My work contract for South Korea arrived in the mail today! I’m booked to leave for Korea mid-February and this week I’ll be picking up my E-2 work visa at the Korean Consulate in Nu’uanu. Things are moving like clockwork…
My homebase in Korea: Daegu, South Korea
Employer: EPIK (a government program)
Job Position: English Teacher
Grade Level: TBD (Elementary was my first preference; after spending the past 3-4 years working on teen reality shows, I listed high school as my last choice)
Duration: One Year (tentative)
As I said I’d do just about anything for the opportunity to live abroad… up to a point.
If you ask me, after you pass 35, it’s all downhill because you’re pretty much 40.
This is a sobering wake-up call for many Gen-Xers like myself, who feel tethered to a time clock still beating with youth’s romantic ideals. At this point, Time is certainly,…of the essence. In following winged dreams, you feel your feet chained, balancing risk with wisdom; you can play but you must also make your choices count! A teach English abroad program through EPIK seems like the perfect plan for merging travel fun with a respectable live/work abroad situation.
My Wishlist for a ‘Job Abroad’ :
1. Paid work with benefits and a vacation
2. Sponsors a work visa
3. Supports a basic, yet comfortable lifestyle
4. Pays travel expenses and accommodations
5. Strengthens current career tools and skills
6. Gains possible skills & experience towards “a secondary profession”.
7. Entails: creative & innovative problem-solving, psychology, communication, people skills
8. Job goal: Empowering and inspiring others
An English Teacher with EPIK fits the equation of a full package.
Why did I choose South Korea?
Why didn’t I pick one of the popular destinations on the traveler’s map, such as Thailand or Japan? Despite the fact, I have a step up on some of the language, Japan was too competitive and equated glamorously high expenses. Alternately, Thailand’s low cost of living also stipulated a salary where I’d eventually return home with a feeling my dollars had turned into dimes. How much is popularity worth?
Truthfully, I know very little about Korea other than what I know of kimchi and K-drama; yet mystery and the unknown always works well with travel. Aside from the fact it offered one of the highest pay scales with a low cost of living, first world accommodations and B-boy culture, I also feel like it’s a country on the rise.
From my job application essay:
Korea is a young country but it is quickly catching up with the rest of the world powers to define its own standard of achieving excellence. Teaching abroad enables me the opportunity to share and empower Korean youth with a practical and working knowledge of the English language and to assist this youth in gaining confident leadership skills to apply towards building relations for their future. For myself, the opportunity to teach in Korea grants me the privilege of exploring the Korean culture, traditions, people and the progress it has to offer.
Better brush up on my K-drama and hip hop moves!
Next: A Gap Year: 10 Ways to Gain a Year (vs. Lose One!) Part III >>