Staff Spotlight: Reuben Zuidhof

Placement Coordinator
Go Overseas recently caught up with Adventure Teaching Placement Coordinator, Reuben Zuidhof. Reuben moved back to Canada after nearly 6 years of living, teaching and working with Adventure Teaching in South Korea. He taught for 2 years at a hagwon and 1 year at an international school, both of which he loved and will never forget. After his first 2 years in Korea, he co-founded Adventure Teaching in hopes that others would have the opportunity to experience what he did – and that is still his goal!

What position do you hold at Adventure Teaching? What has your career path been like so far?

Reuben Zuidhof from Adventure Teaching

I first left for Asia in 2005 with my wife, Sarah Jane. We had very clear goals in mind - let's gain some international experience, pay off student loans, and have some fun while doing it! Our first teaching job was an ideal situation. Our director was extremely hospitable and genuinely wanted the best for us.

After a few teaching gigs in Korea (I stayed for 6 years total) a friend and I decided we wanted to share this opportunity with as many people as we could. The experience of living and teaching in Asia had changed and transformed my life in the best of ways and I wanted to help other people get their foot in the door! What started as a MySpace page many years ago has now grown into a burgeoning company we call Adventure Teaching. I'm currently the CEO and love being a part of giving people the life changing opportunity to live abroad.

What separates Adventure Teaching from other recruitment companies?

One of the reasons Adventure Teaching was founded was to be an agency for teachers. One they could trust. One they knew had their best interests in mind. One that wouldn't just fling their resume at random schools, but would handpick schools for them - matching the teacher's own story, background, and goals for moving to Korea with a school that would be a great fit for all of those things.

We wanted to be an agency that wouldn't sugarcoat the tough realities of living and working in Korea. We started with giving people a realistic view of living and working abroad through our page, "Let's be Frank," which ended up being the very first page added to our first website. We believed that if we set the expectations of teachers at a realistic level, they would have much less to deal with in terms of surprises after they arrived in Asia.

In your opinion, what makes a good international teacher?

Flexibility, commitment, enthusiasm, an open mind, and a willingness to embrace adventure.

What does the future hold for Adventure Teaching?

Our mission of providing people with a life changing opportunity to live and work abroad will not be changing anytime soon. Our entire team exudes a passion for bringing teachers through the whole process and hearing their feedback once they have experienced life abroad.

There is nothing as sweet as sharing in the enthusiasm of our teachers after they arrive in Asia! We are looking to expand beyond China and South Korea and our teachers are looking forward to future opportunities to teach elsewhere.

Anything you'd like to add?

Whether it be teaching in Asia, volunteering in Africa, working in South America, or doing an exchange program in Europe, living abroad for an extended period of time will change your life. Period. Don't wait and think that later in life you'll have more time to do this. Make time for it now and I guarantee you won't regret it.

I've seen thousands of teachers move overseas and I've never had a single one come back to me and tell me that they regretted jumping in. Even those who found it to be a difficult experience can now look back on their time abroad with fond memories. It's easy for us to say our slogan again and again, because it's still true all these years later: you should probably do this.