South Korea Through Expats’ Eyes {4 beautiful souls tell all}

photo (12)There have been so many times since my husband Tom and I moved to Korea 8 months ago that I have thought “Man, I wish I had known that before. I wish there was a place I could read about real life experiences. I wish there was a way that I could connect with someone who has lived in the city that I will soon call home.”

I’ve been thinking a lot, and the past few weeks I have been jotting down notes of things that I wish I had known about moving to Korea. I came up with quite the extensive list, narrowed it down, organized it, and reached out to a few ladies that have inspired me in ways that they may not even know when it came to taking the plunge and leap of faith to move across the world to South Korea. 

These four ladies come from South Africa, Canada,  Seattle, Washington-USA, and small town Wisconsin-USA.

This will be a six-series post that I will publish Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the next two weeks (It’s Monday in Korea so this is post #1!) I am SO excited to give you an insight into life in Korea! Over the next two weeks these lovely ladies will be covering topics like: Teaching in Korea, Finances in Korea, Loneliness, Expat life outside of work, and giving some advice about moving to Korea! Even if you don’t plan to move abroad, I think this series will provide you with knowledge and help you better understand what our lives look like while living and teaching in Korea.  Without further adieu, it is my absolute pleasure to bring you these inspiring women who have skipped across the pond and made Korea their new home.

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My name is Alison and I come from the beautiful city of Seattle, Washington. Back home, I taught 3rd grade at a wonderful elementary school, but felt my life would not be complete unless I had the experience of teaching abroad. I was lucky enough to have a fantastic boyfriend who had the same desire. So here I am, teaching English in Korea!

Why Korea? Why did you choose to move to Korea?

When I first told people we were moving to Korea, I got this question ALL THE TIME! Kenny and I were both teachers in Seattle and we decided that we wanted to take our teaching abroad together. However, we wanted to find jobs in which we wouldn’t have to take a huge pay cut. So, after a lot of exploring, we found out about teaching English in Korea. All of a sudden, it seemed that every person we knew had someone in their life who was teaching/had taught in Korea and loved it, for the most part. It made so much sense!


photo (10)My name is Chloé Diamani. I am 26 years old. I come from Whitby, Ontario, Canada and I graduated York University with a degree in Environmental & Health Sciences with a specialization. Before coming to Korea, I was studying, working full time at Aldo and and part time at Danier.

Why Korea? Why did you choose to move to Korea?

I have always been interested in Asia (the culture, the food, and even anime and some music) and in 2008 my little sister and I really started to get into the K-Pop scene. Also the high school I graduated from was an international high school and we had a lot of Korean people there. Some of those people are still people I talk to today and even back in high school they would always tell me that one day I should visit Korea because it is such a beautiful place. In university I also made some Korean friends and they also fed my interest in Korea. Travelling has always been something I wanted to do so when I was researching how to travel and be productive at the same time, of course Korea came up. I have some friends who were in Korea these past couple of years and talking to them about their experience finally convinced me to take the leap.


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Hi, I’m Caitlyn and I’m from Cape Town in South Africa {the most beautiful country in the world}. In March last year (2012) I married my best friend, Hendrik, and after he finished his Charted Accounting articles at the end of 2012, we left the place we call home, to move to Korea to teach for a year. I have my honours in Clinical Psychology and have my own Life & Career Coaching company, Caitlyn de Beer Life Coaching, which has given me the freedom and space to live out my greatest passion in life, to inspire others to live out their full potential. I also have a strong Christian faith, love running, travelling, the beach and basically anything outdoorsy.

Why Korea? Why did you choose to move to Korea?

The reason we chose to come to Korea was 3 fold. Firstly, we couldn’t think of a better way of building a stronger foundation for our marriage, than a year away from pressures, relationships and work burdens. Secondly, we are both adventurers at heart and so the idea of living aboard, meeting people from different cultures, as well as endless opportunities to travel, made our decision to come over here very easy. Lastly, I sort of wish I could leave this one out as although it was one of the reasons we came here, our year has been so more than just this…but yes, we did come here to save too. Life back home is expensive and Korea has really provided us with the opportunity to save an amount of money that would have taken us years to save up back home.


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My name is Lisa Radloff, and I’m from a small town in Wisconsin, USA. A little over three months ago, I packed up everything, said goodbye to my family and friends and moved to Korea to teach English for one year. My original plan was to graduate college, find a perfect teaching job, settle down, and live happily ever after, but that didn’t exactly happen the way I had pictured it. I never imagined myself teaching 6,000 miles away from my hometown, but I’m loving every minute of my adventure here, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Why Korea? Why did you choose to move to Korea?

I always wanted to teach in a different country, but I never thought I would be brave enough to do it. I had always pictured myself getting a teaching job right after graduating, but it didn’t quite happen the way I had planned. After job searching and substitute teaching for two years, I wanted my own classroom. I wanted to use my teaching degree for something more than subbing, so one day I began researching several different countries that offer teaching abroad programs. I also had a few friends teaching in various countries that I contacted to get more information on how they liked where they were. After lots of research, I decided to go for it and apply to Korea. I had only received positive feedback about teaching in Korea and decided to move forward with it. Coming to Korea has been the best decision I’ve ever made, and I haven’t regretted it for a minute.


Follow these awesome women by clicking their picture below:

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I am so excited to let you in on pieces of their journey’s in Korea as we go through this series. Stay tuned for Wednesday’s upcoming post about the ins and outs of: Teaching in Korea.


  1. Well done my friend!! This is really awesome!!! Can’t wait to read the remainder of the series 🙂


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