One of the most daunting parts of this whole application process (aside from the interview) has been picking the ONE location preference you’re allotted.
Since location is linked to salary level and popularity I decided to immediately disregard all the places where I’d be paid the least. This meant Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Daegu, and Gyeonggi were immediately out of the running.
After going through the remaining options as listed on the E.P.I.K. application I was able to narrow it down to what I felt would suit me.
So Daejeon was the city my recruiter actually recommended for me. It’s a major transportation hub, so you can pretty much get anywhere you want in the country from there. It’s also a big science and research center which sounds really dope. There’s a hot spring (
I’ve never been to one before). They have the “Mt. Gyejoksan Barefoot Festival” where you get walk 14.5 km in red clay (my favorite clay) & the “Keumgang Lohas Festival” which is about health with forty experiences. There’s Dajeon O-World which has a Zoo, Joy and Flower section (sounds wild). There are so many beautiful parks and mountains and trails that I’ll be able to really meet my goals of going out into nature. Plus there’s a number of historic/cultural sites.
If I were describe this province I would say: mountains, winter olympics, hot springs, and year round festivals. Turns out they have a Dano Festival that they’ve been celebrating for 400 years (how awesome is that)! Did I mention there’s snow sports? Because I’ve never fully experienced snow before and I AM READY. There’s also the Chuncheon Dakgalbi which I’ve got to try for the next level spice. This province is about on par with Daejeon when it comes to population size, so it definitely isn’t the city lifestyle, BUT I’d really be in thick of it which is definitely putting myself out there. Oh! And there’s SHEEP.
Heads up: it’s an island. That’s right. It’s home to South Korea’s highest mountain, lava tubes, walking trails, and waterfalls. It’s also home to the amazing haeneyo (female free divers). It experiences all the seasons, there’s horse riding, and it’s a huge vacation spot because of the beaches. Now I won’t lie and say that the idea of being completely separated from the mainland is a bit jarring…and might be a slight hindrance in traveling on the mainland, BUT I looked into it and flights are super cheap.
Aaaand I’ve managed to narrow it down to three options. Daejeon is still my top pick right now after everything I’ve seen with Gangwon Province and Jeju following suit. I would definitely recommend going through the list of all the locations on the EPIK application because you never know what you might find. Plus, you’re already moving to another country so you might as well go for it!
Now I guess it’s just time to see if I pass the interview and will get to ‘properly’ make my selection!
Photo Credit: rawkkim on Unsplash (Daejeon), Jamesgraphy on pixabay (Gangwon), Daniel Lee on Unsplash (Jeju)