Since I am completely uncertain of what I should do, I was hoping for someones help. If i succeed in my exams this July I'll hopefully be off for university when summer ends. I have submitted and received offers from all of my university choices but I keep having doubts about which to choose. I do really well in Business as a subject and my parents pushed me towards studying the subject and I also wanted to study some aspects of it at a higher level. But after studying Chinese for a week and over summer I discovered and developed an interest in Korean Music, Korean Dramas, Korean Culture and Japanese Art; I decided that I would look into studying an Asian language with my business degree. I am most interested in South Korea and it's language and I find myself drawn to choosing to study Korean with Business at Uni but this language would present the least job opportunities when compared to Chinese and Japanese but I am certain that this is the one I would enjoy studying the most as I love K-Pop and K-Dramas and what I know Korean culture and heritage, but after watching some negative videos on peoples experience of living in Korea and a ton more positive ones, I stand conflicted if I would want to live in Korea, and there would be considerably less job opportunities outside of Korea. A sensible person would choose Chinese as this language would be by far the most useful (with job opportunities worldwide), but I know that I wouldn't enjoy studying the Chinese language as much as I would Korean. The thing that makes this by far the hardest is that I am gay, I know that China, Korea and Japan are not as strict as other countries on LGBT, but the fact still remains that it's shunned by everyone. I would have to hide this fact from my employers as I have read that many homosexuals were fired when their employer learnt of their orientation (Only Korea and China). I feel if I were straight I would definitely go for Korea, because I would just think of living n the country not about my job. But thinking of the fact that these countries are developing rapidly both Economically and Socially, it could be possible for Homosexuality to become less taboo (Korea does seem most promising, China least and Japan already is) but it's still a huge risk and is a bit IF, I can't decide if it's worth taking. Should I have even take a giant step to do a language joint with my degree in business? I don't know anymore, where I felt excitement and enthusiasm to learning a language initially I now have doubts and stress.Thank you for reading this far, it sort of turned into a rant and went pretty long, but I really need another persons perspective on this.Thanks :)
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reader, WiseOwlE + ♥, writes (1 January 2015):You don't design your life around your sexual-orientation; because there are so many other factors in your life that will effect your happiness and success. Your sexual-orientation is only a part of who you are, not all you are.
The bravest thing a gay man can do is stay rooted and established where he was born. The world is wide-open to you. You can travel to observe many cultures; but your fascination may only be a passing interest or fascination. It's not always about "acceptance" by society in being gay. It's self-acceptance and survival in spite of all the challenges you face.
You're making decisions about making a living and residing in Asian countries where you've never been. You must study more about them and possibly study abroad, and get your feet wet. Possibly as an exchange grad-student, or through a fellowship.
You're looking at the world through inexperienced eyes and a bit of fantasy. That is expected at your age.
It's better to establish yourself in your country of origin; because your professional/financial success in other countries as a foreigner may not be as easily done as you might think. International corporations in your own country may offer you opportunities to work in their affiliate companies across the globe. That is a very practical goal. To become an executive for a foreign-affiliate or branch of a major international corporation.
You don't have to give up anything, and you will not be reliant on the politics; or be vulnerable to hostile elements that make could make competition against nationals difficult. You could have the best of both worlds.
You will also have to adapt to a culture, language, food, and traditions of nations completely different from your own. The culture-shock may be immense. Trust me, at your age you have a lot to learn just about being a gay man. You're not a full-grown adult at 16-17. Your mind and body are still growing and developing. You will have many interests and change your mind many many times.
Finding love is not easy no matter where you go. You may feel very isolated until you have established yourself professionally and adapted to the culture. You'll have little time to do much else. It doesn't all just fall into place; because it's what you want.
It would be a wonderful idea to travel when you can, to get a feel of the countries that you've expressed your interest. Actually living there may be a bit of far-thinking.
I think maturity and experience will help you to make reasonable and practical choices about your life. I know a young man who moved to Australia and ended up living on the streets and begging. He blew his inheritance and savings in a short bit of time. His job fell through, and his friends abandoned him. His family could barely afford to bring him back. Now he has met a Chinese guy online; and has moved to China to live with him. I know precisely how that will turn-out.
Once again, he will receive a harsh dose of reality. I still wish him the best. I wish you the best as well.
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reader, anonymous, writes (31 December 2014):Hi, I studied Chinese for 4 years at university (I'm from the UK) and now live in China, so I hope I can offer some insights. Firstly, a warning, it's impossible to obtain a work visa for 2 years after you graduate, therefore absolutely no working allowing in China, so job wise you would have to stay out of China for 2 years after graduation. I'm not sure how you feel about that? Secondly there are many issues with Chinese society that don't make it a particularly nice place to live. At first it seems very free, crazy and fun. But if you're talking about staying a significant period of time, out of Korea, China and Japan, it's by far the worst. Awful standards of health care, terrible pollution, very unhealthy food (not just nutritionally but all the dodgy chemicals), terrible manners, corruption, anti west views etc. But again, if you're not planning to live long term then this is irrelevant. (DISCLAIMER: I'm not anti China at all, hell I live here and my husband is Chinese, I'm just pointing out the facts).As far as being gay is concerned, the big cities like Beijing or Shanghai are in fact very open. There are gay bars and a thriving gay community. There is no hatred towards homosexuality here, people just think it's a bit odd lol.Japan and Korea both have wonderful cultures with far less of the downsides, so for me I would choose one of those. But that's just me, I hope this is of some use to you.
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reader, anonymous, writes (30 December 2014):Do not choose your degree based on your sexual orientation.
Definitely study a language with your business degree; it will open more doors. China is the new big economy so their language would be the most practical choice. You can study Korean as an extra module. Or as a hobby.
I studied a foreign language as an extra uncredited module at university on top of my actual degree. I now live and work in the country where that language I did as a hobby is the official language. I work in a huge multi-national and I have more opportunities because of the language that I learned as hobby. How amazing is that?
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reader, anonymous, writes (30 December 2014):First of all you should definitely not determine your degree course based on your sexual orientation. You obviously want to do business with Korean studies and at the end of the day you've got to spend three years doing it so you might as well do what you love. Also it's not necessarily an disadvantage to be able to speak korean as opposed to Chinese as you will be far more unique to an employer who needs diversity in language. Lastly a career in business will mostly involve trading in big cities where anythinh goes. Go for it and good luck.
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