Actually the blog title should be “I moved to South Korea!”
Two weeks ago I jumped on a plane and landed in Seoul, South Korea.
Why am I in South Korea, you might ask?
After a long and complicated process I have managed to land a job as an English Teacher in South Korea through the EPIK program. EPIK works with the Korean Government to hire people who are experts in English.
Does this mean you have to have a teaching degree or study English at college? Not necessarily, although that would help you in both cases.
While my major was English (Creative Writing) at UMW, I had no idea what I wanted to do after college. I graduated a year ago and have been traveling a lot since then as well as working a crappy job to pay for more traveling.
I had been thinking about going to S. Korea ever since my fellow UMW alum/friend Gina went back to Korea to teach with EPIK. She studied in Seoul for a year, finished her degree at UMW, and then moved back to teach.
Since I want to travel the world, I decided I should really find a way to travel and get paid to do it at the same time. So I ended up making the decision to teach English overseas.
Now comes the question of why exactly do I want to teach English in South Korea, rather than say a Latin/South American country such as Panama? After all I speak Spanish, and have never spoken a word of Korean, nor have I ever been to Korea (I have been to Panama before).
I decided on South Korea for 3 main reasons:
1) I have a friend there.
2) They pay really well compared to a lot of other countries for this kind of job.
3) I want to travel around Asia & explore Eastern culture.
The major influencing factor of why I came to Korea is because I have my friend Gina here. While in theory moving to an unknown foreign country should be awesome and thrilling, actually moving there to live for a whole year is a different story.
I spent the 2 planes rides I had to take to come to Korea FREAKING out. My thoughts went something a long the lines of this “AH!! WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING?! Why am I moving to this random country I’ve never been too! THIS IS CRAZY!”
Then I would calm down and think “No! You are going to meet so many cool people and travel all over Asia and Korea. It’s going to rock! I can’t wait to actually put my college degree to use!”
But a few minutes later I would go back to the “AHHHH THIS IS CRAZY!” thoughts.
Yeah, the 17 hour plane ride and 30+ hours of total travel times were not kind to me. But to have my friend be waiting outside of immigration, waiting to show me around Seoul and also to explain how things work in Korea felt like a huge burden off my shoulders. Even if I realized I hated Korea, I still would get a chance to see my friend I haven’t seen in over a year.
Furthermore, the Korean Government also pays more money for foreign English teachers than other countries such as Thailand or Panama would pay. They also cover my housing and my flights to and from Korea. All in all, seems like a pretty awesome deal.
Thirdly, living in South Korea would offer me the chance to easily travel to countries I’ve wanted to visit for years, e.g. China, Cambodia, and Japan. While I have experienced hispanic culture a lot growing up in the States with having Latina friends and having traveled to a few Latin countries, I have never had the opportunity to experience real Asian culture first hand.
I will be living in S. Korea for a whole year and so have decided to try to keep a running blog about my experiences here and my trials and errors with Korean culture and learning a new language.
This should be an adventure of EPIK proportions… 😉