So you’ve been in Korea for a while now. Maybe you came to raise money to pay off those increasingly expensive college loans or try your hand at living overseas. Whether you’re twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or even sixty-something, or if you’ve been here for a couple years or decades, there is a place where you can go to meet other people looking to move back themselves. You can also meet those who have already made the move back successfully.
Most people wanting to return home are unsure of where or how to exactly start, unaware of exactly what it takes to make that seemingly overwhelming move back across the big blue. Logistics, housing, visas, employment, and education are just a few of the challenges we discuss and offer advice on. Husbands, wives and children can complicate this process and now the resources you need to make that big step are at your fingertips.
Enter the Repat Network: a group created with the idea of bringing expatriates back home. We are “a community helping long-term expats plan, execute and successfully repatriate.” One tidbit I will share as a teaser is that the visa process is similar for most countries and can generally be accomplished without attorneys. Many expats (myself included) have applied for, and succeeded in getting a spousal visa. We have outlined the steps necessary in both English and Korean.
The RepatNetwork.com site itself has just undergone major update
Additionally, the RepatNetwork.com site itself has just undergone major update. The onboarding process for new members now walks people through a mini-course on the repatriation process with videos and documents made specifically for the group over the years (with expertise from different content creators). In addition to the website itself, we have both Facebook and LinkedIn pages where you can connect with other people. Do you need someone else to look at your professional profile, resume or CV? Do you need endorsements or more connections to reach that magic number 500 on LinkedIn? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Every week the admin encourages to post your progress as it’s a great way to stay motivated. You will quickly develop friendships with people sharing your same problems and/or concerns. Sharing personal and professional gains is highly encouraged so go ahead and post something you are working on, even if you could get some personal benefit (e.g. money, subscribers to your YouTube channel, etc.) Just make sure that you post about it in a way that is helpful, educational, or inspirational to others in the group. Otherwise your post may be considered spam and will be at risk of deletion.
So you’ve decided to head back but what will you do when you get back home?
OK, so you’ve decided to head back but what will you do when you get back home? If you still feel like teaching, there are teachers who have repatriated successfully to their home countries. Some have gone into university administration, become foreign student liaisons, licensed teachers, instructional designers, and educational technologists and/or started teaching at local and international schools.
Conversely, there are former EFL/ESL teachers (among other professions) who have transitioned or are currently transitioning into UX/UI design, SEO, web development, programming, nursing, physical therapy, finance, solar energy, project management among many other attainable, and financially stable employment options.
Do you not see yourself working for someone else? There is a portion of the network dedicated to entrepreneurship. Some successful entrepreneurs include homestay and summer camp founders, YouTube content creators, HR corporate trainers and many others so whatever trajectory you may have, the network can help you get there. If you want to ask a question, go for it, use the search button though as it may have been asked and answered previously. Reposts are fine but it is good to read up on the previous threads first.
If you are keen to join our group of long-term expats working together to get back home, you can visit www.repatnetwork.com for all the best resources we’ve collected so far. Alternatively, you can join via Facebook (www.repats.net). Simply PM the administrators with a self-introduction to get your membership approved. Before joining, we politely ask those currently living in South Korea to take a short survey: (https://repats.typeform.com/to…) and if you have already repatriated, we would love your input on this survey (https://repats.typeform.com/to…) and please feel free to answer both. If you are still unsure, view the live, ongoing results of the survey of those that have already repatriated (https://repats.typeform.com/re…).
The network is an active group and there are meet-ups in cities across Korea and elsewhere. And although it started with a focus on North Americans wanting to return home from South Korea, the group has grown beyond its infancy and now includes members looking to return home from Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, and the Middle East among other places. We are professionals with advice and ideas from every step of the repatriation process. With over 200 members and growing, there is bound to be someone who has been in your shoes or can point you in the right direction. Best of luck on your journey and we hope to see you on the Repat Network! Welcome!
Written by Terry Faulkner @ https://terryofaulkner.com/
Artwork by Steven D. Ward @ http://www.stevendward.com/