If this your first time teaching English abroad, the English Program In Korea (EPIK ) is one of the best places to get started! EPIK is a great organization for those interested in teaching English in South Korea because they connect you with other foreign teachers from the first week you arrive. They pick you up at the airport. The first week starts with Orientation Week, where they prepare you to teach, introduce you to new friends, and show you everything you need to know about becoming an ESL teacher in South Korea. I always felt I was part of a team and a bigger vision with EPIK. There are so many people who want you to succeed and will help you to do so!
Kayla completed the 120-hour TESOL certificate course with OnTESOL.
Recommended TESOL / TEFL Certification for South Korea: Get certified to teach English to adults and young learners with the fully accredited 168-hour Hybrid TEFL Certificate!
Why I Chose to Become an ESL Teacher
I wanted to become an ESL teacher because of my educational background in English and my work experience with children. Language is such a valuable tool in this day and age, especially with more young people traveling and moving to many different parts of the world. I wanted to encourage growth and learning on a global scale, starting with the youth.
6 Reasons to Teach English Abroad with EPIK
Teaching abroad provides you with a strength you may not have known you had. It requires you to be fearless, resourceful, independent, and strong. The experience humbles you and opens you up to a new perspective on life. Teaching with EPIK, I learned so much about myself and grown so much as a woman. I’m so confident and proud of myself, I’ve taken “can’t” out of my vocabulary. I have never felt so free to be who I am in my life.
I requested to live in a larger city in Korea because I thought that was what I wanted. Instead, I was placed in a small town and I love it more than I thought I would.
I have made such strong bonds with friends because the community is closer with fewer people. I live close to the beach, which is my happy place, and it is so safe in my town that I can walk on the street at any time with not a single fear.
2- Learning to Adapt
It can definitely be challenging to be so far away from family and friends. There is, of course, a language barrier if you have not taught yourself the language prior to moving, and there are many cultural differences you must get used to.
Your diet may change, and you may not be able to find certain foods, products, or brands that you are used to, which may be challenging at first, but you learn to adapt and try new things.
3 – A Positive Work Environment
I did not choose the schools I was placed at but I love them both. The students are friendly, sweet, well-behaved, and joyful. The teachers are helpful, kind, and welcoming. Although both schools are very far from where I live, it is worth it to commute because they are so wonderful.
4- Real Life Fears Conquered
I was concerned about my lack of experience; I was concerned that my students and fellow teachers would not like me and that my students would be bad and ill-behaved. I was also fearful that I wouldn’t have anyone to help me and that I would feel lonely and sad, but none of those things happened!
5 – Teaching English is Fun!
I have learned that teaching ESL is meant to be fun. Students are less likely to remember the things you teach them if they are constantly just copying sentences and repeating after a tape. Playing games with the students, making it fun for them, getting them to speak and participate is what helps them to learn and remember. Getting to know the students is key.
6- A Life-Changing Experience
I would encourage anyone to teach abroad. It is a life-changing experience to broaden your view of the world and humble yourself. The job is fulfilling if you do your best and care about your kids’ education. Even on your worst days, it will still be worth it. South Korea is a great place to teach, whether you are settling here or just getting started.
The Incredible Benefits of a TESOL Course
The OnTESOL course gave me the background knowledge of teaching English to kids and understanding how they learn a new language. It also provided me with the tools to create a lesson plan from start to finish and how to carry out that lesson in reality. The TESOL course encouraged me to think about how to handle issues with children in the classroom, how to make learning effective, and how to integrate different types of activities, games, and information into my classes.
Job Support from OnTESOL
The Student Advisor at OnTESOL was amazing in helping me to prepare me for the job application and interview. I definitely felt more confident going into my interview well prepared. In addition, they prepared me by letting me know that it takes adaptability and patience to teach English in South Korea. I was informed on certain instances that people may stare at me in public or that I would miss home, for example, but also how cultural differences may affect my work environment and a way to handle such differences.