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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread May 22nd, 2006, 12:12 am
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Default Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

Hi
Just a question that I thought I'd put out there!
While working overseas, have you noticed a change in yourself being either positive or negative? Or both!

For myself, I've noticed I've become more outgoing, as you have to be in Japan or you don't meet any new people.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread May 22nd, 2006, 02:04 am
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

Quote:
Quote erinjk
Hi
Just a question that I thought I'd put out there!
While working overseas, have you noticed a change in yourself being either positive or negative? Or both!

For myself, I've noticed I've become more outgoing, as you have to be in Japan or you don't meet any new people.
Interesting, for me Korea has made me a kind of shy person. When I am in the classroom I am outgoing and funny etc but when I am outside then I am shy and don't talk to many people. I don't like strangers coming up to me and asking me stupid English questions and I really don't like people wanting to take their picture with me! Especially when they say that their English teacher in college told them!! Drives me crazy!

Having said that I think that Korea has made me a better person. I was a very easy going person before and could be easily pushed around whereas now I focus on things that important in my life now and plan for my future. I care only about my family, work and my health in that order.

Also my experience in teaching here has made me what to study teaching more and spend the rest of my life at it!
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread May 22nd, 2006, 07:13 am
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

i've had a very similar experience to you, livinginkorea. i am very outgoing while teaching but as soon as i leave the safe walls of the classroom, there is a shield that goes up. (it's kind of like a force field but thats another thread)

but i dont personally like to be so "shut-off" from the culture. i hate having that "hermit" feeling but isnt that one of korea's nicknames? the hermit kingdom?

my issue is i dont like to be the center of direct attention. i prefer indirect attention. dont know if that makes sense but i like to be recognized and my dream is to be a rock star, but maybe more like a retired rock star, everyone knows them but no one is banging down the door for an interview anymore...

anyway, one change that far out weighs the fame/rockstar stuff is the amount ive grown as a person, the things i've learned about myself and where im from and my knowledge that everyone is very similar despite our cultures. we all want similar things. we just go about getting them in a different way... and to be able to accept how someone goes about their day/life is an important learning... for me at least.

great question erinjk! and welcome to eslHQ!

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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread May 22nd, 2006, 08:34 am
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

hi
Thanks for the responses so far! I am doing a report on that subject, so I just thought I'd ask some other teachers views! More responses would be good too!

Although I do hate when people come up to me to practice their English, especially just when I want to relax after a day of teaching or traveling. I have still found I've become more outgoing.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 23rd, 2006, 07:37 am
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

Working overseas has made me more sympathetic to minorities. I am in a smaller city in Japan where foreigners (minorities) are a rarity. I have enjoyed my experiences working overseas and I feel I am a better person because of it.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 11th, 2006, 11:11 am
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

Quote:
Quote Eric
i've had a very similar experience to you, livinginkorea. i am very outgoing while teaching but as soon as i leave the safe walls of the classroom, there is a shield that goes up. (it's kind of like a force field but thats another thread)

but i dont personally like to be so "shut-off" from the culture. i hate having that "hermit" feeling but isnt that one of korea's nicknames? the hermit kingdom?

my issue is i dont like to be the center of direct attention. i prefer indirect attention. dont know if that makes sense but i like to be recognized and my dream is to be a rock star, but maybe more like a retired rock star, everyone knows them but no one is banging down the door for an interview anymore...

anyway, one change that far out weighs the fame/rockstar stuff is the amount ive grown as a person, the things i've learned about myself and where im from and my knowledge that everyone is very similar despite our cultures. we all want similar things. we just go about getting them in a different way... and to be able to accept how someone goes about their day/life is an important learning... for me at least.



great question erinjk! and welcome to eslHQ!

eric
That sums it up exactly for me ! Great point.
I've also developed more patience and understanding of people who think and act outside of my cultural frame of reference.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 11th, 2006, 11:14 am
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

Quote:
Quote Unregistered
That sums it up exactly for me ! Great point.
I've also developed more patience and understanding of people who think and act outside of my cultural frame of reference.
Sorry that was me... Forgot to sign in...
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  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 11th, 2006, 05:05 pm
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

Quote:
Quote erinjk
Although I do hate when people come up to me to practice their English, especially just when I want to relax after a day of teaching or traveling. I have still found I've become more outgoing.
I'm with you on that. It's not so bad if their English is good enough to have a conversation but I'm not a big fan of giving lessons at the park when I'm out with my kids.

However, I do it.

Sucker, I guess.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 11th, 2006, 11:30 pm
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

Quote:
Quote mesmark
I'm with you on that. It's not so bad if their English is good enough to have a conversation but I'm not a big fan of giving lessons at the park when I'm out with my kids.

However, I do it.

Sucker, I guess.
The big thing for me is students asking me questions when I am in a book shop or in Pizza Hut. It's very annoying for me but they have been given it as homework from their teacher. They ask some basic questions which takes about 5~10 minutes of my time. Sometimes I do it, sometimes not. I guess it depends on the type of person I am. Then sometimes they ask to take my photo as proof and I always refuse that. God knows where I could see that photo again!!

It's the teacher I want to kill!!
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  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 13th, 2006, 12:31 am
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

For sure living has changed me. For one i now understand a lot more about other cultures. not just Japan, but also other cultures as well.

Ive become more confident, and self assured. Furthermore, and this the biggest thing, ive developed my sense of adventure. There is no way 2 years ago i would have gotten naked and jumped in the bath with a group of men (at an onsen...what were you thinking i was doing ) now it seems like something reasonably normal to do.

I found that when i went home for an extended period i other people noticed a change.My priorities in life had done a 180 from that of my friends. i valued adventue and new experiences. They seemed to value stability and security.

