How did you do that?

How’d you do that?…. teaching English abroad

Hmmmm…. you want to know how I became a English teacher in South Korea. Ok ,I can answer some basic questions for you.

Here are questions that you may want the answers to:

Am I a certified teacher in my state in the U.S.?

Not at all. I’m a Film & Video graduate with the dream of making a feature length film, and submitting it to Cannes Film Festival.

Didn’t you do some kind of training then,I mean you didn’t just fly over there with no experience ,right?

Yes, I took an 120hr online TEFL(Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course.

I want to go to Japan OR South Korea,is it easy?

Nope.I want to say that besides the UAE, Japan and Korea are some of the most competitive countries to get a job in, but for different reason.Japan is popular, well, because it’s Japan, people want to live there.Korea is popular too, for the same reason as Japan, people love it, but also because of the benefits .Benefits: taking your pension back home,healthcare,dental,and free housing are big reasons why people want to come to Korea.

Teaching for the first time is it hard?

YES,I’m not going to sugar coat it and lie to you.I’m really glad I worked at a private academy before coming here,getting controlling and maintaining a class of small people ,can be quite hard especially when you have to do it on your own.

That’s not to say that you can’t do it without experience.People start like this all the time and become great teachers.Never doubt what you can do, without ever doing it( I didn’t say try because I don’t believe in it:Do or do not there is no try.),you could be the best teacher ever.But if you never give yourself a chance to test your potential you’ll never know.

What were/are the minimum requirements?

Clean FBI background

100 TEFL certificate

 

A Bachelors degree in any discipline

Wait that can’t be all,can it?

Well it depends on country, that’s the bare minimum that a lot of  countries require,and some don’t even require the TELF. But if you do have a degree in English or Teaching, in many cases you would be a shoe in.

Also I forgot to mention another requirement is the willingness  to leave your family and friends behind.

Did you ever get rejected?

No,I actually really wanted to go to Japan,but I was scared of getting rejected ,so I decided to go to Korea first.At the time it wasn’t half as competitive as it is now.

Did you use a recruiter?

Yes,but  I didn’t have to.I used a recruiter basically as a middle man to ensure that I had all the paperwork I needed.I also wanted them to double check my grammar and spelling.

What program did you use?

EPIK,English Program in Korea is how most public school teachers in Korea have found their jobs,the Japanese equivalent is the JET program.

I’m black/hispanic is it hard to get a job teaching abroad?

Ummm,depends on where you’re teaching really.There are some private schools that feel as though Westerner/Western is synonymous with whiteness,and so sometimes you will see the white only adds.So it may be a bit harder for you,but there are lot of people who get jobs,if you have the passion do it.I know people who have gotten jobs in the  public,private,and even college sector.

Wait,you said there are white only adds?Do you face a lot of discrimination?

Being the fact that I did public school route through EPIK I didn’t have to look for a job.So honestly not really,but that’s not to say I don’t know people who have.A lot of people have to deal with being told that school they applied to are looking for something else,or just the fact that the school is not looking for a person who looks like them.This is because the parents want a “true Westerner”,and to them that often means someone who doesn’t look like me.

Should I teach abroad?

I don’t know do you want to make new experiences,see the world,learn about new cultures,or a learn a new language?I can’t tell you what to do ,but even if you just half a year of spare time in your life plan I would totally suggest teaching abroad.The things that you learn about yourself and the world around it’s priceless.

 

So to all of you with aspirations of teaching abroad,

May the odds forever be in your favor,

BlerdLikeMe

 

 

Life in Korea · Uncategorized

Learning a second language is hard…

especially when you’ve only grown up speaking one.

Hi,

This is a post dedicated to all you monolingual people out there,(사랑해요[I love ya]) I just want you to know you’re beautiful.So as you may or may not know is, that I’m wrapping up my last few months of a three year tour as an English teacher in South Korea. It’s been fun, I’ve had some good times but there is something thing that I didn’t expect to happen.

I didn’t(haven’t) become fluent in the language.

Now living in the country part of a foreign country I wasn’t able to take classes in the language,if I had it my ability would have been totally different,but I didn’t so it isn’t. As things are, I learn via books such as TalkToMeInKorean(a great investment btw), watching Korean dramas(I learned the whole family structure and now that I speak a little Korean I can recognize words I didn’t know and I write them down),and talking to my co-teachers.Though I’ve done a lot of studying, I’m not even at a high beginner level,and you know what I’m ok with that.I studied really hard and then I came to a road block,a glass ceiling as I’ll call it, for self learning.I’m the kind of person that needs structure and guidance.So here I am, almost three years in with just enough Korean to have a basic conversations with the ajummas(older lady or married woman) on the streets.Though from just talking to people on the streets I’ve learned a lot.

