Saturday, June 12, 2010

Yakihito Is Going Korean

That's right, folks. I'm going to Korea. After what seemed like a long job hiring process, checking the job boards daily, updating my resume, interviewing via Skype and cellphone, I finally decided to take a job teaching English in public schools in Korea starting mid-August.

"Wait, what?" I hear you say, incredulously. "But Adam, you're all about Japan. You don't even speak Korean, for crying out loud."

You're right. I am all about Japan. But I'm also all about paying off my student loans and Japan is not the best place in the world to save money. It's also really difficult to get a job there right now. Well, a good job. I was offered a position with Nova but given the company's recent history I decided not to take it. Japan will always be there. But right now, Korea beckons.

I'm going to be working for EPIK, a Korean government-run program that's similar to JET. I'll be working as an assistant English teacher in a variety of public schools. I don't know if that will be high school, middle school, elementary school (or a mix of all) or even where I'll be yet, but I have a tentative conformation for Gyeongsanbuk province. It's located in the south east of the country and was the center of the Silla kingdom more than 1000 years ago. I visited there on my trip to Korea in 2008 and really liked it.

None of this, however, is 100% certain. I have passed the interview stage, which means EPIK likes me. My required documents have been sent and will be passed on to the Gyeongsanbuk board of education, who will then give me the final OK. I have been working with a recruiter during this whole process and she assures me it's a done deal, that from here on out any delays are just due to matters of formality. I'm a little nervous that all of this will actually pan out—I've had to turn down that job offer and cancel pending interviews—but with about a month to wait for the contracts, I guess I had better just assume a stance of success and put it out of my mind.

T-minus two months and counting. Or not, as the case may be.

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