2. What made you decide to teach abroad?
I always had a desire to travel, teaching abroad was a simple, fun, and economical way to do so. I had experience working with children, my degree is in International Development, and with education being a main pillar of development, it just made sense.
3. Which program hired you?
I didn’t go through a program, I worked for a company in Seoul.
4. What country did you choose?
I looked at a few countries, but primarily places in Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong. I ultimately chose an offer I received in Seoul, South Korea.
5. Was teaching abroad your first experience in South Korea?
6. What grades did you teach?
All grades. I worked in an English village. The main age group was between 6 and 12, but I’ve taught as young as 2 years old, and as old as 22 years old.
7. Had you worked with children in education before teaching abroad?
I’ve done some tutoring and worked in a childcare centre briefly before leaving.
8. What surprised you most about the education system in South Korea?
The amount of pressure put on the kids. The school I was at in my first year was fine, as it was more of camp like atmosphere. However, I later went on to work at a private school which the students went to after their regular school. They’re tired, stressed out, and focused on test preparation.
9. What were your favorite/least favorite parts of the job?
Many of the people I met there were fantastic. My first job was so much fun, very relaxed. The second one however was quite strict, with longer working hours and just stressful overall.
10. What was your favorite word or phrase your students used?
The Korean word for “really” I always found fun to say, it sounded like “chin-cha?”
11. What was your favorite part of living in South Korea?
Seoul was fantastic. They had a great expat community, everything was open all the time, and the food was amazing (Korean food that is, when they tried to do Western food it was less than great).
12. How has teaching abroad helped you in what you’re doing now?
It’s given me much more travel experience and opened my eyes more in-depth to another culture. Also, it certainly helped prepare for teaching Chinese students online with VIPKid.
12. What advice would you give a prospective teacher abroad?
Talk to the other teachers before you go. It’ll give you a better overall feel for the job.
Thank you, Ashley!
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