Apr 22, 2012

Here We Go...

I suppose I should start at the beginning. About 6 months ago, I realized I needed to shake things up. I'm not talking like "find a new hobby" change, or "make new friends" change. We're talking a Big Life Change. One of my biggest regrets is that I never studied abroad in college. I love traveling. I come from a family of modern American nomads. Wanderlust is in my blood.

I knew I wanted to move to a new country. The question was: where? And more importantly: how to pay for it? That's when I discovered this hidden (or not so hidden, depending on how in-the-know you are) world of teaching English abroad. My first thought: "Score! I can finally put my heretofore useless Linguistics degree to work!"

You may be wondering, "Meg, of ALL the countries in the world, why South Korea?" The answer is simple: Money. Lots of it. I know that sounds like a terrible reason to pick a country to live in, but it's the truth. South Korea has the biggest market and highest pay for native English speakers in the world. There are tons of perks, too, like reimbursed round-trip airfare (um...hello? you had me at reimbursed), free housing, and all the benefits of a full-time job. As a 24-year-old who works a part-time job (read: 34.5 hours), with another part-time food service job to supplement, and who is still on her parents' insurance (thank you, President Obama!), the lure of health insurance and paid vacation was enough to make me start drooling.

After a lot of consideration between public vs. private schools, I decided to try for a position with EPIK, the public school program. I completed a TEFL course here in Boston last month through the Boston Language Institute and applied through a recruiter, Footprints. So far, they have been excellent! They've answered all of my questions, and have walked me through the very daunting application process (more on that later).  If you're looking for a good recruiter, I highly recommend them.

Anyway, I'm currently in the process of submitting my GIANT MOUNTAIN of documents, which are needed to secure my contract. I don't know where  in Korea I'm going yet. There's also still the very real possibility that something could go horribly wrong-- resulting in me not getting a job at all.  It's all very up in the air, so I'm trying to stay positive, not get overwhelmed, and, most importantly, not get completely freaked out about the prospect of uprooting my life and moving to another country.


  1. I enjoy reading your blog! I'm in the same boat as this post right now and trying to decide the route to take. What made you decide to go through a recruiter instead of applying straight through EPIK?

  2. I'm glad you like my blog! I'm not sure exactly what made me decide to go through a recruiter. It seemed easier, somehow. Also, I remember thinking that if I didn't get accepted into EPIK, I could use the same recruiter to find a hagwon job. There's nothing wrong with applying straight through EPIK, though, and many of my friends did just that. They didn't have anything bad to say about it, as far as I can remember.