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how much some teachers in South Korea spend on certain things, but a lot of information on the web seems relatively outdated.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!

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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.

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.

More SkimaTalk

Ok, so I just signed up with SkimaTalk. I had to make a profile, upload a high quality headshot, record a short audio sample of me talking about why I want to teach with SkimaTalk, and provide a link to either my LinkedIn or Facebook for verification. Finally, I had to take a 19 question quiz on SkimaTalk. All the information for the answers is located within the text of the questions. Be careful to read everything, as you need to achieve a score of 100% to be considered. However, you can take the quiz as many times as you need to pass. Now, I’m waiting for my profile to be reviewed. If everything’s ok, you can begin by teaching 3 lessons for no charge. After, you will make $9/lesson. Once you’ve taught 10 lessons and get at least 2 ratings of 4.0  or higher, you can charge whatever you’d like. The only other things you need are Skype and an internet connection. Sweet deal, right? Check it out for yourself here.

EDIT: Just got approved to teach online with SkimaTalk!

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!

120 hours. And then some.

I have officially completed the first 120 hours of my TEFL certificate! When I signed up, I was also allowed to pick a supplemental course to take (I chose one-on-one teaching) which I have completed as well. Yay!

This is super exciting and I’ve already gotten the PDF version of my certificate. The next step is taking the remaining 20 hours of my program at a two day in-classroom course in New York City.

I can’t believe that this is becoming a real thing right now.

Also, my application for EPIK has been officially submitted so now I’m waiting to see if I get an interview.

Fingers crossed!