Look me in the eye...it’s ok if you’re scared. I’m scared too. But…for different reasons. I’m scared of what I won’t become and you’re scared of what I will become. – Author Unknown
Throughout my time living in Korea for more than a year to TRY and learn more about my cultural identity, I never realized that so many other KADs or Korean Adoptees where returning to Korea or living here indefinitely, but I did know that there were many foreign English teachers working here. I have mixed feelings on both situations, especially from a person that is still relatively young–at 33–but has also understand both the benefit and value in a professional career experience. Not so say that teaching English still carries value, however, in my opinion and experience, many people that came to either teach or as KADs did so after graduating university or college and even those that have been teachers living here for years, as a previous manager, I would question the type of work they did, especially after experiencing what many of the teachers go through working in; public and private schools, Hagwons (학원) or private English Academies, and tutoring. As I said before, I don't want to discourage anyone, just being honest from my opinion, but there is a reason that professional experience listed on a resume carries an enormous weight in value. Job hunting is already difficult enough for many, but by adding limitations to working for organizations or educational institutions, this may be hard to validate your actual responsibilities abroad and therefore places the individual in a conundrum–meaning that the working hours are much different, as well as the overall pressure, whether seeking to continue your career in education back in your home country (which the teaching will be entirely different) or if you choose to opt for the typical 9-to-5 office job.
I also did not realize that the Tiger has a special meaning to Korean culture, folklore, mythology, etc. and is also the shape of the Korean peninsula. "A tiger that has overcome trials and tribulations and understands the world is known to turn white, becoming a white tiger." I find this ironic, because during my year and a half stint living throughout Central and South America, many people found it difficult to say my name, therefore I gave myself the nickname 'Tigre' and this also got a laugh, but now it means even more to myself knowing the connotations that this animal represents to Korans.
actually professional work experience in the U.S. This is why I often pose the questions to other KADs that are here for long-term, "why did you decide to move to Korea?" And, sadly, many cannot answer this, and as a KAD, I understand it's not the easiest thing to answer, but by being confronted with this question—I hope at the very least it will help them to stop and think about their future.
MORE LINKS TO CHECK OUT:
Number of Children 'Languishing' in Korean Orphanages
Statistics of InterCountry Adoption: Bureau of Consular Affairs – U.S Department of State