I fly to Korea in 16 weeks! Wow, it seemsfar off still, but I've done so much in preparation for it already. I ordered my background check for my Visa, and trying to get scheduled for all of the necessary vaccines. Got fancy luggage to carry my life with me for a year. Was given wonderful letters of recommendation in case they are needed for the visa interview. Of course I am waiting for my actual diploma to be issued and transcripts finalized. I scheduled all of my annual check ups right before I leave. I am giving away my pet degus. It is a long process.
I've gotten a TON of questions from everyone already, so here is some basic background on the position:
I went through an agency, Teach ESL Korea, and everyone there has been wonderful. They have walked me through the application steps, set up interviews with great schools, and are now helping me with my Visa. The best part is that the schools pay the agency, so I was not required to sign up or pay to apply, and all of the schools are pre-screened and verified safe and trustworthy!
Yes, I have signed a contract: it is a sure thing.
My flight out will be in the last week in July.
It is in Daegu, South Korea. I am *not* going to North Korea. This is the third largest city in the country, and is about 4 hours south of Seoul by bus. One thing that is interesting is that Daegu is entirely surrounded by five huge mountains, so I will have a beautiful, natural environment close to the huge, busy city. This is one of the reasons I picked this particular city.
I will be teaching 3 to 10 year olds English. From what I gathered in my interview, I won't be playing games with the younger ones all day. It seems to be a very serious school, which I am excited to experience for myself.
It is a year contract, and Korean schools are year round. I will not be back in the U.S. until July or August 2011.
No, I do not know Korean. Actually, it is not required for the position, but I am intending to learn at least some to communicate with the population in general. When this semester ends and I am not devoting all of my free time to Chinese, I will begin studying Korean, and will most likely hire a private tutor once I am in Korea.
The school is providing an apartment for me within walking distance of the school; it is considered part of the pay.
This Christmas I will get a week off and am planning on going to Thailand. My parents actually agreed to meet me out there, which would be awesome.
In other news, I went to Washington D.C. earlier this semester for Model Arab League Nationals. I was lucky enough to be able to explore the city and found the Korean Embassy and Consulate's Office. Before my Visa is finalized I will have to go to Chicago for an interview at that Embassy. I am slightly nervous about it, however, I met the Embassy staff at the U.A.E.'s Washington branch and they were wonderful. Model Arab League has really made me less anxious about this interview process.
Until May, I am focusing on finishing up my B.A. (international relations, international business). The next steps in the Visa process require my diploma, and it is a hard waiting game for me! I will update with news and such, but until August it probably won't be anything too exciting.