American Expat Living in Korea South Interview with Morgan

Published: 26 Nov at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Korea South
Morgan is a Colorado native with suburban sensibilities and penthouse dreams. She writes about life as a millennial wander, self-improvement through travel, and the realities of teaching English in Korea on her website A Beautiful View. Currently in the throes of a desperate battle between dreamland and adulthood, she invites you to come along as she explores this crazy beautiful world of ours. Morgan's expat blog is called A Beautiful View (see listing here)

Here's the interview with Morgan...

Where are you originally from?
Denver, Colorado, USA

In which country and city are you living now?
Daejeon, South Korea

How long have you lived in South Korea and how long are you planning to stay?
I have been here for 14 month and planning on staying for two years total, so ten months more.

Why did you move to South Korea and what do you do?
I moved here to teach English as a foreign language, and am a native English teacher at a Korean middle school.

Did you bring family with you?
Nope, I came alone.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
Overall, it has been a very positive experience, but of course it was not without struggles. Korea is quite different from America in terms of the language, culture, and many social norms, but this was something I expected so none of that came as a shock to me.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
I found it to be very easy, but that's one of the things I really like about working with the EPIK program: it makes it very easy to build a community among the other expat teachers.

What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Just explore as much as you can! Korea is a developed country with a fast-paced environment. From new restaurants, to various themed cafes, to an amazing nightlife scene - as long as you live in a city, there is always something to do.

What do you enjoy most about living in Korea South?
My lifestyle. Though my job isn't always the most inspiring, I live a comfortable life, in which I'm able to pay my bills, save money, travel often, and pursue many of my own personal projects.

How does the cost of living in Korea South compare to home?
I would say it is pretty similar. But really, your cost of living depends hugely on your shopping habits. If you buy a lot of imported, international goods your cost of living is going to skyrocket; however, I try to buy mostly domestic products, so my daily costs are about the same, or even lower than my hometown.

What negatives, if any, are there to living in South Korea?
Korea is a very homogeneous country, so foreigners stand out a lot and it can sometimes feel very awkward or isolating to be starred at openly on the street. Honestly though, after a while you stop noticing it as much and it's not that big of a deal.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to South Korea, what would it be?
Enter with as few expectations as possible! As I said, Korea is very different from so-called "Western" countries. Don't get me wrong, it's a great place to live! But if you touch-down with a lot of preconceived notions about how your life will be here, you'll probably end up frustrated and disappointed.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
The "adjustment" phase. In between the initial rush of an international move and the period where you are finally comfortable in your life and routine, there is a least a couple months where you have to adjust to the differences and the idiosyncrasies of expat living. This part of my experience was definitely a struggle; however, once I was through it, everything felt much more positive.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
I'm honestly not sure. I know it will have it's challenges, but as I haven't been home yet since I left, I can't say with any certainty how I will react.

What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. As I said before, keep an open mind and try to come in with as few expectations as possible.
  2. Do your research! Learn about the culture, read blogs, and get in contact with people who have lived here before. This will make it so much easier to fit in and assimilate quickly into your new life.
  3. Study Korean before you come! Just do it!
  4. Some frustration and loneliness is inevitable, so it's very important that you find a constructive outlet. Whether it be a few good friends, a gym membership, or a journal - you need to find a way to work through any issues you're having, otherwise the pressures might overwhelm you.
  5. Decide what you want to get out of the experience at the get-go. Are you looking to travel a lot? Are you looking to save money? Are you looking for full cultural immersion? Decide what you want, and go after it! Life is too short to waste noodling around with half-measures.
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
A Beautiful View is dedicated to sharing my musings on life as a millennial wanderer, universally applicable life hacks, advice about personal growth through travel, and the realities of teaching English in Korea. All of that with a healthy dose of dry humor, amateur photography, and sassy opinions thrown in just for good measure.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
If you would like to contact to me with questions or comments, please don't hesitate! I can be found on my website A Beautiful View (, Facebook (, or Twitter.

About the author

Expat Blog ListingMorgan is an American expat living in Korea South. Blog description: Travel. Writing. Wanderlust. A twenty-something girl in search of unique experiences, interesting people, delicious foods, and all the beautiful views.
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