This is a picture of the ever-famous "Demilitarized Zone" demarcating the de-facto border between North and South Korea. In one week, I will be living less than 100 km from one of the most contested borders in the world. I know - I'm surprised too.
This current adventure began last Wednesday. At the beginning of the semester this last fall, I decided to "feb" myself and signed up for graduation in early February. Doing so saved me (well Mom & Dad really) the $24,000 needed for this second semester. I graduated on February 2, 2008, and had no prospects for a job whatsoever. After lounging around Middlebury for a month and enjoying all the benefits of college life without the academic requirements, I got a little bored. In between hockey games, lectures, and skiing, I managed to apply for a teaching position in Korea. Since March is a very important month for starting school, Long Bridge Pacific decided I needed to ship out immediately.
Last Wednesday I had a phone interview with Sam, director of the Songpa Language Institute, and about ten minutes later, I had a job. The details of the job are still a little up in the air, BUT I do know I will be teaching English to elementary and middle school students at a language school outside of regular public schools.
I depart for Korea this coming Friday from Minneapolis, so this next week will be quite the whirlwind tour. I'm headed home to Iowa from Middlebury on Tuesday after saying all my good byes this weekend. During my brief stay in Iowa, I have to take the foreign service exam, and then I'm headed to the airport and off to Korea - for a year. They are flying me back to the states for a week or two in April to obtain the proper work visa, but who knows how that's all going to work out.
I'll try to be better about updating from Korea than I was from Budapest. Given this is a real job and I won't have every Friday off, I anticipate I'll be doing a little less traveling and a bit more exploring of Seoul. As always I love emails, use this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. And I'll be sure to post my mailing address once I'm actually on the ground.
One question a lot of people have asked me is: Why Korea?
I don't really know. I tell people there is a big demand for English teachers so they pay well, but really I just saw an ad on google, and now I'm leaving in a week.
This is where I'll be for those a little fuzzy on their geography: