Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

Why should you teach in Korea NOW?

Posted on Fri, Mar 11, 2011 @ 12:31 PM

My little brother is a senior in college right now, graduating in May from one of the top schools in the US. He’s a double major, has great grades and extracurricular activities, and in my opinion is a really, really smart guy. When I spoke to him earlier this week, he seemed pretty down. He’d just gotten word that job he’d interviewed for in New York City had suddenly been swooped off the table by a sudden “job freeze.”

I told him to keep his chin up. He’d find something out there eventually. Obviously, I was disappointed that he hadn’t landed the gig. But if I was being completely honest with myself, there was a little bit of vindication mixed in with that disappointment. It was relieving to know that I wasn’t the only one who had to walk through the meat grinder that is the American economy at the moment.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was in his exact shoes two years ago. I graduated from a good school with good grades and felt like the world should have been at my fingertips. But when I started looking for a job in the States, I suddenly realized that I had seriously overestimated the size of my fingers.

New Korean Temple resized 600

I looked for jobs high and low, from the east to the west coast. Was I searching in the wrong zip codes? Right when I felt about as useless to the world as a VCR, I had an epiphany: maybe the zip codes weren’t the problem. Maybe I was looking in the wrong country code. A helpful push from Aclipse, coupled with the realization that there was a lot there out in the world that I wanted to see, and here I am, nearly two years into my stay in South Korea.

Some of you reading this might be thinking something along the lines of, “Easier said than done.” That’s true. Deciding to leave home and move across the world to a foreign country requires more than a small dose of guts. Some of my family looked at me like I was crazy. Some of my friends—who apparently hadn’t read a newspaper in about 60 years—questioned if I was planning on moving to North or South Korea.

In the end, I decided to trust myself and take the leap, and I can honestly say that coming to teach English in Korea with Aclipse was the best decision I ever made in my life. If you are one of the thousands of people in the same situation that I was, or that my brother is right now, Korea (and I can only speak for the Southern one) should be on the top of your list, too. You will save money, make new friends, try new some food, immerse yourself in a new culture, and maybe even learn something about yourself. I don’t know about you, but all of that sounds a great deal more appealing to me than a meat grinder.

Have all these references to meat grinding peaked your interest? Or perhaps just made you hungry? Go eat some bibimbap. Then, check out Aclipse’s teach in spring or summer Sweepstakes. Applications are being accepted now!

Mark Rudnick is a proud product of Worcester, Massachusetts, and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, who found himself moving to Korea to teach English in 2009. He obtained his first teaching role at ChungDahm Learning after being recruited by Aclipse. He currently works at the R&D office at Chungdahm in Seoul, after spending a year as a teacher at the Pyeongchon Branch. Mark finds Korea a fascinating place to live and work--there really is something new to learn each day (for example: did you know that before the popularity of cell phones, all Koreans carried beepers?). 

Read Mark's blog here.


Tags: teaching in Korea, Korea vs. Japan

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