Its easily the best thing i have done in my life.

Thanks for the great question!
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  #11 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 12th, 2008, 02:00 pm
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

Hi all
Having taught in 5 countries now, and heading for number 6, I d say yes it s changed me, more outgoing and confident, and I ve learned about different cultures.What strikes me is how similar the reactions are to my projects and activities, only the accent and sense of humour changes a little.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 14th, 2008, 12:58 am
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

I think I have become a lot more forceful in my teaching, more confident now to give the students a verbal kick up the *** than before.

I used to pander more to their "wants" Now I give them what I think they need.
This is probably more of an experience thing than a culture thing.

Actually having been in China for 7 years, I kowtowed to the students too much, now I feel I want to challenge them which I am doing and it is making some of them uncomfortable.
This is probably going a bit off topic but I have had a frustrating morning.

This may sound strange but I have really been in my honeymoon period for nearly seven years in China and it is like the world has shifted on it's axis and my perception is changing.

Less of a bleeding heart. A lot more pragmatic about people and the surroundings.

Good thread
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  #13 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 26th, 2008, 11:46 pm
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

I grew up overseas and was changed before I returned to USA to attend university. I think I am more patient, tolerant, compassionate and helpful than the average US Burbites. Best thing I notice about people who move overseas for the first time is that they lose their attitude fast. I like it overseas, USA citizens in general would benefit from more exposure to other cultures. I am still surprised that people like my cousin moved overseas for the first time in her late 20's and was amazed that not everyone was an uneducated peasant - her first relocation was to Singapore where, obviously, she was not the dernier cris ready to lead the nation to civilization.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 2nd, 2008, 07:55 pm
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

I'm originally from the US and been abroad for over 7 years now.

Like climb678, living and working abroad has definitely made me more sympathetic to minorities and minority issues.

It's also given me a chance to see my own country, language, and culture through the eyes of people from other cultures, languages, and worldviews... that's definitely been one of the most humbling, occasionally difficult, but ultimately very educational and rewarding facets of life abroad for me.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 15th, 2008, 09:48 pm
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you? YES AND NO

I had a very positive attitude, have lived overseas in the past and did not have tremendous expectations. I was met at a bus stop by a shrew who made it clear I am to old for her ideal teacher. I am beautiful and do not look old nor am I in poor health. My boss is a narrow minded shrew using personal attacks and foul language which reflect her dim view of Americans. So why is she teaching English? Who knows, I have never in my life been met with such a hostile reception/ For 2 weeks I have put up with her and finally I said, "It is obvious you do not like me. You have 2 choices, you can contact your franchise and swap me for another teacher or pay off my contract and send me back. I did not receive an attendance roster, a set of books, a desk drawer or anything more than one trip to a department store the day I arrived. I walk much farther than a short walk to work. So, if you don't like me, that's okay. I dont like you either. I have been respectful and am qualified. Make up your mind. "

It has changed my opinion of Koreans.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 16th, 2008, 07:20 am
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you? YES AND NO

Quote:
Quote katan-ko View Post
It has changed my opinion of Koreans.
That's too bad! The Koreans I met during my 6 years there were some of the nicest people I've met anywhere. It sounds like you had a very bad experience with one person, but I wouldn't use that experience as the basis for your opinion on the rest of the country's people.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 18th, 2008, 12:19 am
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

Hi Eric, You are correct. I had a very bad day. I walk quite a distance to my school, which was supposed to be located nearby. On the way I am harassed by men who make motions at my breasts. I go in and the woman I work for uses me as her personal whipping post. She is obviously insecure and jealous, changes instructions constantly, screams at me in front of the children, uses the English of a prostitute in private. So I am now expanding my horizons and focusing on the many good experiences I have. A little kid hugs me, an old lady on the street offers me an apple. People take my hand and lead me to stores where I have directions on paper. I just have a really bad boss and feel kind of trapped and scared. It is a clean country with many good people
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  #18 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 18th, 2008, 11:13 am
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

Hi,

It sounds like a very tough/risky position to be in. I would start looking for another place of employment and give your current employer a 2 months warning. Obviously, they have not held up their end of the deal and if you are feeling scared, it's time to get out!

No one should feel scared in their place of employment. Also, if you physically threatened, call the Korean immigration office and see what you can do to report your employer.

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  #19 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 15th, 2009, 03:15 am
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

I agree with Eric Katan-ko,

Time to cut your losses and find a better place. I bet you would be able to find somewhere much better and cut out all that other stuff that is happening. I hope you find something soon and much better!

To respond to the original post...living abroad has changed me.

It first happened really, when I was travelling abroad for three months alone. I personally feel that EVERYONE should travel abroad alone for at least a month. Why? Because you learn so much about yourself. You rely on yourself, you learn how to open up to people and I learnt a lot about my gut instick. (Always trust that feeling by the way!)

What has living abroad done for me?
-I now see the world from another perspective (culture). People basically want the same things but there are different "truths" and opinions on how to get there.

-Misunderstandings mostly happen due to lack of communication.

-I found the love of my life (hee hee...sorry guys...I'm getting married in Aug and pretty happy about it!)

- I am more able to put myself in others shoes.

Living abroad has made my life so much richer. I can't imagine living in Canada...no Spain. That would be sad.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 15th, 2009, 04:24 am
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Default Re: Working Overseas...Has it changed you?

I never ..hardly ever used a PC in Hawaii but in the "Inaka" of Japan I get sooo bored I built my own rig and lots of other stuff.

It's a semi benefit if you look at it in a positive way But It's not as good as surfing
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