Not your average Friday

As far as days go, yesterday was pretty huge.

I submitted the final essay of my degree. Wehoo!

I sat the last exam of my degree. Wehoo!

As I am confident I’ve done enough to pass I can now say I have completed my degree. After 7 years of on-off study I have a Bachelor of Arts with double majors in Education and Sociology. WEHOO!

That was my morning, which did I say started at 5:15am for some last minute study?

I decided to celebrate my newfound freedom with lunch in the sun.

An hour later I was in the office, having re-entered the world of full-time work.

A contract was signed increasing my temporary office work from part-time to full-time for the duration of the summer.

I also accepted another contract. One offered by a school in Balsan, Seoul! This Korea thing is getting official now!

Here’s a quick rundown of the main details of the position.

I arrive in Seoul around the 24th February 2012 for a brief orientation before starting work on the 28th February.

The school will cover my airfare to Seoul, and also a flight home (or wherever else I choose to go of the same or lesser value) at the completion of my one-year contract.

I will be teaching 7-12 year olds in 45 minute teaching blocks with no more than 12 kids per class.

It sounds like our schedules for teaching/prep hours vary a bit from quarter to quarter, but I shouldn’t have more than 6 classes a day, totally about 20-25 hours a week. With prep time I’m expected to be at the office from 11am-8pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri and 1pm-10pm Thu. These may seem like quite strange hours, but classes have to run after the students finish their normal schooling. They’re quite long days, but seem to be pretty consistent with other jobs around and I figure not that different than you’d get in your first week teaching here.

I’m getting paid 2,600,000 Won per month. I know 2.6 M I L L I O N ! How awesome does that sound? On today’s exchange rate it’s worth NZ$2936.20, so it’s actually not too different from what I’d earn in my current job, but way better than what I’ve been living on as a student. The cool part is that my costs of living should be a lot less in Korea, so I’ll be able to make the most of my weekends and still pay off a good wad off my student loan. It’s actually a really good salary for a first-time teacher. I’m sure I will earn every won of it!

I’ve been put in contact with an American teacher based at the school who will likely be the one training me. She sent me a massive email explaining all sorts of things about the school that really helped me make my decision. She’s clearly really willing to support new teachers coming through and promises that the managers are also really awesome. She’s just signed up for a second year with the school, so that’s always a good sign.

I’m still pretty nervous about a lot of things, there is really so much that I can’t know until I’m actually there, but I’m pretty happy. It’s particularly nice to now have an idea of when I’ll be going so that I can get myself organised. More on that to come.

Right now I’m celebrating the end of study and my new job. Wehoo!