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  #1  
Unread 09-24-2008, 05:30 AM
adamski adamski is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
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Where do I start?!?!

I'm thinking of teaching english in korea and was wondering where the best place to be situated was if I was a mad keen climber, trad mainly but ill climb anything? Just wondering where to consider looking. Also I have a degree, but no esl/tefl etc and no experience really (taught kids but not english), can anyone give any tips or hints where to start out?! I'm pretty keen on coming over the climbing scene looks pretty good and basically thats good enough for me, everything else will just fit in somewhere, I'm just interested in other peoples experiences starting out. Im 28 and from the UK by the way.
Cheers!
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  #2  
Unread 09-24-2008, 10:10 AM
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skinsk skinsk is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Jochiwon (Sejong City)
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There are lots of jobs on Dave's ESL Cafe. . . the climbing is all over Korea-- the best trad at Seoraksan, but some right in Seoul (Seoinbong, Insubong) and Busan (Buchae). Trad "ridges" at Daedunsan, Wolchulsan. . . climbing everywhere (click the map on the left). . . most important will be your job. . . the hours and vacations. These days a lot of folks are working for public schools and are happy with that. You tend to get a couple weeks to a couple months vacation and teach about 20 hours a week (though sometimes you have to be there more-- that's time to surf the computer and plan) with evenings off to train/hit the gym. Play up that you've taught kids. many, if not most, people come here with little education background or experience.
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  #3  
Unread 09-24-2008, 11:14 AM
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shanja shanja is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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I agree with Sonia. Your satisfacion or misery and your stay here really depends on the job you land. A good job means you are in heaven, a lousy one and you'll be way to stressed to even think about climbing. Jobs are usually in 3 areas. Universities and Colleges, Public Schools and Private Academies (called hakwons). The 1st two are usually really good jobs with plenty of interest, support and holidays. The other (hakwons) can be great or terrible!
Without an esl certificate you are kinda limited to private academy (hakwon) work - 35 hours a week plus teachingh hours and 2 weeks holidays a year (even some of these places now demend an esl certifictae). If you are gonna be here and have a decent life/ job/ experience/ chance of a good job etc, you really ought to get an esl/ tesol/tefol certificate. They can be done fairly fast and cheaply (I've heard prices vary a lot, so look around -$300US was the best price I heard so far). That at least opens the chance of better jobs with climb time and professional employers. It still isn't a walk in, but with a good resume, determination and playing up your strengths you should be fine.
If it's your 1st time long-stay o/s and you like night-life and multicultural stuff, Busan and Seoul are your best bets. Lots of English friendly local services there till you get the local lingo sorted (and it's not that hard to learn the basics). If you really don't care all that much about the above, Daegu, Daejeon, Jeonju, Wonju, Cheonan, Incheon and Gwangju are all decent mid-sized cities with climbing nearby. Public transpport here is really really good, and pretty cheap too. Lots of folks get scooters or motorcycles, or even cars (though the insurance on the latter and recent petrol prices makes it a commitment).
Check out:
www.esljobkorea.co.kr
www.englishteachingkorea.com
http://www.footprintsrecruiting.com/...lish-korea.php
http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/index.kto for a background on Korea and job searching options.
Hope this helps, and that we get you out here cragging with us soon.
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  #4  
Unread 09-26-2008, 04:26 AM
adamski adamski is offline
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Hi thank you for your replies! The englishteachingkorea website was really useful, I might well apply with them. I presume you get trained when you start teaching?!? Could be entertaining if you're expected to know everything straight off, but then I like a bit of a challenge... Thanks again, I'm definitely gonna apply for next september i think, the only choice now is do I go to arapiles in jan, or a monster european roadtrip....

Cheers!

Adam

P.S Skinsk I tried to reply to the personal message but your inbox was full. I wish i was that popular...
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  #5  
Unread 09-26-2008, 10:12 AM
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shanja shanja is offline
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Dude, choose Araps! Camping in "the Pines" with grazing 'roos and stinky climbin' bums all just minutes away from the greatest climbing on Earth! It's just grand (even better if you pop over to a dodgy Horsham pub or into Natimuk for an even dodgier meat-pie or chips)!
I'd be tempted to try and organize a KOTR Araps trip even...we are oft doing such in Railay, Yangshuo and Halong Bay...why not a Down Under KOTR M&G? But that's kinda getting off topic...
You probably will get almost no training at all. It's wing it and play it by ear territory for the most part. Get in a few days before-hand, and go over what books/ schedules/ goals etc the school wants you to teach. If they have other foreign teachers there they can give you the beta on what's what. It'll be a bizarre trip of confusion and chaos, but after a month or so you'll have it down sweet as Larry mate.
If you like I'll e-mail you a few basic phrases of survival Korean that can make life a tad easier. Stay in touch.
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  #6  
Unread 09-26-2008, 02:20 PM
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ricardo ricardo is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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note about Gwangju (AKA Kwangju); i've had several friends teach in that city and they we're not too pleased with it.
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  #7  
Unread 09-28-2008, 01:26 AM
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lovelydeirdre lovelydeirdre is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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You do NOT get trained when you come to teach. You should get it in your contract to observe for a couple days. Make sure you take those days. They litterally give you books and a classroom. Having experience teaching kids, you'll be fine. I have my cert, and both taught preschool and ESL for adults before coming. So they actually threw me in a classroom 14 hrs after I got off the plane It's been fine.

I'm in Incheon. Climbing gym really nearby and public transit to get me to anywhere else. English-friendly, plenty of city-perks (and smells, mmm ) Super easy to get into Seoul. I'm going to try for a public schools for next year only for the hours. Starting work at 3pm is making me LAZY.

Just MAKE SURE you speak to people who actually work at the place you'll be going and get their take on it. Do NOT believe ANYTHING a recruiter tells you. They often don't even know what's going on with the school, nor do they usually care.

Actually if you want to get rid of the recruiter entirely, you could just email me your CV and I'll give it to my boss. Besides me, there are a couple teachers that have been here for YEARS that are finally going back to the States in January. Still some others will be sticking around, and they're pretty cool people.
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  #8  
Unread 09-28-2008, 09:32 PM
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Chickenlegs Chickenlegs is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Wonju
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Actually many schools do have a training course... just not usually hagwons. If you want a public school job, you can go through EPIK (English Program in Korea). Those jobs usually begin in March and September and have a training program, but occasionally will hire during other months. You should definitely try to get them to put everything in writing for them and you to sign before you come to Korea, but, then again, there are no guarantees that they will uphold their end of the contract once you get here. And I second the idea of getting in contact with people who are currently working with the particular school you are looking into.
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  #9  
Unread 09-30-2008, 03:24 AM
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lovelydeirdre lovelydeirdre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickenlegs
...Those jobs usually begin in March and September...

Why do they start after the school year does?
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  #10  
Unread 09-30-2008, 09:33 AM
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Chickenlegs Chickenlegs is offline
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They don't. The school year begins March 1st and the second semester begins September 1st. Some schools bring teachers in a week or so earlier to do training. I know that with some of the EPIK programs they train all the new teachers at one school and then place you with your respective ones. One of my friends just came over in August w/ EPIK and did that. A couple KOTRers have also.

Many public school English teachers don't begin teaching until the second or third week of school anyways. They are 'supplemental' teachers so aren't used until school gets into the swing of things.

Also, a nice plus of working a public school job in a smaller area (NOT a big city) where you travel to different schools is that you will get random days off. I NEVER worked my full 22hrs/week because of sports days, award ceremonies, fire prevention day, field trips, etc. If you aren't full time at one school you don't have to go to all those things.
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