Working with Don and ESL Job Link was a very reassuring process. Don is very professional and organized and eased any trepidations I had towards moving to Korea. I really appreciated that Don actually travels to Korea twice a year to see the schools he is sending recruits to. It was great to know what my housing and school would look like before I decided to move. He was also always available whenever I had questions or concerns about moving or teaching and he would always return my e-mail or phone calls quickly. Don thoroughly explained the recruiting and visa process and helped me with all the paperwork needed to move to Korea. Since being in Korea, I have received everything I was promised by Don and my school. I have had no problems with being paid, getting vacation time, or having appropriate housing.
I have no regrets about moving to South Korea and I am having a wonderful time so far! This experience has been a once in a lifetime opportunity and it is hard to put into words how much I am enjoying my time here. I have learned so much about Korean culture, about teaching and about myself since being here. I wish I would have embarked on this adventure years ago!!
The teaching is hard work and long hours but it is worth it. I really like my school and I love my kids!! The kids are what make the long days really worth it. I won’t say the school is perfect because no place is, but I have very few complaints about my school. The weeks are long and can be very tiring but it makes the weekends that much better. One great thing about South Korea is how small it is, it makes traveling to different places easy. The public transportation is also great. I can get on a bus and be in Seoul in less than 40 minutes or I can take the subway to neighboring areas for a drink or dinner. I can also take the KTX or “fast train” and get anywhere in South Korea in less than 3 hours.
I would ask as many people as you can about what to pack and what to leave at home. I wish I would have brought more of my casual clothes and none of my dress clothes. It can also be hard to find particular items or some of your favorite things from home. I would bring enough supplies for the first few weeks to hold you over until you can find things you like. I tried to learn some Korean before I came here but it is hard to learn without hearing how things are pronounced. But definitely learn as much language as you can as soon as you get here! Also, get a Lonely Planet book about Korea. Lonely Planet makes great travel and phrase books that will come in handy once you are here.
The best part of being in South Korea is the amount of traveling you can do. I never would have traveled to Asia had I not moved here and now I will visit Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Japan, and all of South Korea. I am also meeting wonderful people, making lifelong friends, and learning so much about myself!
By Katie Eichten, Master’s in Counseling and Psychological Services major, St. Mary’s University, Class of 2007