Moving to Korea can be really intimidating. There are plenty of questions racing through your head, such as "Where am I going to live? How am I going to get to school? Will people understand me? Will my students like me?" We all worry about things we cannot control, so to lessen the nerves, at Chungdahm Learning you will receive a lot of guidance and help that will make your life easier and more comfortable.
In my experience, CDL offered a lot of support once arriving in Korea. The company is organized and knows exactly where each candidate will be placed. There is never a point when you cannot ask someone for advice or information about your new city and job. The HR department is really helpful and if they are not sure about a specific question you are asking, they will go out of their way to try and accommodate a response or a solution. Of course, not all situations are ideal, but as long as you accept this and embrace the environment, you will be more than surprised how helpful and caring employees at the company are.
The minute you arrive in Korea, CDL takes care of you. Pre-flight documentations and travel arrangements will be sent to each applicant, explaining in detail exactly how to get from Incheon Airport to Gangnam, Seoul. Once arriving in Gangnam, you will be met by a driver who will escort you to the Coatel Hotel. At the Coatel you will check-in to a room, where you will stay for the duration of the week. Most candidates will have one or two roommates, which allows for the opportunity to make friends with your fellow-trainees.
Chungdahm provides adequate training for all of its employees, which is above and beyond what other academies offer in Korea. You will be assigned an experienced trainer who will help you throughout training week. They are on-call for any questions you may have, and most candidates can email any questions about the training material and homework to their trainer daily.
Since you are rooming with other candidates, you can also work together to complete the training homework and mock teach to one another at training centre or in your hotel room.
Training centre is open late so candidates can have the opportunity to make use of the facilities in preparation of the mock teaching. Here you can utilize the smart screens and mock teach in a live environment.
Once you have completed and passed training on the Friday of training week, you will be assigned a branch location and the contact details of your Team Manager. Your TM will more than likely contact you before or after you have completed training.
During your first week you will receive assistance from your TM. They will be your direct line of communication for classroom and personal issues. Your TM will also help with communication between the Korean staff and any housing/banking issues you may be experiencing.
The branch will host an Orientation workshop where you will get to meet the other employees. There might also be a Hweshik - a company dinner - that you should attend. Here you will be welcomed to the branch and get to know the Korean staff, faculty and management.
A Korean staff will be assigned the responsibility of housing and ARC card registration. They will meet you during training week to set up available time slots for housing. You will join them and other candidates who are moving to your branch to see all the possible options.
The assigned Korean staff will also arrange your ARC card appointment and make sure that all your documents are ready for your registration with the Office of Immigration. They will give you a list of things you need, so make sure to have your passport available during the first week of working at your academy.
Also, they will help with any communication issues you are having with your landlord or if you do not know how to set up a bank account and phone account.
FHR and Chungdahm TM
Finally, CDL's FHR department is readily availble for any enquiries you have about work and life in Korea. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org anytime during your contract and they will be happy to assist in resolving any issues you are having.
There is also Chungdahm TM that deals with classroom and material issues. They are also available anytime for enquiries, email@example.com
It is no surprise that Tijana Huysamen, a South African born Capetownian, avid traveler and travel journalist, fell in love with South Korea and its people. After Tijana arrived in South Korea in 2010, she had the opportunity to live in the heart of the Korean countryside. During her time spent in Chungnam province she learned to speak Korean, prepare Korean food and experience the humble nature of the countryside people. After a year break in New York, Tijana jumped at the opportunity to return to Korea again, and is currently working at the CDI Jamsil Branch, in Jamsil, Seoul. Read Tijana’s Aclipse blog to gain a unique perspective on Korea and her shared experiences and adventures both in a major city and in the countryside. Follow Tijana on Twitter @TeeAnni or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information on teaching in Korea!