A lot of things have changed since I last posted on this blog but I’m going to take it up again to document my latest journey.
For my entire life, like a lot of people, I have been interested in traveling and learning about other cultures. After seriously mulling it over for the past several years while I finished a degree in pre-education, I am starting a new adventure. I’ve started gathering my paperwork and will be applying to teach English in South Korea for one year.
In case anyone else is over 40 and wondering if this is possible, I’ll keep track of how things work out and a timeline of when I do paperwork and how long that all takes for me. Just as a reference. Everyone’s experiences will be different but I’ve found it helpful to read what other people have gone through.
So, my starting point menu as of November 2013:
Age: Over 40 under 50
Family obligations: Married with two teenagers at home
Relevant Education: B.Sci. Pre-Professional Education in Elementary Language Arts (Minor: English), current MSED student, current TEFL student
What I have done to prepare so far:
I’ve been researching as much as possible, reading blogs, articles, etc. That’s probably a given as far as a starting point. =)
Passport- I already had it (and it’s good for years yet) but put it with the other documents I’m gathering up.
1- Talked to my family extensively about this. I have been mentioning it for years so there was no surprise, but I still made an official request for family discussion about me working overseas for 1 year. My husband is ex-military and did several missions overseas so we do understand how this all works. It also helps that I have friends that live in South Korea now, but with whom my family spent quite a bit of time. It does help to have a ‘safety net’ to offer up when your father expresses his concern. =) My dad let me know that a parent is NEVER done worrying about their child, no matter how old they are!
2- Requested official transcripts from my university. I received them, but then realized they do NOT have an official stamp or signature across the back flap! I have read that this is necessary so I called the registrar and was told to make a special request in writing (my university had a paper transcript request form to download). I was told to make a note on the form and explain what I needed- so that is now ready to go out in the mail tomorrow! (Update: Contacted by email and they were kind enough to send out a new batch with the required stamps, no paper form required!)
3- Requested Letters of Recommendation from a previous work supervisor and a previous instructor. I made sure to give them 6-8 weeks notice, will send them both SASE’s this week (Update: Mailed!), and developed blank Word template’s according to EPIK’s requirements- just to make it a little easier. I realize it’s an imposition so I’m trying to make it as simple as possible.
1- Fingerprints at the local state police office and then mailing them off to DC for the Federal Criminal Record Check with a request to ‘authenticate’ the CRC. I’ve read this can potentially take 12 weeks so that seems important to get started asap.
2- Order duplicate diploma from university (it seems like a good idea to have an extra!).