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I’m Going To Teach Abroad (and hopefully eat lots of kimchi)

Last week, I signed up for a 100 hour, online TEFL course.

That’s right ladies and gents, I’m going to teach abroad!

Johnny and I have been wondering what to do after we go to Europe. We teased with the idea of going to Thailand, but in the end, the prospect of teaching abroad won out. We’ve actually already started our E-2 visa process for South Korea (more on this in a second). Yes, South Korea!

So, why S. Korea?

Well, 3 of my friends from college and 2 of my friends from high school are all currently teaching in Korea and can’t stop talking to me about it. Every time I sign on to Skype, I’m bombarded with “When are you coming Sheryll? Why haven’t you started your application? I love it here!” The idea of making money from something I actually like doing sounds awesome, Korean fashion = amazing, and my friend showed me a picture of an entire Hello Kitty grocery store, so I’m pretty much sold. Johnny is excited to brush up on his Tae Kwon Do and possibly test for his 2nd degree Black Belt, in addition to learning Korean Judo. He’s in heaven.

I’ve always loved the idea being a teacher. Teaching is one of my most rewarding jobs on the planet, in my opinion. And after a long deliberation with Johnny, we decided it was the best thing to do. We did some research, and the next day we signed up to get our TEFL certifications. The deadline for EPIK (English Program in Korea) is in December, so we had to get the ball rolling on our E-2 visa checklist, which includes:
1. Copy of university degree with apostille
2. 2 letters of reference, notarized
3. FBI Criminal Background Check (CBC) with apostille
4. Heath Statement
5. 3 sealed, official transcripts
6. 6 to 8 passport photos
7. Signed employment contract
8. TEFL/TESL/CELTA certificate (you don’t need a TEFL certification, but you will get paid more if you have one)

I’m trying to get as much done as possible before we leave for Europe, since if we were to get a job we’d have to leave the US again by the end of February. I already have my degree, we started the CBC process, requested transcripts, and we’re getting our passport photos done tomorrow. It’s a lot to do, but Johnny and I have never been so excited about this new chapter in our lives. We both signed up for our 100 hour online TEFL certifications through TEFLonline.com. They came highly recommended by a few of my friends, plus a quick google search shows they are the real deal. According to their site, “TEFLOnline.com was developed by Bridge, an accredited institution and the largest provider of TEFL courses in the United States.” The 100 hour online course is $346.50; not too bad in my opinion.

I’m really pumped about possibly living somewhere new, being an expat, and experiencing a different culture. S. Korea will be unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. I’m not expecting it to be rainbows and roses, but that’s also the most exciting thing about it. And besides, it’s only for a year (or maybe longer. Most of my friends love it so much they plan on renewing their contracts).

So not only will I be blogging about my European adventures, but also about the TEFL course, the Korean E-2 visa process, the process of getting a job, and all the other insane stuff happening in my life….like my little sister’s wedding in a MONTH.

I have so much on my plate. At times, I’m completely overwhelmed. But this is all a million times better than my life last year. It’s scary and exhilarating all at the same time. And trust me, I’m ready for something new. I’m ready to meet new people and get the hell out of Los Angeles.

Have any of you taught English abroad? How was your experience?

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