Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Alive and Well

Well, my blog now resembles that of many others, in which a long hiatus leaves followers guessing as to whether or not their blogger has died, gotten sick, failed their pursuit, or just gotten lazy. I'm happy to announce the first three guess are wrong and pathetically it is the former guess only that holds validity. True to blogger form, nothing crazy or interesting has betaken me but I have fallen willfully into a state of lazy negligence. I initially started my blog a little earlier than I had planned in order to compete in a blogging contest with my university as well as track my application process before I go. I never followed up on the contest and wasn't notified about winning, so I can pretty much put two and two together. However, I have made some progress on the application front so I figure it's time to indulge you.

I got my application in right away on the opening day, but true to form it wasn't completed 100% accurate. I followed up with my recruiter about 3 weeks later to see how it was going and that's when I was informed about the errors and got them corrected. After only a few days I was given an interview time for the end of that month. I had the interview and it was pretty basic questions you find on any decent forum. My interview was close to an hour, more than likely because I talked more than most I imagine. My buddy Ben's interview was short and sweet, I think he said about 30 minutes max. So after that I spent a long time gathering my documents, this is when the lazy carelessness arises. I was all set and ready to rock and roll but when it came to my documents I was too busy planning my summer and finding work. Needless to say I've now sent my documents and I'm just waiting to get a 'notice of appointment', basically a job offer. I probably won't be in Busan or any big metropolitan area due to my slow document collecting. I'm just hoping to land a job anywhere, but it'll most likely be in a province in a more rural setting. If I don't make the August cut, then there are openings in September and October in which they do second and third rounds of hiring, so I'm likely going one way or another but I need to be flexible cause it could be any time within those months.

Anyways as for now I'm working at Hawk Ridge Golf Course in my hometown until I head out. I've got lots to do if I end up going for August 18th, including lots more visiting of friends before I go. So I'll let ya know more when I do because things are going to start to get a little dicey in the near future!

Hope everyone is having a good and more productive summer than I am!


Friday, March 19, 2010

No Real Updates

Alright so I got absolutely nothing for you on this one but it has been a long time and that in itself warrants a post. So I've collected my two reference letters and applied for my criminal record check (approximately two weeks to process here in Canada, FYI). I also bought a "proof of graduation" letter which states that I'll obtain my degree after this semester... last exam April 21. I had the credits for my degree after last year but knew I was returning so never applied for the diploma, in case I miraculously upgraded to an Honours degree this year (did not happen). Finally I have transcripts as current as they can be at this time. So I'm just waiting for EPIK to release their August application form so I can get my hands on one, fill it out and get it to my recruiter, Footprints Recruiting, asap.

For my first choice of city I decided to go with the city Busan, or Pusan depending on your preference. Phonetically it sounds like a combination of B and P put together. It's South Korea's second largest city, and it is their largest port city on the South-East coast and just a hop, skip and a jump to Japan. Population is currently about 3.5 million. Footprints is sending 100 teacher's to Pusan in August and I'm hoping to be one of them. Two friends, Ben and Michelle, from my university are also looking into Pusan for August so if we all got it that would be sweet. Anyways like I said I got nothing really new for you but hopefully I'll have something new for you soon once I know more. And thanks to my new followers.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Some South Korean Basics

The Flag of South Korea - "Taegeukgi"


Contains the Chinese yin and yang symbol surrounded by four trigrams representing the four Taoist philosophical ideas about the universe: harmony, symmetry, balance, circulation.

South Korea's Geographic Position in Northeast Asia

The Korean Peninsula at Night...

Friday, January 29, 2010

ESL Korea Requirements

Alright I thought I would give a little info on ESL teaching in Korea because I have nothing new and exciting to report as of yet. I'm in the process of getting two reference letters and filling out the EPIK, English Program in Korea application form for August 2010.

A List of all required documents for teaching English in Korea:
-Valid Passport
-Bachelors Degree or better
-Officially Sealed Transcripts
-Criminal Background Check
-Official Passport Photos
-Updated Resume
-Reference letters
-TEFL, TESOL, CELTA, Teaching Certificates (optional)
-*also note you must be a native English speaker from one of the following countries: Canada, United States, Great Britain, South Africa, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand.

Once you have gathered these documents for your recruiter they can then provide you appropriate documents in order to acquire:
-E2 Health Statement
-School Contract
-Visa Application Form
-Korean Consulate Document Checklist
-Public School Application Form (not required for private schools - Hagwons)

Once everything is completed the applicant sends all their information to the recruiter and to the Korean Consulate in their country. Then usually there is an interview with the Korean Consulate in which they review your documents and speak with you for 30-45 minutes. I think I may avoid this going through the public school system but those applying to private Hagwons will definitely have an interview. If all goes well you simply wait until your visa comes in and then you can book your flight!

That's it for now. Take Care.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Footprints Recruiting

After researching every recruiter I could find online I decided to go with Footprints Recruiting based out of Vancouver, Canada. They are one of the biggest and from what I've read and been told they "put the teacher first". I'm not to worried about that though, as I am heading for the public school sector and therefore have a fairly good idea of what I am getting into. The private schools are typically where you run into shady bosses that withhold pay or try to overwork you. The public school stream was more appealing to me because while you do make less money, that pay is secure and guaranteed. Another plus is that you work in unison with a Korean teacher who speaks English. In private schools, or hagwons, you teach your own class to groups of 10-20 students and typically you work between 2-10pm. Public schools have much larger classrooms of 25+ students, and you work between 9-5.

Footprints Recruiting places many teachers in the public school system in South Korea which made it an appealing option. They have over one hundred jobs that they are filling for August 2010 for EPIK, the English Program in Korea. The beauty about EPIK is that there is a one week, or ten day orientation in South Korea before your contract starts. This allows you to network with teachers who will be placed in public schools all over South Korea for the next year. The only catch that many people dislike about EPIK is that you do not find out which school your assigned to until you arrive at the orientation in South Korea! This freaks people out but it's all just part of the ride.

So I had my phone interview with Footprints. It was a half hour with Jeff Strachan, co-owner and before he hung up he welcomed me aboard and said they would be glad to help me get my documents in order and help me secure a spot in EPIK for August 2010. I'll probably talk more about the requirements and which documents you need as I start to gather them. Reference letters, officially sealed transcripts, original degree, E-2 working visa, interviews with the Korean Consulate, etc, etc. Well I got my recruiter so it's time to gather some documents but more on that later.