I hope you enjoyed Jose’s blog. Next meet Erin, who is excitedly waiting to go to South Korea having completed her online TEFL course with Teacher’s Friend.

Over to you Erin!

I often think about what life will be like in a year or two. I’ve noticed two types of people. The ones who gloomily declare that we “will never return to life pre-Covid”, or the super optimistic ones who keep proclaiming “this time, it’s really the tail-end of the pandemic!”, “Just two more weeks of lockdown’, ‘travel restrictions will definitely lift by X month’ or my favourite… ‘Once 2022 hits, it’ll be fine’ I prefer to not try and predict things that no-one can predict while still staying quietly optimistic!

When I tell people I’m *hopefully* going to Korea soon to teach English, I get a similar reaction. “Oh, but what about Covid? What if they shut the borders again?”

A little more optimism please!! Stuff is actually happening now! After 18 months of waiting, it looks like I will actually get to teach in Korea pretty soon and this is unbelievably exciting and definitely something to celebrate!

I’ve always been interested in teaching but I knew I didn’t want to go straight into a career in the UK. I knew I wanted to have a different teaching experience before I doing a PGCE (UK teaching qualification). My parents spent a few years during their ‘20s living in the USA, which was both amazing and eye-opening and one of the best experiences of their lives, so I always knew I wanted to do something similar before settling down.

So when my best friend moved to China after uni to teach English, I was curious. She spoke so highly of the experience–so my boyfriend and I talked about it and decided we would do the same. We initially picked Vietnam as our first choice location–but then Covid hit.

I felt marooned, like I had just piloted my first plane, but halfway there I’d crashed it on an isolated island. Or like I’d just dropped a couple of grand on a pure gold watch but on the walk home, it’d fallen off my wrist into a muddy puddle.

My boyfriend and I waited… and waited… and waited for the borders to open. In the meantime, we completed our Australian government accredited TESOL qualification (a really fun and engaging course, I would recommend Teacher’s Friend’s partner course 100% to anyone considering it), got really into making pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), and went crazy working our “temporary” hospitality jobs that were supposed to only last a few months. Then, after about a year of waiting, we received a message from Georgie at Teacher’s Friend offering South Korea or Thailand instead of Vietnam, as their borders would be opening soon.

The relief and excitement we felt was indescribable. We chose South Korea for a myriad of reasons: 1, the country’s history is fascinating; 2, I had a pre-existing fixation with tteokbokki and kimchi; 3, I was unsure how I, a freckly pasty girl who burns in 19º British sun would fare in Thailand; and 4, it just felt right. I’m a strong believer in everything happening for a reason–and my gut instinct told me South Korea was the best option.

Life is a learning experience, and I think one of the best things a person can do is travelling. Unfortunately, travelling is expensive, so I’ve not done a lot of it so far in my life. I’ve never been to Asia–the furthest east I’ve been is Prague. Teaching English in Asia just made sense to me. It’s the perfect way to combine my genuine passion for education and imparting wisdom to the next generation with my hunger for exploration. I’m absolutely determined to become the best teacher I can possibly be. If I can positively impact a child’s life and perception of the world then I will count that as a life well lived.

Despite Covid making me wait however many painful months I have waited, I’m obscenely excited to begin this next chapter of my life and finally manifest my dream to teach English in South Korea. I’ve not been into a Wetherspoons for years and years–but I think I’ll have a good old British pint at Heathrow’s Spoons, for old time’s sake, just before I start this incredible adventure.

Written by Erin for Teacher’s friend.