to Korea. 

Dec 3, 1:08AM EST0
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