Sunday, September 23, 2012

Reader Question: Do you love teaching abroad?

These questions from Judy:

"How much do you love it out there?  What is teaching abroad like"

That is a very general question.  But, I will do my best!  First of all, I will refer you to this other site of mine: Is Teaching ESL Abroad Right for You?  I think it will be helpful for you.

I'm not sure what you mean by "out there" but I'll assume you're referring to Korea and not some kind of offensive thing like "Asia" or "not the USA."  Anyway, Korea is kind of an in-your-face country.  Some people love it and stay for years or decades, while others hate it and are on a plane a week after they get here.  But, there are very few people who think it's just "okay."  It's my 8th year here, so that says a lot.  But, I think I've adapted quite well.  I live in a very small apartment, treat stop signs +red lights as just suggestions, love Korean food, rarely frequent Outback Steakhouse, speak Korean (enough to get by), read Korean fluently, get my whole bathroom wet every time I take a shower, don't use a clothes dryer, shop Gmarket obsessively, and love going to the Homeplus late-night!  If you don't adapt and try to maintain "Western-style," life here you'll probably hate it.

As for what teaching abroad is like:

One line in your email that you sent me kind of raised some red-flags for me

"Since I do love traveling I've thought why not broaden my horizons and teach abroad?"

Teaching abroad is a job.  If you get an entry-level one (which you are likely to get in your first year), you'll have 1-3 weeks vacation time.  You won't exactly be "traveling."  And even on weekends, you'll likely be tired from dealing with culture shock and energetic kids all week!    You have to go to work everyday.  Usually for 7-8 hours.  And deal with the office politics, and crap from your boss, just like back home.  Just remember, you're "teaching" abroad, not "traveling" abroad. 

1 comment:

Ana Morris said...

If I would have an opportunity I'd grab it right away. That must be a quite an adventure. Once in a lifetime opportunity.