전에 유럽 이민에 관해 쓴 글들이 있습니다.
내가 태어나 살던 곳을 떠나서 외국인으로 살아가기로 결정을 내리기까지 쉽지 않아서요.
제가 살고 있는 체코에 비추어볼 때, 미국, 호주, 캐나다처럼 이민자가 많은 나라들과 다르게
유럽국가들은 전반적으로 이민에 개방적이지 않습니다.
유럽에서 이민자가 많은 나라를 꼽자면
영국은 인도계 이민자들, 프랑스의 경우 아프리카대륙에서 온 이민자들,
독일은 터키계 이민자들이 주를 이룹니다.
아래 해외동포 분포도와 통계수치를 볼때
영어권 국가인 미국, 캐나다, 호주, 뉴질랜드 대비 영국의 재외동포숫자는 적다는 것을 볼 수 있습니다.
아무래도 한국동포가 어느 정도 있는 국가로 가야 정보공유도 되고 한국식품 구매도 가능하겠죠.
재외동포 다수거주 상위 30개국 현황 (2013년 기준)
재외동포 다수거주 국가 현황- 2013년 (단위: 명)
1 중국 2,573,928
2 미국 2,091,432
3 일본 892,704
4 캐나다 205,993
5 러시아 176,411
6 우즈베키스탄 173,832
7 호주 156,865
8 카자흐스탄 105,483
9 필리핀 88,102
10 베트남 86,000
11 브라질 49,511
12 영국 44,749
13 인도네시아 40,284
14 독일 33,774
15 뉴질랜드 30,527
16 아르헨티나 22,580
17 싱가포르 20,330
18 태국 20,000
19 키르기즈 18,403
20 말레이시아 14,000
20 프랑스 14,000
22 우크라이나 13,083
23 과테말라 12,918
24 멕시코 11,364
25 인도 10,397
26 아랍에미리트 9,728
27 사우디아라비아 5,145
28 파라과이 5,126
29 캄보디아 4,372
30 대만 4,304
기타 국가 동포 수 77,147
저는 개인적인 꿈이 외국에 살며 해외에서 일을 하는 것이었습니다.
남편을 만나기 전부터 해외취업의 길을 다방면으로 알아보고 있었고요,
주로 영어권 국가 이민을 생각했기 때문에 영어공부도 열심히 했습니다.
계속 해외쪽으로 눈을 돌리다보니 자연스럽게 외국인 친구들도 생겨나고
제가 한국을 떠나오기 전에 사회에서 주로 만났던 사람들은 외국사람이거나 재미교포였습니다.
저의 지난 포스팅을 보신 분들은 아시겠지만, 제가 체코생활 중에 마음이 헛헛하여
툭하면 눈물 바다에 향수병에 괴로워한 것을 읽으셨을 것입니다.
그렇게 외국생활을 꿈꾸고, 해외에서 사는 것이 인생목표였는데 말이죠.
남편도 왠만한 상황 잘 이겨내는 깡깡한 제 성격을 알고 있고, 해외에서 살아도 잘 살 것 같았는데
향수병으로 고생하며 체코에 불만을 토로하는 것을 보며 이렇게 힘들어할 줄 몰랐다고 하더라고요.
물론 체코의 경우 공산주의에서 자본주의 체제로 변화하며
외국인들에게 자유여행국가가 된지 불과 20여년 정도 밖에 안되었기 때문에
더욱 폐쇄적인 유럽의 상황 보여준다고 할 수 있습니다.
프라하에 살다가 암스테르담으로 이사 간 건너건너 아는 분은 유럽생활에 대한 불만이 없어졌다하더라고요.
유럽이민 이야기를 다시금 꺼내는 가장 큰 이유는 최근에 있었던 세월호 사건을 보고 나서입니다.
이 멀리에서도 한국의 비통한 소식에 마음아프고 눈물나고,, 안타깝습니다. 그 어린아이들이..
배 사고야 날수 있죠.. 하지만 가장 제가 화가 난 부분은
사고 이후 배안의 승객을 놔두고 탈출한 선장과 선원들 !!!
그리고 체계없이 우왕좌왕했던 정부의 사고대처 !
그리고 유가족이 있는 현장에 와서 라면먹기와 기념촬영하는 고위급 공무원들 !!!!
정말 말문이 막힙니다. 우리나라 대한민국은 어디로 가고 있는 것인지.....
피어보지도 못한 꽃같은 아이들이 기다리라는 방송말만 믿고 기다리며
차디찬 물에서 죽어같을 것을 생각하면 정말 분통이 터집니다.
