August 27

My recruiter just informed me that she will be booking my flight to Korea for August 27.

Everything just got so real.

Very excited to find out the time of my departure, airline, etc. Also, I really hope I don’t get stuck with a horrendous layover somewhere.

Goodness. August 27 is just a few weeks away. There’s still so much I have left to do!

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Budgeting?

Hi guys!

I would really like to make a monthly budget for myself while I’m abroad. I’ve done a bit of research about how much some teachers in South Korea spend on certain things, but a lot of information on the web seems relatively outdated. So, I was wondering if anyone on here would be willing to share how much they spend on the following per month:

1. Utilities

2. Health insurance

3. Cell phone

4. Groceries

5. Savings/misc.

Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated and I feel like it could be a very good resource for others interested in teaching in Korea. Thanks in advance!

Vaccines

I don’t like needles. Or doctors. Or anything vaguely related to the medical field, really. I usually don’t even take aspirin if I can avoid it.

But. Seeing that I’ll be abroad for at least a year, I figured I should go get vaccinated.

A few days ago, I called my doctor to make an appointment. The office said they didn’t carry travel vaccines, so they referred me to the only place in the area that did. I called them next and scheduled an appointment with them. I also asked how much it would cost. The girl on the other end said $75. I asked if that included everything. She said yes.

So, I get to the office and have a full on, sit down consultation with an RN. They prepared this (actually really informative) booklet for me about South Korea which included different vaccines, hospital information, traveler information, and consulate information. Cool.

Then, the RN got to the vaccine part. She went over a list of about 5. Hepatitis A and Typhoid seemed to be required for entering the country. Fine. Japanese encephalitis and rabies were *highly* recommended, coming in at the super discounted, bargain basement price of THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY FIVE FUCKING DOLLARS. EACH. I laughed, I’ll pass. If I get bitten by a mosquito or rabid street dog, I’ll take my chances.

However, with the Hep A and Typhoid, my total came to $293. I’m sorry, but what exactly is the “everything” that $75 included? I left feeling lied to and angry because this always seems to happen at the doctor. Especially because I totally have $293 to throw around.

Whatever. I suppose it’s worth not ending up with some rare disease in a foreign country.

Has anyone had any similar experiences?

Playing the Waiting Game

I finally checked my FedEx tracking, and my documents definitely arrived in Ulsan last week. I haven’t been contacted by my recruiter or the school yet, but I am sitting here in New Jersey eagerly awaiting the next step…

I don’t even know when I’m supposed to arrive yet. My contract says August 16, but the last time I was contacted by my recruiter she said the date might be closer to the 25th. I still have a lot of planning to do on my end. Like giving both of my jobs adequate notice. And packing. And saying goodbye to friends.

It’s completely nerve wracking and exciting all at once. Everyone who knows me knows I’m a planner, a list maker, and always early for everything. All the time. So this is really stressing me out.

Ugh. Well, here’s a random picture because I liked my makeup the other day:

Photo on 7-17-15 at 10.06 AM #2

In the Mail (Take Two)

All my documents are on their way to Korea as I write this!

My apostilled background check finally came in the mail on Friday, but I was away from home until Saturday night so this morning was my first opportunity to get everything to FedEx. Everything should get to my school by Friday. Hopefully, they will let me know soon when I’m supposed to arrive, my flight information, etc.

I also took my car for inspection and renewed my license. Feeling super productive.

Thinking About Teaching Materials

Lately, I’ve been thinking about things I’d like to bring with me as teaching aids. The school I’m going to be teaching at has its own set of textbooks and curriculum, but when I spoke to the other American teacher there he did say that there would be room for spicing up lesson plans/activities/whatnot.

So, I spent my afternoon in Staples the other day ogling stickers and flash cards and posters. Things are so much nicer now than when I was in elementary school! I really just wanted to buy armfuls of stuff, but there is only going to be so much room in my suitcase.

Here are my questions: What materials did you bring with you to teach abroad, if any? What do you wish you hadn’t brought? Talk about what was most fun/effective for students.

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!