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Do Your Research Before Teaching in Korea

8 May

I’ve received hundreds of questions about teaching in South Korea over the past two years. And while I’m excited that there’s a strong base of people interested in going abroad to teach, I’m a little concerned about the types of questions I have been receiving about teaching abroad.

Most people have been asking me the same questions:

  • What documents do I need for my visa?
  • How much can I expect to make/is it enough to live on?
  • Do I need a TESOL?
  • What do I need to bring from the USA?

These are all very important questions to ask before moving to South Korea, and every prospective teacher should be an expert on the answers before going over. The problem is these questions have been answered over and over again, and a quick Google search will reveal the answers. I usually don’t mind answering these things, but that people are asking me without doing their own research tells me that they’re not ready to do their own groundwork before coming over to Korea.

Before I taught abroad, I scoured the Internet for all the information I could get about teaching in Korea. And it took me all of 1 hour of Googling to learn the basics of what I needed to do learn before coming over.

I think a lot of people who ask me questions want me to do their research for them. I don’t do that. But I do answer tougher questions that come up after people have done their research. And usually, in those cases, I’m not too much of a resource as I just answer from my own personal experience.

Again, I would encourage all prospective teachers do to their own research before coming. Recruiters and Dave’s ESL message board are two great resources, although checking other websites such as the US State Department’s travel site.


Insadong and Loneliness

30 Mar

Long time no blog!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what approach to vlogging I want to take. Do I want my vlogs to look like tourist videos? Do I want to appear as a “host” type figure or as a vlogger who is trying to convey the experiences and emotions of someone who is working in a foreign country? Do I want my Youtube channel just to be an online diary?

I feel like I’m coming more towards an answer as to what type of vlogger I want to be, and I think that comes through in my video about Insadong and loneliness.

Insadong is a popular tourist destination in Seoul. I originally went to shoot some video and to find some traditional Korean decorations to spice up my apartment a bit. However, two Korean girls approached me in the middle of the street and took me on one of the most interesting adventures I’ve ever had.

And that’s half of what I wanted to vlog about. The other half was as a sort of response to people who complain that they are lonely in Seoul and that they don’t have any friends. All it took for me to meet people was for me to go out in the middle of the day and walk around filming things with my camera. If a goofy looking guy like me can do that, there’s hope for any lonely English teacher in Seoul. Anyway, check out the video (in full 720HD!) below.

Let me know what you think, and feel free to leave a comment below!