Sign Here…

I did it. I just signed and sent a digital copy of my contract to my recruiter in Korea.

I also let her know that the apostille for my background check is still processing, too.

But it looks like I’ll be seeing you in August, Ulsan!

Can’t wait.

Makeup Appreciation Post

While this blog is predominantly for teaching abroad related stuff, I can’t help but share a picture of my makeup today because I’m super proud of it ūüėÄ

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Tonight I’m going to see Gogol Bordello (one of my favorite bands) for the fourth time. They’re playing at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park with Flogging Molly and Mariachi El Bronx. In honor of gypsy punk, I decided to go all out (gemstones included).

Today is my first day off from both my jobs in about three weeks and I couldn’t be happier!

Apostilles Apostilles Apostilles

Getting a document apostilled is probably one of the most frustrating things I have ever experienced.

As an American, I had never even heard of an apostille before I began this process.

So, my advice for anyone wanting to teach English in Korea is this:

Prepare your documents before you even start applying to positions. You will want to rip your hair out less.

The apostille (or lack thereof) was my downfall in my EPIK application.

It was not explained properly by my recruiter and as the deadline was drawing nearer, I decided to pull my application.

I’m not going to go into detail about my strife, but please see below for what you ACTUALLY need to do:

1. Obtain an apostilled copy of your BA diploma. This can be done through your state’s Department of Treasury (I went to Trenton since I live in NJ). Your diploma copy also has to be notarized before it can be apostilled. Additionally, if your diploma is not in English, you must also obtain a translation of it (my diploma is actually in Latin because I went to a private Catholic University).

2. Obtain an apostilled copy of an FBI background check. I used VetConnex¬†for my background check. You also need to get two sets of fingerprints from your local police station and VetConnex charges $45 to process. You have to send your fingerprint cards, the application, and the payment. After, you will receive your background check in the mail. THEN, you must send your background check to get a FEDERAL apostille, not a STATE one (this is what I did. Don’t make the same mistake, kids).

You need these documents for your E-2 Visa!!

Here is the mailing address for the Office of Authentications in Washington, D.C. (notice how it’s not actually in Washington):

Office of Authentications
U.S. Department of State
CA/PPT/S/TO/AUT
44132 Mercure CIR PO BOX 1206 Sterling, VA 20166 1206

The federal apostille only costs $8 and you have to send your payment, along with your document, and this form to the address above.

It will take about 5 business days to process in VA before actually getting sent to the Washington, D.C. office. Once it arrives there, it should take about 10 business days. (I just called the office to check on the status and this is what they told me.)

Also, here is the phone number for the Office of Authentications: 202-485-8000

I really hope this is helpful to some of you, because I totally wish I knew all the proper steps to take when I started this process.

Just go for it!

An Offer!

Exactly one week ago, I sent my resume to Tara at Premier ESL. She got back to me almost immediately with a position in Ulsan (one of my top city choices). She set me up with an interview with the current teacher as well as the school’s director.

I got to read over their contract. The paid vacation isn’t particularly high (only 6 days), but there is the opportunity for lots of overtime pay and, to me, that balances out.

I had the interview this morning at 8 AM EST. Literally less than 24 hours ago. I thought it went very well, despite having Skype drop the conversation near the end. Regardless, I had a good feeling about it all day.

So, about a half an hour ago, Tara e-mailed me and said the school would like to offer me a position!

I’ve never been offered a job that quickly in my life!

I wrote her back, saying I accept, and asked her a bunch of questions (mostly related to money).

Hopefully, I hear back soon. I’m also hoping I receive my apostilled background check back soon…

And Then There Was KPop

When I haven’t been working, I’ve been clicking around and looking for some KPop groups to listen to.

All my friends know that my taste in music is pretty eclectic, but pop music isn’t usually thrown into the mix. Unless it’s 80s pop. ‘Cause that’s the shit.

I usually listen to a lot of metal, broody 80s music (think Smiths), and 90s club hits.

But. I have discovered Super Junior and Orange Caramel. And woah. I’m digging it. So here are two songs that I’ve been listening to on repeat:

If anyone has any other recommendations, I’d love for you to share them! (Especially if you know of any Korean metal bands!)

Questions to Ask Before Signing a Contract

Have another article here which talks about a bunch of questions you should ask your potential employer before signing any contract with a foreign English school.

Just thought it would be a useful resource for some of you!

Has anyone had any difficulty while negotiating a contract? Did asking any of these questions help you?

Best Bank for English Teachers in Korea?

Hey everyone! I recently came across this article which talks about KEB and refers to it the best bank in Korea for English teachers.

Money is definitely an important issue for people living and working abroad, especially for those who will have to send money back to their home country to cover expenses like loan payments.

Does anyone here use KEB? Pros? Cons?¬†Let’s discuss!

Stress Levels Reaching New Heights!

I don’t think I realized how stressful this entire process would be.

I recently passed my interview with Canadian Connection, and after being given a list of several options, I decided to go with the Jeollanamdo public school offer. After receiving all the information I need from my recruiter, I noticed that the first wave of documents needs to be at their office in Toronto by June 26. That’s one week from now. I’m only sending my background check to D.C. today! It won’t even be processed by then, let alone sent back to me. Especially since it’s Friday. I asked the recruiter if this would be a problem, and he hasn’t gotten back to me yet.

Then, I also had my fingers crossed for a private school in Ulsan. My recruiter just told me that they liked me and thought my interview went really well, but they can not give me a definite answer yet because of the MERS epidemic. Student enrollment for the fall is apparently very low right now.

Furthermore, I’ve been constantly applying to jobs state side throughout this whole process. I’m up to over 70 applications sent out in the last three weeks alone. I’ve had two in person interviews, both of which said no. I’ve also gotten a bunch of other “no’s” via e-mail.

I don’t know if I can take it anymore. At this point, I just want a full time job. Korea. United States. Micronesia. I don’t fucking care. I haven’t had an actual day off in over two weeks between both my part-time jobs. I’m upset and sleeping poorly.

Is this what I spent five years in college for? Is this why I’m in crippling debt? To be overworked and underpaid for the rest of my life?

All I’ve ever wanted was to travel and have a stable job which allows me to do so. Instead, I have an incredibly expensive education which is essentially useless.

I need to hear back from somewhere soon. Anywhere. I need to start living my life. I feel like I’m doing everything right.¬†Guess not.

/endrant

On the Bright Side…

I have officially completed my TEFL certificate! That’s 140 hours (professional), plus an additional 10 hours for one-on-one teaching.

The in-classroom part of the course was held in New York City, near Wall Street. There was a group of about 8 students, myself included, from all over the country: Nebraska, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio. It was so great to see so many different people with the same goal assembled in one place.

Our teacher, Teresa Jacobs from i-to-i, was PHENOMENAL. She really embodied everything a TEFL teacher is supposed to be: enthusiastic, engaging, knowledgeable, helpful. The classes were long, 9 hours/day on both Saturday and Sunday, but it was totally worth it.

We did lots of lessons and drills and had opportunities to teach the class lessons we came up with ourselves. I feel like I acquired a lot of helpful information over the weekend and I met some really fantastic people, too!

It would be great to meet up with them if we’re all in Korea at the same time.