제가 체코남자와 결혼해 10년을 20년을 체코에 산다한들.. 저는 한국사람입니다.
한국의 비보에 마음이 아프고 참으로 우울합니다.
세월호로 인한 사회적인 충격은 이루어말할 수 없고,
이로 인해 국가 전체적으로 우울함과 고통을 겪고 있어 눈으로 보이지 않지만
사회적 손실이 엄청나다고 생각합니다.
게다가 지금은 정신이 없어 힘이 있는 것처럼 보이는 유가족들과 생존자, 그리고 친지들, 학생들, 선생님들....
차차 시간이 지나며 현실을 받아들이게 되고 더 큰 심리적 2차 충격이 올 것이라고 생각됩니다.
그 분들.. 정부의 대처를 보고 한국 땅에 살고 싶지 않으시겠죠.
그리고 이 사건의 진행상황을 보며 답답함과 비통함을 느끼는 한국분들도
한국이라는 나라에 정떨어지리라 생각됩니다.
참.... 태어난 아이들도 제대로 못지켜주는 나라면서, 애를 많이 낳으라니요-
외국에서 오래생활하신 분들은 아시죠,,,
각 국가에 한국대사관들이 얼마나 자리지키에 연연하고 자국민 보호에 큰 신경쓰지 않는지....
(정말 열심히 일하고 계시는 대사관 관계자들에게는 죄송한 말씀이지만, 대부분 동포들이 느끼는 바입니다.)
저는 한국 사람이고, 언젠가 때가 되면 한국에 돌아가 살고 싶습니다.
그래서 한국이 좀 더 정치적으로 성숙해지고 자유롭고 인권이 존중받는 멋진 나라가 되어가길 바랍니다.
그런데 정부의 위기대처 능력을 봤을 때
리더쉽 부재의 멍청한 지휘관은 사람 목숨을 앗아갈 수 있다는 것을 증명한 셈입니다.
앞에서 바른 방향으로 끌어가는 리더가 갈길을 헤매고 있으면, 뒤따라 가는 사람들도 길을 잃게되죠.
사실 해외이민을 고려할 정도면 한국에서 생활수준이 중산층은 된다고 생각합니다.
이민 비용이 만만치 않으니까요...
한국의 척추가 되는 중산층이 모두 나라를 떠나버리면 앞으로 한국의 상황은 어떻게 될까...라는 걱정도 됩니다. 하지만 우선, 사람이 생존하고봐야죠.
이번 사건을 통해 저는 멀리 체코에서도 대한민국 국민의 생존권이 제대로 보호받고 있다 생각되지 않고
더 나아가 국민의 생명도 보호해주지 못하는 국가라면, 국가의 기본 기능을 상실한 것이라는 생각도 듭니다.
그러한 국가에서 의무를 지우고- 영토를 지키며 애국심을 갖기를 바라는 것은 바람직한가요?
현재 이민을 고려 중이신 분들께 추천드리고 싶은 책이 한 권있는데요. <여보 이민이나 갈까> 입니다.
이 책은 제가 체코행을 결심하기 전에 읽었던 책인데요.
한국 사람들이 왜 이민을 결심하게 되었는지 뿐만아니라 이민을 가서 적응하지 못하고
다시 한국으로 돌아온 이야기도 포함이 되어 있어
다각면으로 이민에 대해 생각할 수 있어서 도움이 되었던 책이었습니다.
현재는 절판이라 구하기 어려울 수 있습니다.
여보 이민이나 갈까
002. -캐니다 이민수기
003. -미국 이민수기
004. -호주 이민수기
005. -뉴질랜드 이민수기
007. 이민 실전가이드
008. -이민! 선택과 출발
009. -캐나다 이민 가기
010. -미국 이민 가기
011. -호주 이민 가기
012. -뉴질랜드 이민 가기
고민 끝에 이민을 결정하셨다면 이민 국가 선정시 고려해야할 점에 대한 개인적인 생각 말씀드리겠습니다.
여기까지 제 긴 글 읽어주셔서 정말 감사합니다.
남편이 체코이민에 대해서 영어로 쓴 글이 있는데요, 제 글 만큼이나 긴 남편의 글입니다.
체코로 이민을 생각 중이시라면 한 번 읽어보시면 좋을 것 같습니다.
The Should I Move to the Czech Republic Checklist
I thought of a few YES/NO questions that I from my experience believe every foreigner and especially Koreans considering relocation to the Czech Republic should ask himself or herself. Please don’t take those too seriously, it is just me trying to make some points I think should be made, so here we go:
1. DO YOU UNDERSTANDAND SPEAK ENGLISH?
If you can’t read the following text in English, perhaps it is not the right time to relocate to Czech – please take into consideration that your life here without any knowledge of either Czech or English will be very difficult. (those sentences in Korean)
Lets start with the obvious first question: are you able to understand legal documents, lease contracts or employment contracts written in English? Can you communicate at a job interview, at the post office, in a hospital?
