Just for fun, I decided to sit down and tally up all the money I’ve spent so far during this process. And I really wish I hadn’t.
One of my main reasons for going abroad to teach is being able to save money to help pay off my loans at home. I know I’m not going to be making six figures, but for the most part, everyone I’ve spoken to seems to say that people can save a lot while teaching in Korea. I’m frugal and I believe that. However, part of me is scared shitless that I won’t be able to cover costs.
I went to a private Catholic University. Even with government grants and a pretty decent scholarship, I still have about $120,000 in student loans I need to pay off. Disgusting.
I also work two part-time jobs. Another reason I’ve decided to go to Korea is that even though I graduated two years ago, I haven’t been able to find anything full time in my field. The market sucks right now, I know. I just work so hard and feel like I’m not making any headway at all. One of my checks goes directly into the bank to cover expenses. I literally do not even see it. As for my other check, I don’t keep more than $100 to last me two weeks – that’s including gas to get to and from work, food, and recreation. The rest goes straight into the bank.
I really hope this next year provides some respite for my poor wallet. As well as adequate experience to help me get a job in my field when I return to the States (which happens to be art history/museum education).
So, the following is a list of everything I’ve spent so far to get me to Korea, and I’m not even in the country yet:
TEFL certificate – $559.98
Background check – $25
Fingerprints – $3
State apostille for background check (because I had no idea I needed to send it to Washington, D.C.)- $40
Federal apostille for background check – $8
State apostille for diploma – $40
Sending documents USPS for EPIK (which I later withdrew from) – $10
Having documents sent back from EPIK recruiter – $22
FedEx-ing documents to private school I signed with – $53
Visa fee – $85
Vaccinations – $293
Total – $1,138.98
Apologies for the rant. I really just needed to get that off my chest.