For this installation of my misconceptions blog, I'm going to ask you to evaluate your personality. How open are you to the opportunity of moving overseas to teach English as a second language and to live in Korea and work with the children of Chungdahm? Are you ready to expand your cultural horizons beyond anything close to 'home'?
You've obviously come to this website to find out more information about teaching English overseas. Whether you are seeking personal or professional enhancement, by visiting this blog you have shown a desire within that you should attempt to cultivate! Now it's time to weigh whether or not you are ready to take the initial step on your way to teaching in Korea (you can even take the Aclipse personality quiz to see if this job is for you)!
Personality evaluation in check, now imagine that you're well on your way to completing the visa/application process with one of your friends, and you're planning on moving to Korea together...until they decide it's not for them.
Will you still be willing to go alone?
One year ago, as I was waiting for my visa to come through, this exact situation happened to me. My friend was in the same stage as me--preparing for our departure to Korea, but another job opportunity arose for her in Chicago, and she took it.
Despite having to complete my preparations alone and having to gain a bit of extra courage to move overseas solo, I headed into my year-long experience with full force. The opportunity was something I dove into with or without my friend because I thought that teaching in Korea would be a unique, rewarding experience for me. I was right.
Some of my fellow ChungDahm co-workers have become my closest friends here in South Korea. Here we are on Christmas morning!
It is true that moving overseas sounds a lot more fun and comfortable if you have a friend journeying with you. But it's also true that when it comes to moving to Korea, you will never be alone! (Jinja! Really!) You will meet TONS of ex-pats immediately (literally, at the airport), and Chungdahm training will allow you to meet people that will become your best friends in Korea. Taking the plunge into a job like this will not only enlighten your awareness of the world outside of your comfort zone: it will also expand your network of friends, colleagues, and international professionals, which is something only few can achieve in a year or two. And when you accomplish this on your own, it's a wonderful realization.
So if you're hesitant to embark on a solo journey that will bring you to Korea for a year, know that you're not alone. Don't let someone or something hold you back. I can attest to the fact that you will make some of the most amazing friends while living overseas. I know that I'll remain lifelong friends with those I've met in Korea, and I know that they feel the same about me.
Sydney Langford knew that one way or another, she was heading overseas after graduating from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She began teaching at the Pyeongchon branch of Chungdahm Learning in South Korea this past August, after being recruited by Aclipse, and thinks that her coworkers are awesome! Sydney loves K-POP, kimchi, and Korean life - so Chicago might be missing her for a bit longer...Questions about teaching in Korea? Follow Sydney on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SydsAclipse and email her at SydsAclipse@gmail.com!