Many Koreans I meet speak English very well although some are ashamed to use their English. This usually goes away with practice, before you answer YESto this question though, let me clarify a little: Do you understand REALLY REALLT BAD English too?
Because unfortunately, the English you will hear in Czech is far from textbooks and Hollywood movies. Czech English is full of strange patterns that even native speakers have problems with (we love using Czech Grammar in English sentences – native English speakers like to call this “Czenglish”), we speak with terrible accent, often stutter, confuse words and worst of all – with all this most of us still think our English skills are awesome and if you don’t understand, it is your fault. What makes this even worse is the fact that a great number of government officials, post office workers or for example immigration police officers are middle-aged ladies and gentlemen who never really had a chance to work on their language skills properly. This is due to the horrible educational system from the communist times and they are unfortunately some of the worst English speakers I ever met. Sounds horrible? Well, I’m trying to scare you a little. If you are still confident though, add a point!
2. DO YOU UNDERSTAND AND SPEAK CZECH?
Silly question, I know. If you do speak Czech, you have already lived here most probably and won’t be reading this in the first place. However, truth is that very few Koreans do, actually very very few foreigners in general do speak or even understand this horrible language of ours. It is one of the most difficult languages in the world, some even say it is THE most difficult language and it is completely different from Korean in almost every aspect. Don’t feel too bad if you tried to learn it and your progress is not too fast.
Why am I asking this question then? Because I would like everyone to realize that the language can not (unless you are a genius) be learned in a year or two, not to a level where you could work or study fully in Czech. Please do not think you will be able to master the language and effectively use it right away! Sorry about this discouragement, but it really is not a good idea to come here with only enough savings to survive 6 months hoping that meanwhile you will learn Czech and start working. Sorry again, bit of a bummer. If you actually do speak Czech though, you don’t need to add any points because you win. Yaay!
3. DO YOU HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE LIVING ABROAD?
Did you ever spend some longer time abroad? Let’s say a minimum would be 6 months in a “western country” and by western country I mean some place, perhaps outside of Asia, where people use mostly forks and knives instead of chopsticks and handshakes instead of bows? Some experience with living outside of Korean community for long, speaking some language you are not a native speaker of in a culture which you might at some points find strange or even annoying is what I would call a necessary prerequisite, unfortunately.
Czech Republic in my personal opinion is not a ”beginners’ level” country to move to. Compared to countries like Australia, United States or Germany, our culture is much more difficult to understand, our laws are complex and frequently changing and the day-to-day life tends to be quite tiring here. Maybe the most important thing to realize would be that due to our complicated history most Czechs adhere to different value systems and life goals, unfortunately especially when compared to Koreans. Many things a Korean would never do are a standard behavior for a Czech, be it how we perceive relationships and dating, our efforts at work, in education, religion… It is a different planet so to speak, and just as an astronaut going to a different planet, you might need some training to survive here. Discouraged already? Not yet? Great! If your answer to this question is yes, add a point!
4. DO YOU HAVE A PLAN AND DO YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE IT WORK?
I’m assuming that you have a reason to even consider moving to the Czech Republic. Maybe it is study, maybe work, maybe relationship, maybe you have a great business plan, maybe some other reason I didn’t name. Whatever it might be, I think more important than your reason itself is – do you know how to achieve your goal here? Usually, as it kinda always is in life, things get more complicated as they progress.
If you want to work here, do you already have a job offer here? Great, don’t worry about a thing then! If you don’t and hope to just find something here, be very careful. The EU law stipulates, that every job opening within the Union, including Czech Republic, has to be filled primarily by the country’s citizen or by another EU country citizen and ONLY if there is no suitable EU citizen available for it and the employer can prove this, they can employ someone from outside. In real life this means that only a job no Czech or EU citizen can do or a job that no Czech or EU citizen wants can be given to a third country national, a Korean for example.
In reality this means the only suitable jobs for Koreans here are Korean speaking jobs because those are the jobs Europeans can’t do. Needless to say those are very rare, usually only few openings a year. If you have a business plan, then again, your idea might work very well or it might fail just like in every country.
