Home Blog

Sarid Family’s Korean Summer Adventure: How a Business Trip Turned into a Perfect Family Experience

Eyal Sarid, a system engineer at Nova, never imagined that a two-month business relocation to South Korea would be right for him—what would he do so far from home, away from his family?

Yet, with support from the Nova team on the ground, and crucially, with his wife and daughters joining him for the entire stretch, the trip turned into quite the adventure! Eyal successfully set up Nova’s tools, using cutting-edge technology, while the Sarid family had the time of their lives experiencing an unforgettable summer in the captivating land of South Korea. Now that they are back from the relocation, Eyal share his journey with us:

Eyal, we’d love to hear about your background: how long have you been with Nova, and what’s your role?

I'm Eyal, proud father to six amazing kids, and I've been part of the Nova team as a system engineer for the past year and a half, working within the Standalone group. A few months back, Nova tasked me with heading over to a leading customer in South Korea to get a machine up and running, one that’s at the forefront of a new technology we've created at Nova.

Wow, how did the kids react when they first heard about the trip?

The idea came up just before summer. My older kids mentioned they had their own plans for the summer and they prefer to stay in Israel. That was the point my wife and I realized that this relocation might just happen as she really wanted to join and encouraged me, and the younger girls, would simply come with us where ever we take them. My wife was really keen on us going – and in the end, it all worked out beautifully!

Arriving in a new country can be an overwhelming experience. Could you describe your family's first impressions and experiences upon getting to South Korea?

Hands down- this was an absolutely wonderful experience.

The team in Israel really helped smooth our transition, and the welcome we received from the Nova Korea team was incredible! We had just under a month to prepare for this adventure, and they went above and beyond to ensure everything went seamlessly and comfortably.

Additionally, back when we were still in Israel, we reached out to the Chabad house in Seoul. They informed us about a summer camp they were organizing in the first two weeks of July. We thought, "Perfect, instead of summer camps in Israel, why not a summer camp in South Korea for a gentle introduction?" So, for the first two weeks, the girls attended the camp, which introduced us to the community of Israeli and Jewish families in Seoul. It was such a comforting experience and really eased our transition to this new setting. Jewish families in Seoul. It was such a comforting experience and really eased our transition to this new setting.

How did you and your family bridge the distance with friends and family while in Korea? 

My wife set up a WhatsApp group titled 'Survivors in Korea,' a playful nod to our surname, Sarid, which in Hebrew means: survivor.
She added our family and friends and regularly shared her daily experiences. It was a way for me to stay connected and catch glimpses of her day while I was at work. More than that, it became a support system for us, enveloping us in warmth even while we were far from home.

What a lovely idea!

It really was! As part of this, she encouraged me to contribute to the group too saying that I should also share what I’m up to. I listened to my wife, I shared my experiences and received some wonderful feedback!

How exciting! Can you share how you adjusted to South Korea's culture, particularly with regards to food and keeping kosher?

Being a religious Jewish family means that we need to adapt to a new cuisine while keeping kosher and that was an interesting part of the journey.

Back in Israel, we decided to stick to a vegetarian diet while in South Korea, relying mainly on fruits, vegetables, fish, and legumes. Although the variety of fruits and vegetables was somewhat limited, we found more options in fish. Initially, our main food source was the local market. Food became a constant consideration throughout our stay. I quickly realized the importance of cooking for ourselves – otherwise, we'd have little to eat! Supermarket visits were challenging. The girls would eagerly search for kosher labels, often returning disappointed due to the limited availability of such products.

Life abroad often comes with its fair share of surprises. Can you share any other memorable experiences from your time in South Korea?

Yes, we encountered a couple of "mini crises." Two days after our arrival, my youngest daughter’s stroller broke. Without a car and unsure where to buy a new one, we were in a bit of a bind. But after joining a group of Israelis in South Korea, someone generously found us a second-hand stroller, purchased it, and delivered it to us just before Shabbat. This act of kindness was truly heartwarming. We also met some incredibly friendly families who were also relocated to South Korea.

Another challenging situation arose when we discovered that the police had placed a notice on our house, indicating that it was illegal to rent and we needed to vacate. This time, the HR team at Nova was instrumental in assisting us. They supported us from the beginning and at every step, ensuring we found a suitable alternative.

In terms of your professional journey in South Korea, what elements stood out as being especially impactful for you? 

On the professional side, the collaboration and support from Nova's corporate team, as well as everyone at the Korean site, were remarkable. They were always there to assist us with any question or need we had, ensuring we never felt alone.

This was a significant concern before we arrived – the fear of isolation, especially concerning my wife and daughters adapting to the new environment. Fortunately, our experience was incredibly positive throughout our entire stay. We felt comfortable, welcome, and personally fulfilled.

Regarding the work itself, implementing a new system in South Korea felt incredibly significant. I had this strong sense that what I was doing was not just important but fundamental to Nova’s success. It was more than just a job; it felt like making a real impact. 

What was your experience of balancing a demanding work schedule in South Korea while also ensuring quality family time? 

Balancing work and family time was challenging. Most days, I was working from morning till late evening, which sometimes made me feel a bit disconnected from my wife and daughters. Despite having to work on Fridays and Sundays, we managed to squeeze in a couple of short but intense vacations to explore South Korea a bit. Since I was mostly at work, my wife took the lead in managing the girls' schedules, exploring Seoul, and even working remotely during that period.

Looking back at your time in South Korea, how do you think it has helped you in your job now that you're back in Israel? 

When we got back to Israel, I returned to my original role, and I truly believe that the trip has been a significant professional boost. It provided me with an opportunity to enhance my skills in a real-world setting and exposed me to aspects of the job I wouldn't have experienced if I hadn't been on-site in South Korea. Undoubtedly, having your family with you, enveloped in support from every angle, really enables you to concentrate on your work. To me, this is a crucial blend, a "winning combination"!

When your family is content, everyone feels involved in something significant, and it also empowers you to thrive, advance, and succeed. Knowing your family is taken care of gives you the mental space to focus on your professional responsibilities and upcoming challenges.

Hearing about your experiences in South Korea has been incredible. Your story is a shining example of the growth and opportunities that await us all. We're fully behind you and look forward to more of your inspiring adventures!

Nova Team
Nova Team

Related Articles

Dr. Xinrui Lyu’s Vibrant Path at Nova

With a background in material science and a passion for innovation, Dr. Xinrui Lyu's inspiring path unfolds from her days of scientific fascination to becoming a pivotal member of Nova's DMD department. Through challenges, accomplishments, and a profound commitment to her role, her story reflects the thriving spirit of women in engineering and technology, showcasing […]

Nova Introduces Nova METRION®- our New in-line SIMS Product...

Dr. Shay Wolfling, Nova's CTO is proud to introduce the Nova METRION®- our new in-line SIMS product and technology. Click Play to watch the webinar Hello to you all, In this short online Webinar, I want to introduce the Nova METRION®– our new in-line SIMS product and technology. The webinar will include a short overview […]