Kylie: Once I started looking for a job in Korea, I looked at the TEFL Institute page for their recruiter suggestions. To get a job in Korea, you pretty much have to go through a recruiter. Korean Horizons was on their list so I sent them my information and did a little online research. The majority of their reviews were positive and soon after I sent in my information, I got an email back from a recruiter named Alistair. He was very patient with me, answered all my questions, really took the time to get to know what kind of job I wanted, and then he set to work looking for a job for me. He guided me through all the paperwork, applications, and got me the interview for this job.
What made this teaching experience unique and special?
Kylie: Working as an English teacher in a foreign country will probably always be a unique and special experience, but I think I really lucked out with my job. Alistair, my recruiter, called me one day and asked me if I'd be willing to apply for a job at a special new program. It was a public after school program that was just starting up. I told him I'd be interested and he said, "Great, you'll have your interview at 7 AM tomorrow morning." The interview went well and I got the job offer on the spot. My program has 5 foreign teachers total. We have small classes and young Korean co-teachers. Our head teacher, who is in charge of the program, is fantastic. Apart from being a great teacher, she's done everything she can to make our transition smooth and help us succeed. I don't know how I would have been able to transition to life here without her.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Kylie: This job has changed my life, obviously, because I moved to Asia, I'm learning some Korean, making friends from around the world, and I've learned what it's like to be a teacher. It's really opened my eyes to the possibilities of working abroad for a while. I used to think I couldn't be away from home this long. Turns out I can, and even though I miss my family and friends, I'm really enjoying my time here. I plan to keep traveling after my contract ends and I foresee myself continuing to have an international focus with my career for quite some time.
What is one piece of advice you would offer something considering teaching abroad in Korea?
Kylie: DO YOUR RESEARCH! Yes, that needed to be capitalized with an exclamation point. Research the companies. Research the recruiters. Research the cities you're looking to work in. Research the schools. The more you know, the more you know what you want and the better you'll be at spotting something that does not seem legitimate. There are a lot of unknowns when you apply to a job overseas so know as much as you can before you apply, get the job, and get there.