I’ve been around the (Korean) block a few times…
More specifically, I’ve been in the English as a Foreign Language (and as CDI or Chungdahm Learning likes to call it their patented ESL programs) industry for more than five years in Korea. I get questions constantly about how to enter the industry, who to choose for work and honestly what to do if interested in this field if you want work.
Well, I just got another question (or should I say set of questions) asked of me about work here in Korea as an English teacher. Instead of just answering this gentleman directly and minimizing the impact, I thought I’d write it up here so a few more can read and hopefully benefit from my advice. In addition to reading the following, you can also read my piece called “Advice for Teachers” (they titled it that way even though I didn’t) which should actually be named “Advice for ‘Prospective’ English Teachers (in Korea).”
The guy asks: Continue reading
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Bought the following motorcycle on the 12th of April. http://www.suzukicycles.org/GSX-series/GSX400-Impulse.shtml – RED 1994 Model. I’ve had a few problems, but all worth the education it’s taught me.
Right after buying it from this nice South African guy named Keren, I had starter problems. We thought it might be the extra flashing blue lights strung up the back of the bike — maybe sucking a bit of the battery before start up. So, I took those off.
This was after I bought a brand new battery from this guy named “Joon” that was instrumental in helping me get the bike. He thought it was in good shape and at the time, I had nobody who knew a lot about motorcycles except Dan (one of our Busanjin teachers) and fellow Kyopo. Dan introduced me to Joon who’s a buddy of Dan’s. Supposedly though the battery’s a cheap one according to a new bike shop I’ve been using. The new bike shop said the 40,000 won or so I paid to get this battery was on the cheap end and that I needed to buy a 60,000 won battery or so. I could believe him because he said I didn’t need to buy the better one yet since I should use this poor battery first.
All in all, in the month plus I’ve owned the bike (after purchasing it on 4/12), I’ve:
filled up the bike at least 12 times with gas (totaling about 175,000 won in gas)
bought a brand new “cheaper battery” for 40,000 won
pushed the 400 lb bike long distances because of the battery problem (3 kilometers & 5 kilometers up a hill – almost killed me)
replaced the clutch twice: once at 30,000 won (actually paid 50,000 won because I was so grateful), but then realized I could get a smaller bike shop guy to do it 10,000 won who also recharged the battery to top it off
got a VERY EXPENSIVE oil change (100,000 won!) around 5/8 with expensive french racing oil
replaced the 4 spark plugs (5/15) for 40,000 won – I guess this is cheap & again, he recharged the battery
dropped it 4 X’s (once because a taxi driver almost killed me)
probably set up myself for a hernia shortly given that I kept it from dropping a 5th time
been pulled over or questioned by police 3X’s PLUS almost getting fined 1.5 million for not having a license and registration
rode to 기장, 해운대 (5X’s), 노포동, 서면 (7X’s) with the Suzuki
I guess we’ll have to see what happens for the rest of the year with this decision. I’ve started to look into “what the next bike” may be and some of the candidates are:
1996 Honda NTV 650 (55 mpg)
2007 Aprilla RSV 1000 FactoryR
2009 Triumph Thruxton
**By the way, the purpose of this post is mostly to help me keep track of what I’ve done on it for maintenance and the costs involved (in case any of you are interested in the costs of motorbike upkeep)
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While I won’t go into much detail about the default documents that have always been a part of the process (Original diploma, Sealed transcripts, Passport photos, Copy of the front page of the active passport, Contract & Signed health statement), I will detail a bit below about how to obtain the Apostilled (a.k.a. Internationally Notarized) Criminal Record Check which seems to be the most complicated and time consuming document(s) required to obtain the E-2 Visa to Teach English in South Korea. Also, I am focusing on how to do it for U.S. Citizens in this post. If time permits, I’ll try to write one for Canadians, then the other countries who can also work in Korea legally as Native English Instructors. Before continuing, I must also point out this is NOT an official set of recommendations or instructions, but simply what I’ve found to clarify the much to do about nothing confusion that’s been created since the start of this document as a requirement to work in Korea. Continue reading
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Like I said “porcupines,” “Korean women” and many others like “how to say hello (or thank you) in Korean” are dominating the traffic on the blog these days. For a snippet of the rest of the popular posts, check out the following WordPress stats for The Real “South” Korea: Continue reading
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Competitions for Business Plans or other events like Science competitions that supposedly try to make it fun for people basically to compete & win something actually have some other intent behind these that the competitors sometimes don’t know about. The VC’s and Angel Investors who want to find fresh business plans like to see what floats to the top. Science focused or other Corporations who need the scientists will sponsor the science competitions in hopes of finding their future producers for their companies. And Google is no exception — they really know how to play in this arena. Continue reading
By Kang Shin-who
The association of foreign language institutes or hagwon said Monday that the government should block the inflow of unqualified native English teachers, making clear its opposition to a policy to increase the number of “questionable instructors.’’ Continue reading
On the move…
In more ways than one.
Later this week, I fly off to my buddy’s bachelor party in what better place except Sin City: Las Vegas. After frolicking around with the boys for a few days, I’m flying up to Seattle to see family & remaining friends in the little time I have up that way. I’ll probably neglect a few people due to the limited time there. If any of you are reading this right now, I’m sorry…I have like 36 hours in Seattle.
However, I may see you soon after this trip — you Seattleites. I may have to change the blog to “therealseattle.wordpress.com” or people will have to start to understand I started the blog when in Korea and that the url has nothing to do with location — well, if it happens that way. Yes, I’m considering the next chapter of my life. Continue reading
Saw this recently despite the age of the article:
Takinga gamble on human capital
Firms invest in students’ potential
Published: SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2005
The pitch goes something like this: Imagine investing in business superstars when they are just starting out, the way people do with athletes or music celebrities. What if a scout had spotted Bill Gates when he was 18 and given him money for books and college tuition, in exchange for a cut of his later earnings? Continue reading