As my nephew was watching TV, he lifted his head, looked at me and asked me this question…
Parker: When are you going to leave?
Me: Back to Korea?
Parker: [Nods head]
Me: On Tuesday. Why?
Parker: Because I don’t want you to go.
I love my family! It’s so good to be back for a visit. I miss them a lot when I’m away. I’m staying with my brother and sister-in-law while I’m here. My nephew has been kind enough to turn his room into my hotel room.
I got a text from Mendi (SIL) before I got on the plane yesterday saying she was cleaning my room. I told her to be sure to leave a room service menu. To my surprise, she did. When I opened it up, it was blank. Hahaha
I’ll be in Texas until mid-March, then it’s back to Korea with my love.
I finally got to teach on Thursday and Friday (March 3rd & 4th). My co-teacher spent about 20 minutes introducing the class and the rules and I had the other 20 minutes to introduce myself and my country. It was so much fun! The kids’ reactions were amazing. I’ve noticed that gasping is pretty common in Korea and my presentation got quite a few gasps, like…
When I told them that Texas is so big that it takes me 4 hours to drive to my dad’s house.
When I showed them the picture of the World’s Largest Pecan in Seguin.
When they saw the picture of Dallas at night and again when I told them there’s a restaurant in Reunion Tower… And it turns around in a circle!
But the biggest gasp came when I showed them the picture of my family… And they counted all 20 of them.
The kids loved seeing pictures of my family members. I showed pictures of…
They loved my dad’s grey hair, that I look like my mom and thought my brothers were handsome and their significant others were beautiful. They also really loved seeing my niece and nephew.
Here are some of my favorite comments…
From a boy: “Teacher! Your face! ……….Beautiful.”
From a girl: “You are….. very.” (I took it as a compliment)
Also, one student said the boy sitting next to him thought my niece was cute. The whole class giggled.
Overall, the first week was great and it made me feel a lot more confident about teaching.
I spent a lot of quality time with friends and family
Went to Puerto Vallarta… twice
GRADUATED from university
and went on a cruise!
For many years I have dreamed of living somewhere overseas. I considered many options, but teaching English seemed like the way to go. I did a lot of research and weighed the pros and cons of each possible country I could teach in and I finally decided on South Korea. In October 2010 I began the application process to apply for EPIK (English Program in Korea). EPIK places Guest English Teachers in public schools all across the country.
The entire process is very long and costly. The application was 10 pages long and required me to write an essay. I also had to gather documents, including a state and FBI background check, transcripts from every college I’ve attended, passport photos, a resume, letters of recommendation, etc. I had to get documents apostilled (and had to learn what the heck an apostille is). But most of all, I had to have patience. After submitting my application, I was interviewed. The interview lasted about 20 minutes and I felt like it went pretty well. Two days later, on my way back from a trip to Austin to get documents apostilled, I was notified that I passed my interview.
After passing an EPIK interview, all documents must be sent to South Korea for review. Placements are made on a first come, first serve basis so it’s important to get everything in early to secure a desirable placement (you know… somewhere that isn’t out in the middle of nowhere). My documents were in by the first week in November… and I waited… and waited… and waited. Placements are not guaranteed so for months I was on pins and needles. I was given final confirmation of placement in early January and my contract arrived a few weeks later. I immediately sent my visa application to the Korean Consulate General in Houston and within days I had my visa back and booked a one way flight to South Korea.
So, ladies and gentlemen, for the next year I will be living in Busan, South Korea. I leave in less than 2 weeks (February 15) and I will be in Korea until February 26, 2012. Once I’m in Korea I will go through a week long orientation in Busan and on the last day I will find out what school I will be teaching at, and what age level. I will also get to meet my co-teacher, and possibly the rest of my co-workers.
I am a level 2 teacher, which means I will make 2 million won every month. My school will provide me with my own apartment, and I will only be responsible to pay utilities and maintenance fees (if charged by my apartment). I will be living in Busan, which is the second largest city in South Korea, so there will be plenty of things to do and see.
I will be updating my blog constantly before I leave so please check back soon. If you have any questions for me, please leave a comment below. I’m going to try to update again tomorrow with more information about Busan.
Thanks for reading!