So now I can finally understand how a lot of those older people feel in America(the U.S. specifically).To all you people who say oh if you live in the U.S. you should speak English,you kick rocks and learn a second language before you judge someone else.It takes a lot of time,hours and hours,and even with hours spent and staying in the country where they speak the language doesn’t ensure you fluency.If you work a nine to five job in another country,the last thing you want to hear when you get home is that language.When I’m at home,I like to pretend I’m in my own little slice of the U.S. ,sometimes the last thing I want to do is look ,read or hear any Korean.Now I do watch Korean dramas,but sometimes I’m just like no,there’s too much Korean in my life,let me go and watch some anime.

And sometimes people are like oh BlerdLikeMe you live in Korea,you should learn Korean( Korean co-workers) and I just look at them.Firstly majority of you have studied English for almost all of  your schooling and aren’t fluent and yet you expect me to be fluent in Korean in three years(yeah I’m judging ,I’ve spent crazy hours self study Korean).Now there are some people(ex a guy doing a seminar for our orientation, who was like yeah, I’ve been here for ten years married a Korean and can’t speak a lick of the language.)That’s pure laziness and disrespectful to your spouse.I think if you live in a country you should try,that doesn’t mean you will succeed but hey ,nothing beat a failure but a try. But to be honest most people are only here a year or two so they don’t see,the point in learning the language,I never felt that way I’ve always wanted to be bilingual.On the other hand if your just staying one year I can totally understand not spending every waking moment learning the language,and if you are more power to you.

But you know what’s really awesome is my Korean can spike when it’s important….yeah so when I went to Yongsan to buy amiibos they told me that the amiibos of this wave are all sold out and could only be gotten at premium prices. Ness was $50(50,000 won) and Charizard at $40(40,000 won) could be ordered from there through Japanese contacts.I told them that it was really expensive and I could get them online for cheaper,they explained they they weren’t even getting them in a anymore because a lot of them were just sold out.They apologized to me because I’m a pretty good costumer and they hated to disappoint me.Now somehow I managed to have this whole conversation in Korea,I didn’t even think about that ,until my friend pointed out that my Korean spiked when it came to my amiibos.

My friend pointed out that I can speak Korean when it’s something really important to me.I guess she’s right.

To all of you monolingual people out there,I love you,

BlerdLikeMe

Blerd Life

One Piece Memorial Log 2.0 -Korean Edition

Step One:Go to Interpark Global and buy a ticket.

http://ticket.interpark.com/Global/Play/Goods/GoodsInfo.asp?GoodsCode=15003889

Step Two:Go to Hyehwa(혜화) Station(in Seoul),leave out of exit three.wpid-20150606_145232.jpg

Walk straight for about eight minutes until you see this.Walk in and get your ticket.

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Photo Ops that you can be a part of.

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You can become one of the characters.

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You can say goodbye to Ace.

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Raffle

Spend ten dollars(ten thousand won) and take the chance of winning limited edition one piece items.If the odds are in your favor you could win something awesome if not you mad win something small[may the odds ever be in your favor].You’re going to win something,but you have to look at the odds to determine what you’ll win.

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Gift Shop

The gift store had a lot of nice stuff I bought a painting(it’s a guide to paint a chibi Zoro), Luffy’s hat and shoes(my cosplay is going to be awesome ,and it’s a bundle so it’s cheaper to buy  both),two postcards,and the figurine on the top right was what I won from the raffle,the small plate was also from a raffle.The poster and the Franky pin were free.Grand total spent $55.

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Artist Wall

Are you an artist,show off your fan-art skills.

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There are full size models and figurines too.

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Choppers

Chooper Alleywpid-20150606_122430.jpg

The Brotherhood

cute

The figurine I most wanted,but they don’t sell it….

In Conclusion…

Rating:5 out of 5 dragonballs.

To be honest I didn’t take a lot of time looking at some of the stuff because I went to memorial log 1.0 ,so some of the stuff wasn’t new,but I feel like a lot of the artwork was.The first part of the exhibit was full of licensed original art work that you can’t take pictures of,really nice sketches of each characters in multiple situations and outfits.They had someone dressed in a Chopper suit make appearances, and also,the end part of the exhibit that allowed you to take pictures as any character was a nice touch.If you love one piece and are visiting Seoul it’s work a visit.

Anywho these are letters from,

Blerdlikeme