The general rule however should be to make yourself at least familiar with the Czech law first. Opening a hostel or restaurant for example is a real challenge, believe it or not, that is also why most of the Korean hostels in Prague operate illegally and under great risk of the police discovering them and closing them down. Only to be able to serve food to customers you need to have a certification as a cook recognized by Czech government, certification that your kitchen is sanitary, certification that it is safe to use, certification that your foods are stood properly, certification that your staff can deal with crisis situations such as gas leaks or fire and so on, not even mentioning the taxes and legal registration of the actual business. It is all doable, don’t worry, it just isn’t very easy.
If you are coming for love, the best reason of all, I won’t discourage you. Love is great and can of course overcome any obstacle. I will again only ask you to plan at least a little ahead and again consider the difference in cultures, particularly in relation to married life and weddings and also when it comes to material aspects – relocating to your girlfriend/boyfriend’s country usually means living off one income for a longer period of time, so please make sure you are ready for this.
If you still think your plan will work out, please add a point!
5. WILL SOMEBODY HELP YOU OUT IF NEED BE?
This one is a simple question really. If you stay in the Czech Republic for a while, it is bound to happen that you will need a help from either a local person or somebody with experience in some field – filing tax report, finding a house, fixing some home appliance… the usual everyday stuff.
If working for some local company or a Korean company doing business here, you usually don’t have to worry about this, they will help you out for the most part. If living with a Czech person it is the same thing I’d assume – your boyfriend or girlfriend will take care of you or at least they should. In all the other cases though, please try at least to establish some contact with the Korean community here or find a Czech friend who can give you a hand if needed. As I said before, this country is still not very foreigner friendly and particularly the administrative part of living here can get very bothersome very fast. Found a helper yet? If so, add a point.
6. WILL YOU BE ABLE TO RESUME YOUR LIFE IF THINGS GO WRONG?
This question is actually in my opinion one of the most important ones and also one that so many people forget about. If something (or everything) goes wrong, do you have a plan B? Will you be able to “resume” your previous life without losing too much time or confidence or resources or are you playing all-in when coming to the Czech Republic?
Not to be too pessimistic but those things happen often, we all know it: business plans don’t work out, new job turns out to be horrible torture, the school program is not what I really thought it would be or it turned out I didn’t really know that much about my girlfriend/boyfriend and she/he turned out not to be the person for me… now what? You might have quit your job in Korea, you might have spent all your savings, you might have lost contact with your friends. Will you be able to just leave the Czech Republic and resume your life if your plan here fails?
I think this is a very important question before you take the step and move here, make sure you can go back to where you started with taking as little “damage as possible”. For example, if you are coming for business, don’t invest all your money in it, keep something for safe return home, be sure you will have a place to stay if it happens, shoulder to cry on… I know one can’t plan for everything, but we can always have a plan of retreat at least.
If you have such a plan B, add a point.
7. ARE YOU READY TO LEAVE KOREA FOR GOOD?
This last question is a bonus question of sorts – it will not concern those of you who intend to stay here only temporarily, students or fixed-term workers, it is intended for those who decided to relocate and start a business or serious relationship and so on. The question is: do you accept the fact that you might never go back to living in Korea again?
To explain a little: lets say you have a great plan for a great Korean restaurant in Prague, it works out and you are serving delicious food and making loads of money off it. Perfect! This however means that you can’t really leave the country for long though, can’t spend time much time with your family back in Korea, can’t send your children to Korean schools… And also if you change your mind at some point and decide you had enough of Czech as most foreigners do sooner or later and want to leave, selling the business might be a bit complicated – not too many buyers for such enterprises here.
Example number two, quite a common one: lets say you came here to live with your boyfriend, maybe you even got married, found a job. Then, similar thing happens, suddenly, maybe after few months or maybe after few years, you get homesick tired of this country (don’t worry, this actually happens to everyone – I’m tired of it too). You want to leave, maybe relocate back to Korea for a while, eat some seafood, go hiking, go see Wondergirls concert or something like that. How about your boyfriend though? Will he go with you? Will he do the same thing you did before, abandon everything and go?
Korea is just as difficult for a Czech as Czech Republic is difficult for Koreans, do you think he would be willing to leave his career and family and move to a completely different culture?
If you know you are leaving for good and don’t ever want to come back or if you know that you will be able to come back without any issues, please add a point!
So your score is… Nope, there are no results, sorry J I was just trying to point out some questions that you might want to ask yourself before taking the big leap and moving to the Czech Republic. Don’t bother yourself with the score, there are no correct and incorrect answers here and it doesn’t matter how many points you got. What matters is being confident in your decisions and this one is a big one, so if you still believe in it after going through this dumb little posting, please go ahead and follow your heart. To quote someone smarter – “The worst thing isn’t failure, the worst thing is not trying.”