Sunday, September 21, 2014

Living in the land of Kimchi

Alisa has inspired me to start my own photo day. Since Sunday is already taken I will upload pictures from my Korean adventures on Tuesdays. We shall call them 떡볶이 Tuesdays, Tteokbokki street food made from fish or rice cakes and covered in a red chili paste . But first I shall give you the low down on how I came to live in Korea, the ins and outs of applying for EPIK and all that jazz.

First and foremost I feel I must mention that everyone's experience applying to teach in Korea is going to be different and I can only speak about my experience with EPIK (English Programs in Korea).

Step 1: Find a recruiter. I used Korean Horizons, but you can apply directly to EPIK on your own. I really liked using a recruiter because it took a lot of stress off of me and they had a lot of experience getting people jobs here so they were able to give me good pointers. The other plus of going through a recruiter was the friends I made, everyone recruited by Korean Horizons arrived a day before orientation so we got to go into orientation with friends which made it a little less daunting and the-oh-shit-were-do-I-sit-at-lunch feeling was greatly diminished.

Step 2: Fill out the application which includes a two page lesson plan, a video introduction and a passport sized photo. You will also need two letters of reference.

Step 3: Get all the papers!! Once you have interviewed,  which happens a month or two after you apply, you have to cough up a trillion documents. I suggest getting a majority of these prepared while you are waiting for your interview. You will need; 2 sealed copies of your transcript, a notarized and apostilled copy of your Bachelors degree, an FBI background check (if in USA) with an apostille and a copy of your passport in addition to a signed copy of your application and possibly those reference forms again.

My suggestions: make scanned copies of everything just in case you need to print it off again. Your University should be able to notarize your bachelors degree and then your state department (Here is what it looks like for PA) can apostille it. I just sent in a copy of my degree with the notarization form since sending off my original felt a bit risky and it was fine, just make sure it is a clean copy. For your FBI background check you can go through a channeler which is much faster. I used Fieldprint, you get your FBI check like 5 minutes later. I printed off the pdf and sent that in with the money and required form and got it back with an apostille 3 weeks later. My recruiter also suggested My FBI report. Here is the FBI page on the subject

Step 4: Find out your location! This takes the longest and it is extremely frustrating. I got accepted in April and didn't find out where I would be until the end of June.

Step 5: Apply for a visa and get a plane ticket. Once you receive your contract you can apply for your visa. You need a visa application, a signed copy of your contract, passport and 2 passport sized photos. Once they have everything it takes 3-5 business days to receive your visa. Make sure you double check with your consulate because the required documents changes from consulate to consulate. So even if you are within the United States what that San Francisco consulate requires may differ from what the one in Atlanta requires.

Step 6: GET FREAKING EXCITED!!!!! and pack...

I shall leave you with one Korea picture. Tune in next time for the packing break-down.

The lovely city of Busan, and my new home.

Please let me know if you have any questions about applying to be an EPIK teacher or if you had a different experience!!

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