It occurred to me shortly after I [unlocked my cellphone] that I should be able to use my phone over Sprint’s service internationally. The problem was that I didn’t know how much that would cost. So I used Sprint’s Customer Support [livechat] to find out.
Here’s what I found out:
I’ve been stressing out over life in Korea. The latest topic: cellphone. I could buy a new phone in Korea, but that’s super expensive. I have no idea if I’m staying for longer than a year, so it wouldn’t make sense to commit to a 2-year contract just for a cheap phone. I have a perfectly good Galaxy, so why not use it? Since Korea and the US use different frequencies, I have to get my phone unlocked in order to use it.
I thought the process might be difficult, but it was really a walk in the park.
By this time next week, I will be in an airplane heading toward a new home in Korea. At times, it doesn’t quite feel real. My family keeps asking me what’s on my Bucket List of things to do or eat before I leave. Truth is, there’s not much that I feel like I need to do, and there’s really not much that I feel like I can’t get in Korea. Turkey and limes. Those are the only two things that I might miss while in Korea. But who wants to eat turkey and limes as your Swan Song Dinner?
Perhaps I’ve complained about this in previous posts. I really did not want to take the 20 hour in-class portion. When I first heard that many of the programs in Korea were starting to require this certificate, I didn’t quite understand what it meant. My recruiter from Teach ESL Korea suggested I take the 120 hour course from BridgeTEFL since more and more programs required the 20 hour in-class component. But here’s the thing: the extra 20 hours are not in-class work. It’s an extra 2 modules for adult learners and young learners. I definitely feel like I was grossly misled here. The extra modules pretty much rehashed everything that the first 10 modules covered. Feeling a little had, I decided to aim for a job with GEPIK (Gyeonggi English Program in Korea). GEPIK did not require the 20 hour in-class certification.
July 1, 2015
My recruiter Scott from Ez English asked me to call him on Skype. Turns out that I failed [Interview #2] surprise surprise. Scott told me that there were officially no more jobs for me in GEPIK and asked if I would be willing to open the search up to hagwons. Hagwons were my last resort. I was hoping and praying that [Interview #3] with GOE went well enough that I wouldn’t have to work at a hagwon. Fearing the worst, I told Scott that I would look at hagwons. “Great,” he said. “I’ll have an interview ready for you in 5 minutes.”
What. Just. Happened?
2016 NOTE: The GOE Coordinator has changed since this post. The new coordinator’s name is Jin. He’s a great guy, speaks English fluently, and much less uptight during the interview from what I’ve heard. Don’t get too relaxed, though. It’s still a competitive market, and you should prepare as if you were interviewing with Daniel.
2016 NOTE: Roy no longer works for Hands Korea. There is a new recruiter named Brian that is less than stellar from what I have heard from his recruits. There is also a high chance that he will not contact you in a timely manner if you are female. Again, this is based on personal accounts from people who were recruited by him.
June 10, 2015
I got a call from yet another recruiter. This one’s name is Hero from Hands Korea. He seemed like all the other recruiters except he is one of the two who actually called me on the phone. (Joseph from STAR Teachers was the other one.) The next day, Roy from Hands Korea e-mailed me applications for both GEPIK and GOE.
June 22, 2015
I got a Skype message from Roy at Hands Korea. He had set up an interview with Gyeongnam Office of Education (GOE). The Gyeongsangnam-do (Gyeongnam for short) is a broad area that wraps around Busan.