THE KOREA KRONICLES, PART I: Dog Days Are Over

Montage of various Daegu imagesWell, it’s official. My passport is fresh back from the Korean consulate in Houston with a bright, shiny new visa on Page 8. This means that the only thing standing between me and teaching Korea’s bright young minds is an ocean. And, believe you me, if you can survive ten months in rural exile and then navigate the complexities involved in acquiring an E-2 work visa from the Republic of Korea, the Pacific is a pushover. So, allow me to recount the tale for those of you who have not been so blessed as to personally experience it in this the first installment of “The Korea Kronicles.” (I’ll try to go easy on the k’s, Tim.)

Although I wasn’t hired to a full-time teaching position at the English camp until November 15 of last year, I started getting ready to go long before. That’s an important thing to remember: once you’ve decided you want to teach abroad, regardless of where you want to go, start getting all the paperwork in order from the moment you decide you want to go. Many of the steps don’t require you to have already signed a contract and by the time I was hired, I’d already gotten the ball rolling on the most time consuming aspects of getting a visa. And, even though I overshot my original planned departure date by a week, I probably wound up saving a substantial amount of time. Continue reading