I have neglected to post in awhile as life caught up to me and proceeded to whack me into shape. Alas, I have gotten it together (as one can try anyway) and am back to update/discuss my journey to Korea. A lot has happened in the 2 months since I decided that teaching in South Korea had to become a reality rather than a dream.
Roughly a month ago I received an email from a lovely lady named Jessie, a consultant at Korvia, about a position that she thought would be a good fit for me. I was impressed by the fact that although she was not “my” consultant she had looked through other consultants’ teacher profiles to fit what the school was looking for. Long story short, I got an interview with the school and on the day of my Skype interview Jessie was there to help me along. I was able to Skype with her beforehand to check the audio and video feedback and to ask any questions about the interview. Once that was done the real interview started and went fabulously! One week after the interview, I heard back from Jessie and was thrilled to be offered a job in Daejeon, South Korea for an affiliate of the International school in the area. Now I had known that if I was offered a job I would sign the contract in no time at all but I also knew that I would need a bit of time to process the fact that, assuming everything went as planned I would starting a new life in 5 months and that thought was, in all honesty, a bit scary.
I am a worry-wart by nature and as fun loving as I can be, I can get tripped up along the way. Once I accepted the job I, like many others, thought it would be smooth sailing from here on out but if you have lived in another country before you know that the visa process can bring you back to reality VERY quick. In an effort to keep this from trailing on I will talk more about the visa process in tomorrow’s post!
Anecdote: Being a student in the last semester of University can be daunting as you try to navigate the world and secure a job for the future. However, over the years (and other jobs in-between) I have learned that being true to who you are as person makes you shine in interviews and that humility in admitting to the things you don’t know shows that as a human you have flaws but you can overcome them as you grow! So pep-talk aside hah You Can Do It!
So you want to teach in Korea? Well there are several things to take into considerations~
One of the most important things to understand is that if your major is not an approved one, such as Linguistics, you will need to obtain a TESOL/TEFL certificate in order to teach. You can get such a certificate through the American TESOL institute, as I did for mine, or other approved one in your country. Secondly, you will need to hold citizenship in a country where English is an official langauge or primary langauge and you can find more information about this on South Korea’s education website (http://english.moe.go.kr/main.do?s=english).
Once you’ve taken care of that you’ll need to think private versus public schools. The pay is different, the hours are different, the amount of vacation is different and so on. The pay is usually a higher starting salary in the private schools, called Hagwons, and this type of school is more along the lines of a cram school that students attend after their normal school hours. That being said the hours can be later in the day, lets say maybe from 14:00-22:00, and you will be teaching a variety of levels. These private schools also have less vacation time and from what my recruiter said vacation time is usually assigned by the owner of the school. Very different right? Also important to note is that private schools DO NOT recieve government funding, so in the event that the business fails you may find yourself without a job.
The similarities are that both provide housing, reimbursement for flights and usually 50% of medical. I personally will be looking to the private schools as the recruiter that I went through felt that will the little experience I had teaching I would be most qualified for a Hagwon. I would recommend that anyone who wishes to teach go through a company like KorVia (http://www.korvia.com/) because it makes the process less confusing and you have someone who can help match you to a school, private or public, help you with the required paperwork and the visa process. Plus a lot of these companies will pick you up from the airport and help you get to your place!
If you have more questions feel free to comment!
Picture from http://thenews-chronicle.com/south-korea-turns-off-propaganda-after-north-expresses-regret-for-mine-attack/