Thursday, December 30, 2010

Quick thanks...

With no small bit of sincerity, and at the risk of sounding melodramatic...I'd like to pause and be thankful for another year of health and peace whilst living in a veritable paradise that so many are unable to conceive of.

It was year of transitions. From routine to none. From order to chaos. From resistance to acceptance. From fear to courage. From regret to hope. From loss to gain. Of course these are all cyclical...and purposefully vague, but illustrate a shift in mindset. I've continued to focus much of my energy inward, towards improving my general mode of operation and attitude. Unfortunately, that meant many of the people in my life did not receive as much energy from me as they might have come to expect, or needed. To them, I apologize for my selfishness and neglect, and make a promise to continue striving towards balance. For those that stuck with me, I cannot thank you enough for your patience. To those that could not, I understand why you had to go and I will miss you.

So much can happen in year, yet it goes by so quickly. I am looking forward to this next one holding just as many surprises.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Too late?

After a couple weeks of research, applications, job searches, talking to people that have done it, and reading blogs... it would appear that South Korea is among the top candidate for teaching English abroad. (I had previously hoped to get a job in Taiwan, but learned that the best jobs there require a 2 year teaching degree.) There are numerous jobs in South Korea at the private schools (or "Hagwons" as they are called) that will pay for your round trip airfare, as well as provide very decent housing for the duration of your 1 year contract. This is on top of an average starting pay of around 2,100,000 won a month (about 1850 USD) That may not sound like much, but considering there will be no rent to pay, no car payments, no insurance, etc... it would work out pretty well. Not to mention that the cost of living is lower there.

Unfortuantely it appears that I may be a bit late getting my applications in for this upcoming semester. Most positions begin in February and have already been filled. If I do not find a job in the next week or so, I may have to wait until September for the next mass hiring blitz. That would not be the end of the world. I would rather do that than sign a contract and wind up in a crappy job.

This is not to say that I cannot find one between now and then. There are jobs available every month... but they are less likely to be the most desirable ones with all the amenities that I mentioned above. Still hanging on and applying every day... but plans might change here in the next week or so.

Til then...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Time is short

This week I have been spending most of my time on the internet searching for and applying for positions teaching English as a second language to students in Korea. Why Korea? It seems that they offer the best wages and benefits. Most of the jobs in Korea will pay for your round-trip airfare, provide good living accommodations, and a good salary with a one-year contract. Some of the best jobs offer 5 weeks of paid vacation. Unfortunately time is very short. Many of the positions for the next semester have already been filled, as the sessions begin in early to mid-February. There are still some available, but because of the time it takes to properly process background checks, credentials, visas, etc... some of the recruiting companies have already told me that I am too late for most schools this upcoming semester in Korea.

I haven't given up yet. There are still new jobs posted everyday and I am applying to as many as I can. In the meantime I am gathering up documents that seem to be necessary now to most of the schools. This includes a full FBI background check, as well as a notarized copy of my college degree. Ummm, I haven't seen that in years! I had to send a snail mail application to my University along with $20 to get it re-printed. Where or how to get it notarized is another question entirely.

There are some jobs in Japan that start a bit later... but most do not pay for travel and living accommodations which can be very expensive there. Taiwan also pays well but most positions require a teaching degree which I, obviously, do not posses.

One of the most intriguing positions I have seen is in Georgia. Not the state... but rather the former Soviet Republic. Situated along the black sea, its Mediterranean climate is not too much different from that of Southern California. I would be paid the equivalent of about $275 US dollars a month. Wow! My current unemployment checks are $450 a week! I would live in a home with locals. Apparently one can live rather comfortably on about $100 a month there. The government would pay for my airfare. THis one I am the most apprehensive about.