The internet is a strange place. Even though it’s not a real, tangible thing, it has the power to make real, tangible things possible. Take this blog for example. I never really meant anything by it except to write a few musings. However, it has made a coincidental meeting into something more meaningful.
Back in November, my friend Jordan and I were on our way to Seattle for a friend’s wedding. Due to some guy going crazy in Chicago, our flight got postponed, cancelled, and moved. Incidentally, we met a couple of guys who were the gender-bender version of ourselves. A White guy and a Korean guy. We exchanged a few gripes and laughs about our situation and parted ways at the Seattle Airport. Ironically, we met back up when the guys walked into the same train car Jordan and I were in. More laughter and jokes about accidentally meeting in the city ensued. They got off a few stops before Jordan and me, never to be seen again. Or so we thought.
In April, I decided to recap about my interviewing experience for schools in Korea. I hadn’t kept up on the blog at all and never checked my email to see that I had a message waiting on me. Turns out, it was the Korean guy from the airport! He found my blog when he was researching his case worker from Holt Children’s and saw my picture. Turns out, he and his White counterpart both live 50 miles away from where I live.
We sent emails back and forth comparing adoption notes. (They synced up like a plagiarized book report.) We all decided to meet up for a mini reunion. Games we played, food was eaten, and fun was had by all.
Things seem to be moving a lot faster now. I have regular contact with my recruiter with news of a new position, questions, answers and the like. Everything feels so rushed, and I’m paying for it dearly in both money and ulcers. Here’s what’s been happening so far:
April 7, 2015
I got an email from a recruiter (SY) with an interview opportunity in Suwon. However, the school is looking for a Korean who can speak Korean. I was honest with my abilities and explained that I would not be able to speak to parents comfortably.
April 8, 2015
– SY decided to set up the interview anyway. The interview was schedule for the same day at 10 pm EST.
I got an email from a recruiter saying that a school is Suwon was looking for someone who spoke Korean. I have been learning Korean for the past 3 years, but my abilities hardly reflect someone who has been studying for so long. I explained this to the recruiter knowing that it would probably mean I would be passed by for an interview. However, the next morning I got another email with an interview request for that evening.
I was pretty stoked. My first interview! This was really happening! I spent the whole day researching example interview questions, practicing my responses, and asking my Korean friends for advice.
Here’s what the job offer looked like:
Back in the autumn of 2014, I made a decision: I was going to teach in Korea. I had been thinking about doing it for years but there was always something keeping me in the States. Relationships, a career, the familiarity of where I was, and the fear of the unfamiliar, I always had an excuse. However, that autumn I found myself out of a romantic relationship and after a summer trip, found that Korea wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. So I threw myself in to the process 100%. Here’s where the journey has taken me thus far:
OCTOBER 13, 2014
I started by getting myself a recruiter. I had done extensive research years prior and remembered one recruitment service that stuck out above the others http://www.teacheslkorea.com/. I filled out the application and received an email detailing the name and contact information of the recruiter assigned to me.
OCTOBER 14, 2014
My recruiter, Amanda, recapped my application and sent me a TON of information. I had to make myself several checklists of things to do. The most important being TEFL/TESL certification. Upon Amanda’s suggestion, I signed up with TEFL Online.
NOVEMBER 2, 2014
I begin my 120 hour TEFL course. I’m a bit more than disappointed with the program that I enrolled in. The units are passable with a 70% score and, to my understanding, one may re-do the unit if the score falls below 70%. In addition, the 120 hour program does not include any in-class credit which is highly desired among schools. This is the problem I am facing now. More on that below.