Friday, 7 February 2014

My work plans for Romania

If things fall into place and I do get my Romanian passport I'd probably move to Romania so that my daughter and I could learn Romania and we could get EU residency. It's been about 14 years since I started trying to get citizenship, but I think I'm really close this time!

Moving anywhere scares me. Personally I'd rather move to another country than move back home to the US because I left in January 2002. I've never really lived there as an adult and had to deal with rent, insurance, or a job. So better the devil you know than the devil you don't, which is why I'd probably stay abroad.

I'll be honest, education in Korea isn't that good. My daughter speaks Korean and her daycare is absolutely fantastic! But I wouldn't stick her in a Korean school where memorisation and quantity are more important than quality and the ability to think outside the box. Job security isn't very good here either. You usually sign yearly contracts and many places will get rid of you after 1, 3, or 5 years simply because they don't want to pay more into the pension scheme. Or because they can get rid of you, so they do.

Being not married to a Korean means that things are harder for me. I don't have a Korean husband to rely on and some jobs only hire those married to Korean. Expats make it hard for us as well. I get told that if I don't like it I should go home. Yet these same people complain about their mother-in-laws, but according to them, it's ok that they complain since they're married to a Korean.

Another thing is that I'll never fit in here in Korea. Even if I'm fluent in Korean, I will always look different. My daughter already gets special treatment, sweets on the subway, and can get away with a lot. I don't think that's good.

So as it stands I'm contemplating either moving to China, the Middle East, or Romania. Of those places, Romania is the place where I could actually blend in. Not only would I be Romanian by blood, so I'd also look Romanian. But I would also have citizenship, thus giving me the right to live, work, and study there. In addition, the school system seems much better than Asia. In the Middle East, my daughter would have to go to an international school, which are horrendously expensive. One of the reasons for living abroad is for her to learn languages and I don't see any sense paying $20-$25k usd for an American school when they're free back home. No matter where we go, I'd like to hire a tutor for her to keep up her Korean and for her to learn a couple more languages as well.

Jobs are an issue. I can live decently and still save in Korea. In China I might be able to save more since the cost of living is lower. In the Middle East you can save, but as a teacher I'd be pretty low on the ladder amongst the oil expats. In Romania I could probably make about $1500 usd a month teaching at a bilingual school. I'm not sure if I could get into international schools even though I have taught at that level. To be honest, having taught at an international school, my experience wasn't the best so I don't know if I'd go back to one. Teachers at my school were not treated well at all and the parents ran the school. Teachers were treated like household help and the parents seemed to know everything even though they weren't teachers by trade. There was also a lot of useless paperwork and focus on unimportant things like perfect handwriting and underlining titles twice with a ruler. Not an environment I want to be in.

$1500 usd a month isn't much in Bucharest when you consider that to rent a place you'd probably need about 400 euro, about $600 usd. Working more than one job would help and luckily I've been doing that for a while now. I could teach private lessons, but having done that I don't think I'd like to do that. One or two, maybe, but not too many because you lose a lot of travel time.

I became a childbirth educator earlier this year and I must say I really, really enjoy the work. I like teaching highly motivated people and as an English teacher I don't run into people like that too often. More often than not they're in the class because it's a required class. I'm hoping to continue teaching childbirth classes no matter where I go. I enjoy organising info, helping people out, and giving them the tools they need to get the birth they want. I also have lots of useful info on my website (Tender Embrace Birthing) such as doulas, breastfeeding counselors, hospitals, and clinics in Korea that people can access. So while this is a very long winded post, I hope it gives a bit more info about what I'd do if I went to Romania.

Be sure to read about what has happened so far. You can find everything in the quick summary of dates.



  1. Stumbled on this looking for information about teaching English in Korea. I have really hit the wall career-wise in the US and am starting over. Doesn't sound like the job security is that great though! I had some fantasy of teaching 9 months of the year in Korea and then spending summers in the US, but maybe that's not realistic. I also have a few connections in Lima through my mom and am considering that as well.

    1. There's tons of info about working in Korea. is good as is If you're on FB, there are tons of groups. For Korea, you'll need a clean FBI check, plus a BA, and to be under 60 years of age, though some places prefer under 45. There are hagwons, universities, and public schools. I'm in Korea now and love it. If you get a uni job, you'll often get months off at a time. The best ones give 5 months of vacation, so I'd spend the winters in Korea and summers in the USA. I also worked in Peru for about 6 years. Hope it works out for you!


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