Friday, 22 January 2010


Why go to Korea? Why teach English? If you're thinking about teaching English in Korea (or indeed anywhere) then you will most likely be asked the above questions by the doubting few of your friends and family and there are some good justifications for it. Here are mine. Firstly, I love working with kids. There are countless jobs out there for people with no morals who are willing to do unscrupulous things like sell over priced insurance products over the phone, making some other guy richer while you and the majority of society gets poorer, but teaching and playing sports or activities with kids has a kind of wholesome, good feeling about it. Secondly, the job situation in the UK is such that there are many people after very few jobs and the numbers of unemployed have been getting higher every day. I would teach in the UK but it takes a full year of study and course fees, food, accomodation for that year and the reward is you get to teach 30 kids in a class, most of which have iphones and mp3 players and from what i've generally seen and heard, they are a bit of a nightmare. So the thought of teaching between 2 and 10 kids to a class, for 45 minutes at a time, for only 6 hours a day, in a culture where kids respect their elders and one phone call to the parents will put an end to the bad behaviour for a month... well it sounds good to me! I would probably persue tefl for just these two reasons, but in addition you also have the very good salary by local standards that the job offers, with the possibility of making some savings a very nice feature and also it offers the chance to travel a bit and see another culture, something i've wanted to do for so many years. All that was needed to give me a final push out the door was the increasingly jagged and disjointed shape of my social circle, to the point where it has become more of a hexagon, with friends from university and previous jobs scattered all over the globe and only a handful of good people in my home town. I will miss them, as i continue to miss a great many people I have known, but i'm ready to start or become part of a new group, where geographical boundaries are no longer an issue, everyone can afford to go out and really live life to the full and one added perk is i'm told westerners are sometimes seen as like rock stars in Korea for being so different. I shall soon be able to confirm this...

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