With the recent announcement of Marvel Studio’s decision to film specific portions of the upcoming super hero flick Avengers: Age of Ultron in Seoul, there has been large amounts of talk and speculation on the net from both Koreans and foreigners in Korea.

The excitement level is high, as the previous movie with “The Avengers” moniker ended up becoming one of the highest grossing box office movies in the history of cinema. It also managed to gain acclaim and accolades from the casual film goer and comic fan alike. “The Avengers” did equally well in Korea, making it one of the highest grossing movies of the year against stiff competition, such as “The Amazing Spider Man” and “도둑들”  (The Thieves) and making the already popular Marvel name reach monumental levels of popularity in the small and primarily homogeneous country.

The fact that Marvel studios has decided to film in Seoul, among other international locations, is not only a smart marketing move on Marvel’s part, but also a smart move for the film goer as well. Believe it or not, filming in Seoul affects not just Korean film fans, but foreigners in Korea as well.

Within the last two years, South Korea has experienced a significant growth in the number of tourist and foreign visitors coming to experience the culture. Korea has also experienced a recent surge in the popularity of their pop culture with dramas, film, and K-pop becoming an increasingly attractive motivator to visit the land of the morning calm and a chance for the K wave to find more fans from around the world.

Couple this with data from 2012 claiming that South Koreans are the number one movie going audience in the world, reaching 200 million moviegoers. Most of whom watch their favorite movies at popular chains like CGV and Lotte Cinema.

With these factors in mind it is easy to see why filming in Seoul is such a smart move on Marvel’s behalf. A country who’s popularity is growing at a rapid pace combined with a powerful name that everyone recognizes. This guarantees that Marvel will have an audience willing to pay to see it in theaters, which will make “Avengers: Age of Ultron” a money making machine in Korea.

The Avengers is just the tip of the iceberg for what will soon be more international exposure for Korea. With the 2014 Asian Games, the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, and their increasing influence in the technological and economic arenas of the world, should be observed with excitement. This means more international exposure, more attention from international communities, and for those working here, even more chances that English will continue to become a growing necessity to succeed in Korea.

There has been much talk about reforms in the education system in Korea. More stories of teachers losing jobs or having difficulty finding jobs has created an atmosphere of uncertainty for teachers in South Korea.  While the market for teachers in Korea seems to have slowed down slightly, hearing stories like this seem to make it clear that foreign teachers are not going anywhere, anytime soon.

The need for English communication is about to become higher than ever and while further reforms may be made, for the next few years, the foreign English teacher will still be necessary.

The Avengers are not just heroes protecting and saving the world from maniacal super villains, they may very well save and protect the jobs of foreign teachers as well.

Cover Photo: Comicbooktherapy

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About The Author

Kyle Hovanec

Kyle Hovanec currently lives and works in Incheon, South Korea. He has contributed to several print and online publications in South Korea, including Groove Magazine.