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I'm an extroverted flame dame with a shiny nice girl exterior. Commonly Refered to as the resident Attention Whore. My main goal in life is to become famous and I'd appreciate it if you'd watch me do me....

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Conditional Love- Korea

Salutations! This is the start of a beautiful relationship. I'm Andrea and I want to go to Korea more than I want to take my next few breaths. I've been obsessed with the Korean culture since I was little. ( My mother was military and did a 2 year stint in Seoul) I've been fixated ever since. The ESL program EPIK has allowed me the opportunity to visit Korea for a whole year. The kicker is that they will pay me (handsomely) to do so. So I'm on my way hopefully in June of this year. This blog will serve as a pass time hobby and documentary of my life in Korea from Conception to Finale.

To even begin to think about Teaching English in Korea there are a few requirements:

Be a citizen of one of the 6 designated English speaking countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States of America
Hold at least a Bachelor's degree
Be mentally and physically healthy
Possess a good command of the English language
Have desire and ability to adapt to living in Korea
Have a 4 year Degree
No Criminal record

Since I had all those bases covered I decided to try to enlist the help of a recruiter. I post my contact information and resume on several website. was the most helpful and very insightful website concerning the topics of ESL. I got a few responses for job offers but they were just inquiries. I began to search for blog of other ESL hopefuls that had gone before me and found that it's often hard to place African American teachers in Korea. I don't think it has anything to do with racism really; it more that Koreans associate English language with Caucasians. At long last I received a serious job offer fro Gyeongju the old capital of Shilla! And what luck- they actually wanted Black teachers! At this point my Best friend got offered a job at the same school. So if all goes well we'll begin a career of backpacking across the world under the guise of English teachers.

I really wanted to go to a public school because there seems to be less trouble and more security in working for public schools versus Hagwons (private institutions). I've read horror stories about Hagwons that forget to pay you, over work you, and scam you out of your 1 year completion bonus.

Here is the description of our job offer:
#A. Elementary School in Yeongju
Location: Yeongju city, Gyeongbuk province
Distance: 3 hours from Seoul
- Start Date: April~ May~June
- Salary: 2.2~2.6M/month (22h/week), or 2.3~2.7M/month (25h/week)
- Overtime: 20,000won/h
- Bonus information: 1 month salary at the completion of 1 year
- Working hours: 22hours/week or 25hours/week
- Working time: 8:30am ~5:30pm (M ~ F)
- Teaching level: Elementary
- Vacation: 2weeks (Could be more since it is up to principal)
- Housing: Single Furnished (10 mins by walking)
- Airfare round trip, Health insurance, National Pension Plan
- Number of position: 6
- Note:
My salary will be 2.1 -2.3 about 2100-2300 USD permonth plus an extra 300 b/c Gyeonju is considered a rural area. I'd love to live in a big city but it's more expensive. Gyeongju appealed to me b/c it's close to the beach and close to Busan. Busan is a big city with a miltary base (my brothe ris stationed there).

Our recruiters name is Amy, She is very informative and sweet and prompt with emails. Gotta love that. She began to guide us through the hellish process called OBTAINING DOCUMENTS.

This a list of the DOCUMENTS you must obtain:
* Original College Diploma- You'll get it back!
*Signed contract -must be in Korean and English
* 2 Sealed transcripts from your university-
* Passport copy- get you passport done early it's about $100USD
* 4 passport sized Color photos-
* Criminal Back ground check- go to your local police dept. and ask for one it's free. Then get it notarized. Then send it to your nearest Apostillization Office with the appropriate amount of $$ in a money order.

You'll be sending all these things to your recruiter ( air mail @ about $40 and 7 days to get there) - who gives them to your employer- who then submits them to the government so they can kick out your Visa number. You'll then be able to take you passport to a Korean Consulate near you to have the visa attached to the passport. This might take a while and sometimes it involves you having an interview with the Consulate. Make sure you know a few facts about where you're going, why you want to be there, and the president of Korea's name.

This is the point I'm at now. I sent all my documents and now I'm twiddling my thumbs and obsessing about packing enough goodies for a year into 2 suitcases and paying for the flight. You pay for your own flight ( about 800-1000 usd) and the school reimburses you in 2 weeks. I have to say that I'm very excited.

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