Monday, August 17, 2015

The Next Adventure

Pohang, South Korea - Photo from here
These last two years in Chile have been a wonderful experience for me, both personally and professionally. I've really learned a lot from living here and have met so many awesome people. But as much as I've enjoyed it, it's time now for me to do something new.

So I have some big news: Anna and I are moving to South Korea! We will be starting our new jobs there in early September, which means that we'll be leaving Chile in the next week or two. (We are still waiting on the visa process which is why we're not 100% sure when we're leaving yet.)

I recently accepted a position with a Montessori school in Pohang, which is a small city on the coast a few hours north of Busan. The school has a wonderful reputation and its former teachers have credited it for their decisions to become career teachers. I will be teaching kindergarten and elementary aged students using a non-traditional form of Montessori methodology. I am so excited about this opportunity, as it will help me to prepare for the degree in early childhood education that I am saving up for and will offer me the chance to really grow as a teacher.

The city of Pohang is small but it has a very friendly foreign population, if the Facebook group Pohang Legends is anything to go by. The city is famous for its steel industry and for a fresh fish market, as well as for its big firework festival. It's also just 1.5-2 hours from big cities like Daegu and Busan, and on the rapid train it's not too far from Seoul either. I think that it's going to be a really fun place for us to spend this following year.

Fireworks at the summer festival
So why South Korea? As I mentioned, I really want to go back to school for another teaching certificate, which will help me achieve my ultimate goal of working in an international school. I also still have some college loans to pay off. Anna, like me, is hoping to save up money and she is already working on a DELTA certificate, which is essentially like a Masters degree in teaching EFL/ESL. So one of the main reasons for our move is financial; South Korea is one of the best places in the world to teach English, because schools offer a lot of great benefits that schools in other countries (like Chile) don't have, such as:

  • free housing provided by the school
  • airfare (one-way or round trip, depending on the school)
  • many schools offer to pay 50% of insurance and pension
  • bonus on completing a one year contract, equal to one month's salary
  • attractive salaries
But we are not only going for financial reasons. To be honest, I have really missed Asia these past few years. While I love living in Chile, and I will be forever grateful for this experience, I've always been much more interested in Asian cultures. I've been fascinated by Asian languages, culture, arts, etc. ever since I was a teenager and I am really excited to have the opportunity to go back to Asia again and discover a new country this time. It's also a great place to be involved in primary education and develop as a teacher.

I am so happy and excited about this new experience, and I cannot wait to get to Korea! I will continue to update my blog with my first impressions and all the adventures that I am sure I will have there. I will definitely miss Chile a lot- and I hope to come back again one day soon!


Hasta luego, Chile

2 comments:

  1. That's so exciting! Best of luck packing up and moving.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer, I think we're going to need all the luck we can get... If you get the chance, you should come visit someday!

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