Frustration

Getting all my documents together for EPIK is really starting to get to me.

First of all, I need to get my undergraduate diploma notarized, then apostilled, in order to send it in to EPIK. However, I went to a private Catholic University and my diploma happens to be in Latin. Apparently, you can’t get something notarized if it isn’t in English.

I have contacted several banks, the county chair, UPS, and FedEx.

I have also left a voicemail and sent an e-mail to my University’s Registrar.

Waiting for a response, but I’m not holding my breath.

Then, I need my TEFL certificate. However, I am not completing my in-class component until June. I asked my accrediting school to provide me with a letter, which I forwarded to my KorVia recruiter, and am waiting to find out if it will be sufficient until I complete the 20 in-class hours.

The struggle.

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Suddenly, Japan?!

I graduated from Seton Hall University in 2013 with a BA in Art History. For the past two years, I’ve worked multiple part-time jobs all while applying for full-time positions in my field. The closest I’ve gotten is one of my two current jobs: being an administrative assistant in a small, non-profit history museum between 10-15 hours per week. My other job right now is retail.

Now, I’ve been applying for more and more teaching English abroad positions and the number of interviews I’ve been asked to do is astounding. Why doesn’t anyone want to interview me in the field I have a degree in? *sigh*

Anyway. In addition to EPIK, I am being asked to interview with AEON, Amity, and ECC. I already knew about AEON and Amity when I started this blog. However, I just got the e-mail from ECC, and this is the interview that will make the biggest difference on my final decision (if I’m offered a position, that is).

In one of my older posts (click here), I talked about wanting to be in Japan, but feeing like South Korea would be the best option, financially. Now, I’m rethinking Japan because it seems a little more tangible.

ECC only hires around Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. I would like to be in Nagoya or Osaka. Monthly salary is good (252,000 yen/month) and the work week is only 29.5 hours, which would leave lots of time for conducting private lessons to make some extra cash. Additionally, ECC offers 7 weeks paid vacation, which is more than any other program I’ve seen. Traveling is super high on my list if I teach abroad, so this is a sweet deal. Teachers do have to pay for rent, but ECC helps find you an apartment and you are not responsible for key money or deposit money.

Oh goodness. The struggle is so real.

Has anyone worked with ECC before? Any feedback to add to my pro/con list would be greatly appreciated!

SkimaTalk?

Has anyone had any experience with SkimaTalk? I noticed that I can sign up through my TEFL program (i-to-i) to teach with SkimaTalk and supplement my income.

It looks like teachers can make $15/hour and must be available a minimum of 10 hours/week. Potentially, I could make $600/month doing this which would be awesome, like woah.

If anyone has done this before, please let me know about your experience! Or, if you know of any other similar programs, I would appreciate that, too!

Document Prep for EPIK (A Guide)

So, I didn’t realize how rigorous it would be to prepare all of my documents for EPIK.

But here’s a list of everything I need to submit and hopefully this will be helpful for anyone else applying:

1. Hard copy of application

– Not a problem. Printed it out, signed, check.

2. Photocopy of BA diploma (apostilled)

– First of all, I had never heard of the word “apostilled” in my life. Is it just me? After doing a bit of research, I figured it was like a notary. So I went to the bank. The guy I spoke to there looked at me like I had rocks in my head and proceeded to call over a co-worker. She had never heard of it either.

He then gave me the number of the county clerk. I called and the county clerk repeated the word back to me several times before transferring me. Whoever I spoke to on the other end told me I had to get in touch with the NJ Department of the Treasury located in Trenton. Oh yeah, and it also costs $25/document to get “apostilled” and several weeks to send it back to me. Yippee.

3. National level criminal background check (apostilled)

– Your EPIK recruiter will send you a list of acceptable background check companies through the FBI. They cost between $45 and $50 to get done and delivery times vary. Look at them all and decide what’s best for you. In addition to getting this thing “apostilled,” most require you to get two sets of fingerprints. You can get them at you local police department and they should only cost about $3/set.

4. 2 sets of SEALED university transcripts

– Check with your college or university. Most charge a small fee.

5. Photocopy of TEFL certificate

– Check with your accrediting TEFL program.

6. 2 passport-sized photos

– You can usually get these done at the Post Office or a local drug store. I got my photos done at Walmart for less than $8.

7. Photocopy of passport info page

If anyone has any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll try to help you to the best of my ability! It can be a little overwhelming, but that’s totally ok.

Praxis Scores

So, for those of you who don’t know, I am also in the process of going alternate route to receive my NJ teaching certificate in elementary education. It may have taken me five years to decide that I want to be a teacher, but I am making moves.

I had to take tests in English, Social Studies, Science, and Math. I just got my scores back.

English: 177

Social Studies: 172

Science: 165

Math: 150

I need a 164 in each subject in order to pass. Damn you, math. Guess I will sign up to take it again next month. Really hope it’s the last time. Time to start studying!

Back to School

Working on my TEFL certificate is like being back in college again, except without the all-nighters, the bad cafeteria food, or being able to seek refuge at the radio station 24/7. (WSOU represent!) Also, to be honest, I only took one online class when I was an undergraduate and I hated it. There’s just something really impersonal about the virtual “classroom.” But I went for the online training with the two in-classroom days because it was literally half the price of other programs that were entirely in-class.

*sigh*

Anyway. The phonemic alphabet is killing me. I have never used this in my life. Except when I see phonetics next to like, Wikipedia words. And even then I overlook them because I’m all “what is this nonsense.”

phonet

I’m also having flashbacks to my third grade class and all the different verb tenses and participles. My teacher back then, Miss Grouleff, was a stickler about grammar. She must have done something right because I’m not doing as horribly as I thought I would be.

Coffee would be really good right now.