Last Thursday I had my first job interview for a teaching position in Korea. I was extremely nervous for a phone interview, but after a few minutes of hearing about the position, my anxiety turned into excitement. The job sounds great and I hope I receive an offer.
The job is at a school called Isponge Kindy in the city of Incheon. I would be teaching a kindergarten class in the morning and early afternoon for about 4.5 hours a day and then two 45-minute elementary school classes in the late afternoon. They offer all the standard benefits you’d expect from a Korean school: health insurance, paid vacation and holidays, a month’s severance pay at the end of the year, round-trip flights and a furnished apartment.
One thing that really appealed to me is that this school will purchase my flight to Korea and email me the ticket. Some schools make you buy the ticket and then reimburse you later, but I can’t really afford that! Another is that they offer three days of teacher training at their corporate office and a very structured curriculum, with textbooks and an outline of what to teach each class every day. I like to be prepared and organized!
Incheon also sounds like a place I would like to live. It is the third largest city in the country, with 2.5 million people, basically a suburb of Seoul. It’s big enough to have its own subway line, offering connections to Seoul that take only about an hour. Not only is it close to the capital, but also to islands and beaches on Korea’s west coast. Even better (via Wikipedia):
On February 27, 2007, Incheon declared itself an “English City,” and inaugurated the “Incheon Free English Zone” program. The goal of the program is to make Incheon as much an English speaking city as Hong Kong and Singapore are. This is for the ultimate purpose of establishing Incheon as a commercial and business hub of northeast Asia. The official slogan of the program is “Smile with English.”
I’m smiling! Incheon also has the only official Chinatown in South Korea. And if I ever get homesick… McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Outback Steakhouse, Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, and Dunkin Donuts!
The one thing that has me worried is that Daniel and I may not be placed in the same city. A representative from Adventure Teaching, the agency we’re going through, said they’d “do their best.” When we interviewed on the phone, they said we could share an apartment and the other person would get a housing stipend. Now it is like they might not even be able to place us near each other? That’s one anxiety replaced with another.