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18 September 2003
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Korea Life Blog - Let's Get Out of Here

I was surprised by this study reported in the Korea Herald today:

Seven out of every 10 adults in their 20s and 30s want to emigrate to another country, according to a recent study conducted by the marriage information company Piery.

After surveying 572 clients over the phone, it found that 72.1 percent are thinking of relocating.

When asked to explain their motivation, 42.3 percent said it would be for their children's education, 31.4 percent cited the present unemployment problems in Korea, and 19.7 percent are fed up with the political and social turmoil, results showed.

In addition, 32.7 percent said they would like to move to Canada, 30.5 percent wanted to immigrate to the United States, 23.9 percent named Australia, and 8.9 percent hope to live in Central or South America.

Canada proved a popular destination because of its favorable living conditions and lenient immigration policies, representatives said.

However, only 10.1 percent of the 380 people who named Canada said they are thinking of moving within the next year. One quarter said they are considering immigrating within the next three years, 30.8 percent answered between the next three to five years, and the largest number of correspondents or 33.3 percent said they are considering relocating more than five years from now.

"More and more singles who are thinking of immigrating are looking to marry someone who is also considering relocating because they want to get married in Korea before moving to another country," a representative from Piery said.


I would expect those kind of numbers from some other countries like the Philippines or Indonesia, not South Korea. Then again, there's a big difference between being Korean in Korea and being a foreign teacher in Korea. I teach 4 hours a day, get full time pay and a free apartment, people go out of their way to talk to me, girls go bananas over me, etc.

If I were Korean, I would be still living home with my family under enormous pressure to get married, working 10 hours a day or more, trying desperately to save enough money to buy an apartment in a highrise someday, and contemplating jumping off the roof.

The biggest reason I would want to leave would be the 26 month mandatory military service required for all men. That really must be hell.

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