I’m returning to Daejeon for my second year of teaching. Compared to Seoul or Busan, it’s technically a “medium” sized city, but it’s still very large and sprawling. It’s got a big-city feel and the ever-present 빨리빨리 Korean tempo of life, but it’s rarely as crowded or congested as some larger cities: altogether an easier, more livable place to be.
First, Daejeon is a central transportation hub in Korea, so it’s very easy to take a weekend trip to Seoul, Busan, or anywhere in between. My first year, I was able to visit nearly every corner of this country, often making plans at the last minute!
Daejeon also has some beautiful and relaxing green spaces. The river that cuts through the middle of the city is flanked by parks on both sides down its length – great for a refreshing walk or jog, or just to take the scenic route to the other side of town! I also now live very close to a large and wonderful park with an arboretum, for when I want to feel like I’m not in a sea of concrete, metal, and glass. Additionally, just outside of Daejeon is sacred mountain Gyeryongsan, full of excellent vistas and Buddhist tradition. It’s not the easiest climb for beginners, but it’s entirely doable and well worth the effort.
Finally, the people in Daejeon are generally friendly and welcoming. Aside from a disgruntled taxi driver here and there, I’ve never had any issues dealing with the locals, and I’ve never felt like a stranger or an outsider. There’s also a good number of other expats here – many other teachers, and several people who come from abroad and have decided to make Daejeon their home.
Housing Utility Fee: Unsure, probably ~100,000KRW
Internet : 30,000KRW
Living expenses: ~300,000KRW