Why Korea you ask? Simple enough. I was a recent college graduate that knew the world was my oyster. I was itching to travel, to explore, to teach, and to discover more about the world and myself. I knew that pushing myself past my comfort level to work and live overseas would put me one step ahead of the game for all future job opportunities.
I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education in 2012, and like all recent college graduates, I didn’t have any real teaching experience under my belt. I didn’t want to settle for a job in Minnesota that seemed mediocre. I was so fortunate to have met Don Kwon at a job fair. He was able to find a job at a fantastic school in Jukjeon, South Korea that suited my personality so well. I knew without a doubt during the whole process of preparing to leave for Korea that I was in good hands.
I knew the school I was placed at was perfect for me. My co-workers had become like family and my students had grown so near and dear to my heart. Although I was living on the other side of the world from my family, I was able to establish friendships and become part of a community of expats that made me feel right at home.
Going to Korea was the best decision I could have ever made. The children I taught never ceased to amaze me and I felt so respected as a teacher. I was able to travel throughout Asia. I was able to save money and pay off a significant amount of my student loans. Most importantly, I made lifelong friends from around the world. I feel I have returned to America as a more confident teacher that can offer a worldly experience to any of my future students.
Saying goodbye to my students, co-workers, and friends in Korea was very difficult. I often reminisce about my time in Korea and know that in a heartbeat I would do it all over again.
By Brooke Northfield, Elementary Education major, St. Cloud State University, Class of 2012